Questions and Answers No. 38, Wednesday 29 October 2003

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LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Wednesday 29 October 2003

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Wednesday 29 October 2003

1049

PARLIAMENT OF NEW SOUTH WALES

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

2003

FIRST SESSION OF THE FIFTY-THIRD PARLIAMENT

___________

QUESTIONS

AND

ANSWERS

No. 38

WEDNESDAY 29 OCTOBER 2003

___________

(The Questions and Answers Paper is published for each sitting day and will contain, by number and title, all unanswered questions, together with questions to which answers have been received on the previous sitting day and any new questions. Consequently the full text of any question will be printed only twice: when notice is given; and, when answered.)

S1


Q. & A. No. 30

(Including Question Nos 710 to 738)

21 October 2003
Q. & A. No. 31

(Including Question Nos 739 to 768)

22 October 2003
Q. & A. No. 32

(Including Question Nos 769 to 812)

23 October 2003
Q. & A. No. 33

(Including Question Nos 813 to 823)

24 October 2003
Q. & A. No. 34

(Including Question Nos 824 to 852)

18 November 2003
Q. & A. No. 35

(Including Question Nos 853 to 874)

19 November 2003
Q. & A. No. 36

(Including Question Nos 875 to 907)

20 November 2003
Q. & A. No. 37

(Including Question Nos 908 to 914)

21 November 2003
Q. & A. No. 38

(Including Question Nos 915 to 933)

2 December 2003


Notice of Question given on the date shown

16 SEPTEMBER 2003

(Paper No. 30)

*710 DEPARTMENTAL DEBT—Mr Souris to Minister for Gaming and Racing—

(1) What is the result of any departmental action on an issue referred to in the NSW Auditor-General’s Report to Parliament 1999 Volume Two regarding an employee defalcation residual debt of some $5,900?

(2) Has the debt been fully recovered?

(3) If the answer to (2) is no, how much has been recovered and when is it anticipated the debt will be fully recovered?

(4) Has the Department instituted any new procedures as would prevent future defalcations of this nature?

Answer—

(1) The employee was criminally charged and convicted, and sentenced to a 2 year good behaviour bond.

(2) No, however part of the good behaviour bond conditions is to repay the Department the full amount of the outstanding money.

(3) So far, the sum of $7,072.50 has been recovered out of an initial amount of $11,122.50. The Department continues to monitor payment of the outstanding amount.

(4) Yes, a number of additional strategies were implemented to further minimise risks.

*711 SCHOOL BUS SERVICE—Mr Souris to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

(1) What is the analysis by which the Government increased rates for non-commercial country schools bus services ranging from 3.02% for category 1 to .098% for category 4 buses?

(2) What is the Government’s assessment of cost movements in percentages terms affecting the operation of country buses with respect to:

§ fuel and oil?

§ tyres?

§ spare parts replacements?

§ repairs and maintenance?

§ registration and weight tax?

§ CTP insurance?

§ comprehensive insurance?

§ lease or loan interest/repayments?

§ depreciation on replacement cost?

§ wages?

§ superannuation?

§ workers compensation?

§ payroll tax?

§ site, garaging, office overheads and OH&S compliance?

§ employee training?

(3) based on the answer to question (2), what is the overall weighted cost movement in operating country bus services?

(4) Why was either th e transport index or consumer price index not used as the basis for adjustment of non-commercial contracts?

(5) Do you believe that the cost of operating a category 4 school bus of 42 seats or more increased by only 0.98%?

(6) What is your assessment of the cost of a full government owned bus service for non-commercial category 4 school bus services provided by STA of NSW?

(7) Is the private bus industry providing school bus services on non-commercial contracts at below true cost or below alternative government provided services, or both?

(8) What is your assessment of the sustainability of non-commercial contracts under price increases ranging from 3.02% to 0.98% for category 1 to 4 services?

Answer—

I am advised:

(1) to (8) The Director General, Ministry of Transport, recently determined changes in payments for non-commercial bus operators in 2003-04 ranging from 0.98% to 3.02% depending upon category of bus. The determination was based on recommendations from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

In conducting its review of non-commercial payments, the IPART took into account public submissions, including the submission received from the Bus and Coach Association (BCA).

State Transit does not operate school bus services under a non-commercial contract model.

The IPART recommended a 5.62% fare increase for private commercial bus operators in 2003-04. At the same time, the IPART determined a 5% increase for State Transit bus fares in 2003-04.

Reimbursement for school bus services provided by State Transit and private commercial bus operators is based on commercial contract fares.

The matters considered by the IPART and its subsequent recommendations for non-commercial and commercial contracts for private operators can be found on the Ministry of Transport’s website at www.transport.nsw.gov.au. The IPART’s determination for State Transit fares can be found on its website at www.ipart.nsw.gov.au

The Government remains committed to this independent approach to regulating public transport fares.

*712 WILPINJONG COAL LEASE—Mr Souris to Minister for Mineral Resources—

(1) What is the status of the coal exploration licence process?

(2) Has a licence been granted?

(3) What are the properties within the proposed coal exploration/coal lease area by owners identification?

(4) Which properties owned mineral rights before 1975?

(5) Which properties gained restitution of mineral rights?

(6) Which properties obtained compensation under the Coal Compensation Act as extended?

(7) Which properties failed to apply for restitution or compensation before the Act finally expired?

(8) Were any properties which previously held mineral rights and which were potentially eligible for restitution or compensation notified of their rights prior to the expiration of the Act?

(9) If, so which properties were so notified?

Answer—

(1) The Wilpinjong coal exploration area comprises the eastern half of Authorisation 449 held by the Department of Mineral Resources. Tenders for the Wilpinjong exploration licence area closed on 22 August 2003 and are currently being evaluated by the Department of Mineral Resources and Macquarie Generation. The successful tenderer will be awarded a new exploration licence over the area, by means of part transfer from Authorisation 449, pursuant to Section 123 of the Mining Act 1992.

(2) No new exploration licence over the subject area has yet been granted.

(3) Properties within the proposed coal exploration area have been identified by searching information on public record at Land and Property Information NSW to obtain title details, and the following titles are grouped by ownership.

(a) Cumbo Creek Pastoral Pty Ltd - land in:

Folio Identifiers 1 & 3/583254, 42 & 43/583255, 10 & 11/703223, 5/703225, 2/720305 and 237/724588, and

Auto-Consols 7013-218, 6498-84 and 7024-146, and

Folio Identifiers 9/755425, 12&13/755425, 18/755425, 25/755425, 35/755425, 40/755425, 53-57 incl/755425, 66/755425, 71& 76/ 755425, 79/755425, 84/755425, 95/755425, 105/755425, 110 & 116/755425, 122-125 incl/755425, 135-147 incl/755425, 153/755425, 156 & 157/755425, 161/755425 and 183 & 186/755425,

All in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip, and

Folio Identifiers Auto-Consol 7013-218, and 140/755455 in the Parish of Wollar County of Phillip.

(b) R.A. Rogan - land in Folio Identifier 92/755425 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(c) J.R. Page - land in Folio Identifiers 90,93/755425 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(d) T.P. Rayner - land in Folio Identifier 6/703225 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(e) V.H. Gironda - land in Folio Identifier 94/755425 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(f) K.J. & E.M. Dorahy - land in Folio Identifiers 34,59,148,149,150, 152/755425 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(g) J.E. & E. J. Robinson - land in:

Folio Identifiers 2/112124, 4 & 5/755425, 14/755425, 26/755425, 36/755425, 43/755425, 46/755425, 52/755425, 58/755425, 78/755425, 80/755425, 82 & 83/755425, 87 & 88/755425, 106/755425, 164/755425, 175 & 176/755425, 182/755425, 184 & 185/755425 and 230/755425, and

Folio Identifier Auto-Consol 13516-211 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(h) P.H. Power - land in Folio Identifier 3 & 15/755454 and 114/42147 in the Parish of Wilpinjong County of Phillip.

(i) P.H. & S.A. Power - land in Folio Identifier 1/703224 in the Parish of Wilpinjong County of Phillip.

(j) E.M., D.C. & C. Power - land in Folio Identifiers 12 & 13/703223 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(k) M. Reid - land in Folio Identifiers 9-14 incl/755454 and 24/755454 in the Parish of Wilpinjong County of Phillip.

(l) A.J. & E.C. Reid - land in Folio Identifiers 31 & 35/755454, 45 & 46/755454, 72/755454 and 100/755454 in the Parish of Wilpinjong County of Phillip.

(m) M.A. Berry - land in Folio Identifiers 41/583255 and 195/755425 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(n) C.R. & S.E. Nagel - land in Folio Identifiers 5 &6/755454, 10/755454, 17-19 inc/755454, 22 & 23/755454, 47-49 incl/755454 and 104/755454 in the Parish of Wilpinjong County of Phillip.

(o) K.A. Donachy - land in Folio Identifiers 43/583255 and 196/703223 in the Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip.

(4) (a) Portion 146 Parish of Wollar County of Phillip (now described as being 146/755455 and held in Folio Identifier Auto-Consol 7013-218) owned by Cumbo Creek Pastoral Pty Ltd.

(b) Portion 90 Parish of Cumbo County of Phillip (now described as being Folio Identifier 90/755425) owned by J.R. Page.

(c) Portion 36 of Parish of Cumbo County of Philip (now described as being 36/755425 and held in Folio Identifier Auto-Consol 13516-211) owned by J.E. & E.J. Robinson.

(d) Portion 100 Parish of Wilpinjong County of Phillip (now described as being Folio Identifier 100/755454) owned by A.J. & E.C. Reid.

(5) None in the subject area.

(6) None in the subject area.

(7) Properties as described in reply to question (4).

(8) No properties in the area were individually notified however the Coal Compensation Board did undertake an extensive advertising campaign during 1985/86 and 1993/94, in those areas where coal was known to exist. The purpose being to inform the public of their right to claim for compensation for the loss of private coal through government acquisition. The campaign included newspaper and radio advertising, as well as letterbox drops in those areas where private coal was known to exist. This was determined through royalty records and would only be in areas where coal mines were in existence.

In the Mudgee area, which includes the Wilpinjong area, a general advertising campaign was conducted, which consisted of advertising in the Mudgee Guardian, the Land, and radio coverage through 2LT Lithgow.

(9) Not applicable.

*714 "THE BELMONT" DEVELOPMENT—Ms Seaton to Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—

(1) Following the Premier’s endorsement of the design work of ‘The Belmont’ development in Sutherland, as an exemplar of desirable SEPP 65 design outcome, is the Premier aware that the designer Mr Cameron Jones is an accredited building designer at the unrestricted level?

(2) Will the Premier now broaden the definition of ‘qualified designer’ under SEPP 65 to include designers of equivalent accreditation as Mr Cameron Jones?

Answer—

(1) ‘The Belmont’ was noted as an example of building design that incorporates some positive features, namely a public restaurant at street level (which is better than a design that does not provide an active use at street level).

(2) The definitions in SEPP 65 are a matter for the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning.

*715 "THE BELMONT" DEVELOPMENT (QUALIFIED DESIGNER)—Ms Seaton to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

Following the Premier’s endorsement of the design work of ‘The Belmont’ development in Sutherland, as an exemplar of desirable SEPP 65 design outcomes:

(1) Are you aware that the designer Mr Cameron Jones is an accredited building designer at the unrestricted level?

(2) Are you aware that currently SEPP 65 projects exclude building designers with the accreditation level held by Mr Cameron Jones?

(3) Will you broaden the definition of ‘qualified designer’ under SEPP 65 to include designers of equivalent accreditation as Mr Cameron Jones?

(4) Is SEPP 65 to be placed under review by the Government?

Answer—

(1) The Minister understands that Mr Cameron Jones is accredited ‘at an unrestricted level’ by the Building Designers Association of NSW.

(2) The Government does not endorse the Building Designers Association’s accreditation process. The Government is currently considering the introduction of a formal accreditation process for building professionals, including building designers.

