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Notice given 18 March 2003

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1270-1272)—With respect to the additional $8 per passenger increase in the Passenger Movement Charge that came into effect on 1 July 2001 to fund increased passenger processing costs as part of Australia’s response to the threat of the introduction of foot and mouth disease:

(1) What was the total additional revenue raised by this extra $8 in each of the following financial years: (a) 2001-02; and (b) 2002-03 to date.

(2) What is the total additional revenue estimated to be raised by this extra $8 in each of the following financial years: (a) 2002-03; (b) 2003-04; (c) 2004-05; and (d) 2005-06.

(3) What was the total amount of Passenger Movement Charge collected at each airport and port for each of the following financial years: (a) 2001-02; and (b) 2002-03 to date.

(4) What is the total amount of Passenger Movement Charge estimated to be collected at each airport and port for each of the following financial years: (a) 2002-03; (b) 2003-04; (c) 2004-05; and (d) 2005-06.

(5) How much has been spent by the Government on new quarantine screening equipment at each airport and port since 1 July 2001.

(6) (a) How much additional money has the Government spent on other quarantine processing costs at each airport and port since 1 July 2001; and (b) what services, measures or expenses comprise that additional expenditure at each airport and port.

(7) How much additional money is estimated to be spent on new quarantine screening equipment and other processing costs respectively at each airport and port for each of the following financial years: (a) 2002-03; (b) 2003-04; (c) 2004-05; and (d) 2005-06.

(8) (a) Which programs are administering costs associated with increased passenger processing costs as part of Australia’s response to the threat of the introduction of foot and mouth disease; (b) how much has been spent, and is it estimated will be spent, from each program in each year it has or is budgeted to operate; and (c) which department is responsible for the administration of each program.

(9) Are there any outstanding claims by any organisation or individual for expenditure on equipment or measures as part of Australia’s response to the threat of foot and mouth disease; if so: (a) who are the claimants; (b) what is each claim for; and (c) will each be paid and when.

(10) (a) How many passengers departing Australia were exempted from paying the Passenger Movement Charge; and (b) what is the legal basis and number of passengers for each category of exempted passengers.

(11) Will the $8 foot and mouth response component of the Passenger Movement Charge be removed, increased or reduced commensurate with the movement in costs associated with Australia’s response to the threat of the introduction of foot and mouth disease; if so, when; if not, why not.

1271 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1273  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Minister’s statement, dated 31 October 2001, concerning support for the bio-fuels industry:

(1) Did the statement announce a $50 million capital subsidy for new or expanded bio-fuel capacity.

(2) Did the Minister consult with any bio-fuel producers, or bio-fuel industry organisations, prior to his announcement; if so, which producers or organisations did he consult.

(3) When was the capital subsidy introduced.

(4) What department is administering this subsidy.

(5) Under which program is the subsidy funded.

(6) What rules apply to subsidies under the scheme.

(7) Can a copy of an application form and the scheme rules be provided; if not, why not.

(8) What subsidy expenditure was budgeted for in the following financial years: (a) 2001-02; and (b) 2002-03.

(9) How much has been expended on the subsidy, by year, in each of the following financial years: (a) 2001-02; and (b) 2002-03 to date.

(10) How much is budgeted, by year, in the period 2003-04 to 2006-07.

(11) What was the basis of the Minister’s assertion that the subsidy would generate ‘at least five new ethanol distilleries’ and ‘around 2 300 construction jobs and 1 100 permanent jobs, mostly in rural areas’.

(12) (a) What companies have received the capital subsidy; and (b) what subsidy amount has each company received.

(13) How many new ethanol distilleries have been constructed.

(14) Where have these distilleries been constructed.

(15) Which existing distilleries have been expanded.

(16) How many of the promised 2 300 construction jobs have been generated.

(17) How many of the promised 1 100 permanent jobs have been generated.

(18) What percentage of these permanent jobs has been generated in rural areas.

(19) When did construction of each new distillery, or distillery expansion, commence.

(20) How many construction jobs have been created in respect to each distillery construction project.

(21) When did construction of each new distillery, or expanded distillery, conclude.

(22) How many permanent jobs, full-time and part-time, have been created in respect to each new or expanded distillery project.

(23) How much additional ethanol has each new or expanded ethanol distillery produced.

1274  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Minister’s statement, dated 31 October 2001, concerning support for the bio-fuels industry:

(1) Was the statement issued during the 2001 Federal Election campaign.

(2) Did the Minister promise that, ‘the current excise exemption for fuel ethanol will be retained’.

(3) Was the Minister consulted before the Prime Minister announced the imposition of an excise on fuel ethanol on 12 September 2002.

1275  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—With reference to the production subsidy of 38.143 cents per litre for ethanol use in petrol announced on 12 September 2002:

(1) What companies or industry organisations were consulted prior to the introduction of the production subsidy.

(2) When and in what form did that consultation take place.

(3) On what date or dates were ethanol producers and/or industry organisations informed of the decision to introduce the production subsidy.

(4) How were ethanol producers and/or industry organisations informed.

(5) What is the total amount expended on the subsidy, by month, in the 2002-03 financial year to date.

