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Notice given 28 September 2010

1  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Justice ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs on 28 September 2010 )—With reference to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC):

(1) Why is AUSTRAC proposing to charge anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing reporting entities a $500 annual fee.

(2) Will each and every reporting entity be required to pay the fee.

(3) Will small businesses that are reporting entities be liable to pay the same fee as large reporting entities such as banks.

(4) Why does AUSTRAC expect small business to fund its activities.

(5) Why is AUSTRAC not paying small businesses for performing work for AUSTRAC.

(6) Is AUSTRAC proposing to introduce any other fees on reporting entities.

(7) What consultation with industry took place before this fee was announced.

(8) Why was the Post Office Agents Association Limited, as the representative body for thousands of reporting entities, those being Licensed Post Offices, not consulted beforehand.

 

 (9) Will the proposed $500 annual fee be indexed.

(10) Who made the decision to introduce the fee.

(11) Has AUSTRAC performed any analysis of the impact this fee would have on small business.

(12) Did AUSTRAC take into account that the owner/operators of Licensed Post Offices are unable to pass on this fee to their customers.

2  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—With reference to the Franchising Consultative Committee (the committee) of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and given that the ACCC recently sought expressions of interest from members of the community to join the committee:

(1) (a) What is the background of those people selected for this role; (b) are the majority legally or professionally qualified; and (c) does the membership include members of the community with frontline experience of working day-to-day in the franchising sector; if not, why not.

(2) Can details be provided of the: (a) selection criteria; (b) procedure; and (c) process, used to select the committee members.

(3) Was the selection criteria biased towards the legal and professional sectors rather than finding a balanced mix of those attributes and the selection of organisations and people with real experience of how the franchising sector works.

(4) Was the ACCC serious about community consultation or is the committee a committee of lawyers specialising in franchising and associated laws.

(5) Was the ACCC genuine in its attempt to get an appropriate cross-section of the franchising industry on the committee or is this forum just to give the impression of community consultation.

3  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—In 2010, which federal government officials, including the Prime Minister and the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd MP:

(a) met with Mr Oleg Deripaska, the Chief Executive Officer of the Russian aluminium company, United Company RUSAL, or his representative; and

(b) held discussions regarding the possibility of Russian participation in bauxite mining in Queensland, including the Aurukun project recently abandoned by Aluminium Corporation of China Limited (CHALCO).

4  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency—

(1) Between the release of the Government’s green and white papers in 2008 on the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) for Australia, how many times did representatives of the Business Council of Australia or their members meet with: (a) the Minister or anyone from the Minister’s office; and (b) departmental officials.

(2) Can copies be provided of correspondence, including emails, between the Minister or anyone in the Minister’s office or departmental officials and the Business Council of Australia, its representatives or members relating to the development of the CPRS between the release of the green and white papers.

 

 5  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program, can all application forms for funding to date be provided for the 2009-10 financial year.

6  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—

(1) Has the Government investigated reforms to insolvency laws so that the onus of responsibility falls on company directors to prove they have fulfilled their duties, rather than on creditors to prove they have not.

(2) Did the Australian Labor Party propose changes to the law in this area before the last election; if so, how many of the promised reforms have been carried out.

(3) Has the Government considered reforms to allow ‘pre-pack’ sales, as utilised in the United States of America and the United Kingdom to be part of liquidations; if so, what was the conclusion.

7  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—

(1) Given that the Australian Koala Foundation estimates the number of koalas left in Australia at just 43 000, does the Government recognise this as an accurate figure; if not, what is the Government’s estimate of the koala population.

(2) Given that the Minister has floated the idea of listing the koala as ‘conservation dependent’, even though both Queensland and New South Wales already list it as ‘vulnerable’, why is this lesser protection being considered before the Threatened Species Scientific Committee has made a decision on listing under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 .

(3) Why is the Government considering giving state governments responsibility to protect koala habitat when the widespread destruction of its habitat, through logging and land-clearing, has occurred on the watch of state governments.

8  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Since 2007, has the department or any embassy received any complaints from Australian citizens who have alleged that they have been illegally detained, endured extended questioning and assaulted while in China.

