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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3372


Senator Barnett asked the Minister representing the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, upon notice, on 2 July 2009:

(1)   With reference to ministerial staff and departmental liaison officers for each Minister and Parliamentary Secretary, since November 2007: (a) how many positions exist; (b) how many staff are employed; (c) how many vacancies exist; (d) what are the levels of these positions; and (e) what is the total cost of staff employed in these respective offices on an annual basis.

(2)   Can a breakdown be provided of how many laptops, mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) the department provides to the office of each Minister and Parliamentary Secretary.

(3)   Are any departmental officers on secondment to the office of the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary; if so: (a) how many; and (b) to whom.

(4) (a)   How much did the department spend on hospitality for the: (i) 2008 calendar year, and (ii) 2008-09 financial year; and (b) can details be provided of each hospitality event, including the: (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, and (iv) cost.

(5)   For the office of each Minister and Parliamentary Secretary: (a) what was the total amount spent on hospitality for the: (i) 2008 calendar year, and (ii) 2008-09 financial year; and (b) can details be provided of each hospitality event, including the: (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, and (iv) cost.

(6)   For the 2008-09 financial year, how much has the department spent on: (a) the hire of plants, either real or artificial; (b) the maintenance of these plants; (c) water coolers; and (d) television subscriptions.

(7)   How many government credit cards does the department currently have on issue.

(8) (a)   How many credit cards have been reported lost; and (b) in relation to the credit cards that have been reported lost: (i) how many have been cancelled, (ii) how many remain active, and (iii) what is the potential credit liability from the lost cards that remain active.


Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water) —The Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)  

(a)   There are 10 Ministerial staff positions and two Departmental Liaison Officer (DLO) positions in the office of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

(b)   There are 10 Ministerial staff and two DLO staff employed.

(c)   There are no ministerial staff or DLO vacancies.

(d)   The levels of ministerial staff positions are:

  • Senior Adviser Chief of Staff (Cabinet) x 1
  • Senior Adviser 1 (Cabinet) x 1
  • Senior media Adviser x 1
  • Adviser x 3
  • Assistant Adviser x 2
  • Executive Assistant/Office Manager x 1
  • Secretary/Administrative Assistant x 1

   The levels of DLO staff are:

  • Executive Level 1 x 2

(e)   The Department of Finance and Deregulation advises that information relating to the costs of ministerial staff can be found in the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 Annual Report 2007-08 which was tabled on 23 December 2008 and is available on the Department of Finance and Deregulation website at http://www.finance.gov.au . The total cost of the provision of DLOs to the Minister’s office for 2008/09 was $246,582.53.

 

(2)   The department has provided 12 laptop computers, three mobile phones and 13 personal digital assistant devices to the office of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. No departmental officers are on secondment to the office of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

(4)  

(a)   In the 2008 calendar year, the official hospitality spend for the environment, heritage and arts  elements of the department was $150,348.71.

(ii)   In 2008/09, official hospitality expenses for the environment, heritage and arts elements of the department totalled $153,532.51.

(b)   I refer the Honourable Senator to the response provided to Senate Question 1800 from Senator the Hon Eric Abetz for details of dates, locations, purpose and costs.

(5)  

(a)   Official hospitality expenses for the Office of the Minister of the Environment, Heritage and the Arts for calendar year 2008 totalled $367.39.

(ii)   Expenses for 2008/09 total $511.98. The 2008/09 expense is related to an event in Paris which was held in 2007/08 but not invoiced until 2008/09.

(b)   I refer the Honourable Senator to the response provided to Senate Question 1800 from Senator the Hon Eric Abetz for details of dates, locations, purpose and costs.

(6)   During the 2008-09 financial year, the department spent:

(a)   and (b) $74,119.35 on the hire of plants, including the cost of maintenance of these plants;

(c)   $11,009.63 on water and water coolers

(d)   $4,036.66 on television subscriptions

(7)   The department has issued 188 credit cards to staff in the environment, heritage and the arts elements of the department.

(a)   Five credit cards have been reported lost

(b) (i)   All credit cards reported lost have been cancelled. (ii) No credit cards reported lost remain active. (iii) Not applicable