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Notice given 20 March 2002

*198  Senator Harris: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs—With reference to the Vietnam Era Selective Conscripts of Australia Association (VESCAA) survey:

(1) Will the Minister respond to the 92 per cent of respondents asking for the formation of VESCAA.

(2) Has the Government, the Minister, or the department taken any action to acknowledge the formation of VESCAA.

(3) Will the Minister advise what action the Government intends to take after receiving the results of the VESCAA survey, given to the Minister on 26 February 2001.

(4) What action has the Minister taken to compensate the 71 per cent of respondents acknowledging loss of income during their period of ‘selective conscription’.

(5) What departmental action plan has the Minister made to reduce the 60 per cent problem claims in the Veterans’ Affairs Claims Department.

(6) What are the criteria which must be met to receive a service pension.

(7) Of the surveys returned, and given that 79 per cent of respondents indicated health problems relating to National Service, what action is the Minister taking to address this issue.

*199  Senator Harris: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) Was Mr John Armstrong a fully authorised officer of Telstra’s board in October 2000; if so, in that authorised capacity, was Mr Armstrong able to swear an affidavit for and on behalf of Telstra’s Board of Directors and able to bind the corporation and its directors to that which he swore.

(2) (a) Did Telstra’s Mr Ted Benjamin inform the Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee during estimates hearings on 23 June 1995 (p. 245, Hansard transcript) that all outstanding claims against Telstra in relation to ‘Casualties of Telstra’ matters were in the hands of two arbitrators; and (b) is it a fact that Mr Ivory’s 1800 777 592 prefix fault complaints were not at that time, and have not been, before those arbitrators.

*200  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to homosexuality: What is ‘conservative tolerance’ and how does it differ from plain tolerance.

*201  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) Is the Minister satisfied that all threatened species within the area affected by the proposed Lake Cowal Gold Mining Project in western New South Wales have been included in the referral from Homestake to the Minister, made under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 .

(2) What steps has the Minister taken to ascertain the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the list of threatened species supplied by Homestake.

(3) If threatened species have been left off the list and the Minister has evidence that the omissions were deliberate, will the Minister take steps to ensure that criminal prosecutions are launched.

*202  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Is the Falon Gong a ‘truly evil’ cult, as described by China’s visiting Foreign Minister, Tang Jiaxuan; if so, why.