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31 May 2010

1367  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Prime Minister—In respect of the visit to Australia by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Colombia in March 2010:

(1)  What was the total number of delegates.

(2) What was the cost to the Australian Government for: (a) international, domestic and VIP airfares, including the class of travel, for each delegate; (b) meals, (c)  layovers in other countries, (d) hospitality, (e) internal transport, (f) ceremonies, (g) accommodation per night, (h) travel allowances, (i) gifts, (j) functions, (k) travel insurance, and (l) other expenses.

(3) What was the total cost to the Australian Government of the visit, including all of the items listed in part (3).

1368  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—In respect of the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence, what is the total: (a) breakdown of costs for establishing the centre; (b) staff allocation for the centre, including the classification of all staff; and (c) breakdown of costs (including all travel and related expenses, function room hire, catering, etc) for the workshop held in December 2009 to assist the African Union develop guidelines to protect civilians in conflicts.

1369  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency—In respect of the Pacific Climate Change Science Program, under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative:

(1) What is the breakdown of the money that has been spent on this $20 million program, including any travel costs and the country in which the money was spent.

(2) As a result of the program, which of Australia’s neighbours have gained a better understanding of how they will be affected by climate change.

(3) What evidence exists to demonstrate an increased capacity of countries in the Pacific region to undertake climate change science research, and take measures to abate the effects of climate change, as a result of the program.

(4)  Have recent climate trends been tracked under this program; if so, what data on this exists.

(5) Have regional climate change drivers been investigated; if so, what data on this exists.

(6) Have regional climate projections been provided; if so, to whom, and what are they.

(7) Has the understanding of ocean processes, ocean acidification and sea level rise been improved as a result of the program; if so, how, and what supporting data exists.

1370  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency—In respect of the Pacific Adaptation Strategy Assistance Program, under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative:

(1) What are the names of the partner countries under this $12 million program.

(2) How have the partner countries been assisted to assess key vulnerabilities and risks of climate change; what are these key vulnerabilities and risks; and how are they assessed.

(3) How have partner countries been assisted to formulate adaptation strategies and plans, and what are these adaptation strategies and plans.

(4) How have partner countries been assisted to integrate adaptation into their decision making, and what are some examples of how partner countries have achieved this as a result of the program.

(5) What targeted training and capacity building have been delivered, what framework was used, by whom were they delivered and what is the total breakdown of the associated costs (including wages, travel and accommodation).

1371  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In respect of the Australia-Pacific Climate Adaptation Platform, under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative: what is the: (a) breakdown of funds spent on this $3 million program; and (b) classification of all staff working on this platform.

1372  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In respect of the Pacific Future Climate Change Leaders Program, under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative:

(1)  From which Pacific countries are the leaders, and what are their names.

(2) What form(s) of training did these leaders attend, and for each training event, what were: (a) the dates; (b) the venues; (c) the countries of origin of all participants; and (d) all of the associated costs.

(3) How has the training of leaders improved their understanding of climate change, and ability to respond to it.

(4) How has this program improved regional knowledge and expertise on climate change.

(5) What (a) scholarships have, and (b) community education has, been provided under this program, to whom, and what is the breakdown of associated costs including travel and accommodation.

1373  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In respect of the Mekong and Asia-Pacific Community-based Adaptation Small Grants Program, under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative:

(1)  What has the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program funded with the $6 million provided to it; and how were the grants administered.

(2) What evidence exists to demonstrate that the $6 million has been used to implement priority adaptation measures at the local level in 15 Pacific Island countries, the Mekong sub-region, East Timor and Sri Lanka.

1374  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In respect of the immediate, high priority, practical adaptation programs totalling $25 million, specifically (a) working with national agricultural sectors to address food security issues, (b) protecting water supplies and essential infrastructure, (c) improving coastal zone management to increase the resilience of coastal areas and community settlements to climate change, and (d) supporting disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction programs, under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative:

(1) What is the breakdown of how the $25  million has been allocated between the four programs.

(2) As at 31 May 2010, what progress has been made under the programs, including details of all spending and the associated outcomes.

1375  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In respect of the recent visit to Sri Lanka by Australia's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, Mr John McCarthy:

(1)  Did Mr McCarthy visit the President of Sri Lanka on 24 February 2010.

(2) What was the main objective of this visit and has it been achieved; and were any commitments given to or made by Mr McCarthy during this visit; if so, what are they and have they been met.

(3) During or following this visit, did/has the Sri Lankan Government make/made any request for financial assistance to resettle the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are still in camps; if so, what are the details of the request, and what, if any, sum of funding has been provided.

(4) What was the total sum of financial assistance provided by the Australian Government to the Sri Lankan Government from the post-conflict resolution period (May 2009) to the present (May 2010).

