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Notice given 13 November 2006

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 2724-2750)—

(1) For each of the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06, based on actual program expenditure compared with the program budget estimate, what were: (a) the 10 largest underspending programs; and (b) the 10 largest overspending programs, in the Minister’s portfolio.

(2) For each identified program in paragraph (1): (i) what was the budget estimate, (ii) what was the actual expenditure, (iii) what was the variance, and (iv) can an explanation for the variance be provided.

2724 Minister representing the Prime Minister

2725 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

2726 Minister representing the Treasurer

2727 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

2728 Minister for Finance and Administration

2729 Minister representing the Attorney-General

2730 Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

2731 Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

2732 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

2733 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

2734 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

2735 Minister for the Environment and Heritage

2736 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

2737 Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

2738 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training

2739 Minister for Justice and Customs

2740 Minister for the Arts and Sport

2741 Minister representing the Minister for Human Services

2742 Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation

2743 Minister representing the Minister for Vocational and Technical Education

2744 Minister representing the Minister for Small Business and Tourism

2745 Minister representing the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads

2746 Minister representing the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer

2747 Minister representing the Minister for Community Services

2748 Minister representing the Minister for Workforce Participation

2749 Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

2750 Minister representing the Special Minister of State

2751  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to Australian Federal Police deployments to Solomon Islands and East Timor under the International Deployment Group:

(1) Can a detailed description be provided of the accommodation arrangements for all staff deployed on these missions including:

(a) the physical location of the accommodation;

 

 (b) the physical condition of the accommodation including:

(i) the nature of the accommodation (for example hotel, motel, barracks etc),

(ii) the age and general condition of the building,

(iii) the average, maximum and minimum size of the rooms,

(iv) the average, maximum and minimum number of people to a room,

(v) whether bedrooms have air conditioning or fans,

(vi) whether bedrooms have their own locks,

(vii) whether staff have access to lockers or safes,

(viii) access to drinking water,

(ix) toilet and bathroom arrangements,

(x) access to telecommunications (for example computer, with Internet access),

(xi) access to recreational areas, and

(xii) a general description of the security provisions of the facility;

(c) the catering arrangements including:

(i) whether meals are prepared on-site or off-site,

(ii) whether there is a food quality standard; if so, the details of that standard, and

(iii) mess area;

(d) cleaning arrangements for the above and the standards that are required to be met;

(e) commercial arrangements covering the accommodation including:

(i) the process by which accommodation was chosen (e.g. open tender, short list),

(ii) a list of parties contracted to provide the accommodation (including both end-providers and intermediaries),

(iii) the value of each contract,

(iv) for each of the financial years since inception, the total spending on accommodation under each deployment, and

(v) the average cost per person per night for accommodation;

(f) the audit arrangements in place and key findings and recommendations of any audits that have been completed; and

(g) any complaint procedure in place and the number and nature of complaints received, if any.

(2) Can copies be provided of the contracts referred to above.

2752  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the overseas travel by the Secretary of the Department, (Mr Michael Taylor), in November 2006:

(1) On what date did Mr Taylor: (a) depart Australia; and (b) return to Australia.

(2) Can a detailed itinerary of Mr Taylor’s trip be provided.

(3) What was the total cost of airfares, disaggregated by sector.

(4) (a) What accommodation was used; (b) what nights did Mr Taylor stay at each hotel; and (c) what did each hotel cost.

 

 (5) What other expenses were incurred including: (a) gifts; (b) hospitality; (c) meals; (d) land transport; and (e) other expenses not listed above.

(6) What was the total cost of Mr Taylor’s overseas visit.

(7) (a) Which officers accompanied Mr Taylor on this trip; (b) for what periods of time did each officer accompany Mr Taylor; and (c) what was the total cost incurred in relation to the participation of each of these officers.

