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Notice given 29 July 2002

484  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—

(1) Since July 1996, what level of funding has been appropriated in each Budget, through the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, to protect Australia’s sovereign rights in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands.

(2) In each financial year since July 1996, including 2002-03 to date, how much of the funding appropriated for the protection of Australia’s sovereign rights in the EEZ adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands was actually spent.

(3) Where not all of the funding appropriated was spent: (a) was funding carried forward to the following year; and (b) what was the reason for the failure of the Government to spend all funds appropriated for the above purpose.

(4) In the above financial years: (a) what funding was allocated for surveillance of the EEZ adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands; (b) what level of funding was allocated for monitoring fishing in this zone; and (c) what level of funding was allocated for enforcement measures to combat illegal fishing in the Heard and McDonald fishery.

(5) In the above financial years: (a) what funding was actually spent on surveillance of the EEZ adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands, on monitoring fishing in this zone; and (b) what level of funding was actually spent on enforcement measures to combat illegal fishing in the Heard and McDonald fishery.

485  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the Minister’s media release, AFFA 02/128M, which announced action ‘to get tougher on toothfish poachers’:

(1) What level of funding has been appropriated for this purpose in addition to funding provided in the 2002-03 federal Budget.

(2) Specifically, what additional funding will be allocated to surveillance, monitoring and enforcement measures in the Heard and McDonald fishery as part of the Government’s announcement to increase security in this zone.

(3) (a) What funding has been provided for in 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 financial years to meet the cost of protecting the Heard and McDonald fishery; and (b) what additional funding has been allocated for these years following the Minister’s announcement that the Government is to get tougher on poachers in that region.

486  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—

(1) How many patrols have occurred in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands to protect Australia’s sovereign rights since July 1996.

(2) In each case: (a) who undertook the patrol; (b) when did the patrol take place; (c) what area did the patrol cover; and (d) what was the duration of the patrol.

(3) What will be the level of increased patrolling of the EEZ adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands to protect Australia’s sovereign rights, announced by the Minister in his media release, AFFA02/128M, dated 25 July 2002.

487  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—

(1) What is the membership of the high-level policy group to oversee the protection of the Heard and McDonald Island Fishery announced by the Minister in his media release, AFFA02/128M, dated 25 July 2002.

(2) (a) How was the membership selected; (b) when is the proposed first meeting of the group; and (c) how often is it intended the group meet.

(3) (a) What are the terms of reference or guidelines that have been provided, or will be provided, to this group defining its functions; and (b) who drafted these terms of reference or guidelines.

(4) (a) What is the anticipated annual cost of the operation of this high-level policy group; and (b) how will this cost be met.

488  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—

(1) What is the basis for the estimate of the illegal catch of Patagonian toothfish of 3,000 tonnes from the Heard and McDonald Fishery referred to in the Minister’s media release, AFFA02/128M, dated 25 July 2002.

(2) (a) What estimates have been made of the illegal take of toothfish from this fishery, by year, since July 1996; (b) who calculated those estimates; and (c) what was the basis on which those estimates were calculated.

489  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—

(1) Since July 1996, what contact has been made with France, South Africa, United Kingdom and New Zealand regarding the combating of illegal fishing in the southern ocean.

(2) (a) On how many occasions has such contact been made with each of the about countries; and (b) through what forums was contact made.

(3) (a) What agreements have been reached with the above countries regarding the combating of illegal fishing in the southern ocean; and (b) in each case: (i) which country entered into the agreement, (ii) what was the form of the agreement, and (iii) when did the terms of the agreement come into force.

(4) If no agreements have been entered into with any of the above countries in relation to combating illegal fishing in the southern ocean, what is the timeframe for each country for reaching agreements on both joint surveillance and enforcement arrangements.

490  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—

(1) What are the names of the countries in which the trading of Patagonian toothfish occurs, referred to in the Minister’s media release, AFFA02/128M, dated 25 July 2002.

(2) In each case, since July 1996, what negotiations have occurred in relation to the restriction of market access for illegal catches of Patagonian toothfish.

(3) In each case: (a) when did these negotiations commence; (b) who initiated the negotiations; (c) what has been the form of the negotiations; and (d) what have been the outcomes of these negotiations.

(4) Where there have been no outcomes, in relation to each of the above countries, what is the agreed timetable to progress arrangements to restrict market access for illegal catches of Patagonian toothfish.

491  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Since July 1996, what has been the level of expenditure, by financial year, on efforts to minimise the level of illegal fishing in Australia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands.

(2) What funding has been allocated for this purpose for the 2002-03 financial year.

