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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Page: 1193


Senator Abetz asked the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, upon notice, on 13 November 2008:

With reference to the 2008-09 Budget estimates hearing of the Economics Committee:

(1)   In regard to the answer to question BI41, a figure was given of $109 622.93 for the grand total of year-to-date payments as at 14 July 2008: is there an update on this figure; if so: (a) what is it; and (b) what amount of this figure No. 52—3 February 2009 39 accrues to each of: (i) Professor Alan Hughes, (ii) Professor Richard Lester, and (iii) Professor Stan Metcalf.

(2)   In regard to the answer to question BI43: (a) what extra funding has been provided to the cooperative research centre (CRC) for Australian Weed Management for its extension until 31 December 2008; (b) has the CRC for Innovative Dairy Products accepted the offer of an extension until 31 December 2009; if so, how much money has been allocated for this extension; and (c) has the CRC for Tropical Savannas Management accepted an offer of extension to their Commonwealth Agreement until 31 December 2009; if so, how much extra funding has been provided.

(3)   In regard to the answer to question BI47: (a) on what basis has the exact yearly grant been calculated for each Business Enterprise Centre (BEC); and (b) how much will be allocated to each of the 36 BECs.

(4)   In regard to the answers to questions BI50 and BI53: (a) is it asserted that the Small Business Field Officer program did not provide the services referred to in BI53 as business planning advice on loans and banking products, simple marketing plans, legal and accounting services, leasing guidance, staff training programs, and programs that cater for the needs of women, please specify in relation to each one; and (b) do the BECs simply refer clients to lawyers, accountants and professionals in the various areas or do they provide the specific advice.

(5)   In regard to the answer to question BI54: has the department undertaken any analysis or investigation as part of determining the exact grant given to each BEC.

(6)   In regard to the answer to question BI55: was an analysis or investigation conducted or undertaken by the department to determine whether the BEC program would be effective; if so, what were they.

(7)   In regard to the answer to question BI69: (a) which certificates and professional, educational and vocational qualifications and certifications will be required as part of the funding agreement; and (b) will the department be undertaking an audit of each BEC as to the level of qualification of all officers.


Senator Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)  

(a)   The total of costs for international experts brought to Australia for the Innovation Review is $131, 703.61. This covers the period of the Review and is an increase of $22,080.68 on the previously notified year to date costs to 14 July 2008.

(b) (i)   All of the increase can be attributed to a second visit by Professor Alan Hughes with the following breakdown:

  • Professional fees: $1453.93 per day for 14.5 days = $21,081.95
  • Meal Allowance: $79.29 per day for 1 day = $79.29
  • Domestic Airfares: $370.30
  • Taxi fares: $532.14

   Total increase: $22,080.68

(ii)   There have been no additional costs for Professor Richard Lester

(iii)   There have been no additional costs for Professor Stan Metcalf

 

Business Enterprise Centre (BEC)

Funding per annum (Ex GST)

NEW SOUTH WALES

1

Capital Region BEC (Queanbeyan)

 $350,000.00

2

Business Enterprise Centre St George & Sutherland Shire (Kirrawee)

 $150,000.00

3

Central Coast Business Enterprise Centre (Tuggerah)

 $250,000.00

4

BEC Cabonne Orange Blayney (Orange)

 $300,000.00

5

Clearly Business (Sydney)

 $350,000.00

6

Hunter Region Business Enterprise Centre Inc (Kurri Kurri)

 $300,000.00

7

Macarthur Business Enterprise Centre (Campbelltown)

 $350,000.00

8

Murray Hume Business Enterprise Centre (Albury)

 $150,000.00

9

Northern Rivers Business Enterprise Centre (Lismore)

 $250,000.00

10

Penrith Valley Business Enterprise Centre (Penrith)

 $350,000.00

NORTHERN TERRITORY

11

BEC Darwin (Winnellie)

 $300,000.00

QUEENSLAND

12

The North Queensland Small Business Development Centre (Condon)

 $300,000.00

13

Caboolture Business Enterprise Centre (Caboolture)

 $300,000.00

14

Business Enterprise Centre Ipswich Region (Ipswich)

 $300,000.00

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

15

Eastside Business Enterprise Centre Inc (Payneham)

 $250,000.00

16

Inner Southern Business Enterprise Centre Inc (Clarence Gardens)

 $300,000.00

17

Inner West Business Enterprise Centre Inc (Thebarton)

 $300,000.00

18

North West Business Development Centre (Port Adelaide)

 $300,000.00

19

Northern Adelaide Business Enterprise Centre Inc (Elizabeth West)

 $250,000.00

20

Salisbury Business & Export Centre (Mawson Lakes)

 $250,000.00

21

Southern Success Business Enterprise Centre (Morphett Vale)

 $300,000.00

22

BEC Tea Tree Gully (St Agnes)

 $300,000.00

TASMANIA

23

Break O’Day Business Enterprise Centre (St Helens)

 $100,000.00

24

Business and Employment (Devonport and Burnie)

 $250,000.00

25

Business and Employment (Launceston and Hobart)

 $250,000.00

26

Meander Valley Enterprise Centre Inc (Deloraine)

 $100,000.00

VICTORIA

27

Eureka BEC (Ballarat)

 $300,000.00

28

Box Hill Business Enterprise Centre (Box Hill)

 $350,000.00

29

Murray Hume Business Enterprise Centre (Wodonga)

 $150,000.00

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

30

Belmont BEC (Belmont)

 $250,000.00

31

Small Business Centre Bunbury-Wellington (Bunbury)

 $250,000.00

32

Coastal Business Centre Inc (Fremantle)

 $250,000.00

33

Small Business Centre East Metro (Midland)

 $300,000.00

34

BEC Welshpool (Welshpool)

 $250,000.00

35

Small Business Centre South West Metro (Rockingham)

 $300,000.00

36

Small Business Centre Stirling (Balcatta)

 $300,000.00

Please note that some of these names differ somewhat from those supplied to you in Question No BI-45. This list has been updated with the most current (as at 12 February 2009) trading names.

(4)  

(a)   Yes. The Small Business Field Officer funding agreement did not provide funding for any of the following services: business planning, advice on loans and banking products, simple marketing plans, legal and accounting services, leasing guidance, staff training programs, and programs that cater for the needs of women.

(b)   The BECs have each implemented procedures that suit their local situation for the provision of legal, accounting and other professional services. Most BECs are undertaking some form of client screening before providing a subsidised referral to a more specialised legal or accounting service provider. BECs with the relevant expertise and capacity are providing some of these services in house.

(5)   No. The decision in the 2008-09 Budget to fund 36 BECs reflects a commitment developed and announced, by the then Opposition, prior to the 2007 Election.

(6)   No. The decision in the 2008-09 Budget to fund 36 BECs reflects a commitment developed and announced, by the then Opposition, prior to the 2007 Election.

(7)  

(a)   The BEC funding agreement does not specify which certificates and professional, educational and vocational qualifications and certifications that organisations or staff are required to have.

(b)   AusIndustry does not get involved in the day to day management or selection of staff in these organisations. The selection of appropriately skilled staff is a matter for the management team of each BEC. Consistent with practices for all programs administered by AusIndustry, AusIndustry will undertake compliance activities in accordance with risk. In relation to BECs, AusIndustry anticipates that they will undertake at least one compliance visit to each of the BECs over the life of the funding agreement.