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Notice given 18 June 2002

379  Senator Ridgeway: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—With reference to the administration of the R&D Start Program and the R&D Start Program Directions No. 2 of 2002, administered by AusIndustry through the department:

(1) Given that the program is the single most useful and successful program for small- to medium-sized enterprises seeking to undertake investment and commercialisation of new technologies within Australia and for export, why has the department ceased approving applications since April 2002.

(2) Have applications been received for projects seeking to commercialise such things as life-saving light aeroplane wind shear detection devices.

(3) Considering the success of the program, why has the Minister not come back to the Parliament seeking a further appropriation to ensure the continuation of this program.

(4) Is it a fact that AusIndustry has not approved a single new application in 2002.

(5) Is it the case that the department was not informing applicants that there were no monies available when applications were being lodged in November and December 2001.

(6) How will the Government reinstate credibility in the program with it now turning the tap on and off.

(7) What was the date of the lodgement of the application for the last funded project.

(8) What was the date of the approval and funding of the most recently funded project.

(9) At what date was the department aware of the fact that it was unable to fund any further applications.

(10) On what date was the Minister notified by the department that it did not have funding available for any further projects in the 2001-02 financial year.

(11) Did the department open new offices in 2002 which will promote the program.

(12) Did the department have a stall at the recent Australian Innovation Festival, held on 22 April 2002, where the program was promoted.

(13) Given that the R&D Start Program Directions No. 2 of 2002 state that the program will not deal with any new applications until further notice, is the Government looking to shut down the program and not approve any further applications; if not, when will the department begin approving applications again.

(14) Will the department begin dealing with applications at the start of the 2002-03 financial year; if not, why not.

(15) (a) Is it the case that the program is to be audited; (b) what are the terms of reference for this audit; and (c) when will the audit report be made available to the Parliament.

(16) Does the Minister support statements made by senior members of the department that they are not concerned if innovative products go overseas for development and manufacture.

(17) What was the basis for paragraph 7 of the R&D Start Program Directions No. 2 of 2002, which provides that all applications not granted prior to this direction are deemed to be refused.

380  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the Maribyrnong detention centre:

(1) Given the high level of monitoring, the security cameras and the control room, which is manned 24 hours a day and has surveillance over every corridor and every area other than inside the bedrooms and toilets: (a) why is it necessary for 2-hourly headcounts; and (b) how are these headcounts conducted.

(2) Are records kept of headcounts; if so, can copies of these records be provided for the past 6 months; if not, why not.

(3) Can a schedule of the medication currently being taken by detainees and the doses of that medication together with medical records be provided.

(4) Are detainees forced to take sleeping pills or any other medication.

(5) What arrangements are in place to supervise the taking of medication.

(6) (a) What records of self harm are kept; and (b) can they be provided for the past year.

(7) Is it the case that only one blanket and no more than two on request is provided to each detainee.

(8) Why is it that visitors are not permitted to take blankets into the centre on request.

(9) Is it the case that heating at the centre was not turned on for 3 weeks after requests had been made.

(10) (a) Is the heating now fully operational; and (b) for what period of the day and night and in what areas is it turned on.

(11) Is it the case that none of the bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms have doors.

(12) Is it the case that detention guidelines call for privacy considerations; if so, how is this provided.

(13) Is it the case that detention officers who were previously employed as prison officers receive the full 6-week training course.

(14) What measures and processes are in place to ensure that complaints against officers can be made without any repercussions from, or retribution by, those officers towards the detainees.

(15) What are the current arrangements with regard to access to the external grassed area, including the size of groups allowed, times of access, number of detention officers present, etc.

(16) Is the mother of the three children aged 5 years, 3 years and 8 months permitted to accompany her child or children to kindergarten; if not, why not.

(17) Can the medical report on the detainee diagnosed with tuberculosis be provided.

(18) Where is that detainee presently.

(19) Why were detainees in the centre at the same time as this detainee not inoculated against the disease.

(20) Have the exposed detainees been subsequently tested for the disease; if not, why not.

(21) Is it the case that cut flowers are not permitted at the centre.

(22) Is it the case that visitors are not permitted to bring in notebooks and pencils; if so, when was this rule introduced.

(23) Can a copy of the rules that apply for visitors to Maribyrnong with regard to what may be brought to detainees by visitors be provided.

(24) What measures are in place to ensure that the rules are not interpreted differently or changed arbitrarily by various officers.

(25) Given that the department in its submission to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission indicated that cricket, badminton, treadmill, basketball, billiards, jewellery-making, Egyptian dancing, computing, music classes for children and sewing classes were being provided at the Maribyrnong detention centre, can a schedule be provided showing the times when these facilities are available to detainees.

(26) What are the rules with regard to birthing mothers.

(27) What arrangements were in place for the two children of the mother who gave birth most recently.

(28) Why is it that a burns victim who required skin grafts, was not provided with that medical attention.