(2) (a) What actions has the Government undertaken to investigate any such complaints; and (b) what are the outcomes of any investigations.

(3) Has the Government raised the issue with Chinese officials in Australia or in China; if so, have any commitments been made by China to ensure Australian citizens have access to consular or legal assistance if detained or arrested by police in China.

9  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Will the Government ask the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to investigate:

(a) in accordance with its commitment to ‘assist and protect retail investors and consumers’, the behaviour of the financial advisers that recommended the Timberwolf collateralised debt obligation product to small investors;

 

 (b) directors and officers of Basis Capital and Goldman Sachs’ Australian office to ensure they have carried out their duties honestly and diligently in recommending the Timberwolf product without misleading or deceiving consumers; and

(c) ratings agencies that gave the Timberwolf product a triple A rating to ensure that their recommendation was achieved via a means that was honest and fair and did not result in consumers being misled or deceived.

10  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) For the 3 year period up to 2020, using the price forecast used in standard treasury modelling, what revenue will be raised from the Minerals Resource Rent Tax, based on price assumptions for coal and iron ore as used in the Treasury modelling for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

(2) What is the estimated cost of the company tax reduction during that period.

(3) Is there any risk that the additional net revenue from the Minerals Resource Rent Tax will fall short of the estimated reduction in revenues from company tax; if so, how great is that risk; if not, how safe is that assumption and why.

11  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—With reference to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (the protocol):

(1) Why has Australia not ratified the protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

(2) Will Australia consider ratifying the protocol before the Meeting of Parties in Nagoya, Japan, from 11 October to 15 October 2010; if so, what will be the process; if not, why not.

(3) Has the issue of biosafety (the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity) been considered during the development of the national biodiversity strategy; if so, when and in what way.

(4) (a) Which agency is responsible for reviewing and regulating biosafety in relation to biological diversity in Australia; and (b) what role does the department have in this matter.

12  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—

(1) Why was approval given for Woodside Energy Ltd to carry out marine seismic and near-shore seismic refraction geotechnical surveys, starting on 25 May 2010, at Browse Basin and off the coast of James Price Point in the north-west of Western Australia, during the whale migration period when it is known that this area is one of the most significant humpback whale nurseries in the world.

(2) Is the Minister aware that noise from oil and gas seismic testing can hinder whale communication and threaten the whale’s ability to navigate, kill prey and reproduce.

(3) Was this seismic survey assessed as a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 ; if not, why not.

 

 14  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Considering there is a $3.73 gap between what is paid for supply to a non-Indigenous client at an Approved Pharmacy ($6.42) and the amount paid for the same item to be supplied to a remote Aboriginal Health Service client ($2.69), what has been done to pay for the cost of dispensing Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines at Aboriginal Health Services.

(2) (a) How much was allocated to the ‘Support Allowance’ being paid by the PBS to pharmacies supplying PBS medicines to remote Aboriginal Health Services using the section 100 ( National Health Act 1953 ) special arrangements over the 5 year duration of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement; and (b) how was this distributed between the states and territories.

(3) Can the payments made to individual Aboriginal Health Services be identified; if not, why not, considering payments made to Approved Pharmacies by Medicare Australia are based on work reports submitted by those pharmacies.

(4) Are statistics for drug usage available under the section 100 arrangements; if not, why not.

(5) Why, when in some places 30 per cent of the clients of Aboriginal Medical Services are non-Aboriginal, are these clients not allowed to be included in the statistics for the service or funding applications.

(6) Why are Aboriginal Medical Services in Geraldton, Perth and Bunbury (i.e. under the 26th parallel) not included in section 100 arrangements.

(7) Why are Geraldton Aboriginal Medical Service doctors not fully funded when all doctors in Kimberley-based Aboriginal Medical Services are.

16  Senator Humphries: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government on 15 October 2010 )—Are there any electronic gaming machines located on Commonwealth land; if so: (a) what are their locations; and (b) how many are at each location.

17  Senator Humphries: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency— With reference to the department and all agencies in the Minister’s portfolio, how many redundancies were there for each of the following financial years: (a) 2007-08; (b) 2008-09; and (c) 2009-10 to date.

