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Notice given 9 February 2012

1546  Senator Cormann: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to the agreements to form government, signed by the Prime Minister with the Australian Greens and with independent members Robert Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, both of which state that ‘The Parties will work together and with other parliamentarians to: Refer issues of public interest disclosure, where the Senate or House votes on the floor against the decision of a Minister, to the Information Commissioner, who will arbitrate on the release of relevant documents and report to both Houses’ (Clause 3e in the ‘Labor-Greens agreement’ and Clause 3d in the ‘Labor-Independent Members agreement’):

(1) Why is the Information Commissioner still not in a position to ‘arbitrate’ on a refusal by the Government to provide information requested by the Senate, as promised by the Government over 18 months ago.

(2) Over the past 18 months, has the Prime Minister, her office or the department received any representations from Senator Brown, any other member or senator of the Australian Greens, Mr Oakeshott or Mr Windsor insisting that the Government deliver on this commitment; if so, what was the nature and content of each of these representations.

(3) What steps, if any, have been taken by the Government to deliver on this commitment.

(4) Does the Government plan to ever deliver on this commitment; if so, when.

(5) In regard to an order of the Senate passed on 1 November 2011 requiring the release of information about the cost of measures related to the introduction of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax over the forward estimates:

(a) is the Prime Minister aware that the Government has completely ignored the order;

(b) how is the failure to comply with the order consistent with the Prime Minister’s promise of a new era of openness and transparency in government; and

(c) when will the Government comply with the order.

1547  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—Per month, what is the total cost incurred through the use of hire cars associated with the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre.

1548  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—Is the department aware of any cases where section 457 visas are being used to replace existing workers; if so, are section 457 visas being used within Westpac Banking Corporation to replace all software development and testing roles with information technology staff from India.