(5) Has the Australian Government provided further financial assistance or aid to the Sri Lankan Government (other than for the resettlement of IDPs); if so, what sum of money and for what purpose; and what monitoring procedures are in place for the proper use of Australian funds.

1376  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1)  What is Australia’s position on the United Nations panel on accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka currently being assembled by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

(2) Has the Australian Government (a) initiated any contacts, or (b) got any intention of initiating any contacts, with the Sri Lankan Government and/or office of the United Nations Secretary General on the United Nations panel; if so, what contacts have already been made, on what date(s); at what level(s); and what outcome(s) have been achieved through these contacts.

1377  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Further to his answer to question in writing No. 863 ( House Hansard , 19 October 2009, page 10312):

(1)  Is it a fact that the (a) United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Argentina abstained from voting on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, (b) third tranche of this IMF loan has now been delayed, and (c) European Union has withdrawn Generalized System of Preferences plus trade benefits from Sri Lanka due to alleged human rights abuses during the final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war.

(2) Is it a fact that Britain has blocked Sri Lanka from hosting the next Commonwealth heads of Government meeting in 2011 in protest of Colombo's military repression against the Tamil population in 2010; if so, has the Australian Government raised any similar concerns with Sri Lanka; if so, when and by whom.

(3) Can the Australian Government indicate its position on providing aid to Sri Lanka, including details of any plans to withhold future payments until the human rights situation in Sri Lanka improves, and criteria for linking future financial assistance to such improvements.

1378  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In respect of the guest of government visit to Australia in October 2009 by former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, and Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki:

(1)  During this visit to Australia, was FYROM’s possible support for Australia’s bid for the 2013-14 United Nations Security Council Seat (UNSCS) discussed; if so, who were the parties to the discussion, and what, if any, requests for support were made by Australia.

(2) What, if any, indications did Prime Minister Gruevski and Minister Milososki give (a) during, and (b) after, their visit as to FYROM’s likely voting intentions for the 2013-14 UNSCS.

(3) During this visit, or at any time afterwards, did/has FYROM raise/d any issues with the Australian Government that might be influential in forming its voting intention in respect of Australia’s UNSCS bid; if so, (a) what were the issues, (b) what, if any, assurances did the Australian Government make, and by whom, and (c) what, if any, actions or initiatives has the Australian Government taken to pursue these issues.

(4)  Has he responded to a letter from the Embassy of FYROM on 9 February 2010 that expressed concerns regarding comments made about Macedonians by South Australian Premier Mike Rann on 29 November 2009; if not, why not; if so, can he indicate the nature of his response.

(5) What impact has Mr Rann’s comments had on the chances of Australia receiving FYROM’s vote for its UNSCS.

(6) More broadly, what has been achieved as a result of the guest of government visit.

1379  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In respect of AusAID:

(1)  What proportion of its budgeted costs are consultants employed to deliver technical assistance allowed to allocate to (a) personal expenses, (b) accommodation, (c) airfares, and (d) administrative expenses.

(2) What sum of money does AusAID provide to other Australian Government departments to assist with programs and services for developing countries, and what are the details of these programs and services, including the total sum of travel expenditure on (a) accommodation, (b) airfares, (c) administration, and (d) incidentals.

1380  MR MORRISON: To ask the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government—In respect of the Sydney Airport Community Forum (SACF):

(1) What is th e current (2010-11) budget estimate for the secretariat.

(2) What was the expenditure for the secretariat in 2009-10 and 2008-09.

(3) Is funding for the secretariat ongoing; if not, when will it cease.

(4) How does the current funding arrangement for the secretariat differ to that under the previous government.

(5) What was the average annual cost of the SACF between 1996-97 and 2007-08.

(6) What sum of money is allocated to full time equivalent positions in the secretariat for 2010-11.

1381  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Prime Minister—

(1)  What investigation was undertaken to identify the person who leaked the false version of the conversation between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States on 10 October 2008, reported in The Australian newspaper on 25 October 2008.

(2) Did the Prime Minister call an investigation into the matter referred to in part (1); if so, which agency undertook the investigation, how many officers were assigned to the investigation, and what were the findings; if not, why not.

1382  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Prime Minister—

(1)  What investigation was undertaken to identify the person who leaked the false version of the conversation between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States on 10 October 2008, reported in The Australian newspaper on 25 October 2008.

(2) Did the Prime Minister call an investigation into the matter referred to in part (1); if so, which agency undertook the investigation, how many officers were assigned to the investigation, and what were the findings; if not, why not.

1383  MS J. I. BISHOP: To ask the Attorney-General—

(1)  What investigation was undertaken to identify the person who leaked the false version of the conversation between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States on 10 October 2008, reported in The Australian newspaper on 25 October 2008.

(2) Did the Prime Minister call an investigation into the matter referred to in part (1); if so, which agency undertook the investigation, how many officers were assigned to the investigation, and what were the findings; if not, why not.