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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 2867

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 31 March 2004:

(1) In respect of the Bendoc Rural Transaction Centre (RTC), (a) where is it located, and (b) is it accommodated in a building owned by the RTC; if so, what was the cost of purchase; if not, what is the nature of the lease arrangement.

(2) Is the building housing the RTC classed as an assembly building under the East Gippsland Shire Council planning rules and is there a problem relating to the building use not complying with the Council planning permit.

(3) Prior to the RTC occupying the building in which it is housed, what checks were made by his department about the local planning permit relating to the use of the building.

(4) Who is the Bendoc RTC field officer and what are the details of his/her financial management background.

Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) The RTC is located at 18 Dowling Street, Bendoc, Victoria. (b) The RTC is accommodated in a building owned by the Bendoc Progress Association. The Bendoc Progress Association is the operator of the RTC. I have been advised that cost of purchase of the building was approximately $64,284 (GST inclusive).

(2) I am advised that the RTC is classed as an assembly building, category 9(b) under the Building Code of Australia. Other than the issue of the handrail (raised in Question on Notice 3337), I am not aware of any problem relating to the building use not complying with the Council planning permit.

(3) The grantee is responsible for obtaining planning approval. A copy of the Certificate of Occupancy issued by East Gippsland Shire was provided to the Department by the grantee.

(4) The RTC Field Officer during development of the RTC was Mr Laurie Hiscock. Mr Hiscock was employed as the Field Officer from February 2001 to December 2003. His financial management experience includes that of a small business operator for 26 years, GST Start Up Officer for 12 months, and on-the-job training received by GRM as part of its contract with the Department to operate the field officer network.