(29) (a) How often are fire drills conducted at the centre; and (b) can records be provided of fire drills so far in 2002 and their duration.

(30) Can a copy of the so-called log of claims developed by detainees at a recent hunger strike be provided.

(31) (a) What is the status of each claim; (b) which of these claims have been implemented; and (c) which were not implemented and why.

(32) Was a representative of the department present at the meeting at which the log of claims was discussed.

(33) With reference to a booklet produced by the Australasian Correctional Management there is a warning about injuries that can be caused by strap wire: can details be provided of (a) this device; and (b) what that advice is.

(34) What is the routine or the requirement with regard to informing detainees about the circumstances in which the accommodation charge will be made of them, that is, detainees being told that they will incur a debt and not being given advice that if, for instance, they are granted refugee status there is no debt.

(35) Can a copy of that advice be provided.

(36) What revenue was raised by accommodation charges at the Maribyrnong detention centre in the 2000-01 financial year.

(37) Are there any circumstances in which the accommodation debt is not waived where a detainee is given a residential visa.

381  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) (a) How many detainees has Australia sent back; and (b) to where.

(2) With which countries does Australia have arrangements, in regard to accepting deported asylum seekers.

(3) With which countries is Australia still negotiating for deportation.

(4) Which countries have refused to accept deported asylum seekers.

(5) Is it the intention of the department that the Maribyrnong detainee who was recently convicted of people-smuggling, but given a suspended sentence which he is appealing, will remain at Maribyrnong; if not: (a) where will he be transferred to; and (b) when.

(6) Why is it that ‘Mr Y’ was deported earlier this month when he was a key witness in the trial of ‘Mr Z’ on 27 May 2002 and is required to appear in the appeal Mr Z instigated on 30 May 2002 against his sentence in the county court.

(7) Does not this action prejudice Mr Z’s right to a fair trial.

(8) What, in the view of the department, are the risks faced by Mr Y in returning to Iran as a result of the testimony he gave of his political activities in opposition to the Iranian regime, which was widely reported, including on television.

(9) Why did the prosecution, in calling Mr Y, not seek a suppression order on his evidence, given the risk that such reporting would entail.

(10) Why was Mr Y not allowed the opportunity to seek an application of ministerial guidelines concerning sur place claims, pursuant to sections 48B and 417 of the Migration Act 1958 .

(11) What assurances does the department have from Iran that Mr Y will be safe on the return voyage aboard the Iran Mazandaran and when he arrives in Iran.

(12) Can a copy of the documentation relating to those assurances be provided.

(13) (a) On what basis did the Australian Government obtain the consent of the Iranian Government and/or the Iranian national line to repatriate Mr Y without his consent; and (b) can all documentation and all and any records be provided of communications between the department and its officers and any other Australian Government entity, including the Australasian Correctional Management (ACM), with the Iranian Government and Iranian national line in respect of obtaining the consent of the Iranian Government.

(14) Does the department intend to continue to deport Iranian nationals who have been refused protection visas aboard Iranian state cargo ships.

(15) (a) Did the department consider the accentuated risk to Mr Y in repatriating him aboard a shipping line owned and controlled by the state authorities he had fled from, particularly as there is always at least one intelligence agent of the PRS aboard Iranian national line ships; and (b) can any and all documentation and correspondence between: (i) any officer of the department, (ii) any employee of ACM, (iii) any employee of the Iranian state line, and (iv) any person aboard the Iran Mazandaran , between 29 May 2002 and 2 June 2002, concerning the removal of Mr Y be provided, including all incident reports and records of medical treatment, if any.

(16) Can all or any medical and or psychological records, statements or assessments, and incident reports, concerning Mr Y between 1 April 2002 and 29 May 2002 be provided, including any records concerning his attempted suicides, and any sedation to which he was exposed when placed upon the Iran Mazandaran .

382  Senator Cooney: To ask the Minister for the Arts and Sport—

(1) Given that the Australian population, indeed the world population, have been captivated by the world’s most popular sporting event, the World Cup, is the Minister aware of the dire situation in which Soccer Australia currently finds itself.

(2) Is the Minister aware that on a recent Four Corners program it was reported that if soccer’s governing body in Australia is wound up, it could lose its Federation Internationale de Football Association accreditation and effectively fail to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.

(3) Given that it is the world game, and is an increasingly popular sport in this country, is there a strategy in place to ensure that soccer enthusiasts in Australia are not penalised due to the dire financial situation of Soccer Australia.

383  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 192 (Senate Hansard , 14 May 2002, p.1458), can a copy be provided of the letter referred to from Mr Kevin Keeffe, Assistant Secretary, World Heritage Branch, Department of the Environment and Heritage to Mr Francesco Bandarin, Director of the World Heritage Centre, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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

(1) Why was there no opportunity for public comment on Australia’s national assessment report for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

(2) Why does the report not highlight Australia’s appalling loss of native vegetation, destruction of old growth and high conservation value forests, and rapidly rising rates of greenhouse gas emissions.