Page 1933 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013
It certainly is a question of what you consider meaningful. You could, for example, record the number of meetings taken, the number of leads pursued by the individual companies. You could, for example, seek to measure in some way how many people the companies met with. But a lot of that would be commercial-in-confidence and individual companies may not wish to report on whom they met with and what the outcomes were.
However, it is generally established, by virtue of companies seeking to promote their achievements, that they do so through the issuing of media releases and the like, celebrating their particular successes.
Mr Hanson: So you can measure it.
MR BARR: You can measure it through issuing of media releases, Mr Hanson, but I do not consider that to be particularly meaningful.
Mr Hanson: Surely they talk about deals they have signed or contracts they have signed.
MR BARR: They do.
MADAM SPEAKER: Do not respond to Mr Hanson. Address your remarks through the chair. Mr Barr, you have the call.
MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Companies do seek to promote the outcomes they achieve from particular trade missions, but the government is not going to be in the business of seeking to devote resources to recording who met with whom, how long they met for, how many contacts were made in particular markets. Those sorts of questions are entirely subjective. The value of a particular lead is entirely subjective. And we do report on outcomes following trade missions.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Thank you, minister, for that meaningless answer. Minister, why does the government provide additional Trade Connect grant funding on top of budgeted funding for its trade missions?
MR BARR: To pursue specific opportunities.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what is the purpose of this grant funding? Does it cover travel and/or accommodation and what class of accommodation and travel does this cover or supplement?
MR BARR: Businesses meet their own costs associated with travel and accommodation. The government assistance is provided through partnership arrangements with Austrade and on a fee-for-service basis the government engages