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Notice given 15 September 2003

*2026  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—Can a list be provided of all work performed on the HMAS Kanimbla between 1 January 2002 and 30 June 2002, including: (a) a description of the work; (b) the contractor who performed the work; (c) the amount paid to each of the contractors; and (d) the dates that each payment was made.

*2027  Senator Forshaw: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) How many allocated aged care places were available as at 30 June 2003 in each state and territory for: (a) high care residential; (b) low care residential; (c) and community aged care packages.

(2) How many operational places were available as at 30 June 2003 in each state and territory for: (a) high care residential; (b) low care residential; and (c) community aged care packages.

*2028  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—In regard to the provision of two-way satellite broadcasting access for rural areas in Australia: (a) What advantages or disadvantages does the satellite option have for remote communities compared with other options; (b) does the satellite option offer Australians in remote or rural areas services similar to those available in metropolitan areas; and (c) are any proposals being considered by the Government.

*2029  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to statements made by the Prime Minister at a press conference with Australian journalists at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, Manila, on 14 July 2003:

(1) What are the terms of the agreement reached between the Prime Minister and the President of the Philippines on the establishment of a standing forum to resolve agricultural trade disputes between Australia and the Philippines.

(2) (a) Which country initiated the standing forum proposal; and (b) how was the proposal initiated.

(3) Were officers of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry present during the Prime Minister’s negotiations on the standing forum; if so, which officers.

(4) Did the Prime Minister consult with: (a) the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; (b) the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; (c) the Minister for Trade; (d) the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; (e) the National Farmers’ Federation; or (d) any Australian commodity or industry group, before he agreed to establish a standing forum to resolve agricultural trade disputes with the Philippines; if so, when did he engage in such consultation.

(5) If the forum was not first discussed by representatives of the two countries during the Prime Minister’s meeting with the President of the Philippines on 14 July 2003: (a) when was the proposal first discussed; (b) who was involved; (c) what other negotiations occurred prior to 14 July 2003; (d) when did those negotiations take place; and (e) who was involved.

(6) With regard to negotiations about the standing forum since the Prime Minister’s meeting with the President of the Philippines on 14 July 2003: (a) if negotiations have taken place; (i) what form have they taken, (ii) where were these held, (iii) when did they take place, (iv) which officials from which departments have been involved, (v) what has been the total cost of these negotiations, (vi) what proportion of the costs has Australia met, (vii) what outcomes can be attributed to the negotiations, (viii) what future negotiations are planned,  (ix) when are negotiations anticipated to conclude; and (b) if no negotiations have taken place: (i) why not, (ii) when will they commence, (iii) what form will they take, (iv) which officials from which departments will be involved, (v) what will the negotiations cost, (vi) what proportion of these costs will Australia meet, and (vii) when will the negotiations conclude.

(7) Has the forum been established; if so: (a) when; (b) what was its establishment cost and what will be its ongoing operations cost; (c) can a breakdown of these costs be provided; (d) what is its membership; (e) how are matters brought before the forum; (f) what matters can be brought before the forum; (g) how are disputes resolved in the forum; (h) what matters have been discussed by the forum; (i) when have those discussions occurred; (j) what has been the outcome of those discussions; if the forum has not been established: (a) why not; and (b) when will the forum be established.

(8) Is the standing forum consistent with Australia’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations.

(9) Have other countries made any representations to the Government in connection with the standing forum proposal; if so, (a) what countries have made representations; (b) what was their nature; (c) when were they made; and (d) what response has the Government provided.

(10) Has the Government considered establishing standing for a with other countries as a means to settle trade disputes.

(11) What implications does the standing forum proposal have for the settlement of current trade disputes with the Philippines concerning the proposed importation of bananas and pineapples.

(12) (a) What are the details of the proposal put by the President of the Philippines to the Prime Minister in relation to the importation of pineapples; (b) does the proposal involve a change to the conditions of entry for pineapples; (c) what consideration has the Government given to the proposal; and (d) what is the timeframe for the conclusion of that consideration.

(13) (a) Did the Prime Minister raise the Philippines’ recent WTO challenge against Australian quarantine in only a ‘very, very cursory way’ during his meeting with the President of the Philippines; if so, why; and (b) did the Prime Minister adopt this course of action pursuant to departmental advice; if so, which departments provided this advice.

(14) (a) What other agricultural trade matters were discussed at the meeting between the Prime Minister and the President of the Philippines on 14 July 2003; and (b) what agreements were reached.

