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Notice given 8 August 2002

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

(1) Does the Minister support the National Drought Strategy’s underlying principle of promoting self-reliance and risk management capability.

(2) Has the Minister, or his office, received a copy of the review of the Climate Variability in Agriculture Program (CVAP), prepared by Hassall & Associates and released in April 2002.

(3) When did the Minister, or his office, receive a copy of the report.

(4) Has the Minister made a formal response to the report.

(5) Is the Minister aware the report recommends the extension of funding for the CVAP with a focus on the adoption of climate variability risk management and CVAP tools.

(6) Is the Minister aware the report finds that, without additional funding for the purpose of refining and promoting the adoption of current CVAP tools, there is the prospect that the return on funds already invested in the program will not be fully realised.

(7) Does the Minister agree with the view of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that climatic risk is the most significant uncertainty facing Australian farmers, and CVAP has a major role to play in funding and promoting better forecasting systems and better ways of using those forecasts.

(8) What funding has been allocated to the CVAP through the Agriculture Advancing Australia initiative in the following financial years: (a) 1997-98; (b) 1998-99; (c) 1999-2000; (d) 2000-01; (e) 2001-02; and (f) 2002-03.