Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document


Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

Notice given 30 September 2002

706  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—When the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, visited the Mt Muro mining lease area in Indonesia in May 2001, then held by Australian company, Aurora Gold:

(1) Did Mr Smith meet with any local community representatives other than Indonesian Government officials; if so, who; if not, why not.

(2) Was Mr Smith aware before his visit of the controversy throughout the 1990s amongst the local community over the impact of the Mt Muro mining operations on local villages, communal lands and water supply.

(3) Was Mr Smith aware of allegations by local villagers of human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces dating back as far as the early 1990s; if not, why not; if so, did Mr Smith consider there was a reasonable possibility that the result of urging Indonesian security forces to remove ‘illegal’ miners may result in deaths or injuries.

707  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the death of two people considered ‘illegal miners’ at the Mt Muro Mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia, in May 2001:

(1) Was the written briefing on the incident provided by the President of Aurora Gold to the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, on 5 March 2002, the result of a request from the ambassador; if so, when was the briefing requested.

(2) When was the ambassador first aware of the report on the two killings at the mine site in the Jakarta Post of 12 June 2001.

(3) Does the ambassador accept in retrospect that urging the Indonesian security forces to deal with the small scale miners within the Aurora Gold lease area was inappropriate; if not, why not.

(4) Does the ambassador consider that the failure of Aurora Gold to notify him of the incident soon after it occurred as unacceptable.

(5) Has the Indonesian police force provided details to the ambassador of the incident subsequent to his request on 27 February 2002; if so, what was the explanation of Indonesian police for the deaths.

(6) Has the ambassador met with Indonesian government officials urging investigations and prosecutions of those involved in the deaths and injuries; if not, why not.

708  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the shooting injury on 27 August 2001 to a teenage boy considered an ‘illegal miner’ at the Mt Muro Mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia, in May 2001:

(1) When did the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, first become aware of media reports about this incident.

(2) Why did the ambassador not make any requests of Aurora Gold between August 2001 and February 2002 for details of what had occurred.

(3) Why did the ambassador not make any requests of Indonesian Government officials between August 2001 and February 2002 for details of what had occurred .

(4) Will the Minister table a copy of the written briefing, dated 5 March 2002, provided by Aurora Gold to the ambassador.

(5) Did representatives of Aurora Gold meet with the ambassador to discuss its written briefing of 5 March 2002; if so, what concerns, if any, did the ambassador convey to the Aurora Gold representatives.

(6) What explanation did representatives of Aurora Gold provide for the failure to notify the ambassador of the deaths and injuries that occurred at the mine site subsequent to Indonesian security forces moving to remove small-scale miners from the Aurora Gold lease area.

709  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Has Austrade or any section of the department provided assistance to Aurora Gold, directly or indirectly, with the Mt Muro mine in Indonesia; if so, what assistance, beyond the meetings detailed in answer to question on notice no. 123 (Senate Hansard , 15 May 2002, p. 1650), has been provided since 1 January 1998.

710  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the Mt Muro Mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia :

(1) When Aurora Gold representatives met with the then Ambassador to Indonesia in November 1999, what were the concerns they raised about ‘illegal’ mining.

(2) What assistance did they request from the ambassador or other embassy officials.

(3) What actions did the ambassador or other embassy officials agree to undertake to assist Aurora Gold with its concerns.

711  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the meeting between representatives of Aurora Gold and representatives of the Indonesian Government on 2 March 2002:

(1) How many embassy officials attended the meeting.

(2) Why did they decide to attend.

(3) In the course of the meeting, did they make any representations; if so, what were the views they expressed.

712  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the shooting of ‘illegal’ miners at the Mt Muro Mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia, following representations made by the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, to Indonesian government officials, including security forces:

(1) Is it the view of the department that it would make similar representations in similar circumstances on behalf of Australian companies to government officials and security forces in the future.

(2) Is there anything departmental officers would do differently if requested by Australian companies to make similar representations in the future.

713  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the shooting of an ‘illegal’ miner at the Mt Muro Mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia, on 19 January 2002:

(1) When did the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, first become aware of the shooting incident.

(2) What action did he take subsequent to being informed of the incident.

(3) Did the ambassador request a briefing from Aurora Gold representatives subsequent to this incident.

(4) What explanation did Aurora Gold representatives give for the failure to inform the ambassador promptly of the incident.

(5) At the meeting on 30 January 2002, did representatives of Aurora Gold request ongoing assistance from the ambassador in making representations to Indonesian government officials about small-scale miners within the Aurora Gold lease area; if so, what undertakings, if any, did the ambassador give.

(6) Did Aurora Gold provide the ambassador with a written briefing at the meeting of 30 January 2002; if so, can a copy be provided.

714  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the quarterly meetings between the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, and representatives of Australian-owned mining operations in Indonesia:

(1) When did these meetings first commence.

(2) What is the purpose of these meetings.

(3) Are these meetings convened by the ambassador or by embassy officials.

715  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the quarterly meetings between the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, and representatives of Australian owned mining operations in Indonesia held in each of the following years: (a) 1999; (b) 2000; (c) 2001; and (d) 2002:

(1) When were the meetings held.

(2) What issues were raised with the ambassador at each of the meetings.

(3) (a) Which companies attended each of these meetings; and (b) who represented the individual companies.

(4) What actions did the ambassador agree to undertake, if any, from each of these meetings.

716  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the concerns of Australian-based and/or -owned mining companies with the ban on open-cut mining in protected forests in Indonesia: Have Australian mining companies made representations to the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, about their concerns on the restrictions on mining in protected areas; if so: (a) which companies made representations; (b) when were these representations made; (c) what did the companies request from the ambassador or embassy officials; and (d) what action was taken on these requests.

717  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the concerns of Australian-based and/or -owned mining companies with the ban on open-cut mining in protected forests in Indonesia: Has the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, or have embassy officials, made representations to Indonesian government officials supporting changes to the law in order to allow mining to proceed in protected forests; if so: (a) when did these meetings occur; (b) who were the meetings with; (c) did the ambassador and/or embassy officials accompany mining industry representatives to these meetings; and (d) why are these representations not considered to infringe on the sovereign right of Indonesia to decide on the conditions under which mining can and cannot occur.

719  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Has the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, invited Australian journalists for meals, and paid for such meals, in 2002; if so: (a) which journalists were invited and which accepted; (b) what has the total cost been in 2002, to date; and (c) what is the purpose of these meals.

720  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Did Austrade officials or other departmental officials provide any direct or indirect assistance to Esmeralda Exploration, or its agents, when it was negotiating with Romanian authorities about buying into the Baia Mare mine; if so: (a) when did Esmeralda or its agents first contact Austrade officials or other departmental officials; (b) what assistance did Esmeralda or its agents request; (c) what assistance was provided; (d) what was the reason assistance was provided to Esmeralda or its agents; and (e) did Austrade officials or other departmental officials consider Esmeralda to be a reputable company.