(3) The Minister is aware that the definition of ‘qualified designer’ in SEPP 65 does not include building designers accredited at the unrestricted level by the Building Designers Association, and the Government does not intend to broaden the definition to include such building designers.

(4) SEPP 65 is not under review by the Government.

*716 TOM'S GULLY BUSHFIRE—Mr Stoner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

In relation to the Aboriginal group on whose land the serious Tom’s Gully bushfire began on 31 October 2001, will you assist this group to share the costs of replacing fencing with neighbouring properties?

Answer—

The issue of bushfire compensation does not fall within my portfolio and is more appropriately directed to my colleague the Hon Bob Debus, Minister for the Environment.

*717 BRASSEY STATE FOREST FIRE—Mr Stoner to Minister for Police, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

In relation to a serious bushfire in the Brassey State Forest/Cottan-Bimbang National Park area, near Walcha, which began on 3 November 2002 and continued to burn until 14 November 2002:

(1) How did this fire start?

(2) On which land did this fire start?

(3) Which agency or agencies were responsible for fighting this fire?

Answer—

(1) Arson was the suspected cause of starting the Fenwick Fire.

(2) National Park.

(3) As affected land managers both the NPWS and State Forests were responsible for fighting this fire.

*720 REGISTERED NURSES—Mr Piccoli to Minister for Health—

(1) (a) How many registered nurses graduated from all NSW universities in 2002?

(b) How many of these graduates have taken up positions as registered nurses in NSW Public Hospitals?

(2) (a) How many registered nurses graduated from all NSW universities in 2000?

(b) How many of these graduates remain employed as registered nurses in NSW Public Hospitals?

Answer—

(1) (a) 2,013.

(b) NSW Health provided Transitional Support Funding for 1,452 new graduates, the majority of which would be from NSW Universities.

(2) (a) and (b) Information can be made available to Mr Piccoli through his Federal counterpart.

*722 FISHERY SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE—Mr J. H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

(1) What is the budget for the Fishery Scientific Committee?

(2) Who is on the Committee?

(3) Who does the Committee report to?

(4) Did the Committee hold an inquiry into hook and line fishing in areas that they class as important for survival of threatened fish species?

(5) If so, what were the terms of reference for that inquiry?

(6) If so, who produced the terms of reference?

(7) If so, what report if any was produced?

(8) If so, what recommendations were produced?

Answer—

I have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of the following:

(1) The Fisheries Scientific Committee spent $56,459 in 2002-2003. This included sitting fees, travel expenses, advertising expenses and general administrative costs. The budget for 2003-04 is $60,000.

(2) The current membership of the Committee is: Dr Alan Millar (Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust), Dr George Wilson (Australian Museum Trust), Dr Tony Miskiewicz (Australian Society for Fish Biology), Dr Stuart Rowland (NSW Fisheries), Dr Philip Gibbs (NSW Fisheries), Dr Ron West (University of Wollongong) and Dr Patricia Dixon, Chairperson (expert in fisheries science and natural resource management).

(3) to (8) The Fisheries Scientific Committee is an independent group of scientists that makes determinations on a range of threatened species issues. Please refer to Division 2 of Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994. The process for consideration of a nomination by the Fisheries Scientific Committee is explained in subdivision 2.

*723 DIALYSIS MACHINES—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Health—

(1) Can you confirm whether the Department of Health has contracted out the servicing of dialysis machines in the Mid-North Coast Area Health Service?

(2) If so, when was this done and to which company?

(3) What is the name of the company that provides the machines to the Mid-North Coast Area Health Service?

Answer—

(1) to (3) Mid North Coast Area Health Service uses two different brands of haemodialysis machines, Gambro and Fresenius. A service agreement is in place with other Area Health Services to service and repair the machines. Technicians from John Hunter Hospital maintain the Gambro machines, and technicians from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital maintain the Fresenius machines.

*724 INFORMATION SWAP—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister for Western Sydney, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning (Planning Administration)—

(1) Is it correct that the Department of Juvenile Justice does not “ information-swap” with other agencies such as police and parole due to concerns about the privacy of minors?

(2) If so, do you believe this is good crime prevention management?

Answer—

(1) The privacy rights of Department of Juvenile Justice clients are a secondary consideration where “information swaps” are necessary for law enforcement.

(2) The Department of Juvenile Justice is committed to good crime prevention management by providing effective interventions, which are designed to maximize clients’ opportunities to successfully reintegrate with their communities.

*725 MAYNE GROUP COMPANIES—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Health—

(1) Are you aware of the Mayne Group of companies’ public statements regarding its willingness to sell its hospital interests? If so, can you confirm whether this includes the Port Macquarie Base Hospital?

(2) Does the Mayne Group of companies have the right to indicate a willingness to sell Port Macquarie Base Hospital, or is this a decision that must be taken in agreement with other parties to the contracts?

(3) By making such public statements, is the operator (Mayne) in default of the contracts as written under Clause 19.1 (b), which state that the operator is in default of the contracts if “the operator evidences an intention to cease operating the Hospital or to cease providing the Core Services”?

(4) In light of this, what action has the Health Administration Corporation and the Department of Health taken on this matter?

Answer—

(1) Yes.

(2) Mayne Health currently has a contract with the Mid North Coast Area Health Service to operate Port Macquarie Base Hospital. Concurrence of regulatory authorities is required to alter this contract.

(3) No.

(4) Discussions are being held with the proposed purchaser.

*726 WATER CRISIS—Mr Pringle to Minister for Energy and Utilities, Minister for Science and Medical Research, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer), and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts—

In view of the current water crisis and noting that many rural and semi-rural properties are not served by mains water and hence are forced to cart in potable water, would the Minister advise when the current subsidy to install rain water tanks in urban areas will be extended to rural-residential areas?

Answer—

The purpose of rainwater tank rebate programs is to encourage the installation of rainwater tanks to assist in conserving potable water supplied via a reticulated system. Properties not connected to a mains system, where rainwater tanks are the only source of water, do not meet this criteria.

Where local water utilities are responsible for water delivery to customers, they are responsible for rainwater tank rebate schemes. Some utilities, such as Australian Inland, and Gosford, Wyong, Goulburn and Orange Councils, have already introduced rainwater tank rebate schemes.

The Government is committed to encouraging the widespread use of rainwater tanks, especially in NSW urban areas with a reticulated water supply. This will help to reduce the impact of stormwater as well as demand for piped water supplies, thus avoiding the financial and environmental cost for the community of the construction of new dams.

The NSW Committee on Uniformity of Plumbing and Drainage Regulations (CUPDR) recently agreed to changes to the NSW Code of Plumbing Practice that will now allow the cross-connection of rainwater tanks to the potable supply, subject to appropriate protection of the mains supply.

The changes will enable householders who are connected to a reticulated water system to use rainwater for drinking, bathing and all other household purposes, if desired.

This approach builds on other measures taken by the NSW Government to encourage the greater use of rainwater. These include simplifying the guidelines governing the installation of tanks and amending State Environmental Protection Plan 4 to allow rainwater tanks up to 10,000 litres in size to be installed without planning permission.

Significant financial assistance is already provided to rural and regional water authorities through the Government’s Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program ($67 million in 2003-04). The Program assists local water utilities to provide appropriate water and sewerage services.

Demand management initiatives cannot be funded under the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program. Rainwater tank schemes are the responsibility of local government and their water utilities. These utilities are encouraged to pursue such schemes as well as introducing water conservation measures.

*729 NEW SOUTH WALES STUDENTS STUDYING IN ACT—Ms Hodgkinson to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

(1) How many NSW students are currently enrolled in ACT (a) Primary Schools, (b) High Schools and (c) Year 11 and 12 Colleges?

(2) Does the NSW Government provide any financial subsidy to the ACT Government for these students?

(3) If so, how much?

(4) Is there any consultation mechanism in place between the NSW Department of Education and the ACT Department of Education to resolve concerns about placement of students in specific schools?

Answer—

(1) Data on NSW residents enrolled in ACT schools is not held by the NSW Department of Education and Training.

(2) to (4) There are no direct financial subsidies paid by the NSW Government to the ACT Government for NSW students who are currently enrolled in ACT schools. Arrangements for the placement of students in specific schools are locally based.

*731 ELECTRIFICATION OF CITYRAIL SYDNEY TO GOULBURN LINE—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

(1) Are there any plans to electrify the CityRail line between Goulburn and Sydney?

(2) Have any studies been conducted into the feasibility of electrifying this line?

(3) If so what was the projected cost of this project?

Answer—

I am advised:

StateRail does not plan to electrify the rail line between Goulburn and Sydney.

A number of preliminary studies including private sector proposals have been conducted into options based on the existing alignment and potential new alignments.

Costs of proposals vary according to their scope.

*732 RAILWAY CAR PARKS—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

Was a feasibility study conducted prior to the March 2003 election at the Hornsby and Berowra Railway stations to assess the need for multi-storey car parks?

Answer—

I am advised:

Hornsby Shire Council engaged consultants in 1993 to prepare the Hornsby Integrated Land Use and Transport (ILUT) Strategy. New South Wales Government agencies (including the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources – formerly Planning NSW and Transport NSW; RTA; State Rail Authority; and Rail Infrastructure Corporation) were key stakeholders in this work. A revision of this study was undertaken in 2001-02 by the same consultants.

The provision of commuter car parking at rail stations throughout the Shire, including at Berowra and Hornsby stations, continues to be assessed against current and likely future needs.

Provision of additional commuter car parking at rail stations needs to be considered in conjunction with access provision for other modes such as bus, walking, and cycling.

*733 COWAN RAILWAY BOOM GATES—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

(1) Was a request made to the Minister to place an authorised officer at the boom gates to Cowan Railway Station?

(2) Why has this been ignored?

Answer—

I am advised:

Access to the western platform of Cowan railway station is through the car park. The tracks to access the eastern platform are fitted with boom gates, warning bells, flashing lights and signage.

StateRail advises it is not aware of any request for the placement of an authorised officer at Cowan.

*734 FIRE CONTROL CENTRE—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Police, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

Regarding the proposed new Fire Control Centre in the Hornsby electorate, what are the three sites currently under consideration?

Answer—

The three sites currently being considered are the Berowra Tollgates, the National Park Depot at Mount Colah and the existing Fire Control Centre site at Galston Road, Hornsby Heights.

*735 LEASED NATIONAL PARKS—Mr Fraser to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

(1) How many National Parks are leased back from the Aboriginal community?

(2) Which parks are these?

(3) What remuneration is paid to the individual Aboriginal communities who own them?

(4) What is the individual cost of managing these National Parks?

Answer—

Mutawintji National Park, incorporating Mutawintji Historic Site and Mutawintji Nature Reserve, has been leased back from the Aboriginal Community.

In 2003/04, rental of about $320,000 was allocated for the care, control and management of Mutawintji leased back lands.

The total budget, including the rental figure, for the Mutawintji lands for 2003/04 is about $700,000.

*736 POLICE SERVICE MEDAL—Mr Maguire to Minister for Police—

(1) Why have retired Police who have achieved ten years diligent service before retiring been denied the recently awarded NSW Police Medal?

(2) What circumstances demanded that a date (5 February, 2002) be set to establish eligibility for the awarding of the Police Service Medal?

(3) How many police who retired before 5 February, 2002 are ineligible for the Medal?

(4) How much does the manufacture and presentation of each Medal cost?

(5) What awards were available to police who retired before 5 February, 2002 to acknowledge their dedication, integrity and commitment to the community?

(6) Will you reconsider the circumstances in which service medals will be awarded and include members of the Police Service (retired) who have served our community with distinction?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

(1) Retired police who have achieved 10 years diligent service before retiring, are not denied the NSW Police Medal.

(2) An implementation date to establish eligibility was determined by my colleague, the Honourable Michael Costa, MLC, in his former capacity as Minister for Police on 5 February 2002. NSW Police has adopted the practice which is consistent with other state and territory jurisdictions.

(3) As the implementation date was 5 February 2002, the number of ineligible police who retired prior to that date has not been established.

