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Notice given 22 September 2005

*1237  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) For which species of sharks, rays and other marine species has the Minister given principal responsibility to the states, under respective Offshore Constitutional Settlement (OCS) agreements.

(2) Are the states required to meet any sustainability standards or management guidelines for these species as part of the OCS agreements; if so, what are these standards or guidelines.

(3) Can any such standards, guidelines or management plans be provided; if not, why not.

*1238  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to the listing of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, and threatened ecological communities (TECs) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 :

(1) Is the Minister aware that there are 24 TECs listed by the Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) for the Swan Coastal Plain, and that only 10 of these are listed under the Act.

(2) Does the Minister consider that there is some deficiency with CALM’s criteria for listing TECs.

(3) Why has the Commonwealth’s criteria for listing TECs left 14 of these sites without protection under the Act.

(4) Is the Minister concerned that the Commonwealth’s criteria for listing TECs has left 14 of these sites without protection under the Act.

(5) What action will be taken to ensure that these remaining 14 sites are protected under the Act.

*1239  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1041 (Senate Hansard , 5 September 2005, p. 187), in which the Minister refers to research evidence showing that risky and high risk drinking rates for young people under 18 years of age have not changed greatly over the past 5 years, despite the increasing popularity of ready to drink (RTD) products, that often displace the consumption of beer:

(1) Can a copy be provided of this research evidence; if not, why not.

(2) What is the research evidence relating to levels of risky and high risk drinking for young people aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 34.

(3) (a) What evidence is available regarding the increasing popularity of RTD products, in relation to other alcoholic beverages; and (b) can this evidence be categorised by age and gender.

(4) What research has the Government funded, if any, that specifically investigates: (a) who buys RTD products; (b) why RTD products are being purchased by people of different ages; (c) who drinks RTD products; (d) where RTD products are being purchased; and (e) the level of knowledge among young people of the alcoholic content of RTD beverages in comparison to other alcoholic beverages.

(5) Has the Government considered targeting parents and young people with a specific education and awareness campaign on RTD products, including their alcohol content.

(6) With reference to current work to achieve an industry-wide voluntary national approach to the labelling of alcoholic beverages with graphics that clearly depict the number of standard drinks in the beverage: (a) who is involved in this work; (b) what is the timeline for this work; and (c) how many meetings have been held on this issue and who attended.

(7) Are discussions on the potential labelling approach considering: (a) clear and prominent indication of the number of standard drinks per product; and (b) pre-vetting of packaging and labelling of alcoholic beverages by an independent watchdog.

(8) What penalties, if any, are under consideration for a breach of the potential labelling approach.

*1240  Senator Murray: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—With reference to the sale or possible sale of Telstra:

(1) Has the Government opened the tender for the appointment of banks to act as joint global coordinators, to be on an institutional selling panel, or in other selling roles; if so, can an estimate be provided of the full fees and costs likely to be incurred, in aggregate and by bank.

(2) Has the department exercised its option to extend the scoping study advisers’ services; if so: (a) to whom; and (b) can an estimate be provided of the full fees and costs likely to be incurred, in aggregate and by adviser.

(3) Excluding small or insignificant contracts, are there any other advisers, agents or entities that will receive fees from the sale of Telstra; if so, what are the full fees and costs likely to be incurred, in aggregate and by adviser, agent or entity.

*1241  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1014 (Senate Hansard , 16 August 2005, p. 205) relating to tobacco products which states that, ‘The Australian Government does not have the constitutional power to comprehensively legislate against the manufacture and sale of tobacco products, including flavoured cigarettes ’:

(1) Has the Government ratified the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

(2) Is the Minister aware that the High Court in Victoria v Commonwealth [1996] 187 CLR 416, at 458 found that the ‘external affairs’ power of the Constitution provides the Commonwealth with power to legislate to fulfil obligations that it has assumed upon entering into a treaty, even if it involves ‘the intrusion of Commonwealth law into a field that has hitherto been the preserve of State law’.

(3) Do the regulatory obligations accepted by parties to the WHO FCTC include: (a) a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; (b) packaging and labelling requirements; and (c) the regulation of the contents and emissions of tobacco products.

(4) Can the Minister indicate whether regulating the contents of tobacco products would include flavourings added to tobacco products; if not, why not.

(5) Has the department sought any advice on how the ‘external affairs’ power of the Constitution could be applied by the Commonwealth to legislate to meet its commitments under the WHO FCTC; if so, what was that advice; if not, why not.