(6) What costs have been borne by the department in administering the scheme in the 2002-03 financial year to date.

(7) What are the department’s projected costs associated with scheme administration, by year, for each of the following financial years: (a) 2002-03; and (b) 2003-04.

(8) Is the total appropriation of $33 184 000 for the subsidy for the financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04 based on forecast ethanol production in the period 17 September 2002 to 17 September 2003; if so: (a) what department, agency, company or industry organisation provided the ethanol production data from which the forecast was derived; and (b) which department or agency provided the forecast; if not, what is the basis of the appropriation.

 (9) Have companies other than Manildra Energy Australia Pty Ltd and CSR Distilleries Operations Pty Ltd received production subsidies in the 2002-03 financial year; if so, what are the names of the companies.

(10) Is the Minister aware that his department advised the Economics Legislation Committee during its estimates hearings on 12 February 2003 that Manildra Energy Australia Pty Ltd was in receipt of 90 per cent of expended subsidies under this scheme.

(11) Is Manildra Energy Australia Pty Ltd still in receipt of 90 per cent of expended subsidies under this scheme.

(12) For each company that has received a subsidy: (a) on what date did the company first apply for the subsidy; (b) when did the department enter into a contract with the company to provide the subsidy; (c) what total subsidy has been paid; (d) what volume of subsidised ethanol has been produced; (e) what feedstock has been used to produce the subsidised ethanol, expressed in volume and percentage terms; (f) what are the terms of the subsidy payments; (g) how does the department audit subsidy production; (h) where are the ethanol production facilities located; and (i) has the subsidy resulted in increased production and/or the construction of new or expanded ethanol plants; if so, can this increased production or productive capacity be quantified.

(13) Can the Minister confirm evidence given by the Department of Treasury to the Economics Legislation Committee during its supplementary estimates hearings on 21 November 2002 that the subsidy was introduced without any analysis of whether it would create an expansion in the Australian production of fuel ethanol; if so, why was no analysis undertaken before the government introduced a $33 million production subsidy; if not, what analysis has been undertaken, including the projected expansion of fuel ethanol production, incorporating production volume and value, number of new or expanded production plants, and number of full-time-equivalent jobs generated.

(14) What performance benchmarks have been established to measure the effectiveness of the subsidy in maintaining the use of bio-fuels in transport.

(15) What baseline data was used to establish these benchmarks.

(16) What was the source of this baseline data.

(17) What program has the department established to assess the effectiveness of the subsidy.

(18) What analysis has been done of the scheme’s effectiveness.

(19) What consideration, if any, has been given to an extension of the ethanol production subsidy.

(20) If consideration has been given to an extension of the subsidy: (a) what form has the consideration taken; and (b) what companies and industry organisations have been consulted.

(21) Has the department received any representations from companies and/or industry organisations arguing the proposed 12-month life of the production subsidy restricts its capacity to promote the increased production of fuel ethanol; if so, what companies and/or industry organisations have made those representations.

1276  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—How much excise on fuel ethanol has been collected, by month, since 17 September 2002.

1278  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) Did the Government give a commitment during the 2001 Federal election campaign to maintain the excise exemption for fuel ethanol.

(2) Did the Treasurer reaffirm this election commitment in a media statement published on 14 May 2002 in response to the report of the fuel taxation inquiry.

(3) Did the Government announce it would impose an excise on fuel ethanol on 12 September 2002.

(4) Has the Government imposed an excise of 38.143 cents per litre on fuel ethanol since 17 September 2002.

(5) Is it not the case that the imposition of excise on ethanol is a clear breach of an election commitment and contradicts the Treasurer’s commitment on 14 May 2002.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1280-1287)—What payments, subsidies, grants, gratuities or awards have been made to the Manildra group of companies, including but not necessarily limited to Manildra Energy Australia Pty Ltd, since March 1996.

1282 Minister representing the Treasurer

1285 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1288  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What has been the measurable increase in use of sugar and/or sugar by-products as feedstock for fuel ethanol since the introduction of the ethanol production subsidy on 17 September 2002.

(2) What is the projected increase in the use of sugar and/or sugar by-products as feedstock for fuel ethanol over the 12-month life of the ethanol production subsidy introduced on 17 September 2002.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1289-1290)—

(1) What representations has the Government received from Brazil about its decision to impose a customs duty of 38.143 cents per litre on fuel ethanol and provide a subsidy to domestic ethanol producers.

(2) (a) When were those representations received; and (b) what was the Government’s response.

(3) Has the Government received representations from countries other than Brazil about its decision to impose a customs duty of 38.143 cents per litre on fuel ethanol and provide a subsidy to domestic ethanol producers.

(4) (a) When were those representations received; and (b) what was the Government’s response.

1289 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

1290 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

1291  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade—

(1) Did any government seek consultations through the World Trade Organization in relation to the Government’s decision in September 2002 to impose a customs duty of 38.143 cents per litre on fuel ethanol and provide a subsidy to domestic ethanol producers; if so: (a) on what date did each country seek consultations; and (b) on what basis were consultations sought.

(2) Did any third party participate in these consultations.