(4) Manufacture of the NSW Police Medal set is $33.00, including GST.

(5) NSW police have been eligible to receive the National Police Medal since the introduction of the Australian Awards system in 1975. This medal recognises 15 years diligent service. Prior to that, the Queen’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was available for police who had completed 22 years of service to the community.

NSW Police has, for many years, awarded bravery medals, commendations and certificates acknowledging the dedication and commitment of our officers to the community.

(6) I do not intend to review the already stated policy with regard to the NSW Police Medal.

*737 PERMANENT MOBILE TEACHERS—Mrs Skinner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

(1) How many permanent mobile teachers are currently employed by the Department of Education?

(2) What is the breakdown of these positions by school district?

Answer—

(1) and (2) As at 19 September 2003, there are 766.9 permanent mobile school teachers employed by the Department of Education and Training across all school districts.

*738 PARKING SPACE LEVY—Mrs Skinner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

(1) What is the total revenue raised through the parking space levy in 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003 and how much it is expected to raise in 2003-2004?

(2) How many car parking spaces were created at transport interchanges during each of those years?

(3) What is the location of the car spaces created?

Answer—

I’m advised:

The Parking Space Levy Act specifies funds raised be used to improve access to public transport services. Capital and maintenance works are undertaken such as the construction and maintenance of rail, bus and ferry interchanges; the Inner West light rail corridor; commuter car parks; and ferry wharves.

Parking Space Levy revenue data is publicly available each year in the Budget Papers.

The provision of projects and works in the years 1999/00 to 2003/04, including car parking spaces includes:

In 1999-2000: Mascot Interchange, Kissing Point Wharf and 295 parking spaces created in Cabarita, Springwood, Kissing Point, and Campbelltown.

In 2000-01: The interchanges at Circular Quay, Manly and Strathfield.

In 2001-02: The interchanges at Bondi Junction, Engadine and Wyong and 1300 parking spaces created in Gosford, Kogarah, Holsworthy and Wyong.

In 2002-03: The interchanges at Holsworthy, Oak Flats, Rockdale and Stockton wharf and 412 parking spaces created in Rockdale, Oak Flats and Kirrawee.

In 2003-04: The interchanges at Emu Plains and Mt Druitt and an estimated 378 parking spaces are expected to be created in Emu Plains, Loftus, Jannali, Warriewood and Mt Druitt.

17 SEPTEMBER 2003

(Paper No. 31)

*740 COOK-CHILL KITCHENS—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Health—

(1) Will you confirm that the Southern Area Health Service intends to close the cook-chill kitchens in Goulburn and source cook-chill food from Port Kembla from November 2003?

(2) How many staff are currently employed at the kitchens in Goulburn?

(3) Have they been offered alternative positions within Goulburn?

(4) Have any staff been offered voluntary redundancies?

Answer—

(1) The central food production unit on the former Kenmore Hospital site will close, and the Southern Area Health Service will be obtaining cook-chill services from Illawarra Area Health Service (Port Kembla) in late October/early November 2003.

(2) There are currently 18 staff employed. There are 14 full time equivalent positions.

(3) Yes.

(4) No.

*741 THERAPY SERVICES—YASS PUBLIC SCHOOL—Ms Hodgkinson to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

(1) Can you confirm that the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care will no longer provide therapy services to the Yass Special Education Support Class?

(2) Which organisation will now provide the necessary therapy services to the support class?

Answer—

(1) and (2) This question should be addressed to my colleague the Minister for Community Services, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for Youth for response.

*744 MUDGEE ABATTOIR—Mr Souris to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

(1) What steps have you taken to ensure the immediate re-opening of Mudgee Abattoir?

(2) Why has the Government refused to provide temporary working capital that would have kept the works open?

(3) Given the state of the long-term closed Gunnedah Abattoirs, what do you intend to do to ensure that a sell-off of plant and equipment is not undertaken, which would render the site unable to resume operations?

Answer—

(1) and (2) On September 8 the Administrator sought $2.1 million in financial assistance from the Mudgee Shire Council as the owner of the Abattoir. The Administrator wanted to use this money to keep the abattoir operating for another six weeks.

The Council declined to provide this funding – and as a result the Administrator closed the Abattoir for an indefinite period. The Mayor, Cr Dennis Yeo told the Mudgee Guardian on September 12, that “The Abattoir’s strategic business plan doesn’t show any viable way forward, so it wasn’t practicable to give $2 million.”

Mudgee Shire Council – the owner of the business – could not see how any injection of cash would make the business viable.

(3) This question is best directed to the Court appointed Receiver who is responsible for the plant and equipment of the Mudgee Regional Abattoir.

*745 HEALTH FUNDING—Mr Souris to Minister for Health—

What is the inflation adjusted recurrent expenditure budget for the Macquarie Area Health Service and the New England Health Service as follows:

(1) Actual budget expenditure for 2002/03?

(2) Actual budget expenditure for 2003/04?

(3) Inflation adjusted expenditure for 2003/04?

Answer—

(1) The 2002/03 audited expenditure for New England Area Health Service: $250.9M.

The 2002/03 audited expenditure for Macquarie Area Health Service: $161.9M.

(2) Actual Year to Date expenditure for the New England Area Health Service $36.9M (to the end of August 2003).

Actual year to date expenditure for the Macquarie Area Health service is $24.9M (to the end of August 2003).

(3) Health Services are currently reviewing their 2003/04 total expenditure budgets for submission to the Department.

*746 FISHERIES INSPECTORS—Mr Stoner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

In relation to fisheries on the Mid North Coast:

(1) How many inspectors patrol the area between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie?

(2) Have any additional inspectors been employed using the proceeds of the Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licence revenue?

Answer—

I have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of the following answer:

(1) Up to 14 fisheries officers patrol the area between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie. During major operations fisheries officers from adjoining districts provide further support on a needs basis.

(2) The three officers in the Recreational Fishery Mobile Squad are funded by the Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust to patrol recreational fishing havens, including between Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.

*747 FISHING LICENCE BUY-OUTS—Mr Stoner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

In relation to commercial fishing licences bought out in connection with establishment of recreational fishing areas:

(a) Do you propose further buy-outs on ‘open’ estuaries such as the Macleay and Nambucca Rivers?

(b) When licences are bought out, do you intend to prevent such fishermen from activating other licences in the same area/s?

Answer—

I have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of the following:

(1) The Government has no plans to establish additional recreational fishing havens. However, I have indicated that developing models for a consensus based approach for resolving resource sharing issues, and developing new approaches to commercial fishery structural adjustment are some of the Government’s key fisheries objectives.

(2) Refer to answer (1).

*748 FUNDING ALLOCATION—Mr Stoner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business—

In relation to regional development funding provided under programs administered by your Department:

(1) What was the total expenditure, by program, in 2002/2003?

(2) How does this compare to 2001/2002?

(3) What was the expenditure, by program, on:

(a) The Hunter Region?

(b) The Illwarra Region?

(c) The remainder of regional NSW?

Answer—

(1) to (3) Financial details for the “Development of the NSW Economy” Program appear on page 159-161 of Budget Paper No.3 – Volume 3.

*749 REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT STAFF—Mr Stoner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business—

What are the number of staff, by location, in the Regional Development Division of your Department?

Answer—

The Regional Development Division has 93 staff and 70 are located in the regions.

*750 EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED/BEHAVIORALLY DISTURBED UNITS—Mrs Skinner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

(1) How many schools have Emotionally Disturbed/Behaviorally Disturbed (ED/BD) units attached to them?

(2) Where are they?

(3) How many students are in attendance in each unit?

(4) What are the staffing formulas for the units?

(5) How many reported acts of violence have involved ED/BD students against

(a) teachers

(b) non-teaching staff

(c) other students?

Answer—

(1) Ninety-five schools have one or more emotionally disturbed (ED) support classes attached to them. Students with behavioural difficulties are supported through a range of educational initiatives.

(2) ED support classes are located in schools in 40 districts across the State.

(3) Each ED support class has the capacity for six students to attend.

(4) ED support classes are staffed on a teacher entitlement of 1:6.

(5) The data is not available. Reports of violent incidents do not identify disability categories of students.

*752 STATION MAINTENANCE—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

What works will be undertaken and at what cost at:

(1) Waitara Station?

(2) Hornsby Station?

(3) Asquith Station?

(4) Mt Colah Station?

(5) Mt Ku-ring-gai Station?

(6) Berowra Station?

(7) Cowan Station?

(8) Hawkesbury Station?

(9) Normanhurst Station?

(10) Thornleigh Station?

Answer—

I am advised:

Major periodical maintenance totalling more than $100,000 is scheduled to be undertaken at these stations during 2003-04. These works include station painting and line marking.

In addition, CityRail has developed a prioritised four-year maintenance program to refurbish pedestrian footbridges at stations. Works scheduled to be undertaken during 2003-04 include:

StationWorks Estimated

Total Cost

HornsbyStairs maintenance $31,200
Mt ColahDeck maintenance$6,100
BerowraFence maintenance $6,100
Hawkesbury RiverStairs maintenance$18,300
ThornleighStairs maintenance$2,700

*753 SECTION 94 CONTRIBUTIONS—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

Are Section 94 contributions able to be used within a Local Government area for purposes of amenity for all residents if the proposed facility (eg a swimming pool) is a one-off amenity and will provide a service to all?

Answer—

I am advised by my colleague, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning (Planning Administration) that Section 94 contributions levied on a development under a s94 contribution plan can be put towards a significant facility, if it has been calculated that demand for that facility would be created as a result of the development (eg a large subdivision).

Future questions on this matter are more appropriately directed to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning (Planning Administration).

*755 HEALTH SERVICE BUDGETS—Mr Armstrong to Minister for Health—

(1) Do the Mid Western, Greater Murray and Southern Area Health Services have to make “budget” savings in the current financial year?

(2) Are those three Health Services able to meet all their commercial financial obligations within commercial terms of trade and as of this date?

(3) Will the three Area Health Services be able to provide all health services offered within their responsibility for the next 6 months?

Answer—

(1) to (3) All Area Health Services are required to operate within their respective budgets, meet their commercial financial obligations within agreed terms and provide agreed levels of health care services appropriate to community needs.

*756 CONSTITUENT CORRESPONDENCE —Mr Constance to Minister for Health—

Is there a reason for the failure to respond to the letter from Narooma resident, Elizabeth Tell who wrote to you over three months ago, and when do you intend to respond to her serious matter?

Answer—

The letter to which the question refers was answered on the Minister for Health’s behalf by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health on 8 October 2003.

*757 HAZARD REDUCTION—Mr Constance to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

What level of hazard reduction has been undertaken in every National Park in the Bega electorate?

Answer—

The National Parks and Wildlife Service undertakes strategic programs of hazard reduction burning that maximises the protection of life and property.

Hazard reduction work undertaken in national parks in the Bega Electorate over the last two years has included 11,345 hectares of prescribed burns, 594 kilometres of fire trail maintenance and the slashing of fire breaks adjacent to assets.

*761 WARRINGAH COUNCIL INQUIRY—Mr Humpherson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

(1) Did an officer of your Department use government resources in working hours to maintain a campaign against Warringah Council?

(2) Did the Department of Local Government inquiry into the Council contact your Department in relation to such a matter?

(3) What were all the circumstances?

Answer—

(1) I am advised that an officer of my Department prepared a submission to the Department of Local Government Inquiry Into Warringah Council in his private capacity and while on approved leave. The officer was contacted by the Inquiry and asked to appear to give evidence before it. The officer did so on his own time and while on approved leave.

(2) No. I refer you to the answer to Question on Notice 762 provided by the Minister for Local Government.

(3) I refer you to (1) and (2) above.

*762 WARRINGAH COUNCIL INQUIRY—Mr Humpherson to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

(1) What was the cost of the inquiry?

(2) Did the inquiry receive a submission asserting that an officer in the Attorney General’s office was responsible for organising the campaign against the Council?

(3) Did this occur in working time using government resources and computer?

(4) Why was this submission not investigated?

