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Notice given 31 July 2002

501  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Does the Government support the development of a protocol on explosive remnants of war to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects of 10 October 1980 (referred to here as the ‘Protocol to the CCW’).

(2) With respect to the Protocol to the CCW currently being discussed by the group of experts formed by the CCW Review Conference, what is the Government’s position on who is responsible for cleaning up explosive remnants of war.

(3) Further, with respect to the Protocol to the CCW, does the Government support: (a) a requirement to include in agreements to terminate hostilities, peace negotiations and other relevant military technical agreements (howsoever called), provisions allocating responsibility, standards and procedures for verifying land as being clear of explosive remnants of war; (b) a requirement for states to inform de-mining agencies of where strikes have been made, and how to render safe or destroy their unexploded ordnance as soon as practically possible; (c) a requirement to provide appropriate information and warnings to civilians about explosive remnants of war, both during and after the conflict; (d) a restriction on states using weapons with large amounts of submunitions in or near concentrations of civilians; and (e) a requirement that all munitions have high-quality fuses and detonation mechanisms that ensure explosion on impact or self-destruction within seconds of impact, or that render munitions safe if they fail to detonate.

(4) Which departments, and what level of officers, will represent the Australian Government at the group of experts meetings in December 2002 on issues surrounding explosive remnants of war.

(5) Does the Government support any restrictions on the design, production, transfer, stockpiling or use of anti-vehicle mines.

(6) Does the Government support the proposal of the United States (US) that all anti-vehicle mines be detectable by commonly available mine detectors.

(7) Does the Government support the US proposal that remotely delivered anti-vehicle mines contain self-destruct and/or neutralisation features.

(8) (a) Has the army approved a program led by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation to develop a prototype minefield replacement mortar box system; and (b) is this the same as the Metal Storm Anti-Denial Weapon System minefield replacement system.

(9) (a) Which private firms will be involved in this program; and (b) what are they being paid.

(10) Can the original schedule and any modified schedules for the program be provided, including all phases from research to production and the private sector partners in each.

(11) Can information be provided on the program’s aims and funding, including what the technology is designed to offer and what technology or warfare it is expected to replace (if any).

(12) With respect to fuses being designed for Metal Storm Anti-Denial Weapon System minefield replacement system projectiles: what testing, if any, has been done on their probability of function.

(13) What do the results of any testing show about the rate of success of the projectiles’ self-destruct function.

(14) When is production expected to commence on the Metal Storm designed access denial weapon system.

(15) (a) Is this ahead of schedule; if so, why; and (b) is any research or development which was planned to occur before production of the system now expected to occur simultaneously with production.

(16) Has any research on the project been suspended or cancelled; if so, why.

502  Senator George Campbell: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—

(1) Has the Federal Government decided to reverse its decision to prematurely terminate the Enhanced Printing Industries Competitiveness Scheme; if so: (a) on what date was this decision made; (b) when was this decision announced; and (c) how was the decision announced.

(2) What is the planned date for the recommencement of the scheme.

(3) Will any companies be disadvantaged by the gap in the operation of the scheme.

(4) Has there been any effort made to inform the printing industry of the resumption of the scheme; if so, in what form were these efforts.

(5) How many applications for the scheme have been received since 14 May 2002.

(6) Have there been any changes made to the scheme itself or the administration of the scheme; if so, what are the changes and the reasons for the changes.

(7) What is the intended end date of the scheme.

(8) How will the scheme be funded.

(9) What are the annual budget allocations to the scheme.

(10) Why does the Auslndustry website not announce that the scheme has recommenced.