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Notice given 13 June 2002

366  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) (a) Which Australian universities offer undergraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree; and (b) where are they located.

(2) (a) Which Australian universities offer postgraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree; and (b) where are they located.

(3) How many places are currently available at Australian universities in undergraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(4) How many places are currently available at Australian universities in postgraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree.

(5) For each of the past 5 financial years, how many places have been available at Australian universities in undergraduate courses which could directly result in students graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(6) For each of the past 5 financial years, how many places have been available at Australian universities in postgraduate courses which could directly result in students graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree.

(7) How many fully federally-funded places are currently available at Australian universities in undergraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(8) How many fully federally-funded places are currently available at Australian universities in postgraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree.

(9) For each of the past 5 financial years, how many fully federally-funded places have been available at Australian universities in undergraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(10) For each of the past 5 financial years, how many fully federally-funded places have been available at Australian universities in postgraduate courses which can directly result in students graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree.

367  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) What is the standard length (in years) of an undergraduate course at an Australian university which can directly result in students graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(2) What is the standard length (in years) of a postgraduate course at an Australian university which can directly result in students graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree.

(3) What is the current total Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) contribution over the full life of the standard duration of a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree that the Federal Government requires to be paid by an undergraduate student pursuing a course that could directly result in that student graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(4) What is the current total HECS or other contribution over the full life of the standard duration of a Master of Veterinary Science degree that the Federal Government requires to be paid by a graduate student pursuing a course that could directly result in that student graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree.

(5) For each of the past 5 financial years, what has been the total HECS contribution over the full life of the standard duration of a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree that the Federal Government has required to be paid by an undergraduate student pursuing a course that could directly result in that student graduating with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(6) For each of the past 5 financial years, what has been the total HECS or other contribution over the full life of the standard duration of a Master of Veterinary Science degree that the Federal Government has required to be paid by a graduate student pursuing a course that could directly result in that student graduating with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary degree.

368  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) What is the forecast by year, over the next 5 financial years, of the number of students who will graduate from Australian universities with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree.

(2) What is the forecast by year, over the next 5 financial years, of the number of students who will graduate from Australian universities with a Master of Veterinary Science degree or higher veterinary qualification.

369  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) What medical research has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council into the causes of lower back pain.

(2) Can a copy of the reports of such research be provided.

(3) If no research has been conducted, can the Minister indicate what priority this cause of debility has in public policy.

(4) What measures has the Government adopted to prevent the causes of lower back pain.

(5) Does the Government have an estimate of the cost to the health system, including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, of lower back pain.

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

(1) Is the Minister aware of the critique prepared by Animals Australia of the environment assessment report by Environment Australia (December 2001) on the Rabbit Calicivirus Suspension (Bait Delivery) Application by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation to the National Registration Authority.

(2) What is being done to address the concerns raised in the critique in relation to cross infectivity.

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

(1) Who wrote the report, ‘Environmental Assessment of Rabbit Calicivirus Injection, a product of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for registration as a new biological product, 1996’.

(2) Who wrote Environment Australia’s environment assessment report on the Rabbit Calicivirus Suspension (Bait Delivery) Application by CSIRO to the National Registration Authority, 2001.

(3) Has the 2001 report been peer-reviewed; if so, by whom.

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

(1) Is the Minister aware of the Taiwanese study by Shien and Lee in 2000 which illustrated that Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD) pigs innoculated with RCD suffered fever and still had live virus present in their lungs and livers after 14 days.

(2) Can the Minister give an unequivocal assurance that RCD will never spread from Australian rabbits to Australian pigs.

(3) Given that the use of RCD on food baits would expose a much wider range of non-target species to ingestion of the live virus than has occurred with RCD innoculation, can the Minister give an unequivocal assurance that RCD will not spread from Australian rabbits to humans and any other species of animal.

373  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—When is the National Registration Authority expected to make a decision on the proposed development of the Rabbit Calicivirus Suspension (Bait Delivery) Application by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

374  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) Is the Minister aware that members of the Hazara faith have been subject to persecution and human rights abuses in Afghanistan prior to, as well as during, the rule of the Taliban regime.

(2) What steps is the Minister taking to guarantee the safety of members of the Hazara faith who are being repatriated to Afghanistan from Australia.

375  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 168 (Senate Hansard , 15 May 2002, p.1567):

(1) Did the Tasmanian experiments in question involve the introduction or attempted introduction of different generations of the E. nitens and E. globulus species; if so: (a) for what purpose; and (b) with what result.

(2) Who conducted the experiments.