Answer—

I am advised by the Minister for Local Government of the following:

(1) The Warringah Council Public Inquiry cost $306,000.

(2) No.

(3) I refer you to (2) above.

(4) I refer you to Volume 2 Part 3.1.2 of the Inquiry Report.

*765 MCINTYRE'S HUT FIRE —Mr Humpherson to Minister for Police, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

(1) What action did the Rural Fire Service take in relation to this fire between January 8 and January 14, 2003?

(2) Why were fixed wing aircraft not used to fight this fire?

(3) Were there aircraft available for this purpose?

(4) Were they equipped for the purpose?

Answer—

(1) The Rural Fire Service (RFS) met with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and ACT Emergency Services on 8 January 2003, where it was agreed that indirect attack was the most appropriate way to fight the fire. The fire was declared a Section 44 bushfire emergency under the Rural Fires Act 1997, putting it under the control of the RFS Commissioner, on 9 January 2003.

The NSW Deputy State Corner held a Coronial Inquiry into the management of this fire and supported and complimented the actions of all those involved.

(2) Fixed-wing aircraft were not used to fight this fire because they were considered not suitable to the terrain in this area. It was decided that ground crew operations with helicopter support was more appropriate.

(3) Fixed-wing aircraft could have been made available to fight this fire, but were not used for the above reason.

(4) All aircraft used by the RFS meet stringent operational and safety requirements.

*766 KIRRAWEE CEMENT PLANT PROPOSAL—Ms Seaton to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

(1) Has the Environment Protection Authority issued a General Terms of Approval to Sutherland Council detailing conditions that would be attached to an environmental protection license if consent was granted for this proposal?

(2) What are the specific conditions required by the Environment Protection Authority?

(3) Are these conditions in line with existing Environment Protection Authority guidelines? Are these guidelines set out and publicly available on the Environment Protection Authority website? If so, on what date were the guidelines accessible on the web?

(4) Are the guidelines the same as or similar to guidelines in Western Australia and Victoria?

(5) If not, why are the New South Wales guidelines different?

(6) What is the required buffer zone between a cement batching plant and other business premises in New South Wales?

Answer—

(1) Yes.

(2) The general terms of approval included specific limits for noise and dust emissions, and requirements for the management of stormwater from the development site. The terms of approval also included monitoring requirements of stack emissions and ambient dust deposition from the proposed development. The terms of approval also required the proponent to undertake a dust impact assessment study to determine the potential adverse impacts of dust emission from the site on neighbouring businesses.

(3) Yes. The relevant guidelines are publicly available on the Environment Protection Authority website, except for Managing Urban Stormwater: Council Handbook which is available from EPA offices. All guidelines were publicly available prior to the determination of the general terms of approval for this development.

(4) Questions relating to guidelines set in other jurisdictions should be addressed to the relevant governments.

(5) NSW guidelines have been developed to reflect NSW experience and conditions.

(6) NSW guidelines do not require a set buffer zone for concrete batching plants. Buffer zones are set, where necessary, by the appropriate regulatory authority based on the individual circumstances of the development proposal.

*767 PICTON PUBLIC SCHOOL—Ms Seaton to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

Following the fire which destroyed a major section of the Picton Public School’s classrooms;

(1) How many children are affected and accommodated in demountables as a result of the fire?

(2) How many demountables are in place?

(3) How much money has been allocated to date to replace the building with a new facility?

(4) What has been expended to date, giving detail of expenditure on items?

(5) What is the specific allocation in the 2003/04 budget for replacement facilities?

(6) When will the entire replacement project be complete?

Answer—

(1) A maximum of 120 pupils.

(2) Five.

(3) to (6) To date, the sum of $298,913.07 has been expended at Picton Public School for emergency accommodation, repairs and investigations as a result of the damage caused by the fire. Four damaged classrooms and a reading recovery room have been repaired and refurbished.

The Treasury Managed Fund has allocated money towards the project to replace the four demolished classrooms and two reading recovery/support learning rooms (rebuilding project). It is expected that additional funding will be required to complete the rebuilding project. Should this be the case, this will be considered in the context of future capital works priorities.

A scope of works for the rebuilding project is currently being finalised. If a Development Application is required for the rebuilding project, it is anticipated that a Development Application will be lodged with Wollondilly Council during term four, 2003.

The timing of further stages of the rebuilding project is dependent upon the outcome of any Development Application and budget processes.

18 SEPTEMBER 2003

(Paper No. 32)

*769 AUDITING LICENCED CLUBS—Mr Souris to Minister for Gaming and Racing—

(1) Why is the Department auditing licenced clubs’ compliance concerning community donations?

(2) As this audit of all clubs was neither scheduled nor ordinary, where did the Department obtain the funds to conduct a comprehensive audit of this nature?

(3) Is the Department auditing clubs which have been outspoken against the Government’s new gaming taxes?

(4) What is the trend (expressed as a percentage of the total recurrent budget of the Department) over the years 2001, 2002 and budget 2004 for the Department’s:

§ corporate service

§ directors salaries

§ directors executive assistants’ salaries

§ Director-General’s salary?

(5) What amounts have been expended for entertainment, liquor purchases, and functions by the Minister and the Director-General for the financial years:

§ 2000-2001

§ 2001-2002

§ 2002-2003?

(6) In 1996, when an amount of $4 million was paid to consultants, why was this amount shown as only a foot note to the annual accounts?

(7) Were all of the consultancies referred to in question (6) completely tendered?

(8) Were all of the consultancies referred to in question (6) charged to either temporary salary or computer maintenance?

(9) Was one consultant paid $28,000 for seminars to staff without tendering and then charged $5,000 for staff using his services for psychological testing and resume writing?

(10) In 1999 was over $5,000 incurred in telephone expenses over two months by a consultant in the department using the ASX information line?

(11) Has this amount been recovered?

(12) How many relatives o f senior staff were hired by the Department and on how many occasions and for how many weeks in the years:

§ 2001

§ 2002

§ 2003?

(13) Did an acquaintance of the former Minister gain temporary or permanent employment with the Department, which included the Minister claiming a lunch expense with the employee and his ministerial staff as a reunion lunch. Did the employee remain on staff for four years?

(14) Was her position re-advertised as vacant when she resigned?

(15) If not, why not?

Answer—

(1) In 2002, prior to the announcement of the tax rates, the Department conducted a test audit of a number of licensed clubs to determine compliance with the legislation respecting CDSE (Community Development and Support Expenditure) scheme donations. The test audit raised a variety of issues and identified a need to develop an audit program of all registered clubs that lodged expenditure declarations under the CDSE scheme.

(2) The audits were scheduled and ordinary, therefore the funds for the test audit and the declaration audit program have been made available within the overall Compliance Division Budget.

(3) N/A See 1 & 2.

(4) The budget trend over the period for the Department's corporate services, directors salaries, directors executive assistant salaries and Director-General's salary (expressed as a percentage of the total recurrent budget) is as follows:

%

2001-02

%

2002-03

%

2003-04

Corporate Services5.355.755.27
Directors Salaries0.931.131.47
Directors Executive Assistants 0.34 0.410.42
Director-General0.500.670.71

(5) The amounts expended over the period by the Minister and Director-General, expressed as a percentage of the total Departmental expenditure are:

%

2000-01

%

2001-02

%

2002-03

Minister0.0160.0070.012
Director-General0.0050.0020.004

(6) There is no amount of $4 million mentioned in the Notes to the Financial Statements in either the 1995-96 or the 1996-97 Annual Report for the Department of Gaming and Racing.

The Annual Reports Act requires disclosure of details of individual consultancies equal to or more than $30,000 as well as the total number and cost of consultancies less than $30,000. These details are disclosed in the Department's Annual Reports on pages 72 (1995-96) and 60 (1996-97).

(7) N/A See 6.

(8) N/A See 6.

(9) I am advised that the Department of Gaming and Racing entered into a written contract with Paul Dickinson Consulting Pty Limited for $28,000 to provide information sessions relating to the Department's Voluntary Redundancy Program. No tender was undertaken as the value of the services was below $50,000.

Other services provided by the company were a matter of personal choice for individual staff. Staff were advised that any costs involved would be charged under the Job Assistance Scheme funds available as part of the Public Sector's Voluntary Redundancy Package which aims to assist staff in their work transition.

(10) I am advised that a search of the 1999 records of the Department of Gaming and Racing reveals no such costs were incurred.

(11) N/A.

(12) Relatives of senior staff employed by the Department during the period were as follows:

2001 Nil

2002 Nil

2003 One for the period 28.07.03 to 31.12.03.

The requirements under the Public Sector Management Act apply to all appointments.

(13) The Department advises that it is not able to determine from its records whether any temporary or permanent employee meets the criteria outlined in the question.

(14) N/A.

(15) N/A.

*770 HORNSBY POLICE STATION—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Police—

Do the two shop-front (unstaffed) police stations in Hornsby store handguns?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

There are no shop-front police stations in Hornsby.

*772 MACLEAY RIVER PROJECTS—Mr Stoner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

How much has been allocated from National Recreational Fishing licence revenue since its inception for projects on the Macleay River?

Answer—

I have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of the following:

There is no national recreational fishing licence.

*774 'STAYING IN TOWN' PROGRAM—Mr Piccoli to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business—

How can you justify claims made by your Government ‘Staying in Town’ program that “country towns will get the best possible service from State Government agencies” when the Government has closed Murrumbidgee Agriculture College and closed the Corporate Services Division of NSW Agriculture in Wollongbar, Camden and Albury at the cost of 30 jobs?

Answer—

NSW Agriculture advises that:

§ Murrumbidgee College of Agriculture (MCA) Yanco has not closed. MCA will continue to provide external courses and short courses.

§ Part time and full time residential courses previously offered by MCA will in future be offered through C B Alexander Agricultural College, Tocal Paterson (Tocal).

§ Corporate Services support currently provided from Wollongbar, Camden and Yanco will in future be provided from Orange.

§ All staff affected by these initiatives will be offered a transfer to either Tocal or Orange.

§ The substantial efficiencies gained from these initiatives will ensure NSW Agriculture continues to deliver first class front-line services to agricultu ral industries throughout country NSW.

*776 INCREASED TAFE FEES—Mr Piccoli to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

With regard to the decision to raise TAFE fees:

(1) What community consultation was there prior to your announcement?

(2) Why did the fees rise so dramatically and suddenly?

(3) Will this big increase in fees discourage people from participating in education?

(4) What other options are there for education and training in rural communities such as Griffith? What are you doing to increase these options?

(5) Does this increase in fees effectively discriminate against people on low incomes who are trying to better themselves through TAFE?

(6) Will a result of the increased fees be that many potential students will not enrol in TAFE courses, with the result that the department may receive less revenue?

(7) Will many of the people in Griffith from multicultural backgrounds currently studying English at TAFE not be able to do so in 2004 due to fee increases?

Answer—

(1) The Treasurer announced in the State Budget on 24 June 2003 that a new fee structure would be introduced in 2004 for TAFE NSW.

(2) TAFE NSW fees will bring TAFE NSW into line with other states and TAFE NSW will remain substantially cheaper than most private providers.

(3) Fees are cheaper than those charged by most private providers and substantially less than fees charged by universities. Courses of one semester or less will attract half the yearly fee. Students doing a course of one year or longer will be offered the option of paying fees in half yearly amounts. Fees for trainees and apprentices are capped at $350 per annum.

(4) TAFE NSW - Riverina Institute is the major provider of vocational education and training in the Griffith region. The Institute through its campus in Griffith offers a wide range of courses to meet individual student and industry needs. The campus also has a specialist facility called the Riverina Wine and Food Technology Centre established to specifically cater for the needs of the regional wine and food industries.

The Institute is promoting articulation options to nine faculty areas of the University of Newcastle and eight faculty areas of Charles Sturt University.