2753  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the claim by Mr Bruce Byron, Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, to the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association on 26 March 2004 that ‘[my] direct roots in the industry have meant I have had to formally isolate myself from decisions relating to companies with which I have worked for a period of time’:

(1) Was this decision suggested, approved and/or endorsed by the Minister upon Mr Byron’s appointment.

(2) By year, which decisions, relating to which companies, has Mr Byron isolated himself from.

(3) Does Mr Byron continue to observe this policy; if not: (a) why not; (b) on what date was it abandoned; and (c) did Mr Byron inform the Minister.

2754  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE) guest seminar with Professor Wendell Cox on 15 August 2006:

(1) Of the those that attended, how many were: (a) departmental staff; and (b) people other than departmental staff.

(2) (a) What was the total cost of the seminar; and (b) what costs were associated with Professor Cox’s appearance.

(3) Did the BTRE pay for Professor Cox’s travel to Australia; if not, who sponsored his travel.

2755  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Transport Colloquium 2006 staged by the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics:

(1) Can a breakdown be provided of the: (a) costs; and (b) revenues, associated with this event.

(2) What was the total cost associated with the presentation by Dr Clifford Winston on the privatisation of urban transport systems including: (a) fees; (b) air fares; (c) accommodation; (d) meals; and (e) other costs.

2756  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Airworthiness Bulletin 02-017 concerning ‘the increasing trend of leaking fluid lines (oil, fuel, hydraulic, anti-ice, bleed or exhaust) on Metroliner SA226/SA227 aircraft’:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the Transair aircraft VH-TFU that crashed at Lockhart River in May 2005 was a Metroliner SA227 aircraft.

(2) Can the Minister identify all reports, since 1 July 2001, relating to the leakage of fluid carrying lines and pipes concerning: (a) the Transair Metroliner aircraft VH-TFU; and (b) other Transair Metroliner aircraft.

 

 2757  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Airworthiness Bulletin 02-017 concerning ‘the increasing trend of leaking fluid lines (oil, fuel, hydraulic, anti-ice, bleed or exhaust) on Metroliner SA226/SA227 aircraft’:

(1) When did CASA conduct the review that established that reports of leaking fluid lines on Metroliner SA226/SA227 aircraft were on the rise.

(2) Is it the case that CASA considers the leakage of fuel, oil or other fluids a major defect.

(3) For each month since July 2001, what is the number of service difficulty reports to CASA that identify leaking fluid lines on Metroliner SA226/SA227 aircraft.

2758  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) issued air operator’s certificate (AOC) number BN426646-30 to Transair on 30 September 2005 authorising Transair to conduct regular public transport operations in aircraft including a Fairchild SA227-DC with the serial number DC-818B and registration mark VH-TFU.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that a Fairchild SA 227-DC with the serial number DC-818B and registration mark VH-TFU operated by Transair was destroyed at Lockhart River on 7 May 2005 in a tragedy that cost 15 lives.

(3) Why did CASA issue an AOC to Transair in September 2005 authorising the operator to carry passengers on an aircraft that had been destroyed in one of Australia’s worst aviation disasters 4 months earlier.

2759  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—Has the Civil Aviation Safety Authority established a group to develop a new compliance policy; if so, can details of the group and its work be provided, including: (a) date of establishment; (b) membership; and (c) role/terms of reference.

2760  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) (a) How many ex-military aircraft are registered in Australia, by aircraft-type, by state/territory; and (b) how many of these aircraft are engaged in commercial operations, by aircraft-type, by state/territory.

(2) Can an outline be provided of the regulatory regime that governs the operation of ex-military aircraft registered in Australia engaged in: (a) non-commercial; and (b) commercial operations.

2761  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Airworthiness Bulletin (AWB) 02-018 of 20 October 2006, applicable to all BAC 167 Strikemaster and Jet Provost aircraft and relating to airworthiness information arising from a fatal crash of a Strikemaster aircraft near Bathurst on 5 October 2006: By state/territory, how many: (a) BAC Strikemaster aircraft are registered in Australia; and (b) BAC Jet Provost aircraft are registered to operate in Australia.

