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Monday, 1 December 2003
Page: 23402

Mr Gibbons asked the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 12 December 2002:

(1) Is April 2003 the expiry date for the contract for the Commercial Support Program (CSP) being carried out by the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation - Geospatial Information Branch for defence mapping at the Fortuna Villa site in Bendigo.

(2) How many staff are engaged on the project at Bendigo.

(3) What total sum was paid in 2001-2002 in wages and salaries of staff employed by the organisation in Bendigo.

(4) At the expiration of the contract, what is the future of (a) the work presently being carried out under this contract, (b) the staff engaged on the project and (c) of the location.

(5) Does the Government intend that the work and staff will be transferred to Canberra or any other site in Australia, if so, to what other site.

(6) Can the Minister assure the Organisation, and its staff, that it will not undergo a further CSP process but instead be absorbed back into the mainstream Defence Department.

(7) Can the Minister give an assurance that the work, the staff and the site will not be moved from Bendigo.

Mr Brough (Minister for Employment Services and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) 134 staff.

(3) $7.6m.

(4) (a), (b) and (c) Defence is conducting an internal review of the Geospatial Analysis Centre. This review will provide recommendations to the Government on the organisation's future direction and location. It is premature to speculate about the outcome of the review.

(5) Refer to part (4).

(6) The organisation is no longer subject to the Commercial Support Program and the staff have been informed.

(7) Refer to part (4).