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Notice given 28 July 2006

2264  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the legal proceedings involving claims by Mr Mark McMurtrie against the Commonwealth:

(1) (a) What is the total cost to the Commonwealth of this litigation up until and including the appeal in the Supreme Court of New South Wales; and (b) what is included in this cost (including costs of external legal advice, any interlocutory proceedings and related departmental expenses).

(2) From which budget were most, if not all, of these litigation costs met and can relevant items in the budget papers be specified.

(3) When did the original legal proceedings begin.

(4) When was the Commonwealth notified of the appeal.

(5) Did the Commonwealth ever seek to negotiate an act of grace payment; if so, on what dates.

(6) Did the Commonwealth ever seek to resolve the dispute via litigation alternatives, like mediation or negotiation; if so, on what dates.

(7) Was the Commonwealth ever approached to mediate or negotiate a resolution by Mr McMurtrie; if so: (a) on what dates was the Commonwealth approached; and (b) what was the Commonwealth’s response.

(8) Can the Minister confirm that Mr McMurtrie was self-represented for part of these proceedings; if so, which part of the proceedings was Mr McMurtrie self-represented.

(9) Does the Commonwealth have any special protocol for conduct in proceedings where the opponent is self-represented; if so, what does this protocol provide.

(10) What sections and departments of the Commonwealth were involved in this litigation, either through acting in the legal proceedings, providing advice or funding or administration.

2265  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—Can the following details be provided for each of the compensation payments made to Australian veterans since 1996: (a) the date of the payment; (b) the payment amount; (c) the nature of the compensable injury; (d) the legislative vehicle through which payment was effected; (e) whether the case was the subject of appeal and the out of that appeal; and (f) the cost of legal services associated with the case.