Questions and Answers No. 16, Tuesday 26 October 1999

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173



PARLIAMENT OF NEW SOUTH WALES


__________

No. 16
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LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL




QUESTIONS

AND

ANSWERS


____________________

SECOND SESSION OF THE FIFTY-SECOND PARLIAMENT
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TUESDAY 26 OCTOBER 1999


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


Notice given on date shown

Page 174

Publication of QuestionAnswer to be lodged by
Q&A No. 8 (Including Question Nos 56 to 64)27 October 1999
Q&A No. 9 (Including Question Nos 65 to 72)28 October 1999
Q&A No. 10 (Including Question Nos 73 to 80)16 November 1999
Q&A No. 11 (Including Question Nos 81 to 84)17 November 1999
Q&A No. 12 (Including Question Nos 85 to 91)18 November 1999
Q&A No. 13 (Including Question Nos 92 to 96)23 November 1999
Q&A No. 14 (Including Question Nos 97 to 107)24 November 1999
Q&A No. 15 (Including Question Nos 108 to 113)25 November 1999
Q&A No. 16 (Including Question Nos 114 and 115)30 November 1999
    Page 175

      21 SEPTEMBER 1999

      (Paper No. 7)
    *48 EDUCATION—NEW SOUTH WALES TEACHERS’ AWARD—Mrs Forsythe asked the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Education and Training—

      (1) Did the award covering New South Wales teachers expire on 30 June 1999?

      (2) Before the State election, did the Minister promise to enter into negotiations with the Teachers Federation so that “an enhanced award could be in place on the expiration of their award”?

      (3) (a) Has the NSW Teachers Federation written to the Minister requesting meetings to discuss the award?
        (b) If yes, when?

      (4) Since 27 March 1999, on how many occasions has the Minister formally met with the NSW Teachers Federation?

      (5) (a) Have New South Wales independent schoolteachers negotiated a new award?
        (b) If yes:
            (i) When does it commence?
            (ii) Will it place teachers in New South Wales independent schools on a higher salary scale than teachers in government and Catholic schools?

      (6) (a) Will the Minister negotiate with the NSW Teachers Federation?
        (b) If so, when?

      Answer—

      (1) Both the Crown Employees (Teachers and Related Employees) Salaries and Conditions and the NSW TAFE Commission Teachers and Other Educational Staff - Salaries and Conditions Award expired on 30 June 1999.
        As is normal practice, these awards remain in place until or unless they are rescinded or replaced.

      (2) The Government made a commitment to implement a new award on the basis that the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) had indicated that it had agreed to finalise and implement two outstanding matters from the existing award. The two outstanding matters, approved “in principle” by the federation in February, deal with new procedures for dealing with inefficient teachers and a new process of school reviews to improve school performance.

      (3) The Director-General has written, on the Minister’s behalf and in response to NSWTF correspondence, to the federation on a number of occasions indicating that the department is ready to begin negotiations on a new award immediately after they have signed off on these two outstanding matters. The Director-General met with members of the NSWTF as recently as last week to again request them to finalise these matters.

      (4) The union remains opposed to any sign off. Immediately the union signs off and finalises these matters from the existing award, negotiations can commence.

    Page 176

      (5) (a) No. The award concerning independent schoolteachers commenced on 1 May 1997 and the nominal term is due to expire on 1 May 2000.
        (b) Not applicable.

      (6) (a) The department is ready to negotiate.
        (b) When the Teachers Federation signs off on the two outstanding issues from the current award, negotiations for a new award can commence immediately.

    *49 TRANSPORT—WHARVES IN SYDNEY HARBOUR—Mr Jobling asked the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—

      (1) How often are wharves and pontoons in Sydney Harbour which are used by Sydney ferries inspected?

      (2) (a) Was the pontoon at Kirribilli Avenue wharf found to be dangerously rusty in July 1999?
        (b) When was it previously inspected for safety?

      (3) Was the rusty pontoon towed away following heavy storms which dislodged the pylon?

      (4) When is it anticipated that the wharf will be repaired and reopened for use?

      (5) (a) What is the average daily use of the Kirribilli wharf by commuters?
        (b) What provision has the State Transit Authority made for these commuters?

      (6) Has the question of a disabled access ramp at the Kirribilli wharf been resolved with North Sydney Council?

