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Notice given 4 December 2002

986  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Minister’s statement, ‘Sheep exports from Portland to resume if tough new conditions are met’, issued on 31 October 2002:

(1) What recommendations did the Independent Reference Group make to the Minister.

(2) Have any of these recommendations failed to be incorporated into the new action plan for live animal exports.

(3) (a) Who comprised the joint industry/Government working group that developed the action plan; and (b) when was this working group formed.

(4) On how many occasions has this working group met.

(5) Has the working group been disbanded; if so, when did this occur; if not, what tasks is the working group now undertaking.

987  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the answer to the question on notice no. 725 (Senate Hansard , 2 December 2002, p. 6612) concerning live animal exports:

(1) Did the Chief Veterinary Officer recommend to the Secretary of the department that the livestock vessel Al Kuwait should be permitted to depart from Portland; if so, did the Chief Veterinary Officer recommend any conditions that were not subsequently applied to its departure; if not, why did the secretary disregard the recommendation of the Chief Veterinary Officer and revoke a direction that an export permit not be granted to the exporter.

(2) (a) How many sheep, if any, died aboard the Al Kuwait during the voyage that commenced in Portland on 29 September 2002; and (b) what was the principal identified cause of death.