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Notice given 1 August 2003

1680  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1479 (Senate Hansard , 23 June 2003, p.12279):

(1) (a) How much of the $11.6 million is included in the $21.8 million funding for the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies previously announced; and (b) what is the balance of the $11.6 million to be used for and where did it come from.

(2) (a) What is the value of the in-kind support from Geoscience Australia to the centre in the 2003-04 financial year and for each subsequent year; and (b) how much of this is included in the $11.6 million.

(3) What is the value of any other in-kind support being provided to the centre by the Government or its agencies, including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, in the 2003-04 financial year and for each subsequent year.

1681  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) What are the common principles and criteria underpinning the Government’s decisions to intervene in East Timor, Iraq and the Solomon Islands.

(2) How does the situation in Zimbabwe compare with East Timor, Iraq and the Solomon Islands, against these principles and criteria.

(3) Is intervention in Zimbabwe by Australia, similar to that undertaken East Timor, Iraq and the Solomon Islands, an option.

1682  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade—Has Australia implemented trade sanctions against Zimbabwe; if so, when and with what effect.

1683  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) What is the Government’s current assessment of the situation in Zimbabwe compared with its assessment at the time of the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

(2) What action will the Government be requesting at the next CHOGM, scheduled for December 2003, in relation to Zimbabwe’s possible re-admission to the Commonwealth.

(3) Does the Government support Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the Commonwealth.

(4) What other options are open if the Commonwealth fails to take appropriate action to improve the situation in Zimbabwe; could options include action by the United Nations and coalitions of countries.

(5) Would Australia be willing to send a delegation of election supervisors to Zimbabwe if the electoral challenge by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in November 2003 is successful.

1684  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1370 concerning the northern peninsula of Research Bay, Tasmania, in which it was stated that ‘sites are currently being assessed by the Tasmanian Heritage Council’:

(1) Is the Minister aware that the Tasmanian Heritage Council has resolved that ‘the onus of providing information which would be considered in establishing significance was a matter for the nominator(s) and accordingly it [the Heritage Council] would not be carrying out any further research’.

(2) Given the potential and international significance of the area, does the Minister consider it adequate for an assessment by the Tasmanian Heritage Council to rely on the efforts of volunteer members of the community.

(3) In relation to the assessment and protection of the northern peninsula of Research Bay: (a) what communication has the Commonwealth had with the Tasmanian Government, Gunns Pty Ltd and the owners of relevant land; and (b) can details be provided of correspondence and meetings, including the parties involved, dates and the matters discussed.

1685  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—Further to the answer to question on notice no. 1370 concerning the northern peninsula of Research Bay, Tasmania

(1) What steps is the Commonwealth taking to establish the significance of the cultural landscape of the northern peninsula of Research Bay, including all the areas occupied and traversed by the D’Entrecasteaux expedition.

(2) Has the Commonwealth commissioned research to establish the significance of the area; if so: (a) who is undertaking the research; (b) how much will it cost; (c) when will it be completed; and (d) will the report be made public.

(3) When will the Commonwealth be in a position to consider the issue of acquisition.

1686  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Defence—Further to the answer to question on notice no. 1520:

(1) Was advice given to the Government, by any Australian agency, that the United States of America (US) or the United Kingdom (UK) were moving to invade Iraq solely because of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction; if not, in each case, of what other motivation was the Government advised by any Australian agency.

(2) (a) Who in the Government was made aware of that advice from an Australian agency; (b) from which Australian agency did that advice come; and (c) who conveyed it to the Government and when.

(3) Were weapons of mass destruction seen by any Australian agency as the primary motivation for war for the UK or the US; if not, what was seen as the primary motivation.

1687  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) What is the policy of Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) regarding the care of children who are left unattended when their parent is, or parents are, placed in isolation units for lengthy periods.

(2) Are any ACM staff trained professional child care workers.

(3) Can the Minister clarify why one detainee was locked into an isolation cell that had to be drilled open, as shown on the ABC Four Corners program during May 2003.

(4) Why have all the Woomera DC 2000 and most of the Villawood DC 2001 medical files of the detainee Mohammad Hassan Sabbagh, who suffered a  mental breakdown and has been held in detention since December 1999, disappeared.

(5) (a) What is the ratio of staff to detainees in all centres; and (b) is this ratio uniform.

(6) What does the Minister propose to do with the long-term detainees who cannot be returned to their country of birth, for example, stateless Kuwaitis.

