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Notice given 29 November 2012

2636  Senator Ronaldson: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs—

(1) With reference to the $7.9 million announced to purchase 20 additional Smart Gates to streamline border processing, and the simultaneously announced staff cuts of 190 positions, does the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (the agency) foresee any problems associated with reducing staff before Smart Gates are shown to effectively take their place.

(2) Does the agency have plans to install Smart Gates at departure points.

(3) What fee structures have been agreed to within the agency for airlines to administer the Government’s Passenger Movement Charge (PMC).

(4) Given that the Government announced the reduction of 190 Agency staff, further to the 70 cuts over the previous year which led to longer passenger facilitation times at airports, with an average increased wait of 24 minutes, industrial action, and concerns over lax attitudes to border security, has the agency or department measured the impact of this latest staff cut in terms of increased wait-times for passengers at airports; if so, what is the impact.

(5) With respect to staff cuts at airports, how many are desk officers and how many are frontline agents.

(6) Is the Minister aware of a 25 June 2012 report by the Australian National Audit Office showing the uptake of Smart Gates is well below what the Government had anticipated.

(7) What is the average passenger referral rate (biometric failure rate) for Smart Gates at all Australian international airports.

(8) What is the forecast average passenger referral rate (biometric failure rate) for Smart Gates at all Australian international airports following the expansion of Smart Gate kiosks by the 2014-15 financial year.

(9) Has the agency projected the cost of increased enforcement and communication with passengers associated with the reduction in the tobacco-related allowance effective from 1 September 2012.

(10) What is the average cost associated with individual passenger facilitation at Australian international airports by the agency.

(11) On what basis was the workload growth funding of $3.95 per passenger derived.

(12) What individual capital works programs will be cancelled from the agency as a result of the $19.5 million cut to the capital works program contained within the forward estimates of the 2012-13 Budget.

(13) What are the total labour costs associated with the administration of the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) in Australia.

(14) Can a cost breakdown of TRS administration be provided including: (a) the number and level of staff (actual and full-time equivalent) allocated to TRS functions at each international airport and shipping port; and (b) the number of staff allocated to back-of-office administration of TRS payments and refunds.

(15) What are the total non-labour costs associated with the administration of the TRS in Australia.

(16) What is the total monthly expenditure incurred by the agency for the rental of airport premises for TRS processing and export verification activities.

(17) What has the Government paid in commissions to airlines to administer the PMC since its inception, including: (a) how much has been paid each year since 1996; (b) how much has been paid to each airline; and (c) how much is paid per ticket.

(18) What tourism sector impact modelling has been conducted on the impacts of passing the $118.1 million in costs related to Australian Federal Police (AFP) security to airports.

(19) What consultation was conducted between the AFP, Government and the operators of Australian airports where AFP staff are stationed in relation to the budgeted increase in AFP costs levied to airport operators.

(20) What is the process by which the AFP determine current and future AFP staffing levels at Australian airports.

(21) What level of consultation is conducted between the AFP and the operators of Australian airports with respect to current and future AFP staffing levels.

(22) How many full-time equivalent staffing positions will be reduced at Australian airports due to the efficiency dividend implemented during the 2012-13 financial year.

(23) With reference to the transfer of $118.1 million in costs related to AFP security to airports, which will pass these costs to tourists, and given that a previous PMC increase was said to cover the cost of AFP security at airports, can an explanation be provided regarding this ‘double dipping’.

2640  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—With reference to the illegal trade in wildlife, in and out of Australia:

(1) In the past 10 years: (a) how many allegations of wildlife crime has the department received; (b) how many of these have led to seizures; (c) how many wildlife smugglers have been prosecuted and can the details of these prosecutions be provided; and (d) how many convictions have been made and what were the penalties imposed.

(2) What assessment has been undertaken in recent years to estimate the volume of the illegal trade in wildlife.

(3) How does the department proactively monitor and investigate wildlife smuggling activities.

(4) Is the establishment of a national intelligence database for wildlife crime under consideration; if not, why not.

(5) How does the department address the threat to native species of diseases introduced by wildlife smuggling, and what budget is allocated to this.

(6) Is proventricular dilatation disease recognised as infectious; if so, when was it officially recognised as infectious.

(7) What is the process when a disease is diagnosed in Australia which is not officially recognised as infectious, but is in other countries.

(8) Does the department track international developments in wildlife diseases, what domestic risk analysis is conducted and what budget is allocated to this work.

(9) How many new infectious wildlife diseases have been officially recognised in past 10 years.

(10) Is the department aware of other potentially infectious diseases that may be introduced to Australia via the illegal trade in wildlife that are not currently officially recognised as infectious; if so: (a) what are the diseases and how are they spread; (b) what threat do they pose to native species; and (c) what is being done to prevent the introduction of these diseases.

(11) What has been the budget for wildlife smuggling investigations and activities for each year in the past 10 years, including 2012.

(12) How are the risks of official diseases and potential new diseases factored into the allocation of resources for wildlife smuggling activities and investigations.