A number of other Government agencies and private providers also operate within the Griffith community, including Griffith Skills Training Centre, Griffith Adult Learning Association, Riverina Community College and the Murray Mallee Training Company. These providers offer both general education and interest based programs ranging from Occupational Health and Safety, Basic Computers, Art and Culture, Hygiene for Food Handlers and Chainsaw operations to name a few.

(5) TAFE NSW has a very generous exemption scheme. Individual exemptions are available to a wide range of students including Centrelink, Veterans Affairs and Family Assistance Office beneficiaries, their partners and/or dependant children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. People receiving individual exemptions can undertake any mainstream course of their choice for free.

There are also 38 TAFE Introductory Learning (Access) courses that are exempt from the TAFE NSW fee. These courses include reading and writing for adults, volunteer tutor training and employment skills.

(6) See (3) and (5) above.

(7) See (5) above.

*778 COUNTRYLINK XPT—NORTH COAST—Mr Stoner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

In relation to North Coast Countrylink XPT Services:

(1) Are customers advised at the time of booking whether there is any maintenance scheduled on the planned day of travel?

(2) If not, will you ensure this is done?

(3) What steps are you taking to ensure XPTs run on time according to the timetable?

Answer—

I am advised:

Passengers who book within three months of travel are advised at the time of booking of any planned maintenance.

If track maintenance schedules change at short notice or emergency works are required, CountryLink endeavours to contact all affected passengers.

StateRail consistently monitors the performance of XPT services and reviews the maintenance of the trains. CountryLink management also constantly reviews the timetable and works closely with the Rail Infrastructure Corporation to ensure any delays are minimised.

However I’m advised there are at times freight rail disruptions to CountryLink passenger services.

*779 TALLAWARRA ROAD—WOLLONGONG—Mr Souris to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

(1) Has the State Government transferred Tallawarra Road, within the City of Wollongong to the City Council?

(2) Was the transfer against the wishes of the Council?

(3) Has Wollongong Council continued its fight against the compulsory transfer of the road?

Answer—

The Treasurer has advised the following:

This answer should have been directed to me in my capacity as Treasurer and Minister for State Development. I have been advised of the following:

(1) The access road to the Lake Illawarra foreshore at the Tallawarra power station site was formally dedicated to the Wollongong City Council on 28 March 2003 under the dedication procedure in s. 13 of the NSW Roads Act 1993. This occurred prior to completion of the sale of the power station site to TXU in April 2003.

The Government’s objective was to formalise the status of the road that has been used by the public for decades. This action is in line with the Government’s commitment to deliver irrevocable public access to large sections of the foreshore of Lake Illawarra as part of the sale outcomes.

(2) The Council was briefed at length about all aspects of the sale including dedication of the road. Treasury received no information prior to the formal transfer that Council was not satisfied with the condition of the road or opposed its dedication.

(3) There are no grounds on which the Council may oppose the dedication. Notwithstanding this, the Government has had ongoing discussions with Council to clarify issues raised since the dedication.

*780 FUNDING—CLYDE RIDGE ROAD—Mr Constance to Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—

Will the necessary funding for regional tourism purposes be provided to rectify the condition of Clyde Ridge Road, the main thoroughfare to Pigeon House Mountain?

Answer—

I confirm earlier advice that State Forests presently maintains Clyde Ridge Road to a standard that is required for logging operations, with the assistance of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

I have requested the Premier’s Department Regional Coordinator, Illawarra, to meet with the parties concerned, to explore options for addressing this matter.

*781 MENTAL ILLNESS WITHIN CORRECTIONAL CENTRES—Mr Humpherson to Minister for Health—

(1) How many inmates within NSW Correctional Centres at 30 March 2003 have been diagnosed with a mental illness?

(2) How many inmates are receiving permanent psychiatric help due to mental illness?

(3) How many inmates are on medication for mental illness?

(4) What medications are commonly prescribed for inmates with mental illness?

(5) What support is offered to inmates with mental illness when they are released from prison?

Answer—

(1) Data is not held in the form requested.

(2) Approximately 600 inmates are actively managed by psychiatrists and mental health nurses employed by Corrections Health Service. In addition, the Department of Corrective Services provides psychology services.

(3) In 2002-2003 a psychotropic medication audit conducted by the Corrections Health Service reported that over 1,350 inmates received psychotropic medication. Many inmates continue medication commenced in the community and are assessed as not requiring permanent psychiatric help. This mirrors community practice.

(4) Anti-psychotics (Olanzapine, Clozapine), anti-depressants (Venlafaxine, Mirtazapine), and mood stabilisers (Lithium Carbonate, Sodium Valproate) are commonly prescribed medications.

(5) As with all mental health facilities in NSW, the Corrections Health Service has implemented the Mental Health Outcome Assessment Tool to assist with discharge planning. In addition to this there is multi-agency liaison with community-based services. The Corrections Health Service has recently introduced a community outreach program for forensic patients discharged to metropolitan rehabilitation services. A 24 hour 1 800 number provides ongoing support for patients and carers post-release.

*782 BELROSE WASTE DEPOT—Mr Humpherson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

Regarding the Belrose Waste Depot:

(1) How much has been collected in levies or charges on waste to be set aside for remediation of the site?

(2) How much of this has been expended?

(3) What was this spent on?

(4) Who initiated the latest proposal to extend the closing date/point of the landfill?

(5) Will any further increase in capacity or life reduce the potential for recreational use after the landfill closes?

Answer—

There is an Enhancement Fund which receives $1 per tonne and is reserved for expenditure on community facilities and infrastructure in the vicinity of the Belrose Waste Management Centre - not remediation which is the responsibility of Waste Service NSW.

Approximately $1.3 million was spent by Waste Service NSW on site remediation works at Belrose Waste Management Centre in 2002/03, including $1 million on leachate treatment, $160,000 on revegetation, and $160,000 on the installation of gas systems.

Waste Service NSW has been working in consultation with the community and Warringah Council to finalise future plans for the landfill, which do not compromise the future use of the Belrose landfill for recreational activities. Waste Service NSW will be seeking expert advice on what recreational activities will be safe and appropriate for the community once the site has been remediated.

*783 BELROSE PRIMARY SCHOOL—SALE OF SURPLUS LAND—Mr Humpherson to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

(1) Will the Minister agree to allowing the sale by tender of the surplus land at Belrose Primary School (which will fund new facilities) immediately development approval is granted for removal of soil, which may contain grevillea calyei seed, and not wait until the soil is relocated which would involve at least another two months delay in the school hall being built?

(2) Can the finalisation of the building design be expedited by the Minister for the multipurpose and administration buildings and the calling of building tenders, immediately soil removal is complete?

Answer—

(1) A Development Application will not be required for the new site. The top soil will be relocated by the end of October 2003. Action to commence the sale by tender is now underway.

(2) A Development Application for the provision of a hall, covered outdoor learning area, canteen and administration building has been lodged with Warringah Shire Council. Draft development consent conditions have been issued by the Council and are under consideration by the Department of Education and Training.

Tenders for the construction of these facilities will be called as soon as the sale of the land and the Development Application are finalised.

*785 RESIDENTS AGAINST POLLUTING STACKS CORRESPONDENCE—Ms Seaton to Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister for Western Sydney, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning (Planning Administration)—

(1) Why have you not responded to correspondence from Residents Against Polluting Stacks (August 10, 2003) regarding failure of the Department of Infrastructure and Planning and Natural Resources to enforce compliance by Roads and Traffic Authority on the operating outcomes of the M5 East tunnel:

(2) Did the correspondence note that:

(a) under condition 73/5, the complaints procedure was to be a trigger for localised monitoring and mitigation measures but one year after the tunnel opened the complaints procedure has not been adequately publicised or resourced?

(b) condition 71 (portal emission air quality) is not being monitored and emissions or breaches cannot be measured or detected, despite RAPS own monitoring indicating breaches are occurring?

Answer—

The correspondence from Residents Against Polluting Stacks (RAPS) was answered by the Department of Infrastructure and Natural Resources on 16 September 2003. RAPS raised a number of issues that were addressed in the Department’s response.

*787 FORBES ABATTOIR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE—Mr Armstrong to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business—

Will the Government offer to any new owner of the Forbes Abattoir the same financial package of assistance as given to the owners of Grafton Abattoir when they restarted that works?

Answer—

The NSW Government is willing to work with any potential buyer of Forbes Abattoir.

*788 HOME AND COMMUNITY CARE (HACC) PROJECT—Mr Armstrong to Minister for Health—

(1) Is the Central West Community Options a Home and Community Care Project auspiced by the Mid Western Health Service?

(2) Has that service indicated to some service providers thhat is not in a position to meet financial obligations allowing prompt payment of all accounts?

(3) What are the normal terms of trade expectations for payment of accounts?

(4) Will you investigate the financial viability and the liquidity of the Central West Community Options program?

(5) Will you guarantee that all outstanding creditors will be paid promptly and in full?

Answer—

(1) Yes.

(2) to (5) The Central West Community Options is a Home and Community Care project whose funding is guaranteed under the Home and Community Care program. Every endeavour is made to ensure creditors are paid within contract terms or by the due date on invoice.

*789 BEVERAGE MANUFACTURING —Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Health—

(1) What are the current guidelines for the Australian manufacture of formulated beverages that contain vitamins and minerals, but no caffeine or alcohol, such as “Sports Water”?

(2) Are all Sports Water style products for retail sale in Australia imported?

(3) Has Safefood NSW received any adverse reports relating to the consumption of “Sports Water”, imported to Australia from New Zealand or other countries?

(4) If so, what was the nature of these complaints?

(5) Are Australian beverage manufacturers permitted to produce caffeinated soft drinks, with a minimum and maximum level of caffeine, but not soft drinks with vitamins only added?

(6) If so, why?

(7) Has Safefood NSW conducted a risk analysis into the Australian manufacture of “Sports Waters”?

(8) If so, what was the result?

(9) Will Safefood NSW take steps to ensure that Australian beverage manufacturers located within NSW are permitted to produce “Sports Water” style beverages?

Answer—

(1) The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code regulates the manufacture and marketing of food. The beverages referred to by the Honourable Member cannot be produced in Australia because the Code does not have a standard for such products.

(2) Yes. This situation exists because of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA), that ensures products legally sold in New Zealand can be sold in Australia and vice versa.

(3) Enforcement of the requirements under the Food Standards Code is the responsibility of the NSW Department of Health. The Department has not received any adverse reports relating to the beverages.

(4) N/A.

(5) and (6) The Food Standards Code has a standard for Caffeinated Carbonated Beverages, that permits the addition of caffeine to soft drink-type beverages.

Regarding the manufacture and sale of the ‘Sports Waters’ described by the Honourable Member, refer to my response to questions (1) and (2).

(7) No.

(8) N/A.

(9) NSW cannot act in isolation on this issue. Changes to the food regulatory policies and the requirements of the Code are effected through a consultative process involving all States and Territories, the Commonwealth and New Zealand.

The development of a policy on the fortification of foods and a related policy on Food Type Dietary Supplements is well advanced. Driven by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, NSW Health supports and is participating in this process.

*790 LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENTS—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

(1) Will any local government elections in the electorate of Burrinjuck, due to be held in March 2004, be delayed?

(2) If so, which ones?

(3) If so, what will the proposed election dates be for each local government area lying within or partially within the electorate of Burrinjuck?

(4) How many submissions has the Minister for Local Government received from each local government authority located within or partially within the electorate of Burrinjuck?

(5) What are the names of each Council within Burrinjuck electorate that have lodged a boundary adjustment submission since the 1999 local government election, and how many submissions has each of these Councils lodged, as at 18th September 2003?

Answer—

The Minister for Local Government has advised me of the following:

This question would have been more appropriately addressed to my representative as Minister for Local Government in the Legislative Assembly, the Hon David Campbell MP.

I provide the following details in response to your questions:

(1) The timing of the local government elections for councils involved in the current regional review process will depend on the outcome of the subsequent referral to the Local Government Boundaries Commission.

(2) See (1).

(3) This will depend on the timing of the Local Government Boundaries Commission review.

