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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 108


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 30 July 2004:

With reference to the evidence given during the 2004-05 Budget estimates hearings of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation committee on 27 May 2004 (Hansard p. 73) about the Anangu Pitjatjantjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands:

(1) (a) What funding has the Commonwealth provided to the APY Lands for power and water maintenance in each of the financial years 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 to date; and (b) for each year, can details of this funding be provided, including allocation, actual expenditure, funding program, funding agency, and funding recipient.

(2) (a) When in 2003-04 financial year did the Commonwealth withhold funds for maintenance; (b) who authorised that decision; (c) what funds were withheld; and (d) why was the decision made.

(3) (a) When was the meeting at which an agreement was brokered allowing for the funds to be released; (b) who was present at the meeting; and (c) can a record of the meeting be provided; if not, why not.

(4) (a) When did additional disputation arise; (b) what was the nature of the dispute; and (c) who authorised the further decision to withhold funds.

(5) When was a regular contractor contracted to complete the work in the 2003-04 financial year; (b) who authorised this contract; (c) on the basis of what previous work for the Commonwealth was the contractor classified as `regular' and (d) what was the value of this contract.

(6) (a) When was planning for work in the 2003-04 financial year undertaken; (b) was the planned work, said to be `well underway' in May 2004, completed; if not, what work remained outstanding as at 30 June 2004; and (c) has this work been completed.


Senator Vanstone (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The only funding provided by the Australian Government for power and water maintenance is for homelands (refer table below). Under a bi-lateral agreement between the Australian Government and SA Government, the State through the SA Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (DAARE) has responsibility for water and power maintenance on major communities and the Australian Government funds the capital component. DAARE also provide some funding for repairs and maintenance to homelands power and water.

Commonwealth Funding provided to APY Lands for Power & Water

Funding Recipient

Funding Agency

FundingProgram

2000-01Allocation

Expenditure

2001-02Allocation

Expenditure

2002-03Allocation

Expenditure

2003-04Allocation

Expenditure

2004-05Allocation

Pitjantjatjara Council

ATSIC

CommunityInfrastructure

$30,960

$30,960

Anangu Pitjantjatjara

ATSIC

CommunityInfrastructure

$77,730

$77,730

AP Services

ATSIS

CommunityInfrastructure

$80,000

$80,000

AP Services

FACS

CommunityInfrastructure

Not decided

(2) (a) No funding was withheld for maintenance, but funding was withheld for capital.

(b) The ATSIS Regional Manager in Port Augusta.

(c) Capital funding of $700,000 was released on 11 May 2004.

(d) Because AP refused to allow a regional energy audit to be undertaken. The Regional Council decided to undertake the audit as part of their planning processes.

(3) (a) 23 November 2003.

(b) ATSIC: Commissioner Wanganeen, Chairperson Alwyn McKenzie, AP Regional Councillors Leonard Burton, Frank Young, Donald Fraser and Bernard Singer.

ATSIS: CEO Mr Wayne Gibbons, Rodney Gibbins, State Manager (SA), Maralyn Leverington, Regional Manager, Port Augusta and Fiona Buzzacott (COAG trial).

COAG: Secretary Health and Ageing, Jane Halton.

AP Executive: Gary Lewis, Warren Tunkin, Glen Raymond, Peter Munkuri, David Miller.

AP Staff: John Buckskin, Rex Tjami, Julie White, Bebe Ramzan, Dave Bajali.

(c) Yes, subject to the agreement of all attendees.

(4) (a) No additional disputation has arisen.

(b) Not applicable.

(c) Not applicable.

(5) (a) AP Services was offered the remaining 2003-04 essential services funding of $700,000 on 20 April 2004 under the same conditions as the National Aboriginal Health Strategy (NAHS) funding was offered to them. AP Services is undertaking the majority of the work for power and SA Water and other contractors are undertaking the water projects. All of these projects involve Parsons Brinkerhoff overseeing the work.

(b) The delegate in the Adelaide ATSIS office.

(c) Parsons Brinkerhoff have been program managers for National Aboriginal Health Strategy funding in the region since 1996 and have a proven track record. It is important to note that Parsons Brinkerhoff is the program manager, not the contractor, for delivery of the essential services on the AP Lands.

(d) The value of the contract with Parsons Brinkerhoff was $60,900.

(6) (a) Planning of essential services was initially developed in the 2003-04 AP submission process in early 2003. Further planning was completed on 30 April 2004.

(b) No. On the 9 June 2004, AP Services and Parsons Brinkerhoff requested an extension for the completion of the work. Work progress had been hindered by considerable rain and the unavailability of sub-contractors to undertake the work. The agreed extension date for completion was 31 October 2004.

(c) No. Completion date is now 31 October 2004.