      Answer—

      (1) The wharves and pontoons in Sydney Harbour which are used by Sydney Ferries are owned by a number of different agencies. The major owners are the Marine Ministerial Holding Corporation (MMHC), the State Transit Authority and local councils.
        MMHC wharves are inspected on a minimum fortnightly basis and weekly during peak usage periods such as school holidays, special events and throughout the summer. They are also inspected immediately following complaints or comments by wharf users or members of the public.

        Wharves owned by State Transit are inspected on a regular basis including monthly checks by State Transit’s Maintenance Managers, quarterly by the Occupational Health Safety and Rehabilitation representatives and annually, or more frequently if necessary, by structural engineers.
        In addition, inspections are made by ferry staff for component integrity and passenger safety as each ferry arrives at a wharf. The owner of the wharf is notified of any safety issue arising from such inspections.

      (2) (a) No. I am advised the pontoon is of concrete construction and is sound.
        (b) The pontoon was inspected annually by a structural engineer. Ongoing deterioration of the pontoon locating piles was noted and, as a result, weekly inspections were introduced for the past 12 months to monitor the 12 locating piles and other components.
    Page 177

    (3) I am advised the pontoon was towed away following its dislodgment after heavy storms, not as a result of a rust condition.

    (4) December 1999.

      (5) (a) 760 passenger journeys on average per day.


      (b) A shuttle bus service was introduced to transport passengers between Kirribilli Wharf and Milsons Point.

    (6) No. I am advised that State Transit submitted a development application to North Sydney Council for the provision of ramp access to Kirribilli wharf. This application has been rejected by council and State Transit has taken the matter to the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning.

    *50 TRANSPORT—FERRY WHARVES—Mr Jobling asked the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—

      (1) Following the closure of the Kirribilli Avenue wharf, have about 1,000 people who would normally use that wharf been redirected to Beulah Street wharf?

      (2) As a result of the increased usage, has this wharf failed and had to be closed on or about 9 or 10 August 1999?

      (3) (a) Is it proposed to take passengers by bus from the inoperative wharves to ferries at Milsons Point?
        (b) What additional travelling time will people who would use these services expect to face during peak hour periods?

      (4) Was the reason for closure because the central pylon had broken loose?
    (5) (a) When will the wharf be reopened?
        (b) What is the anticipated cost of repairs?

      (6) Has the State Transit Authority claimed that the current ferries (approximately 80 tonnes) used on inner harbour routes are too big for the wharves?

      (7) (a) How many other wharves owned by the Sydney Waterways Authority are of a similar design to Kirribilli Avenue and Beulah Street wharves?
        (b) Are they serviced by the 80-tonne ferries?

      (8) When will other similar wharves be specially re-checked for similar damage to that which has occurred at Kirribilli Avenue and Beulah Street wharves?

      Answer—

      (1) and (2) When Kirribilli wharf closed, passengers were initially redirected to the nearby Beulah Street wharf. This was not a wharf previously used by State Transit. However, State Transit ceased using Beulah Street wharf when it became apparent that it was too unstable to safely berth First Fleet class vessels.

    (3) (a) Yes, between Kirribilli and Milsons Point but not Beulah Street.
      Page 178

        (b) Approximately 5 minutes.
            (4) Beulah Street wharf was closed due to the fender pile at the upper end of the steps breaking loose. As well as the pile, one mooring cleat, one steel chafing bar and two pile positioning bands were damaged.

              (5) (a) Reopened from 3 pm 12 August 1999.
                (b) $8,100.
              (6) No.

                (7) (a) The two Man O’ War Step wharves adjacent to the Opera House are of similar design to the Kirribilli wharf. Jeffrey Street wharf and McMahons Point wharf are identical to Beulah Street wharf. McMahons Point wharf utilises rubber fenders to assist berthing.
                  (b) The two Man O’ War Step wharves and Jeffrey Street wharf are not serviced by any of Sydney Ferries fleet. However, McMahons Point ferry wharf is serviced by State Transit’s First Fleet ferries.
                (8) The wharves and pontoons in Sydney Harbour which are used by Sydney Ferries are owned by a number of different agencies. The major owners are the Marine Ministerial Holding Corporation (MMHC), the State Transit Authority and local councils.
                  MMHC wharves are inspected on a minimum fortnightly basis and weekly during peak usage periods such as school holidays, special events and throughout the summer. They are also inspected immediately following complaints or comments by wharf users or members of the public.
                  Wharves owned by State Transit are inspected on a regular basis including monthly checks by State Transit’s Maintenance Managers, quarterly by the Occupational Health Safety and Rehabilitation representatives and annually, or more frequently if necessary, by structural engineers.
                  In addition, inspections are made by ferry staff for component integrity and passenger safety as each ferry arrives at a wharf. The owner of the wharf is notified of any safety issue arising from such inspections.

