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Notice given 7 December 2006

2924  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—With reference to accidents involving motor vehicles leased or owned by the department for the department’s use or for use by other departments or government agencies, for each of the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06, what was the: (a) make; (b) model; (c) year of manufacture; and (d) safety rating under the Australian New Car Assessment Program, for vehicles involved in accidents causing the death or injury requiring hospitalisation of government employees.

2925  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—With reference to accidents involving motor vehicles leased or owned by the department for the department’s use or for use by other departments or agencies, for each of the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06:

(1) How many accidents occurred on: (a) official business; and (b) during private use.


 (2) How many people involved in these accidents who were injured and required hospitalisation were: (a) government employees, or (b) other persons.

(3) How many people involved in these accidents who died as a result were: (a) government employees; or (b) other persons.

(4) How many Comcare claims are: (a) finalised; and (b) pending.

(5) How many staff days have been lost as a result of these motor vehicle accidents.

(6) How many supplementary restraint systems were deployed in vehicles involved in these accidents.  

2927  Senator Carr: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads—With reference to the abolition of the Regional Flood Mitigation Program (RFMP):

(1) On what date was the RFMP abolished and incorporated into the Natural Disaster Management Program (NDMP).

(2) Can the Minister explain all the reasons behind this decision to close down a successful, long-term program that directly linked the Commonwealth Government with local government.

(3) Can the Minister explain the benefit of abolishing the RFMP which was a program directed toward long-term preventative and planning measures and incorporating its funding within the NDMP which is a program that is necessarily involved with many more reactive activities.

(4) Did the proposal to conclude the RFMP and incorporate it into the NDMP originate from a Commonwealth department or agency; if so, on what date; if not: (a) who made the suggestion; and (b) on what date.

(5) (a) Which agencies and individuals were consulted as part of the decision to abolish the RFMP; and (b) can a list be provided of all Commonwealth, state and local government organisations and agencies that were consulted.

(6) Were any other individuals or organisations consulted as part of this process; if so, can full details be provided.

(7) Can full details be provided of how it is proposed to integrate the two different programs in practice.

(8) Can the Minister guarantee that there will be no decline in funding for floodplain management as a result of the integration of these two programs.

(9) For each of the financial years 2002-03 to 2007-08, can a comparative table be provided, showing the real and notional (for 2007-08) allocations in New South Wales for floodplain management under the RFMP and more recently the NDMP.

(10) Can the Minister confirm that all projects currently under way, such as the Taminda Levee project at Tamworth, will be funded through to completion.

(11) Can the Minister confirm that all such current projects will receive Commonwealth funding equivalent to what they would have received under the RFMP.

(12) Since changes to the RFMP and the NDMP funding in 2000 that placed a greater financial burden on local government, how many councils have indicated that they could not afford their contributions.


 (13) Is this the principal reason for the adoption by the Council of Australian Governments of ‘exceptional circumstances’ for financial assistance under these programs.

(14) What are the criteria for eligibility for assistance under these ‘exceptional circumstances’.

(15) What is the process by which these criteria have been developed.

(16) Who was involved in or consulted as part of this process.

(17) Who will determine when ‘exceptional circumstances’ apply.

(18) (a) Does an acceptance of ‘exceptional circumstances’ mean that a standard of relief will apply to all such applications; or (b) will additional relief be provided on a case by case basis; if so, what measures have been put in place to ensure both transparency and equity in the application of ‘exceptional circumstances’.

2928  Senator Conroy: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) Can the Minister explain why the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) annual report for 2005-06 does not contain the graph, contained in previous annual reports, of the ABC’s operational appropriation in real terms compared with the 1985-86 financial year.

(2) With reference to a statement by the ABC at the supplementary budget estimates hearing of the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee on 31 October 2005 (Committee Hansard, p. 83) that at the time the ABC had $51 million less in real terms to make programs than in the 1995-96 financial year: (a) can an update be provided on this figure; (b) how much funding will the ABC receive from the Commonwealth to make programs for the 2006-07 financial year; and (c) in real terms, what is the equivalent figure for the 1995-96 financial year.

2929  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) Did the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) ever place any restrictions, formally or informally, on Mr Murray Nugent or the companies he was involved with, specifically Reward Insurance Ltd and Australian Home Warranty Pty Ltd, on writing licensed builder home warranty insurance (LBHWI) from 1 July 1999 onwards.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that Mr Nugent continued to write LBHWI through Rewards Insurance Ltd after 1 July 1999.

(3) Can the Minister confirm that APRA has the power to disqualify an individual from holding roles within the Australian insurance industry; if so, why has APRA never moved to disqualify Mr Nugent from operating in the insurance industry.

(4) If Reward Insurance Ltd was under the minimum capital requirements for insurance companies from 2001 onwards, why did not APRA shut the company down.

(5) Can an outline be provided of all investigations, recommendations and directions undertaken and instigated into Reward Insurance Ltd since 1999 by: (a) APRA; and (b) the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).


 (6) Can the Minister confirm that investigations by APRA and ASIC into Reward Insurance Ltd and Mr Nugent have stalled since May 2005; if so, why.