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Thursday, 17 March 2005
Page: 132

Senator COLBECK (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (6:41 PM) —I seek leave to incorporate two answers to questions asked by Senator Nettle on 15 March in the committee stage of the Appropriation (Tsunami Financial Assistance) Bill 2004-2005.

Leave granted.

The answers read as follows—

Senator Nettle asked the Special Minister of State, on 15 March 2005:

“There was reporting in the Australian Financial Review yesterday indicating:

Australian companies will be awarded the bulk of the contracts under the five-year aid package of grants and concessional loans ...

The article mentions particular companies that are likely bidders for projects—for example, Kerry Packer’s company GRM. GRM contracts involve a significant proportion of Australia’s aid budget, and it is mentioned again here in the context of this package. Could the minister confirm the accuracy or otherwise of that report in the Financial Review yesterday?”

Senator Abetz—The answer to the honourable Senator’s question is as follows:

Australia expects that any procurement activities under the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD) will be undertaken on a genuinely competitive basis. The details regarding eligibility to bid for tenders under the AIPRD is a matter which will be determined jointly by the governments of Australia and Indonesia.

Senator Nettle asked the Special Minister of State, on 15 March 2005:

Could the minister outline what Indonesia’s current public debt to Australia is? In my contribution to the second reading debate I mentioned that I knew the total Indonesian debt, but I do not know what proportion of that is to Australia. Could we be advised of that?

Senator Abetz—I have referred your question to the Minister representing the Treasurer in the Senate, Senator the Honourable Nick Minchin, for consideration and response.