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Notice given 23 November 2006

*2821  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) conduct a review of the engine condition monitoring programs of other operators in Queensland following the fatal crash; if so:

(a) when did the review commence;

(b) how was the review conducted;

(c) when did the review conclude;

(d) how were operators selected for review;

(e) how many operators were reviewed; and

(f) how many operators were found to be failing to comply with relevant requirements.

(2) Has CASA conducted a national review of compliance with engine condition monitoring requirements:

(a) if so:

(i) when did the review commence,

(ii) how was the review conducted,

(iii) when did the review conclude,

(iv) how were operators selected for review,

(v) by state/territory, how many operators were reviewed, and

(vi) by state/territory, how many operators were found to be failing to comply with relevant requirements; and

(b) if not, why not.

 

 *2822  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001: Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) audit of the operator’s maintenance organisation in August 2001 identify problems with the operator’s maintenance resources; if so: (a) what problems did it identify; and (b) what action did CASA take; if no action was taken, why not.

*2823  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Following the resignation of the operator’s full-time maintenance controller in August 2001, did the operator’s chief engineer fill that role with the approval of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

(2) Was the chief engineer’s initial appointment as maintenance controller approved by CASA on 3 August 2001, based on a telephone interview with a CASA inspector.

(3) Was the further appointment of the chief engineer as maintenance controller approved by CASA on 17 August 2001.

(4) Were CASA’s approvals made in the absence of formal guidelines on the criteria, qualifications or competencies that should be considered when evaluating the suitability of a person to act in a managerial role for a maintenance organisation.

*2824  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Was the operator’s fleet of aircraft maintained by external maintenance organisations until the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approved a change in maintenance arrangements in early 2001.

(2) How did CASA satisfy itself that the operator was capable of conducting maintenance on its own aircraft when it issued the operator with a certificate of approval valid to September 2001.

(3) Is it the case that CASA took no action when the certificate of approval expired in September 2001 because it had been mistakenly annotated in the CASA database as being valid for 12 months.

(4) Was the certificate of approval renewed on 21 November 2001 on the basis of a telephone conversation with the operator; if so, why was the certificate of approval renewed on the basis of a telephone conversation.

*2825  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) of the fatal crash of the aircraft VH-LQH at Toowoomba on 27 November 2001:

(1) Were the aircraft’s engines operating on a life extension to 5 000 hours time between overhaul (TBO) in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Airworthiness Directive AD/ENG/5 Amendment 7.

 

 (2) Is it a requirement of the Airworthiness Directive that, if the engines were operating to a 5 000 hour TBO, they had to be subject to an engine condition trend monitoring (ECTM) program.

(3) Prior to the fatal crash, was CASA aware that the operator’s maintenance controller had not completed ECTM training and was not qualified to conduct ECTM functions.

(4) Was CASA aware that the operator had entered into an arrangement to have ECTM data analysed by the engine manufacturer’s field representative but failed: (a) to ensure this arrangement was documented by the operator; and (b) to establish whether the ECTM data was being submitted for analysis on a regular basis.

(5) Is it the case that in the 4 months prior to the fatal crash, ECTM data was not recorded or submitted for analysis in accordance with the engine manufacturer’s requirements and AD/ENG/5.

(6) Is the Minister aware that the ATSB supplementary report published in August 2006 found that ECTM data indicated that a potentially significant problem had been developing in the left engine in the months preceding the fatal crash and ‘was both real and indicative of a trend significant enough to warrant a proactive response to identify and rectify a developing problem in the engine’.

(7) Why did CASA surveillance fail to detect problems with the operator’s ECTM program prior to the fatal crash of VH-LQH.

*2826  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Small Business and Tourism—

(1) What assistance is given to the nation’s domestic builders who are being forced to underwrite insurance policies they purchase on behalf of their clients; if no assistance is given, why not.

(2) Can an insurance company deny insurance to a builder if that builder refuses to underwrite the mandatory warranty insurance policy purchased for the client; if so, why.

(3) Can a builder’s warranty insurer issue demands for funds recovery from a builder who has not been informed of a claim against him, or is not aware that any rectification work was proposed or paid for until the event; if so, why.

(4) Can a builder’s warranty insurer withdraw eligibility for insurance from a builder; if so, under what circumstances.

*2827  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) Why does the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) grant a special exemption for insurance providers of mandatory builder’s warranty insurance enabling non-disclosure of detailed claims and premium data which is used for other statutory insurance to establish current and ongoing consumer and industry benefit.

(2) Why does the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) grant a special exemption for insurance providers of mandatory builder’s warranty insurance enabling non-disclosure of detailed claims and premium data which is used for other statutory insurance to establish current and ongoing consumer and industry benefit.

 

 (3) Why was a royal commission into the state-run national building industry justified, whereas a Senate inquiry was not held into state-run failed building industry insurance.

(4) Since 2000, has ASIC and/or APRA been called on to investigate any Tasmanian seller of builder’s warranty insurance; if so, did any investigations proceed; if not, why not.

*2828  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—

(1) Following the validation of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005 by the High Court of Australia, can the Minister confirm that, of the current conscientious objection certificates issued by the Australian Industrial Registry under the Registration and Accountability of Organisations Schedule under section 180 of the Act, there are holders of these certificates in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia that are small incorporated businesses and comply with federal criteria.

(2) What evidence is required to prove the size of a small business and that it is incorporated.

(3) (a) Have any federal certificates issued prior to 27 March 2006 been cancelled because the holder does not satisfy section 5 of the Act; and (b) are certificates being renewed so that federal criteria are being met.

(4) Given that the denial of union entry to certificate-holder workplaces operates in South Australia and New South Wales, will the Registrar recognise certificates issued under those jurisdictions but now transferred to the federal jurisdiction by the amended Act (that is, where a business satisfies the federal criteria specified in sections 5, 180 and 762 of the Act).

(5) Is it the Government’s intention to repeal the conscientious provisions in line with the 1996 proposal of the former Minister for Industrial Relation’s (Mr Reith) or will the Government amend section 180 of schedule 1 of the Act to allow certificates to be issued on the basis of ‘conscientious objection to trade unions’ and align the definition of small business in section 762 of the Act to that used in the unfair dismissal provisions (that is, of 100 employees or less).