(3) What additional funding has been allocated to minimise the level of illegal fishing in Australia’s EEZ adjacent to Heard and McDonald Islands for the 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 financial years, following the announcement by the Minister for Forestry and Conservation in media statement, AFFA02/128M, dated 25 July 2002.

492  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Since July 1996, what diplomatic efforts have been made by Australia to establish effective controls over illegal fishing.

(2) (a) What form have these efforts taken; and (b) where have Australia’s diplomatic efforts been focused in trying to better control illegal fishing.

(3) Specifically: (a) what diplomatic efforts have been undertaken by the Australian Government to reduce the level of illegal fishing in Australia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ); (b) which countries have been the focus of these efforts; (c) through what forums have these efforts been applied; and (d) what have been the outcomes from these efforts to date.

(4) If there have been no outcomes to date in relation to Australia’s efforts to reduce the level of illegal fishing in our EEZ in relation to each country, what is the timetable for achieving outcomes from these diplomatic efforts.

493  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) How many people travelled from South Korea to Australia between 1 June and 15 July 2002.

(2) Of the people who travelled from South Korea to Australia between 1 June and 15 July 2002: (a) how many arrived at the international airport of Sydney; (b) how many arrived at the international airport of Brisbane; and (c) how many transited to Melbourne airport.

494  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—(a) What proportion of all passengers entering Australia from South Korea between 1 June and 15 July 2002 actually received quarantine intervention at the international airport of Sydney; (b) what proportion actually received quarantine intervention at the international airport of Brisbane; and (c) what proportion, if any, actually received quarantine intervention when they transited to Melbourne airport.

495  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What was the total number of cattle that died during the July 2002 voyage of MV Becrux .

(2) When did the Minister or his office first become aware of livestock deaths aboard the MV Becrux .

(3) What was the number of cattle deaths advised to the Minister or his office in that advice.

(4) (a) Who provided that information to the Minister or his office; and (b) how was the information communicated.

(5) When did the Minister or his office become aware that the number of cattle that had perished on the July voyage of the MV Becrux was considerably higher than the initial reports of losses.

(6) What was the number of cattle deaths advised to the Minister or his office in that advice.

(7) (a) Who provided that information to the Minister or his office; and (b) how was the information communicated.

(8) When did the Minister first become aware that the number of cattle that had perished on the July voyage of the MV Becrux was in the order of 900.

(9) What was the exact number of cattle deaths advised to the Minister or his office in that advice.

(10) (a) Who provided that information to the Minister or his office; and (b) how was the information communicated.

(11) Has the Minister called for an investigation into these livestock deaths aboard the MV Becrux , to be conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and Livecorp.

(12) When is the investigation due to report to the Minister.

(13) When will the report be made available to: (a) the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and (b) the public.

496  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the entity that owns the MV Becrux is Wellard Rural Exports.

(2) Is this an Australian-owned and operated company.

(3) How many Australians does Wellard Rural Exports employ directly in relation to live exports of Australian livestock.

(4) Has Wellard Rural Exports (or its predecessors) been involved in any incident in the past 10 financial years where mortality rates of Australian-sourced animals during live export have exceeded the acceptable level set by Commonwealth regulation, industry codes of conduct or any other regulation which may apply; if so: (a) when did these incidents occur; (b) what type and breed of animals perished; and (c) in what numbers.

(5) From which areas of Australia were the deceased animals sourced for each voyage undertaken by Wellard Rural Exports where the maximum acceptable mortality rate as determined by Commonwealth regulation, industry codes of conduct or any other regulation which may apply, was exceeded in the past 10 financial years.

(6) What investigations were undertaken by the Commonwealth into these incidents.

(7) What steps were taken by the Commonwealth to ensure the welfare of animals after investigations into these incidents had been concluded.

497  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What action has been taken by the department to address the spread of the vegetation disease known as Muldalla Yellow.

(2) What is the known distribution of the disease: (a) by region in South Australia; and (b) by state and territory.

(3) What is the known impact of the disease, if any, on agricultural production: (a) by agricultural activity in each region of South Australia; and (b) by agricultural activity in each state and territory.

(4) (a) What funding has been allocated by the department for research into the disease; (b) when was it allocated; and (c) for what purpose.

498  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) What action has been taken by the department to address the spread of the vegetation disease known as Muldalla Yellow.

(2) What is the known distribution of the disease: (a) by region in South Australia; and (b) by state and territory.

(3) What is the known impact of the disease, if any, on vegetation: (a) in each region of South Australia; and (b) in each state and territory.

(4) (a) What funding has been allocated by the department for research into the disease; (b) when was it allocated; and (c) for what purpose.