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Notice given 23 December 2008

*1204  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law—

(1) On what basis has the Government determined the income taxation rates for non-Australian casual horticultural workers on working holiday visas.

(2) What mechanisms, levers and incentives are in place to encourage non-Australian casual horticultural workers to undertake casual work when visiting Australia on a working holiday visa.

(3) What does the Government view as some of the deterrents to non-Australian workers on working holiday visas undertaking casual horticulture work.

(4) Over the past 5 years, what is the estimated dollar value of all superannuation funds belonging to non-Australian horticultural workers on a working holiday visa that have not been claimed or collected.

 

 (5) Over the past 5 years, what is the estimated dollar value loss to non-Australian horticultural workers’ (on working holiday visas) superannuation funds from the payment of superannuation management fees and other costs.

(6) Given the majority of superannuation payments that are made to itinerant horticultural workers are either not claimed or rarely collected, why are employers required to pay superannuation to non-Australian horticultural workers on a working holiday visa.

(7) Why are non-Australian horticultural workers on a working holiday visa not able to access and spend their accrued superannuation as those funds are accrued in Australia.

(8) Are there any mechanisms in place enabling non-Australian horticultural workers on a working holiday visa to access their superannuation funds as those funds are accrued in Australia.

(9) What does the Government view as the critical success factors in ensuring that Australian fruit growers remain internationally competitive.

(10) (a) What does the Government view as some of the impediments to strong growth in Australian fruit growers export markets; and (b) what actions will the Government undertake to remove such impediments.

*1205  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government—

(1) Was any complaint made to or any investigation initiated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in relation to the sinking of the Cap Favel off the West Coast of Tasmania earlier in 2008.

(2) Is there any intention by the ATSB to investigate the sinking of this vessel in the future.

*1206  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What is the Australian Fisheries Management Authority’s official position in relation to the use of flags of convenience on vessels in Australian waters.

(2) Does the Government have guidelines in relation to the use of flags of convenience; if so, can these guidelines be provided.

(3) Was the successful tenderer for the Taruman based in North Korea; if not, why did the Taruman sail under the North Korean flag.

(4) Does the Government believe that this is an example of the use of a ‘flag of convenience’.

(5) Was there any clause or caveat in the tender contract for the Taruman that prevented the use of a flag of convenience.

*1207  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the answer to DEEWR question no. EW631 09 taken on notice on 3 June 2008 during the 2008-09 Budget estimates hearings of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee:

(1) Can a copy be provided of the signatory page of the document referred to as ‘document labelled as an Australian Workplace Agreement’.

(2) Does this page disclose the signature of the employer.

 

 (3) On what basis is it claimed in the answer provided that ‘this document was not signed by the employer’.

(4) Whilst it is acknowledged that the claimant stated in an interview that she had not seen an Australian Workplace Agreement, was she ever presented with a copy of the ‘document labelled as an Australian Workplace Agreement’, which purportedly had the claimant’s signature attached to it.

(5) Was the claimant asked to verify or deny that it was her signature attached to that ‘document labelled as an Australian Workplace Agreement’.

(6) Given the date that appeared on the ‘document labelled as an Australian Workplace Agreement’ and the claimant’s commencement of employment, was any further verification or information sought from the claimant in relation to the document and her previous sighting of it.

(7) (a) On what dates did Ms Healy make back pay payments; and (b) were three of those payments made during 2007; if so, on what dates were those payments made.

(8) On what date was Ms Healy officially charged.

(9) On what basis was it reported in the Hobart Mercury that Mr Wilson had advised that Ms Healy ‘had not voluntarily complied with the Ombudsman during the investigation’.

(10) Is it acknowledged that payments for the underpaid staff were in fact made prior to Ms Healy being officially charged.

(11) Is voluntary payment prior to being charged considered to be voluntary compliance; if so, why did Mr Wilson assert Ms Healy had not voluntarily complied during the investigation.

*1208†  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the answer to question no. 113 taken on notice on 20 October 2008 at the 2008-09 supplementary Budget estimates hearings of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee:

(1) What are the definitions of: (a) ‘normal hours’ in paragraph b of the answer; and (b) ‘normal working hours’ in paragraph c of the answer.

(2) What is the earliest starting time and latest finishing time for the hours of work to be classified as ‘normal’.

*1209  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to part 4 of question AFMA 02 taken on notice during the 2008-09 supplementary Budget estimates hearing of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee, ‘Was extra legal advice needed because of the international bidder’ and the answer, ‘Legal advice was obtained during the tender process to ensure that best practice procurement was followed’: Was any extra legal advice sought on the disposal tender of the Taruman (the reference to ‘extra’ means out of the normal course, that is, above the regular requirement for legal advice on tenders); if so: (a) who provided this advice; (b) what was the cost of this advice; and (c) would this advice have been sought if all bidders and/or the successful bidder had been domestic rather than international.

*1210  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government—With reference to the answer to question no. CASA 03 taken on notice on 21 October 2008 during the 2008-09 supplementary Budget estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee:

 

 (1) Given that it was revealed that there were in fact 5 112 Violations of Controlled Airspace (VCAs) between January 2005 and June 2008, why were only two cases pursued out of this large number of violations.

(2) What were the determining factors in separating these two cases out for prosecution action from the other 5 110 VCAs that occurred.

(3) How many administrative actions have been undertaken in response to VCAs between January 2005 and June 2008.