(4) Since 3 July 2003, I have received eight proposals concerning boundary alteration or amalgamation from local government authorities located either wholly or partially within the electorate of Burrinjuck.

(5) Since the 1999 local government election, and as at 18 September 2003, the following councils have lodged boundary alteration or amalgamation proposals:

Crookwell Shire Council - One

Goulburn City Council – One

Gunning Shire Council – Two

Mulwaree Shire Council – One

Tumut Shire Council – One

Yarrowlumla Shire Council – Two

Yass Shire Council – Two

*791 COUNTRY SIGNAL BOX CLOSURES—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

(1) Have staff briefings been held recently regarding the Country Signal Box project?

(2) If so, were staff advised of target closure dates?

(3) Which signal boxes are proposed to be automated by remote control and on what dates will this become effective?

(4) Will any staff members face redundancy as a result of signal box closures?

(5) If so, how many staff will be affected and from which areas?

Answer—

I am advised:

Staff briefings have been held with all staff in the Country Signal Boxes affected by the rationalisation. In some cases several briefings have been conducted to outline changes to proposed closure dates.

The briefings involved the employees, unions, signal box management and HR specialists. Families of the employees were also invited.

Apart from the briefings, human resource advisers made a separate visit to each signal box and met individually with the employees prior to its closure. At these interviews the employees’ options were outlined in detail, a resume was written, financial details were provided outlining redundancy payments and ongoing support details were provided.

These interviews also provided the employee with an opportunity to ask specific questions relating to their own circumstances. Many employees brought their partners or parents to the interview.

All information sessions included details of the closure dates. Staff have also received this information in writing, and if it has altered, subsequent written advice.

Advice is per table below:

LocationRemote controlRemoted to

Train Control Centre

Closure date/

target date to close

Stage 1
BathurstYesOrangeClosed 23rd April 2003
Broken Hill YesOrangeClosed 19th May 2003
Medway JunctionYesJuneeClosed 15th Aug 2003
Albury SouthYesJuneeClosed 3rd Aug 2003
Albury StationYesJuneeClosed 3rd Aug 2003
Cootamundra WestYesJunee18th December 2003
StockinbingalNo
30th July 2004
Stage 2
GriffithNo
9th June 2004
BundanoonNo
18th June 2004
ExeterNo
18th June 2004
WingelloNo
18th June 2004
Moss Vale Jct/ Moss ValeYesJunee9 th July 2004
Harden North No
26th July 2004
WallendbeenNo
26th July 2004
Harden South (& Demondrille) No
26th July 2004
Orange East Fork YesOrange8 th September 2004
Orange BoxYesOrange8 th September 2004
MittagongNo
30th September 2004
PictonNo
30th September 2004
Cootamundra NorthYes Junee26th November 2004
Cootamundra South YesJunee26th November 2004
Parkes YesOrange5 th January 2005
Casino YesBroadmeadow 19th January 2005
Hanbury JctYes Broadmeadow19 th January 2005
MaitlandYesBroadmeadow19 th January 2005
GunnedahNo
19th January 2005
Werris Creek Station Yes Broadmeadow19 th January 2005
Werris Creek South YesBroadmeadow 19th January 2005
IslingtonYes Broadmeadow19 th January 2005
Dubbo A Frame YesOrange19th February 2005
Dubbo B FrameYesOrange19th February 2005
Temora No
10th May 2005
GoulburnYesJunee11th May 2005
Junee NorthYes Junee30th June 2005
Junee South YesJunee30th June 2005

Voluntary redundancy is an option available to affected staff. If staff do not wish to take the option of voluntary redundancy, they are guaranteed railway employment via redeployment.

Staff are entitled to be redeployed to any vacant position within StateRail they are suitable to fill.

Staff also have the option of redeployment to the Rail Infrastructure Corporation, which will endeavour to create them a position using their safe-working knowledge in the employees’ local area.

Staff members can also be redeployed to any vacant position they are suitable for across the public sector.

*792 BUS CONTRACTS —Mr George to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests), Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—

(1) Why did the Director of the Department of Transport accept IPART’s recommendation relating to non-commercial private bus contracts, but did not accept IPART’s recommendations relating to rural bus fares for commercial private bus contracts?

(2) Will the Minister instruct the Director General of the Department of Transport to accept IPART’s recommendation that private rural bus fares should increase by the same amount of other private bus fares?

Answer—

I am advised:

(1) As part of the 2003-04 fare review process the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) recommended an increase of 5.6% for commercial private buses.

The Director General, Ministry of Transport subsequently determined this increase for commercial private operators using ‘metropolitan’, ‘ ;urban fringe’ and ‘country town’ fare scales. However, the ‘rural’ fare scale was not increased.

For more than a decade the ‘rural’ scale has been 25% higher than ‘country town’ fares. For example, passengers using services between country towns such as Yass and Goulburn can be faced with a 25% fare premium over passengers using services within country towns.

There is no evidence to support the difference and the distinction now seems arbitrary and unfair to passengers using these rural services.

Similarly in respect to the School Student Transport Scheme, an operator who carries a student the same distance, in the same district, is currently paid a 25% premium because a town is deemed ‘rural’ rather than ‘ country’. It seems illogical that taxpayers should fund a student from Berrima 25% more than another student in Bowral who travels the same distance to school.

The rural fare scale was not increased to avoid exacerbating this disparity.

(2) The Director General has referred the matter to the Hon Barrie Unsworth to consider as part of his review of NSW bus services.

In the interim, any rural operator who believes they will experience undue hardship should contact the Ministry so their case can be considered and a financial viability assessment undertaken if necessary.

*793 POLICE HEADQUARTERS’—PARRAMATTA—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to the new NSW Police headquarters at Parramatta:

(1) What changes have been made to the lease arrangements for the Parramatta headquarters since June 2002 and why have they changed?

(2) What is the duration of the lease?

(3) What lease payments will be made by NSW Police and to whom?

(4) What other tenants, if any, will occupy the Parramatta building?

(5) After all NSW Police staff have moved to the new Parramatta headquarters, how much spare floorspace will remain and what will be done with that floorspace?

(6) To what location will the Police Commissioner and his staff be relocating, on what date and under what terms?

(7) To what location will the Ministry for Police and its staff be relocating, on what date and under what terms?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

(1) The accounting treatment of the lease has been changed from an operating to a finance lease. This was determined by the Auditor General and the Treasury.

(2) Twenty years with a five year option.

(3) A per square metre rental is payable to ABN AMRO.

(4) NSW Police is the major tenant with a small child care centre being the only other tenant.

(5) There is no spare floor space at Parramatta.

(6) The Police Commissioner moved to 201 Elizabeth Street Sydney on 7 September 2003. The lease term is eight years.

(7) The Police Ministry moved with the Commissioner of Police on the same terms.

*794 POLICE COMMISSIONER CONTRACT—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to the contract of the Police Commissioner:

(1) Has a review of the Commissioner’s performance, against the criteria listed in his contract, been completed?

(2) If so, who undertook the review and what was the assessment for each of the criteria listed in the Commissioner’s contract?

(3) If not, when will the performance review take place?

Answer—

(1) to (3) A review of the Commissioner’s performance has been undertaken, on my behalf, by the Director-General of the Ministry for Police.

*795 POLICE OFFICERS LOAN—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to police officers on loan:

(1) For what purpose are police officers being loaned in 2003/04 at a cost of $8.2 million and to which departments or organizations (see Budget Paper No.3, p.15-23)?

(2) How many officers will be on loan and for what period of time?

(3) From which Commands or departments will these officers be on loan?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

(1) As part of initiatives to increase commuter safety, an additional 100 police officers were attached to transit units to perform transit police duties with the State Rail Authority.

(2) The proposal covers 100 police officers currently performing transit police duties and this arrangement would be permanent.

(3) The 100 police are attached to the transit units.

*796 OFFICE OF THE POLICE COMMISSIONER—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to the office of the Police Commissioner:

(1) As at 18 September 2003, how many civilian staff work in the Police Commissioner’s office and what are their names and position titles?

(2) As at 18 September 2003, how many sworn police officers work in the Police Commissioner’s office and what are their names and position titles?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

(1) As at 18 September 2003, there are:

Executive Officer (Clerk S/O 1)

Manager, Media (Clerk S/O 1)

Senior Project Officer (Clerk Grade 11/12)

Finance Officer (Clerk Grade 7/8)

Personal Assistant (Clerk Grade 5/6)

Executive Secretary (Clerk Grade 4)

Receptionist (Clerical Officer Grade 3/4) x 2

Clerical Support (Clerical Officer Grade 3/4) x 3

Police Executive Driver (General Service)

(2) As at 18 September 2003, there are:

Commissioner

Chief of Staff (Chief Superintendent)

Assistant to Chief of Staff (Sergeant)

*797 POLICE TRAINING—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to police training:

(1) Have you received the final report by Peter Anderson on police training?

(2) If so, when will it be made public?

(3) What are the recommendations of the final report?

(4) What is your response to those recommendations?

Answer—

(1) to (4) I refer the Honourable Member to the answer I gave in Parliament on 16 October 2003, regarding police training and recruitment.

*798 POLICE BORROWING COSTS—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to NSW Police borrowing costs:

(1) What specific borrowings are expected to be raised to incur borrowing costs of $8.671 million in 2003/04 (see Budget Paper No. 3, p.15-18)?

(2) Who are the borrowings from?

(3) What are the borrowings for?

(4) When will the borrowings be repaid?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

(1) The costs in the budget papers refer to the interest component of lease payments made in relation to a finance lease as prescribed by Accounting Standard AASB 1008.

(2) The lease payments are made to “No 1 Charles St No 1 Pty Ltd”.

(3) The lease payments are made in relation to a finance lease for the NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta.

(4) Lease payments will be made for the full term of the lease, to 31 May 2004.

*799 STOLEN HANDGUNS—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to stolen handguns:

(1) Why did NSW Police wait until 4th September 2003 to release information about 34 handguns stolen from Obliging Security Services in Chester Hill on 30th August 2003?

(2) Would the earlier release of this information have assisted the public in reporting information about the stolen handguns to NSW Police?

(3) What is the status of the investigation into the stolen handguns and how many of the 34 stolen guns have been recovered?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

(1) The theft occurred on 31 August 2003 and not 30 August 2003. For operational policing reasons, no public release of the information was made until 4 September 2003.

(2) No.

(3) Strike Force Grindstones has been formed to investigate this matter, and these investigations are ongoing.

*800 POLICE SICK LEAVE—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to police sick leave:

(1) Who has taken over from former Senior Assistant Commissioner Walsh in overseeing the coordinated approach to rehabilitation from sick leave?

(2) As at 18 September 2003, how many officers are classified as “unattached long term sick”?

(3) Since its introduction, how many officers classified as “unattached long term sick”, have returned to work?

(4) Since its introduction, how many officers classified as “unattached long term sick” have applied for either a medial discharge or a Hurt On Duty pension and how many of these applications were successful?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised me:

(1) to (4) The oversight of Human Resource Services forms part of the duties of the Executive Director, Corporate Services. NSW Police does not classify officers as “unattached long term sick”.

*803 RESPONSE TO CORRESPONDENCE—Mr Kerr to Minister for Health—

When will the Minister respond to my correspondence on behalf of:

(a) Mr C Hall, dated 28 February 2003?

(b) Mrs C Loader, dated 9 January 2003?

(c) Mrs M Myers, dated 5 February 2003?

(d) Mrs J Reeves, dated 23 December 2002?

(e) Mrs R Shepherd JP, dated 15 February 2003?

Answer—

These matters were administered, in full or part, during the transitional phase of Government surrounding the 2003 State Election. Accordingly NSW Health agencies responded directly to four of the five constituents mentioned.

The matter outlined in correspondence of Mrs Reeves was resolved through patient treatment whilst a response was being prepared. As such a response was not considered necessary.

*804 RESPONSE TO CORRESPONDENCE—Mr Kerr to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

When will the Minister respond to my correspondence on behalf of:

(a) Mr C Turner, dated 26 May 2003?

