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Notice given 24 November 2005

1376  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the Centrelink-truancy trial in Halls Creek, Western Australia:

(1) How and when was the idea for the trial conceived.

(2) What were the objectives of the trial.

(3) Was legal advice sought on the legality of the arrangements before implementing the trial; if so: (a) when was the legal advice sought and received; (b) did the legal advice confirm that the arrangements were legal or illegal; and (c) if no legal advice was sought, why not.

(4) When was the trial first implemented.

(5) (a) What was the anticipated duration of the trial; and (b) when was the trial expected to finish.

(6) Who participated in the trial.

(7) Did all Indigenous parents on parental payments in Halls Creek participate in the trial; if not, why not.

(8) (a) How were Indigenous parents on parental payments informed of the trial; (b) how was the trial advertised; and (c) can relevant advertisements or community information be provided.

(9) Was the participation of parents in the trial voluntary or mandatory.

(10) Was there any agreement between the parents and Centrelink; if so, can a copy of the agreement be provided; if not, can details of the contents and nature of the agreement be provided.

(11) Was this agreement binding and did it allow for parents to ‘walk away’ from the trial if their payments were at risk.

(12) Could one agreement cover more than one child.

(13) How many agreements were entered into for the trial.


 (14) What was the legal basis for the agreements entered into between Centrelink and the parents.

(15) Does current legislation provide for such agreements.

(16) If there were no agreements, what was the basis for the arrangements.

(17) (a) How many parents participated in the trial; and (b) how many children participated in the trial.

(18) (a) How many times were payments suspended under the trial; and (b) how many times were payments cancelled under the trial.

(19) How many parents had their payments suspended more than once and can a list with the corresponding number of occurrences be provided.

(20) What was the legal impediment that caused the scheme to be suspended.

1378  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to Cape York:

(1) What was (or what will be) the date of the final handover of responsibility for the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) trial from the department to the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (OIPC).

(2) When, specifically, did the department begin handing responsibility for the trial over to OIPC.

(3) When did the department first indicate to OIPC or the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet that it was seeking to withdraw as leading agency from the COAG trial: (a) in Cape York; and (b) in Shepparton.

(4) Can details of the Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) that is being negotiated with the Cape York region be provided, including: (a) the name of the parties negotiating this agreement; (b) the names of those negotiating on behalf of the Cape York Indigenous community; (c) when negotiations began; (d) the anticipated completion date; (e) the anticipated implementation date; and (f) whether the RPA deals principally with welfare reform.

(5) With reference to page 9 of the Indigenous Economic Development Strategy, which states that the Government is supporting the Cape York’s Institute agenda through the ‘implementation of welfare changes’: (a) which welfare changes have been implemented; (b) which welfare changes are being considered; (c) will these welfare changes be implemented through a regional partnership agreement for Cape York; (d) will these welfare changes require legislative amendments; (e) will these welfare changes extend beyond the Cape York region; and (f) when will an announcement in relation to these welfare changes be made.