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Notice given 27 February 2012

1563  Senator Boswell: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—With reference to the Marine Bioregional Planning Program:

(1) On what scientific basis have the lines defining the bioregions of the South-west, North, North-west, Coral Sea and the Temperate East Marine Regions been determined.

(2) Can the scientific analysis that underpins the location of the closures be provided, including details of what specifically needs protection and what it is being protected from.

(3) What peer reviewed scientific analysis has been used to ban trawling in each of the marine regions.

(4) How did the Minister formulate the policy that marine parks are the best way to conserve biodiversity.

(5) Has the Government assessed the number of boats that trawl in the highly protected (green zones), multiple-use, general purpose and special purpose zones.

(6) (a) What amount of fishing effort will have to be reduced and how many licences will have to be removed to allow the remaining boats to fish in areas that are not zoned; and (b) how were these figures determined.

(7) Has the Government estimated the cost of buying out the licences and the boats that will be required to reduce the effort; if so, which government body will assess the compensation to fishermen.

(8) Can the Minister advise whether the Government will compensate allied seafood businesses, such as processors, wholesalers and retailers who will be severely impacted by the closures, many of which are located in regional towns that rely on industry jobs therefore forming an important part of the community.

(9) Can the Minister advise why a management plan was not prepared prior to the declaration of the bioregions.

(10) In regard to Australia’s international obligations to establish marine reserves: (a) what is Australia’s commitment; and (b) under which particular agreements is Australia bound.

(11) What is the total, quantifiable commitment made to international bodies and to which international bodies has Australia made a commitment.

1564  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—

(1) Is the department aware of its obligations under section 11C of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act) in relation to the freedom of information disclosure log.

(2) Why do some documents mentioned in the disclosure log appear with the message, ‘This document is not currently available for download. Please contact 1300 363 079 to request a copy’.

(3) Is the department in receipt of any advice suggesting that documents may not be published and can be substituted with a message.

(4) Why has the department failed to satisfy section 11C of the Act.

 

 1565  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) In regard to the sale of uranium to India:

(a) has the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (ASNO) provided advice to the Government regarding uranium sales to India; if so, what advice and to whom;

(b) what is the process and timeline proposed for advancing this policy shift; and

(c) what is the role of ASNO in this process.

(2) What is the current status of Australia’s involvement in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) initiative.

(3) Which ASNO officers are involved in the GNEP initiative and what form does this involvement take.

(4) Has ASNO provided advice to assist in Australia’s preparations for the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in Vienna; if so, to whom.

(5) Which ASNO officers will attend the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in Vienna.

(6) Has ASNO had input or provided advice to the Australia-Africa Mining Industry Group proposal to link AusAID funding to Australian resource projects; if so, to whom and when was the advice provided.

(7) Has ASNO reviewed the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Inquiry into Australia’s relationship with the countries of Africa ; if so:

(a) what is ASNO’s assessment of this report; and

(b) to whom has advice been provided regarding the possible future steps to be taken.

(8) What advice or assessments have ASNO officers provided to the Government or its agencies (detailing which) regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

(9) Has ASNO been involved in any assessments or responses to papers, reports or processes of the United Nations, or other international organisations, regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

(10) Has there been any material change in the legal, regulatory or operational framework of the uranium sector in Australia since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

(11) Does ASNO consider the Government’s approval of the proposed expansion of Olympic Dam as a ‘clear signal’ or is BHP Billiton board approval required.

(12) Can the Minister outline the expected new treaty or amended treaty process with China and the schedule of events required at the intergovernmental level to explore this further, including what model ASNO proposes to use to determine the required accounting arrangements and security measures.

(13) Which facilities in China have been approved by the Australian Government to process Australian uranium oxide.

(14) Does ASNO recognise the potential for commercial mining interests in the Olympic Dam project to influence and drive Australia’s bilateral uranium sales agreements.

 

 1566  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy—

(1) Has the department provided advice to the Minister, the Minister’s office or the New South Wales Government or its agencies regarding uranium deposits or the development of the uranium sector in that state; if so:

(a) to whom and when was the advice provided; and

(b) can this advice be supplied.

(2) What is the current status of Australia’s involvement in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) initiative.

(3) Has the department provided advice to assist in Australia’s preparations for the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty conference to be held in Vienna; if so, to whom and when.

(4) Which departmental officers will attend the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in Vienna.

(5) Did any departmental officers attend the recent Investing in African Mining Indaba meeting in Cape Town; if so:

(a) who; and

(b) what were the outcomes of the meeting.

(6) What is the current status of the Australia-Africa Mining Industry Group proposal to link AusAID funding to Australian resource projects.

(7) What advice has been provided or meetings held to consider or advance this proposal.

(8) Has the department reviewed the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Inquiry into Australia’s relationship with the countries of Africa ; if so:

(a) what is the department’s assessment of this report; and

(b) to whom has advice been provided in relation to this assessment.