              *51 ENERGY—POWER GENERATOR PRODUCTION—Mr Jobling asked the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council—

                (1) Does the NSW Government propose to direct its three major power generators, i.e., Pacific, Delta and Macquarie, to reduce production by 10% to 15%?

                (2) (a) Does the NSW Government demand a minimum return on capital from the three New South Wales power generators?
                  (b) If not, why not?

                (3) As a result of not having a minimum return on capital, do New South Wales taxpayers earn less than approximately 2% on assets?

                (4) Are current assets of these generators estimated to be in excess of $10 billion?

                (5) (a) Does the NSW Government insist that the selling price of power include a component for capital cost?

              Page 179
                  (b) If so, what is that component?

                (6) If a component for capital cost is not included in the selling price for power, how can the NSW Government explain the Victorian power consumers being subsidised in excess of $100 million per year?

                Answer—

                (1) No. Pacific Power, Macquarie and Delta are independent commercial organisations operating in a competitive market in competition with each other and private and public utilities in Victoria and South Australia. To interfere in the independent production strategies of each would not only infringe Trade Practices Law, but also run completely counter to the States’ obligations and intentions under competition reform.

                (2) (a) The performance of State-owned electricity generators is measured against performance benchmarks that incorporate a capital charge derived from the returns required by private investors in similar businesses.However, electricity generation is no longer a regulated monopoly business. Prices, and hence revenue, are determined by the market, not a regulator.Further, the capital structures of public or private corporations trading in the market do not determine prices offered.
                      Electricity cannot be sold for more money simply because a generator has finance costs, including a capital charge, it would like to recoup. Simply, you can sell at or below the market price or you can price above the market and not sell at all. It does not matter what something may have cost in the past. The simple question is what it can be sold for today. This is supported by observations of the behaviour of private generators based in Victoria.
                (b) Not applicable

                (3) No.

                (4) No. Book values of the assets of the generators are as disclosed in their published annual reports. The total is $5 billion.

                (5) (a) No. As indicated in the answer to question (1), the electricity generators are independent commercial organisations operating in a competitive market. It is wholly inappropriate for the Government to attempt to interfere in the market and require a uniform approach to pricing contrary to that which would be applied by an independent commercial business.

                (b) Not applicable.

                (6) The statement that the NSW Government subsidises Victorian power consumers is completely false. New South Wales is a net importer of electricity from Victoria. Indeed, only very rarely does energy flow south. If Victorian consumers are enjoying lower priced electricity than previously, it is because the national market price is lower. This also means that generators in Victoria are selling for less.The basis of the honourable member’s implication that a $100 million subsidy is being provided to Victorian consumers is unknown.
              *52 FAIR TRADING—BANK CHARGES—Mr Breen asked the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister for Sport and Recreation—

              Page 180

                (1) Has Westpac raised its charges from July 1999 for accounts with a minimum balance of $500 for over-the-counter transactions?

                (2) Have these extra charges been waived for customers who hold a credit card or operate a loan account with Westpac?

                (3) Does the Minister agree that these extra charges will have greatest impact on low-income earners?

                (4) Will the Minister formally request the Federal Government to regulate bank fees on accounts with small balances?

                Answer—

                I would ask that this response serve as an answer to the honourable member’s Question Without Notice asked of the Treasurer on 1 June 1999, relating to Westpac.

                (1) Information was sought from Westpac in relation to parts (1) and (2) of the honourable member’s question. Westpac raised its charges from 2 August 1999. Fees apply after a set number of transactions has occurred and if accounts have balances below a certain figure (ranging from $500 to $10,000 depending on the type of account). That is, if you have less than $500 in your account and you exceed the level of free transactions which range from 2 to 40 depending on the type of account, you pay from 65c to $2 per transaction.

                (2) The information provided by Westpac on fees and charges lists certain benefits for those holding a set of accounts and cards. They may include waiver of account keeping fees. The possibility of discounts on fees being negotiated with individual customers is not addressed but the document from Westpac states that, in addition to the fee scales quoted, “Other incentive packages will apply to a range of scenarios”.
                (3) Yes.

                (4) I am concerned about consumers being unable to afford basic banking services. In a paper I presented to the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs (MCCA) in August 1999, I proposed that conditions be placed on bank licences. One of the proposed conditions was an obligation that banks provide a basic account with at least a specified number of free transactions. I consider this is a preferable approach to capping fees. Unfortunately, the Federal Government has chosen not to take up my suggestions. I will, nevertheless, persist in championing the cause of ordinary consumers.

