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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 818 ..

(2) Can the Minister advise how much work has been completed on this report to date;

(3) How many people have been employed, if any, to date for research and compilation of this report;

(4) How much of the Budget allocation will be used on wages for those involved in preparing the report or will this be covered from within the Department of Urban Services Budget;

(5) Is funding granted each year for this project in anticipation of the triennial report, if so, why is there no out year funding in the 2004-05 financial year;

(6) Can you advise when the Report will be released given the due date of the period ending 30 June 2003.

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's questions is as follows:

(1) Expenditure on the Report to the end of February 2003 is estimated at $24,789. This is made up of salaries (including only salaries on-costs) of the part-time Commissioner and the two full-time staff members; plus work done in 2002 by the Commissioner's technical consultant and the cost of a workshop. An invoice has not yet been received for work that has been done in 2003 by the Commissioner's technical consultant.

(2) The structure of and processes for the Report have been intensively reviewed within the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment. This involved a consultative process with expert practitioners and ACT Government agencies in November 2002. The Indicators used for the 2000 State of the Environment Report had been refined during 2001-02 for use in the 2003 Report.

Meetings have been held with relevant Agency heads and other officers to discuss the structure of the report and data availability. A timeline and work program have been prepared, including a schedule for Reference group meetings. Science writers have been identified for the Themes-Issues-Indicators and work has commenced on data collection for those Indicators where data may be obtained before 30 June 2003.

The Commissioner reports substantial benefit from the use of SoE Author in the work done on the ACT's 2003 State of the Environment report to date, and that such benefit will continue. (SoE Author is a template for State of the Environment reporting that was created in 1998-99 by the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment through the Australian Capital Regional Leaders' Forum and aided by a Commonwealth grant. It was first used for the 2000 State of the Environment Report for the Australian Capital Region.)

(3) Employees of the Office of the Commissioner for the Environment are the part-time Commissioner, a full-time Manager (SOGB) and a full-time Administrative/Project Officer (ASO5). To date, two contracts have also been let for preparation of the 2003 report. One contract is for the technical consultant referred to in question 1 above, the other for science writing for the Theme of Atmosphere.

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