*2030  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Minister’s trip to South America in mid-2003:

(1) When did the Minister : (a) depart Australia; and (b) return to Australia.

(2) Who travelled with the Minister .

(3) Who met the cost of the participants' travel and other expenses associated with the trip.

(4) If costs were met by the department, can an itemised list of costs be provided; if not, why not.

(5) Can the Minister’s detailed itinerary be provided; if not, why not.

*2031  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—With reference to the visit by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to South America in mid-2003:

(1) What travel costs and other associated expenses, if any, were met by the department in respect of the Minister and his staff.

(2) What were these costs per expenditure item for: (a) the Minister ; and (b) the Minister's staff.

(3) What other costs, if any, were met by the department in relation to the trip.

*2032  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the trip to the United States of America by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in mid-2003:

(1) When did the Parliamentary Secretary : (a) depart Australia; and (b) return to Australia.

(2) Who travelled with the Parliamentary Secretary .

(3) Who met the cost of the participants’ travel and other expenses associated with the trip.

(4) If costs were met by the department, can an itemised list of costs be provided; if not, why not.

(5) Can the Parliamentary Secretary’s detailed itinerary be provided; if not, why not.

*2033  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—With reference to the trip to the United States of America by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in mid-2003:

(1) What travel costs and other associated expenses, if any, were met by the department in respect of the Parliamentary Secretary and her staff.

(2) What were these costs per expenditure item for: (a) the Parliamentary Secretary ; and (b) the Parliamentary Secretary’s staff.

(3) What other costs, if any, were met by the department in relation to the trip.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *2034-*2064)—

(1) For each of the following financial years: (a) 1996-97; (b) 1997-98; (c) 1998-99; (d) 1999-2000; (e) 2000-01; (f) 2001-02; (g) 2002-03; and (h) 2003-04, has the department or any agency for which the Minister is responsible, including boards, councils, committees and advisory bodies, made payments to the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) for research projects, consultancies , conferences, publications and/or other purposes; if so, (i) how much each payment, (ii) when was each payment made, and (iii) what services were provided.

(2) In relation to each research project or consultancy: (a) when was the IPA engaged; (b) for what time period; (c) what were the terms of reference; (d) what role did the Minister and/or his office have in the engagement of the IPA; (e) was the contract subject to a tender process; if so, was it an open tender or a select tender; if not, why not.

*2034 Minister representing the Prime Minister

*2035 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

*2036 Minister representing the Treasurer

*2037 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

*2038 Minister for Defence

*2039 Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

*2040 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

*2041 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

*2042 Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

*2043 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

*2044 Minister representing the Attorney-General

*2045 Minister for Finance and Administration

*2046 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

*2047 Minister for Family and Community Services

*2048 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training

*2049 Minister for Health and Ageing

*2050 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

*2051 Minister for Justice and Customs

*2052 Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation

*2053 Minister for the Arts and Sport

*2054 Minister representing the Minister for Small Business and Tourism

*2055 Minister representing the Minister for Science

*2056 Minister representing the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

*2057 Minister representing the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

*2058 Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services

*2059 Special Minister of State

*2060 Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

*2061 Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer

*2062 Minister representing the Minister for Ageing

*2063 Minister representing the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

*2064 Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women

*2065  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1474 (Senate Hansard , 19 August 2003, p. 14019) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program grant of $20 900 to the Eurobodalla Shire Council for the production of a Eurobodalla coast gourmet trails brochure:

(1) What variations to the application were made on: (a) 2 July 2001; and (b) 17 August 2001.

(2) (a) When was the project milestone constituting a brochure launch scheduled; (b) when was the launch cancelled due to a ‘lack of availability of invitees’; (c) why did the proponent fail to reschedule the launch; and (d) why did the department not delay or withhold progress payments until this project milestone was reached.

(3) When were monitoring visits undertaken.

(4) (a) How has the Minister attributed the generation of four full-time equivalent positions to this project; (b) what is the nature of these positions; and (c) where are they located.

(5) Can the Minister explain how the project was completed on 20 May 2003 when, according to his advice, it is not due to commence until 1 October 2003. 

(6) Can the Minister explain how a final audit was completed on 19 July 2002 when, according to his advice, the project itself was not completed until 20 May 2003. 

*2066  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1473 (Senate Hansard , 19 August 2003, p. 14010) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program grant of $34 914 to the Sapphire Coast Producers’ Association Inc. for the alternative starter kits project:

(1) What variation to the application was made on 22 November 2000.