(b) Mr J and Mr R Petty, dated 24 June 2003?

Answer—

As your representations relate to the administration of Crown land, the letters were referred to the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands) who provided the following response:

I have now responded to your representations. In the meantime, both Mr Petty and Mr Turner met with representatives of the Department of Lands. As a result of this meeting new procedures have been implemented and the Department is now assessing Mr Petty’s application in light of the new procedures.

*806 MUDGEE ABATTOIRS—Mr Souris to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business—

Will the Minister offer the same level of financial assistance that was given to Grafton Abattoirs by his predecessor, to the Mudgee Abattoirs?

Answer—

I refer Mr Souris to my answer to question 744 asked by him on 17 September 2003.

*807 RE-NAMING OLD TOONGABBIE—Mr Merton to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

(1) What steps is the Minister taking to address the concerns of residents living in Old Toongabbie postcode 2146, some 197 households, who wish to change the suburb name of Old Toongabbie to Northmead?

(2) Did a survey of affected residents indicate that 85% of residents surveyed support the name change?

Answer—

As this is a matter that falls under the Lands portfolio, my colleague, the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Minister for Natural Resources has referred this Question to me for a response.

I provide the following answer:

(1) I am advised that the Geographical Names Board (the Board) was established in 1966 as the official body for naming and recording details of places and geographical names in New South Wales.

The Board requires the local Council to consider all Suburb naming and boundary proposals before it makes any determinations on them. The Board works closely with local councils when defining boundaries because local residents are seen as one of the most significant users of the names.

Repeated representation has been made to Parr amatta City Council to submit a suburb definition proposal to the Board so issues such as that of the Old Toongabbie Name Change can be resolved. In the recent past the Board has:

§ written to the General Manager, seeking his will to progress this work,

§ the Board’s Secretary visited Council’s Project Officer to discuss this issue further

§ and the Parliamentary Secretary, the Honorable Neville Newell MP, corresponded with Council urging it to finalise its suburb definition proposal.

To date Council has not supplied the Board with any such proposal.

I have now asked the Board to investigate what steps it can take to finalise this issue due to Council’s demonstrated unwillingness to cooperate in this matter.

(2) I understand that a survey was tendered to Parramatta City Council by Mr Bruce Mansell in October 2002. This document, however, has not been received by the Geographical Names Board. As this is the case I am unable to confirm the contents of this survey until Council makes this document available to the Board.

*809 RESTRUCTURE OF SYDNEY WATER—Mr Pringle to Minister for Energy and Utilities, Minister for Science and Medical Research, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer), and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts—

With respect to the proposed restructure of Sydney Water, how will the proposed restructure effect the Hawkesbury electorate?

Answer—

Sydney Water will continue to provide quality products and services to the Hawkesbury electorate.

*811 HOME OXYGEN SCHEME—Mr Aplin to Minister for Health—

Is the administration of the Home Oxygen Scheme by area health services operating efficiently? Are you aware of the financial guidelines for eligibility imposed by the Greater Murray Area Health Service which take no account of assets and which forces old age pensioners to deplete their meagre savings to no more than $5000 before qualifying for that service? What formula was used to arrive at this $5000 figure? Is this figure applied across the state?

Answer—

The Home Oxygen Scheme is aimed at prioritising the supply of oxygen and related items to those people living at home who are most financially disadvantaged.

The NSW Department of Health has initiated a statewide review of financial eligibility criteria for the Home Oxygen Scheme to promote an equitable and consistent approach to this matter by all Area Health Services.

*812 EXTRA CLASSROOMS—Mrs Hopwood to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

When will extra classrooms required to meet the class size in schools in the Hornsby electorate be supplied?

Answer—

The class size reduction program will be delivered in stages, starting in 2004 with schools that participate in the Priority Schools Funding Program (PSFP).

There are no schools in the Hornsby electorate that participate in PSFP. Schools in this electorate will participate in the class size reduction program from 2005.

Schools will be surveyed early in 2004 to assess the available accommodation and to determine the requirement for extra classrooms for implementation of the program in 2005.

19 SEPTEMBER 2003

(Paper No. 33)

*815 M5 EAST TUNNEL—Ms Seaton to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

(1) Regarding air quality conditions inside the M5 East tunnel, do you acknowledge under Condition 70 that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has powers to ensure the tunnel is operated to EPA satisfaction?

(2) What steps have you taken to ensure the EPA is satisfied with air quality performance?

(3) When did you undertake these tests and what was the nature of the tests?

(4) What action have they required of the Roads and Traffic Authority to improve air quality in the tunnel as per Condition 70?

Answer—

(1) Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, responsibility for regulating approval conditions for the M5 East tunnel rests with the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources which required the EPA (now part of the Department of Environment and Conservation) to consult with the proponent about the technical aspects of monitoring carbon monoxide. The Department of Environment and Conservation in conjunction with NSW Health also provides the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources with ongoing technical support in its regulation of the M5 East Tunnel.

(2) to (4) See answer to question (1) above.

*818 PATRICK FRANCIS HORAN —Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to convicted offenders:

(1) What is the status of attempts by Patrick Francis Horan, who killed one police officer and wounded another, to obtain parole?

(2) What action have you taken to ensure that Patrick Francis Horan remains in jail?

Answer—

(1) I am advised by NSW Police that the review hearing on Mr Horan’s application for parole has been adjourned by the Parole Board until 13 November 2003 pending reports from Corrective Services Health and the Serious Offender’s Review Board.

(2) I have expressed my concerns in writing to the Parole Board in relation to the release of Mr Horan.

*819 CHILD NEGLECT—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to child neglect:

(1) Are you aware of the anomaly that under s228 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act, child neglect is punishable by a fine but under s8(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, failing to provide an animal with food and water is punishable by 6 months imprisonment?

(2) Are you aware of the case on the Central Coast involving David Partlett, who was released from gaol when it was shown that his child abuse conviction could not be punished with a custodial sentence?

(3) Are you aware of concerns by National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse president, John Heslop that, “Surely we don’t have to wait until a child is abused before the law recognises the significance of neglect,” (Newcastle Herald, 10 September 2003)?

(4) What action, if any, have you taken to address this legislative anomaly?

(5) If no action has been taken, what will you do to ensure that child neglect is treated more seriously?

Answer—

(1) to (5) I advise the Honourable Member that his question falls within the portfolio responsibility of the Attorney General.

*820 CRIME AND ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR—BERKELEY—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

In relation to youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Berkeley:

(1) Are you aware of local residents’ concerns that they have "suffered violence and property damage in response to calling the police" about youth crime?

(2) Are you aware Department of Housing staff have expressed their frustration to local residents about the youth crime and "policing problem"?

(3) Have you visited Berkeley to meet with local residents who report youth crime and anti-social behaviour?

Answer—

NSW Police has advised:

(1) There have been no recent reported incidents of violence or property damage from residents informing police about youth crime.

(2) I am not aware of Department of Housing staff expressing their views to local residents about these matters.

(3) No.

*822 COASTAL MAPPING—Mr Page to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

(1) Further to the requirement under the amendments to the Coastal Protection Act 2002, what is the status of the mapping being done to identify the coastal zone in:

(a) metropolitan areas?

(b) non-metropolitan areas?

(2) How much of the coastal zone has been mapped?

(3) What resources are being committed to this mapping?

(4) When do you expect this mapping to be completed?

Answer—

(1) The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources is currently finalizing the mapping to extend the coastal zone under the Coastal Protection Amendment Act 2002 to include the areas from Newcastle to Shellharbour.

There is no change to the current coastal zone for the areas north of Newcastle to Tweed – and south of Shellharbour to Bega Valley.

(2) All affected local councils have submitted a draft map to the Department. The Department is now considering councils’ submissions and where necessary consulting further with councils prior to finalizing the extent of the coastal zone in accordance with the principles under the Coastal Protection Amendment Act.

(3) The Department has specifically committed staff from its coastal unit to finalise the coastal zone mapping.

(4) The maps will be completed when the necessary work between the Department and affected local councils is complete and in accordance with the principles under the Coastal Protection Act. I anticipate that this could be finalised by early next year.

14 OCTOBER 2003

(Paper No. 34)

824 NOXIOUS WEED—Mr Kerr to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

825 PUBLIC SCHOOLS—CAPITAL WORKS—Mr Kerr to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

826 SUTHERLAND HOSPITAL RAILWAY STATION—Mr Kerr to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

827 FREDERICKTON PUBLIC SCHOOL—Mr Stoner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

828 RADIOGRAPHY SERVICES—Mr Souris to Minister for Health—

829 DEPARTMENTAL LEAVE POLICY—Mr Torbay to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

830 INDEMNITY COVER—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Health—

831 "REVIEW OF STUDENT TRANSPORT SCHEME"—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

832 COMMUNITY HALLS—Mr Oakeshott to Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—

833 RAINWATER TANKS—Mr Aplin to Minister for Energy and Utilities, Minister for Science and Medical Research, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health (Cancer), and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts—

834 FIRE UNITS—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Police representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

835 MENTAL HEALTH UNIT BEDS—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Health—

836 MENTAL HEALTH UNIT—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Health—

837 E-TOLL TAGS—Mr Humpherson to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

838 MEDIA MONITORING—Mr Humpherson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment, representing the Minister for Justice, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Citizenship—

839 RURAL FIRE BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS—Mr Humpherson to Minister for Police, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

840 CRIME IN MAROUBRA—Mr Debnam to Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—

841 EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT—MR SMALL—Mr Debnam to Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—

842 INJECTING ROOMS—Mr Debnam to Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce—representing the Special Minister of State, Minister for Commerce, Minister for Industrial Relations, Assistant Treasurer, and Minister for the Central Coast—

843 CLOSURE OF CROOKWELL HOSPITAL OPERATING THEATRE—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Health—

844 CHILDCARE IN GUNNING—Ms Hodgkinson to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, representing the Minister for Community Services, and Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for Youth—

845 REPORT ON REGIONAL REVIEW MEETINGS—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

846 HOUSE PURCHASE CONTRIBUTORY FUNDING—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

847 NORTH COAST HEAD INJURY SERVICE—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Health— ;

848 COMPANION ANIMALS—Ms Moore to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

849 BORAMBOLA CAMP—Mr Armstrong to Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Women—

850 GAMING TAXES AND HEALTH FUNDING—Mr Souris to Minister for Health—

851 CHATSWOOD MASTERPLAN—Ms Berejiklian to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

852 SPECIALIST FLOOD UNIT—Mr Page to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

15 OCTOBER 2003

(Paper No. 35)

853 SEPP 14 (WETLANDS) DEVELOPMENT—Mr Stoner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

854 GRIFFITH POLICE STATION CONSTRUCTION—Mr Piccoli to Minister for Police—

855 SECURE BICYCLE FACILITIES—Ms Moore to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

856 "HOT SPOTS" FUNDING—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

857 LOBSTER QUOTA—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

858 RANDOM DRUG TESTS—Mr Humpherson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment, representing the Minister for Justice, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Citizenship—

859 OFFICER MISCONDUCT—Mr Humpherson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment, representing the Minister for Justice, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Citizenship—

860 LAND ZONING—Mr Humpherson to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

861 WAGGA WAGGA POLICE AND COMMUNITY YOUTH CLUB—Mr Maguire to Minister for Police—

862 CENTRAL WEST COMMUNITY OPTIONS PROGRAM—Mr Armstrong to Minister for Health—

863 CLASS SIZE REDUCTION—Mr Kerr to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

864 HERITAGE NUMBER PLATES—Mr Amery to Minister for Roads, and Minister for Housing—

865 CROOKWELL HOSPITAL KITCHEN—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Health—

866 GOULBURN COURTHOUSE SECURITY—Ms Hodgkinson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

867 RESPONSE TO CORRESPONDENCE—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Police—

868 QUOTABLE VALUE NEW ZEALAND LTD—Mr Debnam to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

869 FORMER ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER LOLA SCOTT—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

