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Notice given 28 November 2006

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 2839-2856)—With reference to the department and all agencies in the Minister’s portfolio:

(1) How many staff are engaged under a Certified Agreement (CA).

(2) How many staff are engaged under the provisions of an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA).

(3) Does the department or portfolio agency have any staff engaged under the provisions of a common law contract; if so: (a) by level, how many staff are under these contracts; and (b) for what reason has the department or agency determined that common law contracts are preferred employment instruments over either CAs or AWAs.

2839 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

2840 Minister representing the Treasurer

2841 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

2842 Minister for Finance and Administration

2843 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

2844 Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing

2845 Minister representing the Attorney-General

 

 2846 Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

2847 Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

2848 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

2849 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

2850 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

2851 Minister for the Environment and Heritage

2852 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

2853 Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

2854 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training

2855 Minister representing the Minister for Human Services

2856 Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

2857  Senator Wong: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Vocational and Technical Education—

(1) What is the average number of annual curriculum hours undertaken by a student enrolled in adult literacy and numeracy programs classified under Australian Standard Classification of Education Broad Field 12, in the following narrow field areas: (a) 1201 General Education Programs; (b) 1203 Social Skills Programs; (c) 1205 Employment Skills Programs; and (d) 1299 Other Mixed Field Programs.

(2) For each of the above programs, what is the: (a) average per hour cost; and (b) proportion of that cost contributed by the Commonwealth.

2858  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Did the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) discontinue the category of ‘high risk’ carrier when assessing regular passenger transport operators; if so: (a) when; and (b) why.

(2) Has Qantas Airways Ltd ever been rated as a ‘high risk’ carrier by CASA.

(3) Has CASA instituted a replacement assessment process; if so, what are the current possible assessment categories for regular passenger transport operators; if not, why not.

(4) What is the current risk assessment for Qantas.

2859  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) By year since 1996, how many non-compliance notices have been issued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority or any other relevant agencies to international aviation providers undertaking regular passenger transport in Australian controlled airspace.

(2) In each case what was the: (a) reason for the issue of the notice; and (b) the name of the international carrier.

2860  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—By year since 1996, has Qantas Airways Ltd been banned from servicing any aviation components; if so, in each case: (a) why was the ban put in place; (b) which agency (domestic or international) made the determination to ban Qantas from servicing the components; (c) which components were Qantas banned from servicing; (d) for what period was Qantas banned from servicing the components; and (e) what remedial action did Qantas undertake prior to the ban being lifted.

2861  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the decision by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on 25 November 2006 to suspend Transair’s air operators certificate (AOC) under section 30DC of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 on the grounds that the operator had engaged, may be engaging and was likely to engage in conduct constituting, contributing to, or resulting in, a serious and imminent risk to air safety: Why did CASA publish the notice of the suspension on its website when it had failed to publish details of the earlier suspension of Transair’s AOC which was initiated by CASA on 24 October 2006.

2862  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the decision by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on 25 November 2006 to suspend Transair’s air operators certificate (AOC) under section 30DC of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 on the grounds that the operator had engaged, may be engaging and was likely to engage in conduct constituting, contributing to, or resulting in, a serious and imminent risk to air safety: What is the impact of this suspension on: (a) the earlier suspension of Transair’s AOC which was initiated by CASA on 24 October 2006; and (b) matters before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal related to the earlier suspension of Transair’s AOC which was initiated by CASA on 24 October 2006.

2863  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the enforceable voluntary undertaking (EVU) entered into by Transair on 4 May 2006: Did any of the undertakings listed in the EVU relate to matters not mandated by aviation safety regulations; if so, can details be provided.

2864  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the decision by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on 25 November 2006 to suspend Transair’s air operators certificate (AOC) under section 30DC of the Civil Aviation Act 1988 on the grounds the operator had engaged, may be engaging and was likely to engage in conduct constituting, contributing to, or resulting in, a serious and imminent risk to air safety:

(1) Is a serious risk one where conduct has caused, or is reasonably likely to cause, an aviation accident or incident.

(2) On what basis did CASA determine the risk was serious.

(3) On what basis did CASA determine the risk was imminent.

(4) On what date did CASA first receive information about the serious and imminent risk.

(5) On what date did CASA seek from Transair a written explanation of events and/or undertakings necessary to alleviate the serious and imminent risk.

(6) In what form was the request made.

(7) On what date did the operator respond to that request.

(8) Which officer authorised the suspension action.

(9) On what date and at what time did CASA decide to suspend the AOC.

(10) (a) On what date and at what time; and (b) in what form, was the suspension notice served on the operator.

(11) Can a copy of the suspension notice be provided; if not, why not.

 

 (12) If there was a delay between the decision to suspend the operator and the service of the suspension notice, what is the explanation for the delay.

(13) On what date and at what time was the suspension effective.

(14) On what date did CASA make an application to the Federal Court of Australia (FCA) seeking an order under section 30DE of the Act.

(15) What order of the FCA did CASA seek.

(16) Did CASA seek costs.

(17) Can a copy of the application and supporting affidavit be provided; if not, why not.

(18) What was the outcome of the application, including the details of any order made by the FCA.

2865  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the answers given at the supplementary estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on 1 November 2006 (Committee Hansard , p. 35) concerning the chartered Airbus aircraft:

 (1) What freight and/or personnel did the aircraft carry on each leg of the trip in which the body of Private Kovco was repatriated.

(2) What was the total cost of that return flight.

(3) Was that flight called a ‘high speed’ flight; if so, why.