(2) Can the Minister explain why the proponent was not informed about the funding approval until 5 July 2001 when, according to the Minister’s advice, his department informed the Area Consultative Committee and the Member for Eden-Monaro (Mr Nairn) on 10 April 2001 and announced the grant on 11 April 2001.

(3) Why have no monitoring visits been undertaken by the department.

(4) (a) What project milestones has the proponent failed to report; and (b) what progress payments has the department withheld as a consequence of this failure.

(5) With reference to the project’s projected employment generation of 10 to 40 jobs within two years and a further 5 to 10 jobs through the construction of a multi-purpose processing facility: (a) does the drought constitute a satisfactory explanation for the project’s failure to generate any employment outcomes since August 2001; and (b) why is the project not completed.

*2067  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1472 (Senate Hansard , 19 August 2003, p. 14004) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program (RAP) grant of $39 974 to the South East New South Wales Area Consultative Committee for the strategic response to dairy RAP project:

(1) Can the Minister explain why he advised that ‘ownership of assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds vests with the funding recipient’ when the Minister’s program information guide states that ‘any assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds will remain the property of the department upon completion or termination of the project, unless the Commonwealth determines otherwise’. 

(2) If the Minister has determined that assets purchased with this grant should be vested in the proponent, can the Minister: (a) explain why; (b) advise what assets were purchased and the value of these assets; and (c) advise on what date this decision was made.

*2068  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1471 (Senate Hansard, 19 August 2003, p. 13996) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program (RAP) grant of $660 645 to the Bega Cooperative Society for the Bega Cheese shredding and mozzarella line project:

(1) (a) What project milestones has the proponent failed to meet; and (b) what progress payments have been withheld as a result.

(2) Why is the project incomplete 30 months after commencement when the application advised that the project would be completed within 4 months of commencement.

(3) (a) In what months has the proponent failed to provide monthly progress reports; (b) when has the department made ‘repeated requests’ for the provision of these reports; and (c) what explanation has the department received for the failure to provide these reports.

(4) What is the nature of the ‘22 positions’ generated by the project, i.e. are these jobs permanent, full-time, seasonal, direct or indirect.

(5) (a) Why did the Minister advise that ‘ownership of assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds vests with the funding recipient’ when the Minister’s program information guide states that ‘any assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds will remain the property of the department upon completion or termination of the project, unless the Commonwealth determines otherwise’; and (b) if the Minister has determined that assets purchased with this grant should be vested in the proponent, can the Minister: (i) explain why, (ii) advise what assets were purchased and the value of these assets, and (iii) advise on what date this decision was made.

*2069  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1475 (Senate Hansard, 19 August 2003, p. 14025) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program grant of $770 000 to the Bega Cooperative Society for the Bega Cheese - cheese plant upgrade project:

(1) Did the failure of the Bega Cooperative Society to meet project milestones for the Bega Cheese shredding and mozzarella line project have any impact on the decision to approve funding for the cheese plant upgrade project; if so, what impact; if not, why not.

(2) (a) What project milestones has the proponent failed to meet for the shredding and mozzarella line project; and (b) what progress payments have been withheld as a result.

(3) Why is the project incomplete 14 months after commencement when the application advised that the project would be completed within 6 months of commencement.

(4) (a) In what months has the proponent failed to provide monthly progress reports; (b) when has the department made ‘repeated requests’ for the provision of these reports; and (c) what explanation has the department received for the failure to provide these reports.

(5) What is the nature of the ‘24 positions’ generated by the project, i.e. are these jobs permanent, full-time, seasonal, direct or indirect.

Senator Faulkner: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *2070-*2087)—

(1) For the financial years 2001-02 and 2002-03, have there been any laptop computers lost or stolen from the possession of any officer of the department and/or any agency within the portfolio, if so: (a) how many have been lost; (b) how many have been stolen; (c) what is the total value of these computers; (d) what is the average replacement value per computer; and (e) have these computers been recovered or replaced.

(2) Have the police been requested to investigate any of these incidents, if so: (a) how many were the subject of police investigation; (b) how many police investigations have been concluded; (c) in how many cases has legal action commenced; and (d) in how many cases has action been concluded and with what result.

(3) How many of these lost or stolen items had, on their hard disc drives or in the form of floppy disc, CD-ROM or any other storage device, departmental documents, content or information other than operating software.

(4) How many of the documents referred to in to paragraph (3) were classified for security or any other purpose; if any, what was the security classification involved.