18  Senator Humphries: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency—With reference to the department and all agencies in the Minister’s portfolio, how many involuntary redundancies were there for each of the following financial years: (a) 2007-08; (b) 2008-09; and (c) 2009-10 to date.

Senator Humphries: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 19-54)—Do any of the departments or agencies within the Minister’s portfolio consider that new or additional office accommodation may be required in the next 2 years; if so, would that accommodation be provided in Canberra; and if so, approximately how many staff are estimated to need accommodation in the new or additional offices.

19 Minister representing the Prime Minister

 

 20 Minister representing the Treasurer

21 Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations

22 Minister representing the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government

23 Minister representing the Minister for the Arts

24 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

25 Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

27 Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

28 Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

29 Minister for Finance and Deregulation

30 Minister representing the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth

31 Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

32 Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy

33 Minister representing the Minister for Tourism

34 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

35 Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

36 Minister representing the Minister for Social Inclusion

37 Minister representing the Minister for Human Services

38 Minister representing the Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information

39 Minister representing the Minister for Justice

40 Minister representing the Minister for Employment Participation and Childcare

41 Minister representing the Minister for the Status of Women

42 Minister for Sport

43 Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development ( transferred to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations on 6 October 2010 )

44 Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness

45 Minister for Small Business

47 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

49 Minister representing the Assistant Treasurer ( transferred to the Minister representing the Treasurer on 5 October 2010 )

50 Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation ( transferred to the Minister representing the Treasurer on 5 October 2010 )

52 Minister representing the Special Minister of State for the Public Service and Integrity

53 Minister representing the Special Minister of State

54 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

 

 55  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—With reference to the Consultation paper for the review of war caused disabilities and pharmaceutical costs , released on 7 May 2010:

(1) (a) How many contractors were engaged in the preparation of the report; (b) what is the value of these contracts; and (c) how were the contractors selected.

(2) How many disability pensioners are also pensioners with qualifying service under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 .

(3) What is the breakdown of disability pensioners with qualifying service (by age, conflict and rate of disability pension) who will be eligible under the Government’s two options which are listed as recommendations in the paper.

(4) How many veterans on a disability pension receive what was the Pharmaceutical Allowance which is now paid as the Veterans’ Supplement.

(5) How many veterans reached the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net for more than 60 scripts in 2009.

(6) If the department keeps a record of the number of veterans who reach the Safety Net by month, what is the breakdown of veterans reaching the Safety Net by month in 2009.

56  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Can details be provided as to which legislative regime recovery procedures, as applicable to banks, are administered and regulated.

57  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—(a) What steps or procedures are banks and lending institutions required to undertake before enforcing their securities; and (b) is there a prescribed level of consultation with the customer.

58  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Where a bank decides to enter into possession itself under its securities (rather than appointing an external administrator), what is the decision process on this, and why, for example, is a receiver not appointed.

59  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—When banks make a decision to commence recovery procedures of their securities, are they required to take into account the rights of employees to unpaid wages and other entitlements.

60  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Is there a prescription in recovery of securities procedures that employee entitlements are given a higher priority in respect of any fixed and floating charge security a bank holds (not including fixed mortgage security); if so, what is the current prescribed process.

61  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—If employee entitlements were to be given a higher priority in respect of any fixed and floating charge security a bank holds, would this not make a bank more proactive in monitoring loans it has and in ensuring a situation is not allowed to deteriorate to a position where only a secured creditor recovers their funds.

 

 62  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—If a bank receives a series of offers for a secured liability: (a) how are these evaluated; and (b) is the decision on which offer to take documented.

63  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Do bank staff receive formal training in the realisation of assets.

64  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—(a) How much training are banks and lending institutions required to undertake each year in training their staff in the recovery of securities; (b) in what areas is this training provided; and (c) who provides this training.

65  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Do bank staff have the same level of training and experience as insolvency practitioners to deal with all matters where the bank acts in its own right as mortgagee in possession.

66  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—When any assets are, or property is, sold, does a bank take steps to minimise the costs incurred; if so, why do banks in most cases use higher priced law firms for often routine matters for which the customer is obligated to pay for under the security documents.

67  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Is there any control over costs incurred, such as a quote obtained for advice on issues.