(3) In each case, has the matter been resolved; if so, on what date and how was the matter resolved; if not, what resolution process is underway.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1292-1298)—

(1) On what date or dates did: (a) the Minister; (b) the Minister’s office; and (c) the department, become aware that Trafigura Fuels Australia Pty Ltd proposed to import a shipment of ethanol to Australia from Brazil in September 2002.

(2) What was the source of this information to: (a) the Minister; (b) the Minister’s office; and (c) the department.

(3) Was the Minister or his office or the department requested to investigate and/or take action to prevent the arrival of this shipment by any ethanol producer or distributor or industry organisation; if so: (a) who made this request; (b) when was its made; and (c) what form did this request take.

(4) Did the Minister or his office or the department engage in discussions and/or activities in August 2002 or September 2002 to develop a proposal to prevent the arrival of this shipment of ethanol from Brazil; if so, what was the nature of these discussions and/or activities, including dates of discussions and/or activities, personnel involved and cost.

1292 Minister representing the Prime Minister

1293 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

1294 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

1295 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

1296 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1299  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade—

(1) Did the Minister, his office and/or the department ask the Australian Embassy in Brazil in August 2002 and/or September 2002 to make enquiries about the proposed export of ethanol to Australia by Trafigura Fuels Australia Pty Ltd.

(2) How did the Minister, his office and/or the department become aware of the proposed shipment.

(3) On what date did the Minister, his office and/or the department become aware of the proposed shipment.

(4) Who made this request.

(5) Why was the request made.

(6) Was the request made at the behest of the Prime Minister, another minister, an ethanol producer, and/or an industry organisation.

(7) On what date was this request made.

(8) In what form was the request made.

(9) Who received this request.

(10) Did the Australian Embassy in Brazil make this enquiry on behalf of the Minister, his office and/or the department; if so, on what date or dates was this enquiry made and what form did it take.

(11) What information was provided to the Minister, his office and/or the department.

(12) On what date and in what form was this information provided.

(13) On what dates and to whom did the Minister, his office and/or the department communicate the information provided by the Embassy.

1300  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Did the Minister receive a request from the Minister for Trade to authorise staff at the Australian Embassy in Brazil in August 2002 and/or September 2002 to gather and provide information about a proposed shipment of ethanol to Australia by Trafigura Fuels Australia Pty Ltd.

(2) Did staff at the Australian Embassy in Brazil in August 2002 and/or September 2002 gather and provide information about a proposed shipment of ethanol to Australia by Trafigura Fuels Australia Pty Ltd; if so: (a) who requested the staff to engage in that task; (b) who authorised staff to agree to the request; (c) what action did staff take; (d) which staff engaged in the task; (d) on what date or dates did staff engage in the task; (e) what was the cost of engaging in the task; (f) to whom did the staff deliver this information in Australia; and (g) what form did that communication take.

1301  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Did the Minister meet with representatives of the Australian Institute of Petroleum on 21 August 2002; if so: (a) at what time did the meeting commence; (b) at what time did the meeting conclude; (c) where did the meeting take place; (d) who was present at the meeting; (e) who initiated the meeting; (f) what was the purpose of the meeting; and (g) what matters were discussed at that meeting.

(2) Did the Minister refer to a detailed record of that meeting made by his office in answer to a question without notice in the House of Representatives on 25 September 2002.

(3) Can a copy of that record be provided; if not, why not.

1302  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Has the Minister received written or oral representations from representatives of the Manildra group of companies, including but not necessarily limited to Manildra Energy Australia Pty Ltd, concerning government support for the ethanol industry; if so: (a) on what dates were those representations received; and (b) in what form were they made.

(2) Has the Minister received written or oral representations from representatives of the Australian Bio-fuels Association concerning government support for the ethanol industry; if so: (a) on what dates were those representations received; and (b) in what form were they made.

1303  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) How many amputee veterans, by section 27 item of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 , state of residence and postcode, receive: (a) a pension for their amputation; and (b) free prostheses.

(2) How many authorised suppliers of limb prostheses are there in each state, by location.

(3) What was the total expenditure in each of the past 3 years for: (a) maintenance on existing prostheses; and (b) new and replacement prostheses.

(4) In how many cases did veterans make co-payments in the past 12 months for more expensive prostheses than allowed under the department’s guidelines.

(5) How many veterans, by state, currently have a spare prosthesis.

(6) What is the current average time taken by authorised suppliers for: (a) supply of new or replacement prostheses; and (b) repair and maintenance of existing prostheses.

(7) What is the current status of tenders for suppliers of prosthetic aids, including time lines, number of invitations for tender issued, and intended number of providers.

(8) With reference to the new draft guidelines issued by the department in New South Wales: (a) in the event that a veteran is no longer entitled to a spare prosthesis, what arrangements will be put in place to assist the veteran where a prosthesis malfunctions and requires maintenance; and (b) why will the 12-month warranty be voided for ‘fair wear and tear’.

(9) With reference to paragraph 12.4 of the draft New South Wales Artificial Limb Services (ALS) guidelines: What role is there for the department in the event of a dispute between a veteran and the New South Wales ALS, or does this clause absolve the department from all responsibility for the veteran’s care.