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Notice given 15 August 2002

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 535-536)—What action, if any, has the Minister or the department taken to protect or increase Australian wheat sales to Iraq in the 2002-03 financial year.

535 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

536 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

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

(1) How many Australian primary producers currently hold deposits under the Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme.

(2) What is the total value of FMD holdings.

(3) Producers belonging to which industries are the biggest users of the FMD scheme.

(4) (a) What percentage of total deposits are held by producers from the grain industry; and (b) what is the value of these deposits.

(5) (a) What percentage of total deposits are held by producers from the horticultural industry; and (b) what is the value of these deposits.

(6) (a) What percentage of total deposits are held by producers from the livestock industry; and (b) what is the value of these deposits.

(7) What number of primary producers currently hold FMDs per state and territory.

(8) What was the value of FMD holdings per state and territory for the quarters ending: (a) June 2001; (b) September 2001; (c) December 2001; (d) March 2002; and (e) June 2002.

(9) What was the value of FMD withdrawals per state and territory for the quarters ending: (a) June 2001; (b) September 2001; (c) December 2001; (d) March 2002; and (e) June 2002.

(10) Since the inception of the FMD scheme, what is the value of holdings withdrawn within 12 months of deposit.

(11) What is the smallest FMD held by an individual producer.

(12) What is the largest FMD held by an individual producer.

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

(1) With reference to the Minister’s public statement following his receipt of the report, The Australian Apple Industry Squeeze , in August 2001, does the Minister recall encouraging members of the apple industry to make greater use of the Agriculture - Advancing Australia (AAA)-FarmBis Program, AAA-Farm Innovation Program and AusIndustry’s Technology Diffusion Program; if so, did the Minister’s encouragement extend beyond issuing a media statement on 7 August 2001 and what form did that encouragement take.

(2) How many members of the apple industry received, or will receive, assistance under the AAA-FarmBis program in the following financial years: (a) 1997-98; (b) 1998-99; (c) 1999-2000; (d) 2001-02; and (e) 2002-03.

(3) Did applications for the fourth and final funding round of the AAA-Farm Innovation Program close on 31 October 2001.

(4) (a) How many applications were received from members of the apple industry in this round; and (b) how many apple businesses, if any, received funding.

(5) Can the Minister advise whether the Technology Diffusion Program he encouraged apple industry members to use, still exists; if it does, how many members of the apple industry are in receipt of its assistance.

(6) If the program does not exist, can the Minister advise: (a) when the program ceased to exist; and (b) whether any members of the apple industry gained assistance from this program between his statement on 7 August 2001 and its abolition.

(7) Can the Minister advise if the report, The Australian Apple Industry Squeeze , is published on the department’s Internet site; if so, at what Internet address is the report publicly available; if not, was the report previously published on the department’s Internet site; if this was the case, for what period was the report available and who decided to remove it from the site.

(8) Did the Minister take any action in response to the report other than referring it to the Minister for Justice and Customs.

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

(1) Has the Minister written to state treasurers and/or premiers outlining proposed administrative and funding changes to the Exceptional Circumstances (EC) Program discussed at the May meeting of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council; if so, when did the Minister write to: (a) New South Wales; (b) Queensland; (c) Victoria; (d) Western Australia; (e) South Australia; and (f) Tasmania.

(2) Has the Minister received replies to his correspondence from state treasurers and/or premiers; if so, when did the Minister receive replies from: (a) New South Wales; (b) Queensland; (c) Victoria; (d) Western Australia; (e) South Australia; and (f) Tasmania.

(3) Have any state treasurers and/or premiers agreed to accept the Minister’s proposed changes to the program.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 550-551)—

(1) What actions, if any, did the Minister take before 9 August 2002 to encourage the United States of America (US) to increase the beef quota allocation available to Australian beef exporters.

(2) What actions, if any, has the Minister taken since 9 August 2002 to encourage the US to increase the beef quota allocation available to Australian beef exporters.

(3) What actions, if any, does the Minister propose to take to encourage the US to increase the beef quota allocation available to Australian beef exporters.

551 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

553  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) What was the total cost of the drought investment allowance.

(2) What was the cost, by state and territory, of the drought investment allowance in the following financial years: (a) 1995-96; (b) 1996-97; (c) 1997-98; (d) 1998-99; (e) 1999-2000; and (f) 2000-01.

(3) How many primary producers and lessors of property to primary producers have gained a benefit under the drought investment allowance.

(4) How many primary producers or lessors of property to primary producers, by state and territory, gained a benefit in the following financial years: (a) 1995-96; (b) 1996-97; (c) 1997-98; (d) 1998-99; (e) 1999-2000; and (f) 2000-01.

(5) What are the details of any programs that provide taxation benefits for the purchase of drought mitigation property by primary producers and lessors of property to primary producers after 1 July 2000.