Monday 22 June 2009

Legislative Council

Estimates Committee B (O'Byrne) - Part 1



Mr FINCH - Tell me about contract work that is done by Parks.

Ms O'BYRNE - For others or that we hire in?

Mr FINCH - That you hire in.  How much of your budget do you allocate for that?  How much do you do on contract work that would not be reflected in the work done by the 271?

[12.00 p.m.]
Mr GADD - It is the big stuff.  We have a work force of what we call field officers, a lot of whom have building qualifications to varying degrees.  They can do a lot of our basic track stuff, small infrastructure.  We do not have them do toilets so much any more.

Mr MOONEY - The very small ones.

Mr GADD - Anything that requires proper planning and building approval or engineering ‑ and most of the stuff we build nowadays does ‑ we tend to outsource to professionals.  I would say the bulk of our expenditure would be outsourced.  If you think about the Cradle sewerage scheme that we will complete this year, that is $16 million that has been spent over the last three or four years.  The vast majority of that, all but the project manager, was outsourced.

Ms O'BYRNE - This would be the same for Macquarie Island as well.  We will need to engage experts for Macquarie Island, who would not normally reside within the Parks and Wildlife Service.

Mr GADD - Basic track stuff we can do.  But when you are into bridges and standing structures, where the liability increases and the risk increases, we tend to put all that out to professional contractors.

Ms O'BYRNE - For a lot of the work, people make application for particular projects to the Federal Government for certain tracks, and that has been very useful to fund some areas.  There are partnerships as well.  If we have the capacity, with a Conservation Volunteers partnership, to make a walking track, we will work with them to do so.  It might be that we provide the supervision and they provide the actual labour.

Mr GADD - Dick Smith.

Ms O'BYRNE - Are you aware of the amount of money that Dick Smith gave us?

CHAIR - He helps out a lot of people, doesn't he?

Mr WING - How much did he give?

Mr GADD - $100,000 a year for 10 years ‑ $1 million in total.

Mr MOONEY - To a specific track.

Ms O'BYRNE - The way that works is that there is a philanthropic fund that people donate to, and they then auspice that money to go to different projects within Parks.   

Mr FINCH - Which track did Dick Smith support?  Did he support a particular track?

Ms O'BYRNE - Yes, Frenchmans Cap.

Mr WING - It is known as the Dick Smith Track, is it?

Ms O'BYRNE - No, I think it is still Frenchmans Cap, unless he wants to be Le Dick Smith.  That might cost more.


Mr GADD - That would be for 100 years.