(7) Given that the Government has been unable to deport the detainee Hassan Sabbagh, who has been held for more than three and a half years, to Iraq, why can he not be released into the care of willing community support groups, such as the Jesuit Refugee Services or the Uniting Church, rather than burdening the taxpayer unnecessarily.

1688  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Area Consultative Committee Work Principles related to the Ministerial Statement of Priorities:

(1) What instructions and/or training has the Minister and/or his department provided to Area Consultative Committees in relation to ethical practices.

(2) Can a copy be provided of any written advice provided to the committees in relation to standards of ethical behaviour; if not, why not.

(3) What constitutes a ‘conflict of interest’ in relation to the activities of chairpersons, members and staff of the committees.

(4) Are chairpersons, members and staff of the committees required to declare any conflict of interest, perceived or actual, in relation to any discussion or decision of their committee; if so, in what form must those declarations be made.

(5) Does the Minister and/or his department maintain a register of such declarations; if so, in what form is that register maintained.

(6) Are chairpersons, members and staff of the committees required to excuse themselves from discussions and decisions of their committee when any conflict of interest, perceived or actual, arises.

(7) What action is the Minister and/or the department empowered to take against chairpersons, members and staff of the committees who fail to uphold required standards of ethical conduct.

(8) Has the Minister and/or the department had cause to counsel or take other action against chairpersons, members and staff of any of the committees for failing to uphold required standards of ethical conduct, including failures to declare conflicts of interest; if so, can details be provided of these events, including dates, circumstances, action taken and the committee concerned.

1689  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the grant of $32 617 to the South East Packing Operation in Moruya, New South Wales in round five of the Dairy Regional Assistance Program (DRAP):

(1) What are the names of the principals of the project proponent, Advocate Support Pty Ltd.

(2) On what date did the South East New South Wales Area Consultative Committee first engage in discussions with representatives of Advocate Support Pty Ltd and/or other parties in relation to the project proposal.

(3) (a) On what date was the project application endorsed by the committee; and (b) which members of the committee were present at the meeting that endorsed the application.

(4) On what date was the project application forwarded to the department by the committee; and (b) on what date was the application received by the department.

(5) Did the chair of the committee, Mr Greg Malavey, engage in any discussions, or participate in any deliberations, by the committee in relation to the project proposal; if so, can the Minister describe Mr Malavey’s participation.

(6) Did Mr Malavey’s signature endorse the proponent’s written application on behalf the committee; if so, can a copy of Mr Malavey’s written endorsement be provided.

(7) If Mr Malavey did not sign the written application: (a) why not; (b) can the Minister advise which member of the committee provided the endorsement; and (c) can a copy of the member’s written endorsement be provided.

1690  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 860 (Senate Hansard , 9 December 2003, p. 7524) concerning the grant of $32 617 to the South East Packing Operation in Moruya, New South Wales, in round five of the Dairy Regional Assistance Program:

(1) On what date did the department obtain details of the development application associated with the project.

(2) Is the person identified as Mr G Malavey in the Eurobodalla Shire Council Minute PM224 as having formed a deputation to council on behalf of the owner of the property in relation to the development application also the chairperson of the South East New South Wales Area Consultative Committee; if so: (a) on what date and in what form did the chairperson of the committee, Mr Greg Malavey, declare his interest in the South East Packing Operation to the committee and/or the department; (b) when was the Minister informed; and (c) what action did the committee or the department or the Minister take in response to the declaration of Mr Malavey’s interest.

(3) Has the chairperson of the committee declared any conflict of interest in relation to the project; if so: (a) on what date was that declaration made; (b) what form did that declaration take; (c) what was the basis of the conflict of interest; and (d) what were the consequences of that declaration.

(4) On what date was the department advised that the Eurobodalla Shire Council approved the development application lodged by the grant recipient, Advocate Support Group Pty Ltd, subject to a special condition that confectionery packing is limited to 2 days per week and packing and deliveries shall not occur before 7 am and after 6 pm on Sundays or public holidays.

(5) What impact has the special condition had on the capacity of the project to generate employment outcomes of six full-time and twelve part-time jobs nominated in the project application.

1691  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 861 (Senate Hansard , 9 December 2003, p. 7524) concerning the grant of $32 617 to the South East Packing Operation in Moruya, New South Wales, in round five of the Dairy Regional Assistance Program:

(1) (a) How many full-time positions has the project generated; and (b) when were the jobs generated.

(2) (a) How many part-time jobs has the project generated; and (b) when were the jobs generated.