              *54 URBAN AFFAIRS AND PLANNING—COAL MINE ON THE CENTRAL COAST—Mrs Sham-Ho asked the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—

                In relation to the longwall coal mine in the Mandalong Valley on the Central Coast to be developed by Powercoal Pty Limited:

                (1) Did the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning fail to assess the project using the application of set precautionary principles, and according to scientifically valid, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable guidelines?

                (2) Will the department utilise its powers to suspend any mining operations that do not comply with the requirements of any environmental standards such as those set by the Flood Management Study, the Water Management Plan and other associated studies?

                Answer—

              Page 181

                I have been advised by the Hon Andrew Refshauge MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing, that the answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

              1) No.

                (2) The Conditions of Consent for the mine extension are binding in law upon Powercoal. The department will certainly intervene if these are breached during the construction of operation of the mine.

              *55 MINERAL RESOURCES—MANDALONG VALLEY—Mrs Sham-Ho asked the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries—

                In relation to the proposed longwall coal mine in the Mandalong Valley on the Central Coast to be developed by Powercoal Pty Limited:

                Will the Minister’s department stand by its written policy of not allowing high-potential agricultural land to suffer diminished viability due to mining and not allow flood-prone lands to be adversely affected by subsidence due to underground mining activities?

                Answer—

              Both these issues were extensively canvassed at the Commission of Inquiry held in 1998 for the Powercoal Cooranbong underground coal mine extension proposal.

                In relation to agricultural land, the Commissioner in his report found that:
                  “The evidence indicates that overall agricultural capability of the land will generally remain intact. Local impacts will require site specific mitigation measures or compensation or acquisition. The Commission supports the concept of an independent panel to determine appropriate measures, compensation or other arrangements to ensure overall agricultural capability remains intact.”

                In relation to flooding impacts, the Commissioner in his report found that:
                  “A large part of the mine area is a relatively flat floodplain subject to frequent and extensive flooding (almost every year for nuisance flooding). Predicted subsidence after mining will generally reduce the extent of flood prone land and flood affected dwellings for major flood events in the Mandalong Valley. Mine subsidence will not increase flood levels in the short term, as the subsidence will increase the flood storage. However, certain individual properties may be more prone to flooding as a result of subsidence, and as a consequence, acquisition or other negotiations acceptable to the owners will be necessary before mining under the property. Minor road reconstruction and drainage works, as well as an applicant assisted Flood Management Study should generally provide greater flood protection and flood hazard reduction for the affected local community.”

                The Commissioner recognised the need to provide a range of measures which would protect land holders’ interests in cases where deleterious impacts may occur.

                Following on from recommendations in the Report of the Commission of Inquiry, the development consent conditions provide many safeguards for land holders (in addition to statutory compensation provisions in the Mining Act 1992 and Mine Subsidence Compensation Act 1961). Conditions specifically related to the above issues include the individual Property Subsidence Management Plans required in Conditions 13-17, triggers for Acquisition and Compensation – Flood Hazards in Condition 28, triggers for Acquisition and Compensation – Land Use Impacts in Condition 29, Acquisition and Compensation Procedures in Conditions 30-33, the establishment of an Independent Panel to assist in implementation of conditions of consent in
              Page 182
                Conditions 38-41, the requirement for preparation of a Land Management Plan in Condition 42, the requirement for preparation of a detailed Flood Study in Condition 67 and criteria for Local Roads and Access in Condition 90.


                22 SEPTEMBER 1999

                (Paper No. 8)
              56 ROADS—PROPOSED M5 EAST FREEWAY STACK—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                57 TRANSPORT—FASSIFERN/HEXHAM PROPOSED HEAVY RAIL LINE—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—

                *58 LOCAL GOVERNMENT—ANIMAL IMPLANT REGISTRY—Mr Gay asked the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Local Government, Minister for Regional Development, and Minister for Rural Affairs—

                  (1) What is the number of animals which have been implanted with microchips and are recorded on the New South Wales registry?

                  (2) How many vets are fulfilling the requirement of data entry of implanted animals for the New South Wales registry?

                  (3) How many vets or registered implanters have access to the Internet?

                  (4) Is the New South Wales registry capable of sending out renewal notices for the 177 local councils?

                  (5) How many council staff are logging data on the New South Wales registry for owners or vets and implanters?

