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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3598

Mr Ciobo asked the Minister for Trade, in writing, on 11 March 2009:

(1)   Further to his answer to question No. 581 (Hansard, 26 February 2009, page 105): (a) what is the estimated cost of fully answering the question; (b) what resources would be required to fully respond to the question; and (c) how many staff in his office or department would be involved in responding fully to the question.

(2)   Does his department maintain a database of organisations it has funded; if so, does the database include the Federal electorate of each organisation funded.

(3)   From 2 December 2007 to 11 March 2009, has he or his personal staff requested his department to prepare any advice regarding expenditure (of organisations funded) per electorate; if so, which ones.

(4)   Has he, his personal staff, or his department ever advised a Member or Senator of successful funding applications of organisations based in his or her electorate or State.

(5)   Does his department advise him of successful funding applications made by organisations in his electorate of Hotham.

Mr Crean (Minister for Trade) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The department publishes details of the discretionary grants issued by programs which it administers or manages on the discretionary grants page of the department’s website ( Details published include recipient name, grant title, grant description, date of approval and amount. However, the department does not maintain nor publish information on the electorates in which funded organisations or activities are located. Identifying successful discretionary grants applications pertaining to the Electorate of Moncrieff fully would entail:

(i)   checking the business address of each funded organisation at the time of grant approval against the electoral boundaries for Moncrieff; and

(ii)   checking separately whether any funded activity occurred within the Electorate of Moncrieff. It is difficult to estimate costs and resources required to carry out such an exercise, but it would entail a significant diversion of resources. In these circumstances, and given the information publicly available on the discretionary grants page of the department’s website, I do not consider the work can be justified.

(3)   No.

(4)   In response to queries from Parliamentarians, Portfolio Ministers and the department have in the past provided advice about successful discretionary grant applications. The Government’s decision that from 6 December 2007 details of all discretionary grants must be published on agency websites now provides the means by which the department makes public details of successful discretionary grant applications.

(5)   No.