1692  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 863 (Senate Hansard , 9 December 2003, p. 7525) concerning the grant of $32 617 to the South East Packing Operation in Moruya, New South Wales, in round five of the Dairy Regional Assistance Program:

(1) How has the project been monitored by the South East New South Wales Area Consultative Committee.

(2) (a) On what dates has the proponent reported to the committee’s Moruya-based officer; and (b) what form did these project reports take.

1693  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—With reference to the announcement on 22 July 2003 of short-term assistance to the ethanol industry:

(1) (a) What companies and/or industry bodies made representations to the Minister or his department seeking the payment of the current fuel ethanol subsidy in advance of the payment of excise; (b) which companies will benefit from this new arrangement; and (c) what is the estimated cost to revenue of this arrangement by financial year.

(2) How will the measure ensure the ethanol industry is able to appropriately manage the transition to the E10 blend.

(3) On what date did the Government commence negotiations with the Manildra group of companies on the proposal to appoint a facilitator to assist these companies in its commercial negotiations with potential purchasers of ethanol.

(4) Did the Manildra group of companies seek the appointment of a Government facilitator; if so: (a) what reasons did these companies provide in their request; (b) on what date did the Government receive the request; and (c) in what form was that request made.

(5) Who is the facilitator.

(6) (a) What is the new role of the facilitator; and (b) what is the term of his or her appointment.

(7) What is the total expected cost of the facilitator’s position by financial year.

(8) What financial contribution is the Manildra group of companies making to the cost of engaging the facilitator.

(9) What is the facilitator’s work address.

(10) What deficiencies in Manildra’s management has the Government identified that necessitates the appointment of a facilitator to assist its commercial negotiations.

(11) Why is the facilitator’s role in assisting commercial negotiations on ethanol fuel sales limited to negotiations involving the Manildra group of companies.

(12) How will the measure assist companies other than the Manildra group of companies to appropriately manage the transition to the E10 blend.

(13) For each financial year since 1996-97, can a list be provided of previous and current Commonwealth appointments of facilitators to assist individual companies to undertake commercial negotiations.

1694  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—With reference to the announcement on 25 July 2003 of the assistance package for the biofuels industry:

(1) What evidence will applicants for capital subsidies be required to produce to: (a) demonstrate viability beyond 2013; and (b) demonstrate the existence of firm contracts for the supply of biofuels.

(2) In relation to the media release by the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, dated 25 July 2003, can details be provided of the 15 ethanol and 16 biodiesel plants or expansions across regional Australia representing possible investment in excess of $1.1 billion, including for each new plant or expansion: (a) the name of the proponent; (b) whether the project is a new plant or an expansion of an existing production capacity; (c) the nature of the proposed production, for example, ethanol or biodiesel, including proposed feedstock; (d) the volume of the proposed production in million litres (ML); (e) the location of the proposed plant; (f) the potential investment level; (g) the potential job creation; and (h) the nature of the boost to the relevant regional economy.

(3) Since the announcement, has the Government received advice from proponents connected with any of the 31 projects identified in the Minister’s media release advising that expanded production will not be sufficiently supported by the Government’s package to allow new plants to be built; if so, can details be provided of the advice received.

(4) In relation to the report commissioned from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, jointly with the Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, on the Government’s 350ML biofuels target: (a) what are the terms of reference; (b) what is its completion date; and (c) what is its budget.

1695  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—

(1) What is the current total capacity of Australia’s domestic excisable fuel ethanol production.

(2) What is the current total domestic demand for excisable fuel ethanol.

1696  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—What is the audit process in place whereby imports from Singapore under the Free Trade Agreement can be assured to comply with the requirement that a minimum of 50 per cent of the value of the product exported to Australia is added in Singapore.

1697  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) With reference to the discussion and recommendations of the March 1999 Review of Military Compensation by Mr N Tanzer AO, what progress has been made on the development of a premium-based model for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

(2) What is the current estimated liability of the Military Compensation Scheme.

(3) For each of the past 3 years, what total sum has been paid by way of: (a) lump sums for permanent impairment; and (b) incapacity payments to current and discharged personnel.

(4) For each of the past 3 years: (a) what total sum has been paid under Defence Act Determinations; and (b) to how many recipients.

(5) How many ADF personnel have died as a result of service-related injuries in each of the past 3 years.

(6) What claims, by injury group, for compensation by ADF personnel deployed to the Iraq operations during 2003 have been: (a) made; and (b) accepted; under the Military Compensation Scheme.