                  Answer—

                  (1) The NSW Companion Animals Register commenced operation on 1 July 1999. As at 30 September 1999, there were just over 33,000 animals recorded on the register (33,180).
                    (2) There are some 4,000 vets registered with the NSW Veterinary Surgeons Board all of whom were supplied with user names to access the register. As authorised identifiers, vets are required to ensure that information is placed on the register within 7 days, either by direct data entry via the Internet or by mailing completed forms to the NSW Companion Animals Register for data entry. The Department of Local Government has taken follow-up action in two instances where there have been reports of vets not forwarding forms to the register within the required time. During this initial implementation stage, the department’s approach is to ensure that authorised identifiers are fully aware of their responsibilities under the legislation and the consequences for non-compliance. There are powers under the legislation for authorised identifiers to have their authorisation removed if they do not comply with all requirements of the legislation and any Director-General’s guidelines which may be issued. The department shall continue with this approach in instances where non-compliance are detected.

                    (3) The exact number of vets with Internet access is not known, however, the NSW Branch of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) estimates that one-third of vets have Internet access. The AVA is currently undertaking a survey of its members to determine the proportion with Internet access and will
                  Page 183
                    make this information available to the Department of Local Government. The number of authorised identifiers, who are not vets, with Internet access is not known.
                      (4) Under the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998, registration of dogs and cats is for the lifetime of the animal - there are no annual renewal notices to be sent out. Owners of dogs registered under the Dog Act at 1 July 1999 are able to maintain their annual registration under this Act for the 3-year transition period. Issuing of renewal notices under the Dog Act remains unchanged. This has always been the responsibility of the local council where the dog is registered.
                        (5) 140 of the State’s 177 local councils have provided lists of authorised staff who have been issued with user names and passwords to access the register. The Department of Local Government is contacting the remaining 37 councils to determine why they have not provided lists of authorised staff. It is estimated that half of these councils do not require direct access as they are small rural councils who have contracted their animal control functions to a neighbouring council (e.g., Tamworth City Council provides animal control services for Nundle Council).

                      *59 LOCAL GOVERNMENT—GREYHOUNDS FOR ANIMAL RESEARCH—Mr Richard Jones asked the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Local Government, Minister for Regional Development, and Minister for Rural Affairs—

                        (1) (a) Are all greyhounds considered a companion animal for the purposes of the Companion Animals Act 1998?
                          (b) If not:
                              (i) Under which legislation are they covered?
                              (ii) Can all greyhounds be used for animal research purposes?
                              (iii) In which circumstances could a greyhound be used for animal research purposes?

                        (2) (a) If greyhounds can be used for animal research purposes, will the Minister act to end the use of these animals in experiments?
                          (b) If not, why not?

                        (3) If greyhounds can be used for animal research purposes, how many were used for research purposes in the last budgetary period?

                        Answer—

                        (1) (a) The NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 covers all breeds of dogs, including greyhounds. Use of animals for research is governed not by the Companion Animals Act but by the Animal Research Act. Responsibility for the Animal Research Act falls within the portfolio of my colleague the Minister for Agriculture. The Department of Local Government has obtained the following information from the Animal Welfare Unit of the Department of Agriculture:
                          (b) (i) Greyhounds also come within the scope of the Greyhound Racing Authority Act 1985 (amended 1998).
                              (ii) and (iii) Supply of dogs (including greyhounds, which are dogs) is covered under the Animal Research Regulation 1995, which is in the process of being amended to prevent the supply of any pound animals. However, a private owner (or authorised agent of the owner) of a dog or cat can supply that animal to a licensed animal supplier provided certain details are provided and the relevant declaration made.
                      2) Not applicable.
                        (3) Figures for specific breeds of dog are not maintained.

                        Page 184

                        *60 LOCAL GOVERNMENT—SECURITY GUARD DOGS FOR ANIMAL RESEARCH—Mr Richard Jones asked the Minister for Mineral Resources and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Local Government, Minister for Regional Development, and Minister for Rural Affairs—

                          (1) (a) Are all security guard dogs considered a companion animal for the purposes of the Companion Animals Act 1998?

                          (b) If not:
                                (i) Under which legislation are they covered?
                                (ii) Can all security guard dogs be used for animal research purposes?
                                (iii) In what circumstances could a security guard dog be used for this purpose?

                          (2) (a) If security guard dogs can be used for animal research purposes, will the Minister act to end the use of these animals in experiments?
                            (b) If not, why not?