68  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Who supervises the recovery process, and to whom are bank staff accountable for the issues that may arise.

69  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Is there an external professional body that monitors the recovery activities of banks, to which aggrieved people can go to with complaints and to have the matter independently investigated.

70  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Is there a code of conduct that bank staff have to observe in the recovery of securities; if so, how is it monitored and reported.

71  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Is there a prescribed level of quality control on recovery procedures; (a) if so: (i) can details be provided of where this is documented in the form of a formal manual; and (ii) how and when banks and lending institutions that do have a formal process or manual are certified; and (b) if not, why not.

72  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Are staff in the recovery area of banks and lending institutions permitted to be remunerated on their performance in recovering securities.

 

 73  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—If a loan is fully recovered with penalty interest, are staff members allowed, under the prescribed regulations, to receive a bonus or additional remuneration as part of their employment contract.

74  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Does a bank require confirmation from every customer signing a guarantee that they have had the guarantee and its implications explained to them.

75  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Have there been any situations where the banks’ ‘all Monies clause’ has been used to try to attach a debt to people who were not even aware that they were responsible for the guarantee of a third party.

76  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—When receiving funds from a prime borrowing, how is the decision to apply funds recovered to loans permitted to be made.

77  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—Given that most people faced with a problem under a guarantee have little recourse other than the legal process, and that most cannot afford to pay for this: what assistance or help is provided for persons affected by recovery procedures by banks.

78  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—How much was lost by banks on defaulting loans in the 2008-09 financial year.

79  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation—What percentage of total loans by banks were defaulted in each of the following financial years: (a) 2004-05; (b) 2005-06; (c) 2006-07; (d) 2007-08; and (e) 2008-09.

80  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—As at 30 June 2010: (a) how many uniformed staff were there in each of the three service areas (i.e. army, navy, air force); and (b) how many civilian staff were there in each of the service areas.

81  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, how many uniformed personnel were recruited to each of the service areas (i.e. army, navy and air force).

82  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010: (a) how many uniformed staff resigned from each of the service areas (i.e. army, navy and air force); and (b) how many civilian staff resigned from each of the service areas.

(2) For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010: (a) how many uniformed staff were made redundant or accepted severance packages in each of the service areas; and (b) how many civilian staff were made redundant or accepted severance packages in each of the service areas.

 

 83  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, how many temporary civilian positions were created in the department and in the Defence Materiel Organisation.

84  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, how many temporary civilian positions existed in the department and in the Defence Materiel Organisation.

85  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, how many civilian employees were employed on contract and at what levels of remuneration.

86  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, what was the average cost in recruiting each new uniformed person into each of the service areas (i.e. army, navy and air force).

87  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, what was the total expenditure spent on recruiting.

88  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, how much was paid to the Australian Defence Force prime recruiting agency for the provision of services.

89  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, what net savings have been made in the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) ‘Provisional Savings and Costs - Gross SRP Stream Savings’ for: (a) information and communications technology; (b) inventory; (c) logistics; (d) non-equipment procurement; (e) Reserves; (f) shared services; and (g) workforce.

90  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, what net savings have been made in the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) ‘Provisional Savings and Costs - SRP Stream Costs’ for: (a) information and communications technology; (b) inventory; (c) smart maintenance; (d) logistic; (e) non-equipment procurement; (f) preparedness and personnel and operating cost; (g) Reserves; (h) shared services; (i) workforce; and (j) Mortimer implementation.

91  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, what net savings have been made  

in the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) ‘Provisional Savings and Costs - SRP Stream Net Savings’ for: (a) information and communications technology; (b) inventory; (c) smart maintenance; (d) logistic; (e) non-equipment procurement; (f) preparedness and personnel and operating cost; (g) Reserves; (h) shared services; and (i) workforce.

92  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, what net savings have been made in the Strategic Reform Program ‘Other Savings’ for the following areas: (a) zero based budgeting review; (b) minor capital program; (c) facilities program; (d) administrative; and (e) productivity.

 

 93  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications’: How many full-time equivalent uniformed personnel were employed in the military workforce: (a) as at 30 June 2010; and (b) as at 1 July 2009.