(6) What claims, by injury group, for compensation by ADF personnel deployed to the Iraq operations during 2003 have been: (a) made; and (b) accepted; under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 .

1698  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) What is the current annual cost of maintaining the 2 Field Hospital (MORT) program of rehabilitation.

(2) In the 2002-03 financial year: (a) how many Australia Defence Force (ADF) personnel treated at the MORT were successfully returned to service in the ADF; and (b) how many were discharged as medically unfit within classifications A, B and C.

(3) What plans exist for the replication of the MORT in other states.

1699  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Did the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) in a letter to the review of military compensation in 1999 express ‘a strong view that the ADF must take a more integrated and holistic approach to occupational health and safety, compensation and rehabilitation that best meets its needs. The current arrangements are less than satisfactory because the shared functions across a number of organisations limit the visibility, sense of ownership and commitment to the whole function within Defence’; if so, what has changed in the attitude of the CDF whereby in the proposed new military compensation scheme, policy responsibility for compensation is further divorced from Defence by transfer to what is effectively the existing Repatriation Commission.

(2) Under the proposed new military compensation scheme, what responsibility does Defence assume for occupational health and safety (OH&S) policy within the Australian Defence Force, as opposed to the current arrangements where that authority is vested in the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.

(3) Did the CDF also express a preference to the Tanzer Review that the creation of a separate OH&S regulatory authority within Defence had the potential to give a more direct and substantial impetus to that function than was currently possible; if so, is this still the view held.

(4) Under the proposed new scheme, will funding be allocated to the Department of Defence, or to the new commission based on the Repatriation Commission, or to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

(5) Under the proposed new model, how will medical costs be attributed between the Defence Health Services and the scheme with respect to compensable injuries.

1700  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—

(1) What consultations has the department and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission had with the Department of Defence in the past 12 months with respect to removing the Australian Defence Force from the coverage of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 .

(2) Will the new military compensation scheme remove the current arrangements; if so, to what extent.

1701  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) Has an estimate of the liability under the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 for compensation claims been done since that done for the Tanzer Review in 1998; if not, why not.

(2) For the purposes of fiscal planning, has the Department of Finance and Administration ever consulted with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on more accurately identifying the nature of its future liability for all costs including health care and compensation.

(3) What role does the Repatriation Commission have in monitoring the liability incurred under the Act.

(4) What is the current estimated full life cost of a totally and permanently incapacitated pension including service pension and allowances to a person aged 55.

1702  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) What consideration has been given since the 1999 report into military compensation, to shifting the funding for military compensation from below the line to above the line, together with a premium-based system.

(2) For fiscal planning purposes, what consideration has the department given to the proper calculation of future liabilities under the Military Compensation Scheme and the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 .

(3) What was the last available estimate of each liability.

(4) Will funding for the proposed new military compensation scheme be below the line or above the line, and will it be a premium-based model.

1703  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) For each of the past 7 years, on how many occasions, and to which commemorative events overseas, has there been official attendance by invitation by: (a) Government ministers (can a list of names be provided), (b) Opposition spokesmen, (c) other members of Parliament; and (d) representatives from the veteran community by: (i) number, and (ii) organisation.

(2) What was the cost of each commemorative ceremony referred to in paragraph (1) above for: (a) ministerial travel and allowances; (b) ministerial spouse travel; (c) ministerial staff travel and allowances; (d) departmental and other officials’ travel and allowances; (e) ex-service community travel and allowances; (f) official entertainment; (g) gifts and memorabilia; (h) Australian Defence Force personnel travel and allowances; (i) monument construction; (j) public relations; (k) venue hire; (l) security; and (m) insurance.

(3) What is the current program of commemorative activity overseas for which funds have been estimated in the budget process over the next 3 years.

(4) What is the current proposed list of invitees for the opening of the war memorial in London on 11 November 2003, and of those: (a) how many are veterans and war widows; and (b) how were they selected.

1704  Senator Bishop: To ask the Special Minister of State—

(1) For the past 7 years, on how many occasions has the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs travelled overseas.

(2) What was the cost of each journey in relation to: (a) travel; and (b) allowances.

(3) For each journey: (a) how many staff accompanied the Minister; and (b) what was the cost of staff travel.

(4) (a) On how many occasions was the Minister accompanied by a spouse or partner; and (b) what was the added cost.

(5) What was the purpose of each journey.

(6) Has a full acquittal been completed for each journey by ministers and staff.

(7) What was the total cost of that travel.