                          (3) If security guard dogs can be used for animal research purposes, how many were used for research purposes in the last budgetary period?

                          Answer—

                          (1) (a) The NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 covers all breeds and types of dogs. Security guard dogs are treated as any other dog under the Act. Use of animals for research is governed not by the Companion Animals Act but by the Animal Research Act. Responsibility for the Animal Research Act falls within the portfolio of my colleague the Minister for Agriculture. The Department of Local Government has obtained the following information from the Animal Welfare Unit of the Department of Agriculture:
                            (b) (i) Security Dogs also come within the Animal Trades Regulation 1996 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
                                (ii) and (iii) Supply of dogs (including security dogs) is covered under the Animal Research Regulation 1995, which is in the process of being amended to prevent the supply of any pound animals. However, a private owner (or authorised agent of the owner) of a dog or cat can supply that animal to a licensed animal supplier provided certain details are provided and the relevant declaration made.
                          (2) Not applicable.
                            (3) Figures for specific breeds of dog are not maintained.

                            61 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS—PROCLAMATION OF SECTION 189—Mr Richard Jones to ask the Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations—
                              62 ROADS—M5 EAST TUNNEL VENTILATION SYSTEM—Dr Wong to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                                63 LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION—PARISH OF CONJOLA—Mr Cohen to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Agriculture, and Minister for Land and Water Conservation—


                                Page 185
                                  *64 ENVIRONMENT—PARISH OF CONJOLA—Mr Cohen asked the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for the Environment, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Corrective Services, and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Arts—

                                    In relation to the land, Portion 431, Parish of Conjola, now freehold and Portion 468, Parish of Conjola, Crown Land:

                                    (1) Did Special Lease 1952/129 cover portions 431 and 468 for the purpose of “residence and holiday cabins”, with the terms of the lease being 1 August 1955 to 31 December 1982?

                                    (2) Was the Special Lease transferred to Penrith Rugby Leagues Club on 2 February 1968? Was part of Special Lease 1952/129 (Portion 431) converted to Conditional Purchase 1973/12 on 10 January 1974 under the Crown Lands Act 1989 and did the remainder of Special Lease 1952/129 (Portion 468) remain under lease expiring December 1982?

                                    (3) Was Conditional Purchase 1973/12 (portion 431) transferred to the Allawah Cabins on 2 February 1998 and the balance of the Crown mortgage paid out and the title freeholded under the provisions of the Crown Lands Act 1989?

                                    (4) Will the current permissive Occupancy 1982/15 over Portion 468 terminate and be transferred to a licensee for the purpose to use the Crown Land for sewage disposal?

                                    (5) (a) (i) In 1998, was portion 431 freeholded under the provisions of the Crown Lands Act 1989?
                                          (ii) If so, why?
                                      (b) Does this parcel of land contain an environmentally sensitive coastal headland surrounded by Crown Land which was then, and is still, referenced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service for consideration for the greater Conjola National Park?

                                    Answer—

                                    Questions (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) (a) (i) and (ii):
                                      These are matters for the consideration of the Minister for Land and Water Conservation.

                                    (5) (b) The parcel of land includes an environmentally sensitive coastal headland adjacent to Crown land, which has previously been referenced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
                                          The land has been proposed by the Bendalong and Districts Environmental Association for consideration as part of a Greater Conjola National Park. This proposal was presented to the NPWS in 1998. The land is being further considered for inclusion in the reserve system as part of the Comprehensive Regional Assessment program for forests in the Southern Region, which is expected to be completed in early 2000.


                                  Page 186
                                    23 SEPTEMBER 1999

                                      (Paper No. 9)
                                    65 PUBLIC WORKS—COMMUNITY PROTECTIVE SERVICES—Mrs Forsythe to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Public Works and Services, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Citizenship—

                                    *67 STATE DEVELOPMENT—PORT HACKING—Mr Cohen asked the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—

                                      Regarding the Port Hacking area:

                                      (1) Is the Government prepared to commit to a moratorium on any actions which may adversely impact on the environmental values of this important waterway, or the amenity of the area for low impact uses, pending the creation of a management regime which permanently protects the ecological and recreational values of this important estuary?

                                      (2) Is the Government prepared to commit to fully implement its stated priority on ecological sustainability and social equity in the management of this significant estuary?