94  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Military Workforce’: How many full-time equivalent civilian personnel were employed in implementing the White Paper initiatives: (a) as at 30 June 2010; and (b) as at 1 July 2009.

95  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Military Workforce’: For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, how many full-time equivalent uniformed personnel were employed in implementing the White Paper initiatives.

96  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Military Workforce’: For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, what reduction has there been in the number of full-time equivalent personnel employed in implementing: (a) efficiency improvements; (b) civilianisation; and (c) support productivity improvements.

97  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Military Workforce’: As at 30 June 2010, what increase or reduction has there been in full-time equivalent civilian personnel employed in the department and in the Defence Materiel Organisation since 1 July 2008.

98  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Civilian Workforce’: For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, how many full-time equivalent personnel were employed as Australian Public Service staff or contractors.

99  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Civilian Workforce’: For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, how many full-time equivalent Australian Public Service staff or contractors were employed on White Paper/SRP initiatives.

100  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Civilian Workforce’: For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, what reduction has there been in the number of full-time equivalent Australian Public Service staff or contractors employed in implementing: (a) efficiency improvements; (b) civilianisation; (c) support productivity improvements; (d) contractor conversion (reduction to contractors); and (e) support productivity improvements.

 

 101  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the White Paper and the Strategic Reform Program ‘Indicative Workforce Implications - Civilian Workforce’: As at 30 June 2010, what increase or reduction has there been in full-time equivalent Australian Public Service staff or contractors employed since 1 July 2008.

102  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, which submarines in the Royal Australian Navy fleet were fully operational with a full crew complement and capable of completing Unit Ready Days.

103  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) which submarines in the Royal Australian Navy fleet were non-operational; (b) for each submarine that was non-operational, what was the reason for its non-operational status; (c) what was the cost of maintaining the six submarines; (d) what was the total cost of operating the six submarines; and (e) what were the crewing complements for each of the six submarines.

104  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010: (a) how many fully qualified personnel are ‘Dolphin Qualified’ and permanently employed in the Royal Australian Navy to operate submarines; and (b) how many ‘Dolphin Qualified’ personnel were tasked with other duties and what were these duties?

105  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, how many personnel fully completed training courses and became ‘Dolphin Qualified’ and eligible to serve on submarines.

106  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, how many personnel completed training courses and became ‘Perisher Qualified’ and eligible to command a submarine.

107  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—As at 30 June 2010, how many Royal Australian Navy personnel are ‘Perisher Qualified’ and eligible to command a submarine.

108  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, which submarines were undergoing maintenance/refit programs and for what length of time.

109  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010:

(1) Which naval vessels were fully operational with a full crew complement.

(2) For each naval vessel that was non-operational, what was the reason for its non-operational status.

(3) What were the operational strengths on all naval vessels of the: (a) engineering officers and sailors; and (b) non-engineering officers and sailors.

 

 110  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—Given that video communications are integrated into robots, soldiers and unmanned aerial vehicles, network-centric warfare is becoming the organising principle of war fighting, and frontline demands for bandwidth are rising at a rapid rate: For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, what did the Australian Defence Force do and how much did it spend on: (a) establishing a network-centric warfare capability; and (b) addressing the issue of increased bandwidth.

Senator Johnston: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 111-113)—

(1) For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, for each agency within the responsibility of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary, how much was spent on media monitoring.

(2) As at 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010: (a) how many staff were employed in public relations and/or the media in the department or each agency within the responsibility of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary; (b) what were the position levels of these staff; and (c) how many of these staff were: (i) permanent, (ii) temporary, or (iii) contractors.

111 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

112 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

113 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

Senator Johnston: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 114-116)—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010, for each agency within the responsibility of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary: (a) what communications programs were undertaken or were planned to be undertaken; and (b) what was the total spend in each communications program.

114 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

115 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

116 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

Senator Johnston: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 117-119)—

(1) (a) What was the hospitality spend for each agency within the responsibility of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary; and (b) for each hospitality event, can the following details be provided: (i) the date, (ii) the location, (iii) the purpose, and (iv) the cost.

(2) Can details be provided of the total hospitality spend for the office of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary.

