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Monday, 23 August 1999
Page: 7585

Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 8 July 1999:

(1) Is the Minister or the department represented on the Australian Maritime Defence Council; if so, who is the Minister's representative on that council.

(2) Who represented former Ministers Mr Sharp and Mr Vaile on the council.

(3) How many meetings of the council have the Ministers' representatives attended since March 1996.

(4) Have any of the Ministers' representatives placed the abolition of cabotage on the council's agenda at any time since March 1996; if so: (a) when was that item placed on the council's agenda; (b) what was the date of the meeting at which that matter was considered; and (c) what was the result.

Senator Ian Macdonald (Regional Services, Territories and Local Government) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Department is represented on the Australian Maritime Defence Council by the First Assistant Secretary, Cross-Modal and Maritime Transport Division, or his deputy.

(2) The Department has been represented on the Council since March 1996 by the following departmental officers: Mr Kym Bills, Mr Adrian Beresford-Wylie, Ms Helen Maskell-Knight and Ms Joanne Blackburn.

(3) 7.

(4) No. The work of the Shipping Reform Group and the Shipping Reform Working Group has been reported to the council at the following meetings of the council: 23 September 1996; 12 May 1997; 2 September 1997; 3 March 1998; 2 September 1998; 17 March 1999.

Minutes of the Meeting of 17 March 1999 record a discussion of the issue of cabotage and other issues related to the reform of shipping.

The Council noted the reports provided to the meeting by members of the SRWG and noted the need for Defence to refine its position on support needed from the maritime industry.