                                      Answer—

                                      I have been advised by the Hon Bob Carr MP, Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship, that the answer to the honourable member’s question is:

                                    (1) At present, a number of Government agencies, stakeholders and community groups actively participate in the Port Hacking Management Panel. This forum is guided by the Port Hacking Plan of Management which is a comprehensive program that identifies those actions necessary to suitably manage the unique environmental and recreational qualities of this river system.
                                        In addition to this the Government, in conjunction with the relevant stakeholders, is currently developing a Boating Plan of Management. This plan aims to address the complex network of safety, environmental, equity of use, and infrastructure issues that pertain to Port Hacking.
                                        The Government is confident that the proposed boating plan will enhance the existing arrangements and provide a management regime that will protect the ecological and recreational values of the estuary.

                                      (2) The Government will continue to implement its stated priority on ecological sustainability and social equity in relation to the management of Port Hacking.
                                      68 SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE—COMPULSORY THIRD PARTY INSURANCE—Dr Pezzutti to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer—
                                        69 HOUSING—SYDNEY AND HUNTER REGIONS—Mr Jobling to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                          71 EDUCATION—HIGHER SCHOOL CERTIFICATE—Revd Mr Nile to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Education and Training—
                                            Page 187
                                              72 POLICE—NIGHT PATROLS IN CABRAMATTA—Mrs Nile to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Police—


                                                12 OCTOBER 1999

                                                (Paper No. 10)
                                              73 ENERGY—SNOWY MOUNTAINS HYDRO-ELECTRIC SCHEME—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                74 ENERGY—SNOWY HYDRO LTD—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                  75 ENERGY—TRADING IN FUTURES MARKETS—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                    76 URBAN AFFAIRS AND PLANNING—NORTHSIDE STORAGE TUNNEL—Mr Richard Jones to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                                      77 LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION—SNOWY RIVER—Mr Richard Jones to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Agriculture, and Minister for Land and Water Conservation—
                                                        78 URBAN AFFAIRS AND PLANNING—LANDCOM DEVELOPMENT—Mrs Sham-Ho to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                                          79 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS—NSW WORKERS COMPENSATION SCHEME—Mr Cohen to ask the Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations—
                                                            80 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS—WORKCOVER—Mr Cohen to ask the Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations—
                                                              13 OCTOBER 1999

                                                              (Paper No. 11)
                                                            81 ENERGY—ENERGYAUSTRALIA—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                              82 ENERGY—HUNTER VALLEY POWER STATION—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                                Page 188
                                                                  83 URBAN AFFAIRS AND PLANNING—NORTHSIDE STORAGE TUNNEL—Dr Chesterfield-Evans to ask the Special Minister of State and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                                                    84 TRANSPORT—EXHAUST EMISSIONS—Dr Chesterfield-Evans to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                                                                        14 OCTOBER 1999

                                                                        (Paper No. 12)
                                                                      85 ENERGY—COAL GASIFICATION TECHNIQUES—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                                        86 TREASURY—NATIONAL ELECTRICITY CODE—Mr Jobling to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council—
                                                                          87 TRANSPORT—EXTERNAL CONSULTANTS—Ms Rhiannon to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                                                                            88 TRANSPORT—AIRPORT EXPRESSWAY—Ms Rhiannon to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                                                                              89 TRANSPORT—BUS TIMETABLES—Ms Rhiannon to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                                                                                90 TREASURY—PUBLIC PASSENGER TRANSPORT FARES—Ms Rhiannon to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council—
                                                                                  91 TRANSPORT—ROAD TRANSPORT INDUSTRY—Ms Rhiannon to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                                                                                      19 OCTOBER 1999

                                                                                      (Paper No. 13)
                                                                                    92 EDUCATION—CURRICULA IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS—Mr Corbett to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Education and Training—
                                                                                      93 EDUCATION—SCHOOL PROPERTY DAMAGE BY ARSON—Mr Jobling to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Education and Training—
                                                                                        94 EDUCATION—ARSON DAMAGE TO SCHOOLS—Mr Jobling to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Education and Training—
                                                                                          95 CORRECTIVE SERVICES—CORRECTIONAL CENTRES—Ms Rhiannon to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for the Environment, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Corrective Services, and Minister Assisting the Premier on theArts—
                                                                                            96 FAIR TRADING—EFTPOS FRAUD—Mrs Sham-Ho to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Fair Trading, and Minister for Sport and Recreation—
                                                                                              Page 189