117 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

118 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

119 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

 

Senator Johnston: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 120-122)—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010:

(1) (a) Did the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary travel overseas on official business; if so: (i) to what destination, (ii) for what duration, and (iii) for what purpose; and (b) what was the total cost of: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) any other expenses.

(2) (a) Which departmental and uniformed personnel accompanied the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary on each trip; and (b) for those personnel, what was the total cost of: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) any other expenses.

(3) (a) Apart from ministerial staff and uniformed and civilian departmental personnel, who else accompanied the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary on each trip; and (b) for each of these people, what was the total cost of: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) any other expenses.

120 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

121 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

122 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

Senator Johnston: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 123-125)—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010 and for each agency within the responsibility of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary:

(1) How many freedom of information (FOI) requests were received.

(2) How many FOI requests were granted or denied.

(3) How many conclusive certificates were issued in relation to FOI requests.

123 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

124 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

125 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

Senator Johnston: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 126-128)—For each portfolio/agency within the responsibility of the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary:

(1) How many reviews are currently being undertaken in the portfolio/agency or affecting the portfolio/agency.

(2) What was the commencement date of each review.

(3) When will each review conclude.

(4) (a) Which reviews were completed in the period 1 January to 30 June 2010; and (b) when will the Government respond to the each of these reviews.

(5) As at 30 June 2010, what was the cost of each of these reviews.

126 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

127 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

128 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

 

 129  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) With reference to the acquisition of the first 14 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft: (a) what is the expected expenditure on the acquisition; (b) what is supplied as equipment, supporting systems, weapons, services or infrastructure to the Australian Defence Force (ADF); (c) when will these aircraft be delivered; (d) when will they become fully operational; and (e) what is the estimated through-life support and operating costs for these aircraft over an expected 30 year period of operation.

(2) When will the remaining 86 F-35 JSF be purchased (as referenced in the Defence White Paper 2009 , p. 78, paragraph 9.60, ‘The Government has decided that it will acquire around 100 F-35 JSF, along with supporting systems and weapons. The first stage of this acquisition will acquire three operational squadrons comprising not fewer than 72 aircraft’).

(3) With reference to the acquisition of the remaining 58 to 86 F-35 JSF: (a) what is the expected expenditure on the acquisition; (b) what will be supplied as equipment, supporting systems, weapons, services or infrastructure to the ADF; (c) when will the aircraft be delivered; (d) when will they become fully operational; (e) where will the JSF squadrons be based, and when; and (e) what is the estimated through-life support and operating costs over an expected 30 year period of operation.

(4) Is it anticipated that the F-35 JSF will land at Darwin on a regular and continuing basis.

(5) Is there any intention of basing any F-35 JSF at Darwin in the next 15 years.

130  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) Is it still planned to acquire 12 submarines as per the White Paper direction ‘the Government takes the view that our future strategic circumstances necessitate a substantially expanded submarine fleet of 12 boats in order to sustain a force at sea’ ( Defence White Paper 2009 , p. 64, paragraph 8.40).

(2) What plans and strategies are in place to man the 12 future submarines when there was great difficulty in 2009 manning and operating just one submarine.

(3) What is the expected cost of acquiring 12 future submarines.

(4) Will the submarines be built or assembled in South Australia.

(5) When is it expected that the first pass approval will be provided to advance the purchase of the 12 future submarines.

(6) What is the expected through-life support and operating costs of a fleet of 12 future submarines over a 30 year operating period.

(7) When is it envisaged that the first of the 12 future submarines will be launched and fully operational.

(8) What is the expected cost per year of maintaining our 6 Collins Class submarines until they are de-commissioned

(9) What is the phasing-out program for the existing Collins Class submarines.

 

 (10) In regard to the 4 potential submarine builders, or similar, who were provided approximately $300 000 each to prepare reports on their submarine product that may be suitable as a future submarine for Australia: (a) who are these submarine builders; (b) can copies of these reports be provided; (c) who evaluated these reports and at what cost; and (d) can a copy of this evaluation be provided.

(11) Is a nuclear powered option being considered for Australia’s future submarine.