2866  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) With reference to the answers given at the supplementary estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on 1 November 2006 (Committee Hansard p. 36), given the confirmation that the Minister did telephone the Middle East a number of times concerning the mix-up in the repatriation of Private Kovco’s body: (a) who did the Minister telephone; (b) at what time; (c) for what purpose; and (d) why was this administrative matter such that normal administrative contact was considered inadequate, requiring direct ministerial intervention.

(2) Among the telephone calls made by the Minister, can the Minister confirm: (a) that he called the Consul in Kuwait (Mr Adams), at the time of the initial body identification on 24 April 2006; and (b) the evidence given to the Kovco Board of Inquiry by Mr Adams that the Minister advised Mr Adams that ‘we have to make absolutely sure’ (p. 889); if so, how does this reconcile with the evidence given at the above supplementary estimates that ‘…the Minister did not become involved in any calls to the Middle East until we had the problem with the wrong body arriving in Melbourne’ (Committee Hansard p. 36).

(3) Is the Minister aware of the finding by Brigadier Cossen that one of the causes of the mix-up in the repatriation of the body of Private Kovco was undue haste and that the Brigadier is quoted as saying ‘ …the repatriation process … within four days from his death is too short a timeframe within which to properly risk manage and execute a complex and highly sensitive situation’; if so, did the Minister or anyone in the Minister’s office either instruct, urge or request that everything be done to return Private Kovco by ANZAC day.

(4) Can the Minister confirm that the aim of returning Private Kovco to Australia by ANZAC day was a common understanding within the Australian Defence Force, as attested to by statements to the Board of Inquiry by defence personnel.

 

 (5) (a) When will the report of the Kovco Board of Inquiry be made public; and (b) what is the cause for delay.

2867  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) Did the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) announce in June 2006 that it had purchased 52 blocks of land at Bruce in the Australian Capital Territory as part of 350 serviced blocks for the accommodation of Australian Defence Force personnel located at the new Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC) at Bungendore, New South Wales; if so, apart from the 52 blocks at Bruce, how many other blocks so purchased are on the north side of Canberra.

(2) For both the Australian Capital Territory (broken down into north side and south side properties), and Queanbyan, how many properties does DHA: (a) own; and (b) lease.

(3) (a) How many personnel will be transferring from interstate to work at the new HQJOC building at Bungendore; and (b) how many will be accommodated in the northern part of the Australian Capital Territory (that is, north of the Molonglo River).

(4) What is the comparable travel distance and time by private car to the Bungendore HQJOC site from: (a) Canberra City north; (b) Canberra City south; (c) Belconnen; and (d) Queanbeyan, by way of the Kings Highway and Macs Reef Road.

(5) In consultations with the New South Wales Department of Main Roads concerning the assessment of need to upgrade both the Kings Highway and Macs Reef Road, what estimates of increased traffic flow were provided by the department for both routes.

(6) What is the current estimate of increased daily traffic flow through the city of Queanbeyan from the Australian Capital Territory as the result of the HQJOC.

(7) What advice on necessary upgrades was given by the New South Wales Department of Main Roads for each road and at what cost.

(8) (a) What specific upgrades to either road have now been agreed to; (b) at what cost; and (c) what contribution will the Commonwealth be making either from the Department of Defence or other Commonwealth road funds.

(9) (a) Did the former Minister state that no funding would be provided for roads in New South Wales for the purposes of Bungendore HQJOC traffic; and (b) is this still the case.

(10) (a) What surveys have been conducted by the department into the road crash statistics for both Bungendore HQJOC routes over recent years; and (b) what were the results for both crashes and fatalities.

2868  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) What is the status of the consideration being given to the class action against the department by the parents of recent suicide victims seeking act of grace payments.

(2) How many parties form that class action.

(3) Is the department dealing with this matter, or has it been allocated to a firm of lawyers on a panel of the Department of Defence; if the latter: (a) to which firm has the matter been allocated; and (b) to date, what has been the cost of those services.

 

 (4) Has advice been sought from the Attorney-General’s Department; if so, on what particular matters.

(5) When is it expected that a response will be made to the families through their legal representative.

2869  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the answer given to question on notice W1 (c) from an estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee on 1 June 2006 concerning the referrals made to psychiatric providers in Western Australia: For each of the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 to date, how many resulted in a discharge.

2870  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the answer given to question on notice W1 (o) asked during the 2006 Budget estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee:

(1) Of the 28 cases listed under military justice, six of which concern sexual harassment: (a) how long has each of those cases been active; (b) at what stage are proceedings with respect to mediation, court hearings, or negotiation; (c) how many await applicant responses or input; and (d) how are the remaining 22 categorised.

(2) Of the asbestos cases: (a) what is the age distribution of those from original date of lodgement; (b) how many cases are active with respect to court proceedings, mediation or negotiation; and (c) how many have already received disability compensation payments.

(3) Of the F III claims, how many of those cases have already received a compensation payment under the act of grace scheme administered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

(4) With respect to those cases listed under ‘contract law’: (a) who are the claimants; (b) where known, what are the sums sought; (c) how long has each case been active; and (d) what is the current stage of the process in each case.

2871  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the answer given to question on notice W1 (o) asked during the 2006 Budget estimates hearing of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee: (a) without identifying the claimant, of the eight cases listed for compensation under the heading of ‘military justice’: (i) what is the substance of each claim, and (ii) how long has each claim been active; and (b) of the eight cases listed under ‘medical’: (i) what is the nature of each claim for which payment is sought, and (ii) how long has each case been active.

2872  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—Has the review of the seven audited cases of suicide due to be completed by July 2006 been submitted; if so: (a) can a copy be provided; (b) what are the findings and recommendations; and (c) are there any recommendations for: (i) further inquiry, or (ii) disciplinary action.