OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENT STAFFING ARRANGEMENTS
The Hon. ROBERT BROWN:
My question without notice is addressed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for the Environment. How many policy officers are working towards the formation of strategies to achieve biodiversity goals under the Government's biodiversity strategy in the Office of Environment? How many staff are involved in each of the following activities: providing policy and legal advice, guideline development, auditing, enforcement and compliance, science input and reform, conservation assessment and planning, and monitoring and reporting to protect native vegetation?
The Hon. GREG PEARCE:
As I have indicated a couple of times when the member has asked me a question about which I have had to seek a detailed answer, I have been greatly enlightened by the information provided. One such question related to visitations to national parks. When I received an answer to the question the member made the comment that he thought the methodology might have been problematic. When I analysed the response I noted that the numbers were not calculated as a result of a count but rather as a result of a survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research. Those surveys were conducted in a 12-month period. According to the answer I was provided, almost 16,000 respondents were surveyed across Sydney, regional New South Wales and interstate, from the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland, and when I went back to answer it struck me that that was the way things were done under the previous Government. It is very useful to have diligent members of the crossbench raise such issues and question whether we should continue to do things in the way they were done under the previous Government. Many difficulties have arisen because of problems created under the previous Government. I will obtain an answer to the question and look at it very closely because I am most interested in these matters.