131  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) When will the final decision be made to ‘introduce 46 new MRH-90 helicopters as a pooled fleet shared between the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian Army to replace the Navy’s Sea Kings and Army’s general troop lift Blackhawk fleets’ ( Defence White Paper 2009 , p. 72, paragraph 9.17).

(2) When will the first of these helicopters be delivered and fully operational.

(3) What type or variant of the MRH-90 has been recommended for purchase.

(4) What will be the expected purchase price of the 46 new MRH-90 helicopters.

(5) What will be the total cost of through-life support and operating costs of the MRH-90 over a 30 year operating life.

132  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) With reference to the Government commissioned report, 2008 Audit of the Defence Budget which identified that ‘a real growth rate of 3.5% in capital expenditure on SME [Specialised Military Equipment] [is required] just to replace today’s equipment. To deliver the capabilities proposed in the recommended Force Structure Option requires a growth rate of 4.2%’: What will be the amount required to fund, in nominal dollars, the major capital equipment program each year from 2010-11 to 2029-30, so as to fund the White Paper ‘Force 2030’ initiatives.

(2) With reference to the report, The Cost of Defence: ASPI Defence Budget Brief 2010 -11 which states, ‘on the basis of long-term trends in defence costs, it is unlikely that the promised 2.2% real growth post 2017-18 will be adequate to sustain let alone expand the ADF [Australian Defence Force] as planned. In other words, the plan was probably not affordable to begin with’: How will the Government fund its Defence White Paper commitments when funding drops to 2.2 per cent real growth per annum, below that that needed to sustain the ADF.

133  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the Strategic Reform Program: For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) what provisional savings of the forecasted $529 million have been made; (b) can a detailed explanation be provided of where these savings have been realised; and (c) what one-off savings been made.

134  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, what productivity improvement savings have been made by the department and by the Defence Materiel Organisation.

 

 135  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) what savings have been made in reducing the cost of combat capability through the use of Reserves and deployable contractors; and (b) have any one-off savings been made.

136  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) what total productivity improvement savings of the forecasted $5.1 billion have been made in Smart Sustainment reform; and (b) what one-off savings been made.

137  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) what savings of the expected $4.4 billion over the period 2009 to 2019 have been made in the implementation of smart maintenance techniques; and (b) what one-off savings been made.

138  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) what savings of the expected $700 million over the period 2009 to 2019 have been made in the optimising of inventory holdings and the introducing of more efficient management techniques; and (b) what one-off savings been made.

139  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) what savings of the expected $320 million over the period 2009 to 2019 have been made in Storage and Distribution (Logistics) Reform with the adoption of automated technologies and improved business practices; and (b) what one-off savings been made.

140  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) From which areas of expenditure will the $912 million out of $1.1 billion worth of enhanced force protection measures be made.

(2) Why has $3.4 billion been removed from Defence funding in 2013-14.

(3) Why will there be $162 million less to spend in 2011 on the capital facilities program and $268 million less the following year.

(4) Why did the Government cease disclosing deferrals in expenditure in the 2008-09 Budget which has continued through to the 2010-11 Budget.

(5) (a) What is the total value of deferrals in expenditure since 2008-09; and (b) why have these deferrals been made.

(6) What percentage increase, if any, will be made to enable future capital equipment initiatives over the forward estimates period.

(7) As it is not clear in the 2010-11 Budget, what projects are planned for approval in 2010-11.

(8) (a) What programs in 2010-11 will now have to be resourced through absorbed costs; and (b) what programs have been cancelled or deferred to enable these costs to be absorbed.

(9) Where in the 2010-11 Budget is it possible to find details of the savings made in 2009-10 under the Strategic Reform Program (SRP).

(10) Of the $20.6 billion worth of savings under the SRP, it would appear that $4.6 billion of this is a reallocation of funds rather than a savings: How can this claim of savings be made when it is in fact a reallocation of funds.

 

 (11) Under the SRP, why has the number of civilian employees to be cut been reduced from the forecast 3 125 to 1 708.

Senator Johnston: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 141-143)—For the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010: (a) what ‘First Pass’ Project approvals have been made; and (b) what ‘Second Pass’ Project approvals have been made.