870 POLICE TOWING TENDERS—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

871 HOME AND COMMUNITY CARE CENTRES—Mrs Hopwood to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, representing the Minister for Community Services, and Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for Youth—

872 HORNSBY STATION DEVELOPMENT—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

873 ASSAULTS IN HOSPITALS—Ms Seaton to Minister for Health—

874 CHANGE IN SPEED LIMITS—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Roads, and Minister for Housing—

16 OCTOBER 2003

(Paper No. 36)

875 ROADWORKS—MOUNT ROYAL NATIONAL PARK—Mr Souris to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

876 MINING INDUSTRY RETIREMENT AGE—Mr Souris to Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce—

877 RAIL BRIDGE—Mr Maguire to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

878 MATHS CONSULTANTS—Mr O'Farrell to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

879 COUNT ME IN TOO PROGRAM—Mr O'Farrell to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

880 BROCHURE—"POKIE TAX: A BIG WIN FOR OUR PUBLIC HOSPITALS"—Mr O'Farrell to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council—

881 MANDALONG PROGRESS ASSOCIATION—Ms Seaton to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

882 FISHING LICENCES—Mr Oakeshott to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

883 CHILDREN (PROTECTION AND PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY) ACT 1997—Mr Debnam to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

884 POLICE COMPUTER FILES—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

885 FIREARMS REFORM PAPER—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

886 WORK POLICY—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

887 AQUACULTURE INDUSTRIES—IMPACT—J.H. Mr Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

888 SUSTAINABLE MARINE ACTIVITIES—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

889 PORT STEPHENS DEVELOPMENT—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

890 AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

891 AQUACULTURE—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

892 MENTAL HEALTH PRACTICES—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Health—

893 CROSS-BORDER WORKCOVER—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Roads, and Minister for Housing, representing the Special Minister of State, Minister for Commerce, Minister for Industrial Relations, Assistant Treasurer, and Minister for the Central Coast—

894 REFUNDING OF SPEEDING FINE—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Police—

895 TRAIN TERMINATION—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

896 MENTAL HEALTH CARE—Mrs Hopwood to Minister for Health—

897 MV ISLAND TRADER —Mr Richardson to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

898 HOSPITAL ASSAULTS—Mr Kerr to Minister for Health—

899 TEACHERS' AIDES—Mrs Skinner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

900 MUSWELLBROOK ERC—Mr Souris to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

901 MUSWELLBROOK POLICE STATION—Mr Souris to Minister for Police—

902 SUPPORT TEACHERS—Mrs Skinner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

903 UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE—Mr Richardson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

904 POPULATION GROWTH—Mr Amery to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

905 TREE PRESERVATION—Mr Humpherson to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

906 NATIONAL PARK FIRE MANAGEMENT—Mr Humpherson to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

907 McINTYRES HUT FIRE—Mr Humpherson to Minister for Police, representing the Minister for Rural Affairs, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Emergency Services, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Lands)—

17 OCTOBER 2003

(Paper No. 37)

908 ABALONE—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

909 COASTAL DEVELOPMENT—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

910 GIGAS OYSTER (PACIFIC OYSTER)—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

911 STRIKEFORCE EMBLEMS—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

912 GUN CRIME STATISTICS—Mr Debnam to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

913 GUN CRIME INCIDENTS—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

914 CYPRESS DECKING—Mr Constance to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

28 OCTOBER 2003

(Paper No. 38)

915 OXLEY HIGHWAY UPGRADE—Mr Stoner to Minister for Roads, and Minister for Housing—

In relation to the recently announced Oxley Highway upgrade between the Pacific Highway and Wrights Road, Port Macquarie:

(1) Why is it planned to have work commence from the Wrights Road end when the most dangerous bends are closer to the Pacific Highway end?

(2) Why did the Member for Port Macquarie announce the Government’s route decision when documents from your office show that the only representations received for upgrading of the Oxley Highway were from Hastings Council, John Tingle MLC and the Member for Oxley?

916 FAIR TRADING TRIBUNAL DECISION—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce—

(1) In September 2003, did the Office of Fair Trading withdraw its approval of the owner’s corporation insurance claim with the Building Services Corporation with regards to Strata Plan 43551 located at 17-25 Spring Street, Bondi?

(2) What was the rationale for reversing the earlier decision by the Department of Fair Trading to accept this claim?

(3) Given that this matter had already been the subject of court action, in which the Department of Fair Trading had lost both the action and a subsequent appeal, why was this decision made?

(4) Was the Minister for Fair Trading involved in making this decision?

917 WORKCOVER INSPECTORS—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce representing the Minister for Commerce, Special Minister for State, Minister for Industrial Relations, Assistant Treasurer, and Minister for the Central Coast—

(1) How many additional WorkCover inspectors have been employed to meet the additional requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001?

(2) What is the cost to the WorkCover Authority of employing these additional WorkCover inspectors?

(3) Will any of the funds raised by fines incurred under the Act and Regulation be returned to the WorkCover Authority as revenue?

(4) Has the WorkCover Authority made an assessment of the expected additional funds that will be raised through fines incurred under the Act and Regulation?

(5) If so, what is the assessed additional revenue?

918 COMPLAINTS TO FAIR TRADING—Ms Hodgkinson to Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce—

(1) Has the Office of Fair Trading received any complaints about the trading practices of CHEP Pty Ltd?

(2) If so, how many complaints have been received?

(3) What is the nature of these complaints?

(4) What action has the Office of Fair Trading taken in response to these complaints?

919 GIO INSURANCE—PROPERTY CLAIM—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

(1) Are you aware that Mr Peter Hart from Cooma North, whose property was set on fire by exhaust from a police vehicle on 14 February 2003, has still not been compensated for his loss?

(2) Are you aware Mr Hart has been sent a holding letter by your department incorrectly suggesting GIO Insurance Ltd is to blame for the delay?

(3) Will you direct NSW Police to immediately compensate Mr Hart for the damage done to his property eight months ago?

920 POLICE PROMOTIONS—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

(1) When did you receive the final report from the Police Minister’s Advisory Council (PMAC) Ministerial Inquiry into Police Promotions being chaired by Geoff Schuberg?

(2) What were the recommendations of the final report?

(3) What is your response to each of the recommendations?

(4) What is the timetable for implementing the recommendations?

(5) Will the report be made public and if so when?

(6) Were any particular allegations of corruption in the promotions system reported to the PMAC during the Inquiry and if so, are any individual officers being investigated or being considered for disciplinary action as a result?

921 CLUBS NSW—SUPPORT FOR CRIME PREVENTION—Mr Debnam to Minister for Police—

(1) What is the extent and nature of support given to Crime Stoppers by Clubs NSW, described on the NSW Police website as “major supporters” of the Crime Stoppers/Drug Crime Reporting campaign?

(2) What have you done to ensure that Clubs NSW support for Crime Stoppers is ongoing?

922 COUNCIL CORRESPONDENCE—Mr J.H. Turner to Attorney General, and Minister for the Environment—

(1) Has the Minister or his Director or Department any record or correspondence with the Great Lakes Council in relation to the draining of water from Burgess Road, Link Road and Lakeview Crescent, Forster, onto the foreshore abutting Burgess Road?

(2) If so, did any such correspondence seek the concurrence of the Minister or his department to drain water?

(3) If so, was concurrence given?

(4) If so, when was concurrence given and why?

(5) If so, what conditions were imposed on such concurrence?

(6) If no concurrence was given, why was it not given?

(7) Would the act of draining water from the abovementioned roads onto the coastal foreshores breach any State Environmental Planning Policies, and in particular, State Environmental Planning Policy 26?

(8) If so, in what way might it breach any policy?

(9) If any policies were breached, what action has been taken?

(10) If no action has been taken, why hasn’t it been taken?

(11) What are the penalties for any such breaches?

923 MERRIWA PRE-SCHOOL—Mr Souris to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, representing the Minister for Community Services, and Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for Youth—

(1) Are you aware that Merriwa Pre-School has received only a 35% increase in State Government base grant and economic subsidy between 1989 and 2002?

(2) Are you aware that Merriwa Pre-School has raised the fees charged to parents by 224% between 1989 and 2002?

(3) Are you aware that Merriwa Pre-School has experienced an increase in total expenses of 119% between 1989 and 2002?

(4) What does the Government intend to do to redress the imbalance between significantly increased costs and government grants revenues held down through only minor incremental increases over the recent years?

(5) Will the Government undertake a review of the government base and economic subsidy grants in order to arrest the significant rate of increase in fees over recent years?

924 STAFF IN DISTRICT OFFICES—Mrs Skinner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

How many people are currently engaged in the following positions in each of the existing 40 District Offices:

(1) Regional Director.

(2) Professional Support Officers.

(3) Executive Assistant.

(4) Principal Support Officer.

(5) School Education Director.

(6) Staff Support Officer.

(7) CEO Teacher and Learning.

(8) Manager, Student Performance Data.

(9) Promotions Officer.

(10) Regional Consultancy Coordinator.

(11) Quality Teaching Consultant.

(12) Curriculum Consultant.

(13) Aboriginal Education and Equity Consultant.

(14) Community Development Consultant.

(15) Vocational Education Consultant.

(16) Regional Sports Adviser.

(17) Administrative Support Officer.

(18) Road Safety Consultant.

(19) Performing Arts Coordinator.

(20) Student Support Coordinator.

(21) Student Services Officer.

(22) Drug Education Consultant.

(23) Disabilities Program Consultant.

(24) Student Welfare Consultant?

925 FISH STOCKS—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra, and Minister for Small Business, representing the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries—

(1) What programs has the Department of Fisheries put in place to maintain fish stocks and protect breeding grounds in Port Stephens?

(2) What funding has been applied to any such program?

(3) When was funding last given for any programs, if they exist?

(4) If there are no programs, why are there no programs?

926 SPEED CAMERAS—Mr Kerr to Minister for Police—

How many penalty notices have been issued for exceeding the 40 kph speed limit since cameras were installed on President Avenue, Gymea?

927 TEACHING POSITIONS—Mrs Hopwood to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

How many teachers and other staff in the Hornsby electorate will lose their jobs when 1,000 positions are cut in the Department of Education and Training?

928 TRAINS VERSUS BUSES—Mr Stoner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources, representing the Minister for Transport Services, Minister for the Hunter, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Natural Resources (Forests)—

In relation to the proposal to replace Sydney to Grafton CountryLink rail passenger services with buses:

(1) How many average-sized buses would be required to convey the number of passengers occupying a full train?

(2) In view of the answer to (1) above, what is the comparison of diesel used to convey passengers by trains versus buses from Sydney to Grafton?

929 AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY—Mr J.H. Turner to Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce representing the Special Minister of State, Minister for Commerce, Minister for Industrial Relations, Assistant Treasurer, and Minister for the Central Coast—

(1) Has the Minister or his Department carried out any research or analysis as to the cost/benefit of the aquaculture industry both on a financial basis and an environmental basis?

(2) If so, what is the result of such research or analysis?

(3) If no research or analysis has been carried out, why hasn’t it been carried out?

930 PERFORMING ARTS UNIT—Mrs Skinner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

How many staff positions will there be in the Department of Education’s Performing Arts Unit based on the present restructure plans?

931 LANGUAGES UNIT—Mrs Skinner to Deputy Premier, Minister for Education and Training, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs—

(1) Will staff who have been working on externally-funded projects in the Languages Unit be affected under the Lifelong Learning restructure?

(2) If they are to be retained, where will these positions be located, under which directorate and in what location?

932 WILCANNIA WEIR—Mr Amery to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

What is the present position with progress with the amplification of the Wilcannia Weir?

933 REDBANK 2 POWER STATION—Mr Stoner to Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and Minister for Natural Resources—

(1) Which community and green groups actively lobbied the NSW Government against the Redbank 2 power station via written and verbal representations and/or meetings with Government Ministers and departments?

(2) Of those groups, how many receive grants, funding or assistance of any kind from the NSW Government?

(3) What is the dollar value of the assistance for each group?

_________________________________________

Authorised by the Parliament of New South Wales