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Notice given 15 June 2006

2030  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—With reference to an article in the Australian of 15 June 2006, entitled ‘Delay to payout on chopper disaster’:

 (1) Can the Minister advise whether the Commonwealth is legally required to demand that compensation be returned if an award of damages is made against a third party.

(2) To what extent, if any, would the damages payment by the United States (US) company affect any pension that is being received by the widows of the Black Hawk helicopter crew.

(3) Has the multi-million dollar US out-of-court settlement been delayed as reported in the Australian ; if so (a) over what timeframe has the payout been delayed; and (b) is this the result of any decision or action taken by the Australian Government; if so, why.

(4) When does the Commonwealth expect to make a decision in relation to repayments of compensation or cessation of pensions.