141 Minister representing the Minister for Defence

142 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

143 Minister representing the Minister for Defence Materiel ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 29 September 2010 )

144  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—For the period 1 January to 30 June 2010:

(1) (a) How many training days have been allocated to Reserves in each state and territory; and (b) what is the budget allocation to provide these training days.

(2) (a) How many training days were actually used by Reserves in each state and territory; and (b) what was the actual expenditure to provide these training days.

145  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—

(1) (a) For each financial year since the last published figures in 2004-05, how many cases have been referred to the War Crimes Screening Unit (WCSU); and (b) of those cases referred, how many individuals were refused citizenship or a visa on suspicion of having committed war crimes.

(2) Upon refusal of an application does the department notify the relevant state authorities in which the individual resides.

(3) Does the Minister have plans to improve reporting of results of border screening by the WCSU.

(4) (a) How many visas have been refused or cancelled in the past 10 years based on Article 1F of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, that provides that an asylum seeker can be denied protection on the basis there are serious reasons for considering an individual has committed a ‘crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity’; (b) how many of these decisions have been upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT); and (c) of those cases upheld by the AAT, have all these individuals been removed from Australia; if not: (i) how many of these individuals remain in Australia, (ii) for how long have they remained in Australia since the AAT decision, and (iii) what action is the department taking in regard to these individuals.

(5) For the past 10 years: (a) how many suspected war criminals have been extradited from Australia; and (b) on how many occasions has Australia rejected an extradition application from another country for a suspected war criminal.

(6) For what reasons has Australia rejected applications for extradition from other states other than for the lack of prima facie evidence.

(7) How many times in the past 10 years has a person’s visa been revoked for suspicion of having committed a war crime, crimes against humanity or genocide.

 

 (8) (a) Does the department provide any specialised training to staff who conduct visa and refugee interviews to assist them in screening for potential war criminals; and (b) if training is provided, is it offered to all staff that process refugee and visa claims; if not, which staff receive the training.

(9) How many requests has Australia made annually to the following international courts and tribunals to check their databases for information on an individual applying for a visa or citizenship: (a) the International Criminal Court; (b) the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; (c) the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; and (d) the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

146  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—With reference to the national security deportation assessment of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei:

(1) Did the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (the committee) write to the Australian Government on 21 April 2010 requesting that Sheikh Mansour Leghaei not be deported until it had considered his case.

(2) Has the Government responded formally to the letter from the Chief of the UN human rights treaty division who wrote on behalf of the committee.

(3) Has Sheikh Mansour Leghaei or his legal representatives been provided with a summary or an indication of the elements of the evidence the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has collected against him.

(4) In this regard, how does the Government understand Australia’s obligations under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, taking into account the committee’s General Comment No. 33, paragraph 19 (CCPR/C/GC/33, dated 5 November 2009).

(5) Has the Government noted instances where the committee has expressed its indignation and found that the state has committed a grave breach of its obligations under the Optional Protocol, such as the committee’s Report of the human rights committee (UN General Assembly Official Record, 49th Sess., Supp. No. 40, UN Doc. A/49/40, vol. 1 (1994), para. 411) and Piandiong v. The Philippines (Communication No. 869/1999, para. 7.4).

(6) Will the Government provide an assurance to Sheikh Mansour Leghaei that he will not be removed from Australia until the committee has finally determined his case on the merits, as required by the committee’s interim measures request of 21 April 2010.

(7) Did the current Attorney-General write two letters of support for Sheikh Mansour Leghaei describing him as ‘an asset to the Muslim community in particular and the Australian community at large’.

147  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade—With reference to the Government’s policy of neither encouraging nor discouraging trade or investment in Burma:

(1) Does the Austrade office in Bangkok and the Australian Embassy in Rangoon provide advice to Australian companies enquiring about the operating environment in Burma for business.

(2) Does the Austrade office in Bangkok and the Australian Embassy in Rangoon provide advice to Australian companies about country risk factors, economic governance, forced labour and consumer boycotts.

 

 150  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister for Finance and Deregulation ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence on 1 October 2010 )—With reference to the land bounded by Vale Road, Adelaide Street and Abernethy Road in Hazelmere, Western Australia, is the Minister aware of any plans to develop this land; if so: (a) who has made the applications; and (b) what is the nature of the applications.