(9) What advice or assessments has the department provided to the Government or its agencies (detailing which) regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster, including:

(a) what has been the nature of this advice; and

(b) to whom has it been provided.

(10) Has the department been involved in any assessments or responses to papers, reports or processes of the United Nations, or other international organisations, regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

(11) Has there been any material change in the legal, regulatory or operational framework of the uranium sector in Australia since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

(12) In regard to the sale of uranium to India:

(a) what advice has the department provided to: (i) the Minister, and (ii) other parts of government, on this matter;

(b) can the Minister confirm what the process will be to advance this policy shift; and

(c) what is the department’s role in this process.

(13) What is the current composition, status, meeting schedule and 2012 work plan of the Uranium Industry Framework taskforce.

(14) Can the Minister confirm the status of initiatives to streamline state and federal uranium approvals.

 

 (15) Has the department provided any briefings to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency or the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities regarding the progress of the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty, Northern Territory; if so, can the relevant notes or briefings be provided.

(16) Has the department prepared any modelling on the proposal to compensate states and territories for storing waste produced in their jurisdictions at the proposed nuclear waste dump at Muckaty; if so, how would the cost of storage be calculated, for example, per cubic meter or degree of radioactivity.

(17) Has the department calculated or prepared any modelling on the likely amount raised over the 300 to 400 year period for which the facility is scheduled to be operating.

(18) Did the department consult with the Northern Territory Government before agreeing to the $10 million amendment proposed by Senator Scullion; if so, can the Minister provide any correspondence or notes on correspondence relating to any such consultations.

(19) Has the department or Minister entered into discussions or correspondence with the Northern Land Council with regard to other site nominations being put forward if the Muckaty site does not go forward.

1567  Senator Waters: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—With reference to the ‘State Party Report on the state of conservation of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (Australia)’:

(1) Given that the Australian Government’s report, presented to the World Heritage Committee on 1 February 2012, stated that Queensland’s State Coastal Plan ‘prevents new development footprints in coastal areas of high ecological significance’ (p. iv), can details be provided outlining exactly how the State Coastal Plan achieves this.

(2) Is the department’s definition of ‘prevent’ different from the commonly accepted understanding, that prevent means stopping something from happening.

(3) What is meant by ‘new development footprints’.

(4) In coastal areas of high ecological significance, how does the Queensland State Coastal Plan prevent:

(a) residential or tourism developments;

(b) port developments; and

(c) industrial and infrastructure developments.

(5) Is it more accurate to state that the Queensland State Coastal Plan does not prevent any development, but rather that the plan needs merely to be considered by an assessment manager (usually the local council) when applications for particular types of development are under assessment.

(6) Given that the report states that the Queensland Government’s Wetlands State Planning Policy protects high value wetlands, can details be provided outlining exactly how this policy delivers genuine protection of high value wetlands from the impacts of residential, commercial, industrial, port and infrastructure developments.

 

 (7) Can a list be provided detailing which wetlands in Queensland are not of ‘high value’ and therefore are not afforded protection by the Wetlands State Planning Policy.

(8) Does the Wetlands State Planning Policy have to be complied with by decision-makers; do decisions have to be consistent with the policy or does the policy only have to be considered by decision-makers.

(9) Is it more accurate to state that the Queensland Wetlands State Planning Policy gives guidance on wetlands protection and only needs to be considered (but not adhered to) by decision-makers in regard to high value wetlands.

(10) In regard to the ‘Disclaimer’ at the beginning of the report, whose views and opinions are expressed in the publication if not those of the Australian Government.

(11) Who is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of a State Party Report compiled in fulfilment of Australia’s obligations to the World Heritage Committee.

1568  Senator Waters: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—

(1) Can the Minister advise how the Australian Government is discharging its World Heritage obligations in relation to managing Fraser Island.

(2) Did the Commonwealth Government provide any funding for Stage 1 of the Fraser Island Dingo Population Study, and is it providing any funding for Stage 2 of the study.

(3) When is the Stage 2 report due, and what caused the delay given that the Stage 1 report states its expected publication was July 2011.

(4) Does the Minister or department have a role in agreeing to and/or approving the Fraser Island dingo management strategy, and when will the strategy next be reviewed.

(5) Given that the Fraser Island Dingo Population Study was intended to inform the Fraser Island dingo management strategy on an ongoing basis, can the Minister advise how the findings of current studies are being incorporated in a timely fashion into the Fraser Island dingo management strategy, and/or operational procedures in managing the island.

1569  Senator Waters: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—With reference to coal seam gas exploration in the Pilliga Forest, and given that it is the largest temperate woodland left in eastern Australia, arguably a perfect example of an ‘ecosystem of national significance’: In the upcoming reforms to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 :

(a) will the Government open up the proposed new trigger of ‘ecosystems of national significance’ to public nominations, thereby enabling areas such as the Pilliga Forest to receive due recognition; and

(b) if not, will the Government undertake an assessment of the Pilliga Forest for potential classification as an ‘ecosystem of national significance’ if the reforms are implemented.