                                                                                                20 OCTOBER 1999

                                                                                                (Paper No. 14)
                                                                                              97 INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS—NEW SOUTH WALES PUBLIC SERVANT RESIGNATIONS—Mr Corbett to ask the Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations—
                                                                                                98 HOUSING—SOIL SAMPLE TESTS—Mr Corbett to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                                                                                  99 URBAN AFFAIRS—PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES—Mr Corbett to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                                                                                    100 HEALTH—PESTICIDE-RELATED SYMPTOMS—Mr Corbett to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Health—
                                                                                                      101 AGRICULTURE—ORGANIC FARMING INDUSTRY—Mr Corbett to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Agriculture, and Minister for Land and Water Conservation—
                                                                                                        102 ROADS—M5 EAST EXHAUST STACK—Mr Corbett to ask the Minister for Mineral Resources, and Minister for Fisheries representing the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Roads—
                                                                                                          103 HEALTH—M5 EAST EXHAUST STACK—Mr Corbett to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Health—
                                                                                                            104 URBAN AFFAIRS AND PLANNING—M5 EAST EXHAUST STACK—Mr Corbett to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                                                                                              105 HEALTH—RESEARCH STUDIES INTO CAMPRAL—Mr Corbett to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Health—
                                                                                                                106 ATTORNEY GENERAL—DRUG USAGE—Mr Jobling to ask the Attorney General, and Minister for Industrial Relations—
                                                                                                                  107 PREMIER—LONG-TERM EMPLOYMENT IN SOUTH-EAST NEW SOUTH WALES—Ms Rhiannon to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Premier, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Citizenship—


                                                                                                                    21 OCTOBER 1999

                                                                                                                    (Paper No. 15)
                                                                                                                  108 ENERGY—TOMAGO ALUMINIUM—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                                                                                    109 HEALTH—OVERSEAS-TRAINED DOCTORS—Dr Wong to ask the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council representing the Minister for Health—

                                                                                                                    Page 190
                                                                                                                      110 ENERGY—ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTOR INSPECTORS—Mr Oldfield to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—
                                                                                                                        111 AGRICULTURE—DAIRY INDUSTRY DEREGULATION—Mr Oldfield to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Minister for Agriculture, and Minister for Land and Water Conservation—
                                                                                                                          112 URBAN AFFAIRS AND PLANNING—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION—Mr Ryan to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—
                                                                                                                            113 URBAN AFFAIRS AND PLANNING—REPORT INTO PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS TO NORTHSIDE STORAGE TUNNEL—Mr Ryan to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—


                                                                                                                              26 OCTOBER 1999

                                                                                                                              (Paper No. 16)
                                                                                                                            114 ENERGY—GAS MARKET COMPETITION—Mr Jobling to ask the Minister for Juvenile Justice, Minister Assisting the Premier on Youth, and Minister Assisting the Minister for the Environment representing the Minister for Information Technology, Minister for Energy, Minister for Forestry, and Minister for Western Sydney—

                                                                                                                              (1) Was Victoria the first State to open its gas market to competition on 1 October 1999?

                                                                                                                              (2) Will prices for natural gas in Victoria rise by up to 10 per cent on top of the $3.50 a gigajoule of gas charged at present?

                                                                                                                              (3) Will New South Wales open its gas market to competition in July 2000?

                                                                                                                              (4) Will the Minister guarantee that similar price rises will not occur in New South Wales after our gas market is opened?

                                                                                                                            115 HOUSING—MAINTENANCE OF HOUSING STOCK—Mr Gallacher to ask the Special Minister of State, and Assistant Treasurer representing the Deputy Premier, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, and Minister for Housing—

                                                                                                                              (1) What is the total expenditure for Department of Housing contracts for maintenance of its housing stock in the 1999-2000 financial year?

                                                                                                                              (2) What is the total number of Department of Housing contracts for maintenance of its housing stock in the 1999-2000 financial year?

                                                                                                                              (3) Was quality a consideration in the awarding of these contracts?

                                                                                                                              (4) Is there any provision in the contracts for controlling the quality of the goods and services provided?

                                                                                                                              (5) (a) Is there any provision for tenants to complain about the quality of the goods and services provided?

                                                                                                                            Page 191
                                                                                                                                (b) If so:
                                                                                                                                    (i) What process is in place?
                                                                                                                                    (ii) What is the number of complaints received and what percentage are resolved to the satisfaction of the tenant?
                                                                                                                                (c) If not, will a complaints resolution process about the quality of maintenance be implemented?




                                                                                                                              John Evans
                                                                                                                              Clerk of the Parliaments






                                                                                                                              ___________________
                                                                                                                              Authorised by the Parliament of New South Wales