 

 2762  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Airworthiness Bulletin 02-018 issued on 20 October 2006 applicable to all BAC 167 Strikemaster and Jet Provost aircraft and relating to airworthiness information arising from a fatal crash of a Strikemaster aircraft near Bathurst on 5 October 2006:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the possible structural failure of other Strikemaster aircraft and Jet Provost aircraft registered in Australia prompted the bulletin.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that the bulletin draws attention to United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) Mandatory Permit Directives (MPDs) relating to Strikemaster aircraft.

(3) Can the Minister confirm that some of these UKCAA MPDs concern cracking in wing structures on Strikemaster aircraft.

(4) On what date(s) did CASA issue Airworthiness Directives (AD) AD/Strikemaster/3 and AD/Strikemaster/4 under Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) 39.001 as contained in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1988 mandating compliance with UKCAA MPDs 1995-101 and 1995-109 respectively.

(5) Is it the case that CASR 39.003 prohibits the operation of an Australian aircraft that is covered by an AD in breach of any requirement of the AD.

(6) Has any Strikemaster aircraft registered in Australia operated in breach of AD/Strikemaster/3 and/or AD/Strikemaster/4.

(7) Have any requirements been mandated, in the form of an AD or otherwise, in relation to the operation of Jet Provost aircraft in Australia; if so, what are the requirements; if not, why not.

2763  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister for Ageing—

(1) Can details be provided of Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (ACSAA) visits to the Netherlands Retirement Village since 2000 including:

(a) how many;

(b) when they occurred; and

(c) the findings of the Agency.

(2) With reference to a report in The Ballarat Courier on 17 July 2006, on a determination hearing conducted by the Aged Care Complaints Resolution Scheme Committee brought by Lindy McGarry on behalf of her mother which was held on 10 May 2006, and which ordered Kirralee Residential Aged Care Facility to develop a written policy and plan of action to measure and record patients’ weights, develop a policy to help staff with effective communication and establish links with palliative care services and develop a policy for palliative care strategies:

(a) how will the ACSAA ensure that the determination is carried out; and

(b) since the facility had an accreditation audit from 31 January to 1 February 2006, has the ACSAA conducted a spot check on Kirralee Residential Aged Care Facility this year; if so, what were the findings.

 

 (3) With reference to a report in The Age on 22 June 2006, that stated ‘the Aged Care Services Australia Group planned to cut the hours of another 34 nurses and 53 personal care workers, according to a company document given to the Australian Nursing Federation and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission’ and a report in the Sunday Herald Sun on 30 July 2006 that stated ‘a nursing home has sacked most of its experienced nurses and replaced them with workers from the dole queue’:

(a) was the ACSAA aware of these reports;

(b) what action did the ACSAA take as a result;

(c) for each of the years 2005 and 2006 to date, can details be provided of: (i) accreditation audits, (ii) support contacts, and (iii) spot checks, for each affected facility ; and

(d) what were the results of the three types of activity in part (c).

2764  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister for Ageing—

(1) For each aged care planning region: (a) what is the current waiting time for an assessment by an aged care assessment team; and (b)  what are the latest vacancy rates for residential aged care facilities.

(2) Can the following information be provided: (a) the de-identified national financial data of the aged care sector once the financial analysis is completed; and (b) any analysis that has been undertaken or commissioned by the department.

(3) (a) Has the department done any analysis of the recently released report by Stewart Brown, Aged Care Financial Services on aged care financial performance benchmarks; if so: (i) does the department’s analysis concur with its findings, and (ii) can details be provided; and (b) if the department has not analysed the report, why not.

(4) For each of the financial years 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06, can figures produced by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency be provided on the total number of: (a) residential aged care facilities in Australia; (b) residential aged care facilities that underwent an accreditation audit; (c) facilities that did not comply with all 44 quality outcomes; and (d) the number of sanctions imposed.