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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.

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.