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Notice given 21 August 2002

*571  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics Current Issues report, Rising domestic plantation wood supplies , dated August 2002:

(1) Who prepared the 1997 projections for plantation wood supply.

(2) What new information has, or what new assumptions have, become available in 2002 leading to a 20 per cent upward revision in projected plantation wood availability from 2006.

(3) (a) In the 1997 projections, what volume of softwood plantation wood was projected to be available for the 2006-10 period; (b) what volume is now projected to be available for the same period; (c) what are the confidence limits of each set of projections; and (d) how does the Minister explain the revised projections, given that the softwood plantations to which they refer generally have growing times of 30 or more years (in other words, they were already 20 years old when the 1997 supply estimates were prepared).

(4) (a) Were the revised projections available before 30 June 2002; (b) why were they not released publicly until August 2002; and (c) how does the Minister expect the revised projections to affect plantation investment and wood prices.

(5) Using the new projections, what proportion of Australia’s wood consumption can be met from plantations from 2006-10.

(6) Does the Minister agree that competition from other nations such as Argentina, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa will make it difficult for Australian producers to export the impending surplus of plantation wood.

(7) What would be the benefits for Australia’s plantation-based industry if old-growth and high conservation value native forests were protected from logging, under the new supply projections.

(8) Is Australia facing a wood glut.

(9) (a) What is the justification for continued tax and other incentives to expand Australia’s plantation estate; and (b) what is their annual cost.

*572  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to Australia’s Third National Communication on Climate Change, 2002 :

(1) Which ‘known projects’ are included in the projections for stationary energy sector emissions.

(2) What other ‘significant energy intensive major projects’ are projected or planned which have the potential to increase the projection.

(3) (a) What proportion of electricity generation is generated from gas at present; and (b) what factors will influence the assumed 13 per cent contribution of gas by 2010.

(4) (a) What effect will Basslink have on greenhouse gas emissions; and (b) will it have the effect of increasing brown coal emissions and reducing gas generation.

(5) (a) How much hydro-electricity was generated in 1990; (b) how does this compare with the baseline amount used for the mandatory renewable energy targets (MRET); and (c) how does this affect the projected savings under MRET in 2010.

(6) What measures will the Minister take to reform the energy market so it does not favour brown coal for electricity generation.

*573  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—When will the Federal Government facilitate the removal of the $21 to $27 fee charged for bicycles to travel on the Bass Strait ferries.

*574  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) How many Australian Customs Service vessels are currently deployed in: (a) Townsville; (b) Cairns; (c) Darwin; and (d) Broome.

(2) What is each vessel’s size, displacement and crew number.

(3) What are the official stated tasks of these vessels and crews.

(4) Are the crews of these vessels required to perform any duties or tasks normally performed by any other Commonwealth or state departments and agencies; if so: (a) how is the Commonwealth reimbursed for these ‘other duties’; and (b) can the memoranda of understanding outlining these agreements be provided.