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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2545

(Question No. 1406)

Senator Calvert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations, upon notice, on 20 May 1994:

  (1) Did the Corporate Development Division of the department recently purchase or hire an ABC TV Marketing, Staging, Video Display venue.

  (2) Was the total cost $70,000; if not, what was the total cost.

  (3) What was the purpose of this outlay.

  (4) How was the venue used.

  (5) Where is the venue.

  (6) For what period of time was the venue used.

  (7) How many people, employees and otherwise, used the facility.

  (8) What other costs were incurred with this outlay.

Senator Robert Ray —The Minister for Industrial Relations has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The Department of Industrial Relations has not recently purchased or hired an ABC TV Marketing, Staging, Video Display venue.

  The Department did, however, engage ABC TV Marketing during Best Practice Week in April 1994 to provide services in support of a video conference.

  (2) The cost of these particular services was $41,146. The total cost of the video conference was $115,333 which was offset by revenue of $43,330 resulting in a net cost of $72,003.

  (3) The purpose of this outlay was to produce a video conference which linked venues in each capital city and the national capital. The video conference featured two international experts on best practice, one live via satellite from Washington.

  (4) ABC TV Marketing did not arrange the venue, however, the Sydney Hotel Inter-Continental was used as the central site for the video conference.

  (5) The venue is at Macquarie Street, Sydney.

  (6) The venue was used from 7.30 pm to 11 pm on 11 April 1994 for the video conference. However, it was used from 7.30 am to 7.30 pm on that day for the set up of technical equipment.

  (7) 170 people attended the video conference at the Sydney site. Of these 14 were international guests, including the Indonesian Minister for Manpower, the Indonesian Ambassador, the Indonesian Consul General, the US Labor Attache and the General Counsel to US Congress Majority Leader Gephardt. 15 were employees of the Department.

  A further 580 people attended the video conference at the sites in the other capital cities.

  (8) Other costs were as follows:

Technical costs 5,130—audio-visual and fibre optic charges at

the central venue, the Hotel Inter-Continental

$4,800—fees for local comperes at each of

seven sites

$4,000—fee for the national compere

Venue hire and catering at

8 sites nationwide $60,257 offset by revenue of $43 330

  The United States Information Service donated the use of the Worldnet satellite to transmit the speaker from Washington and, as a result, this segment of the video conference was broadcast throughout the Asia Pacific region.