(5) (a) How many of the documents referred to in paragraph (3) have been recovered; and (b) how many documents referred to in paragraph (4) have been recovered.

(6) What departmental disciplinary or other actions have been taken in regard to the items referred to paragraph (1), or in relation to the documents referred to in paragraphs (3) and (4).

*2070 Minister representing the Prime Minister

*2071 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

*2072 Minister representing the Treasurer

*2073 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

*2074 Minister for Defence

*2075 Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

*2076 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

*2077 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

*2078 Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

*2079 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

*2080 Minister representing the Attorney-General

*2081 Minister for Finance and Administration

*2082 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

*2083 Minister for Family and Community Services

*2084 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training

*2085 Minister for Health and Ageing

*2086 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

*2087 Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Senator Faulkner: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *2088-*2105)—

(1) For the financial years 2001-02 and 2002-03, have there been any desktop computers, or any other item of computer hardware, other than laptop computers, lost or stolen from the possession of any officer of the department and/or any agency within the portfolio, if so: (a) what and how many have been lost; (b) what and how many have been stolen; (c) what is the total value of these items; (d) what is the nominal replacement value per item; and (e) have these computers been recovered or replaced.

(2) Have the police been requested to investigate any of these incidents, if so: (a) how many were the subject of police investigation; (b) how many police investigations have been concluded; (c) in how many cases has legal action commenced; and (d) in how many cases has action concluded and with what result.

(3) How many of these lost or stolen items had, on their hard disc drives or in the form of floppy disc, CD-ROM or any other storage device, departmental documents, content or information other than operating software.

(4) How many of the documents referred to in paragraph (3) were classified for security or any other purpose; if any, what was the security classification involved.

(5) (a) How many of the documents referred to in paragraph (3) have been recovered; and (b) how many documents referred to in paragraph (4) have been recovered.

(6) What departmental disciplinary or other actions have been taken in regard to the items referred to paragraph 1, or in relation to the documents referred to in paragraphs (3) and (4).

*2088 Minister representing the Prime Minister

*2089 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

*2090 Minister representing the Treasurer

*2091 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

*2092 Minister for Defence

*2093 Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

*2094 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

*2095 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

*2096 Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

*2097 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

*2098 Minister representing the Attorney-General

*2099 Minister for Finance and Administration

*2100 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

*2101 Minister for Family and Community Services

*2102 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training

*2103 Minister for Health and Ageing

*2104 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

*2105 Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

*2106  Senator Marshall: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to a raid conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) at a family home in Melbourne in the early hours of 3 June 2003, as reported in the Age of 4 June 2003:

(1) Were personal items, such as high school text and exercise books, other books, photos, political placards, banners, flags and posters, framed pictures, newspaper clippings, calendars, videos, and clothing badges and pins confiscated from the home.

(2) (a) How many of each of these items were seized and was what the subject nature of each item; and (b) why were these items seized.

(3) (a) Was the AFP requested to return any or all of these items to the family, by the family or their legal representatives; (b) can details of any such requests be provided; (c) on how many occasions have such requests been made to the AFP; and (d) can details the AFP’s response to any such requests be provided; if not, why not.

(4) When will these items be returned to the family; if not, why not.

(5) (a) What assistance or remedy can the Government provide to the student, or students, whose education has been disadvantaged by the seizure and non-return of schoolbooks; and (b) will the Government offer such assistance or remedy; if not, why not.

*2107  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—

(1) Is the proposed visit by HRH Prince Harry of a completely private nature.

(2) Does the visit include visiting Bondi Beach, attending the Rugby World Cup and attending a farm-stay program.

(3) Will the Prince undertake any official duties during his stay in Australia.

(4) Are reports claiming that the personal security costs associated with the visit have been estimated to be in excess of $1.4 million, accurate.

(5) Does the Minister believe it is appropriate to use taxpayer’s money to cover the costs of a purely private visit by a member of the British Royal Family.

*2108  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—What progress has been made on developing a national framework for combating abuse in schools, as first raised by the Minister at the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs meeting in July 2002.

*2109  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) Is the Government aware that British Nuclear Fuels Limited is currently exhuming waste and debris contaminated with plutonium buried at its repository at Drigg, Cumbria and repackaging it, with a view to disposal in concrete at its Sellafield site.

(2) Will the Government now consider exhuming the plutonium contaminated debris currently buried in earth trenches at Maralinga for proper re-burial in concrete; if not, why not.