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Notice given 14 July 2003

1625  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) With reference to the Minister’s Media Statement (reference AFFA03/095WT, 28 April 2003), can the Minister confirm who the Chief Executive Officer of Harvest FreshCuts Pty Ltd was at the time that this company was provided with a Food Innovation Grant (FIG) of $1.25 million.

(2) When did Harvest FreshCuts Pty Ltd apply for the grant.

(3) What was the quantum of the grant applied for by Harvest FreshCuts Pty Ltd.

(4) Who signed the application on behalf of Harvest FreshCuts Pty Ltd.

(5) Which members of the National Food Industry Council assessed the Harvest FreshCuts Pty Ltd application for this grant.

(6) Can the Minister advise whether applications for FIGs have been received from any of the following companies or their related entities: (a) Fletcher International Exports Pty Limited; (b) SPC Ardmona Ltd; (c) Peters and Brownes Foods Ltd; (d) Luken and May Pty Ltd; (e) National Foods Ltd; (f) Goodman Fielder Ltd; (g) Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd; and (h) Coles Myer Group Ltd.

(7) Where applications for FIGs have been received from any of the above companies or their related entities, can the Minister advise in each case: (a) when was the application received; (b) what was the quantum of the grant applied for; (c) what was the stated purpose of the grant applied for; (d) who signed the application on behalf of the applying company or their related entity; (e) which members of the NFIC are assessing or have assessed each application; and (f) what is the status of the application.

1626  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—

(1) Can the Minister advise the quantum of royalties earned for each of the past 8 years by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation (CSIRO) for each of the following breeds of wheat: (a) Lawson; (b) Brennan; (c) Gordon; (d) Dennis; (e) Patterson; (f) Rudd; (g) Tennant; (h) Mackellar.

(2) Has the CSIRO modelled the expected future royalty revenue to be earned by it from the above varieties; if so, can the Minister advise for each variety: (a) the expected quantum of royalties to be paid to CSIRO; and (b) the expected time frame over which these royalties are to be paid to CSIRO.

(3) Can the Minister advise how many breeds of wheat have been affected by the decision by CSIRO to destroy their wheat research crops as a result of the discovery during March 2003 of the presence of Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus (WSMV) at its research facilities.

(4) For each breed of wheat affected by the above CSIRO decision, can the Minister advise: (a) the varietal name; (b) the details of the trait being developed under research (for example, higher yield, specific disease resistance, lower water usage, tolerance to saline soils, etc); (c) the projected delay in bringing the variety to commercial production as a result of CSIRO’s actions on discovering WSMV at its facilities; (d) the quantum of Commonwealth funds expended on research to date; (e) the details of extra Commonwealth funds expected to be expended on research as a result of CSIRO’s actions on discovering WSMV at its facilities; (f) the original projections of the benefit (in monetary and yield terms) to the Australian wheat industry from this research; (g) the projected delay or reduction in benefit (in monetary and yield terms) to the Australian wheat industry from this research as a result of CSIRO’s actions on discovering WSMV at its facilities; (h) the original projections of royalties to be earned by CSIRO from these varieties; and (i) the projections of the delay or reduction in royalties to be earned by CSIRO from these varieties as a result of CSIRO’s actions on discovering WSMV at its facilities.

1627  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—Can the Minister confirm that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is currently conducting, and has in the past 5 years conducted, research within Australian facilities on viable specimens of diseases which are communicable to Australia’s human population, native flora or fauna or Australia’s production herds or crops; if so, can the following information be provided: (a) a list of these diseases; (b) the start and end dates of projects involving each disease; (c) the stated goals of the research involving these diseases; (d) the status of research projects involving these diseases; and (e) the outcomes of any completed research projects involving these diseases.

1628  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the recent transport of asylum seekers from near Port Hedland to Christmas Island:

(1) What was the cost of transporting the group from near Port Hedland to Christmas Island.

(2) By holding the group on Christmas Island instead of at Port Hedland, what additional costs will be incurred by the Government, legal representatives for the group and any other people or agencies with responsibilities for them.

1629  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—

(1) Is the Federal Government paying for public relations consultants to influence South Australians over the Commonwealth’s acquisition of land known as site 40a to locate a national radioactive waste repository.

(2) Is the consultant firm Michels Warren; if not, then who.

(3) (a) How were the consultants selected; and (b) was a public tender undertaken.

(4) Have any of the consultants carried out work for organisations associated with mining, energy or uranium; if so, can details be provided of: (a) the name of the consultant; (b) the name of the organisation; (c) the contract objective; and (d) the length of the job.

(5) (a) What is the commencement date; and (b) what is the expected duration of the consultancy.

(6) (a) What is the expected cost of the consultancy; and (b) from which budget will it be funded.

(7) What objectives does the project brief outline.

(8) What is the expected program for meetings, media, events, publications, advertising, research etc.

(9) What are the key messages.

(10) Will the Minister’s office direct the consultants at any time; if not, who will be responsible.

(11) (a) Will the name of the consultants and the budget for public relations be included in any publications or websites developed as part of the campaign; and (b) why.

(12) How much has the Commonwealth spent on in-house public relations and external consultants for the national radioactive waste repository since 2001.

(13) How much will the Commonwealth offer the owners of site 40a as compensation for its compulsory acquisition.

1630  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) Do Grey-headed Flying-foxes occur on any Commonwealth land.

(2) Do Spectacled Flying-foxes occur on any Commonwealth land.

(3) Has the department prepared, or commenced preparation of, a recovery plan for: (a) the Grey-headed Flying-fox; and (b) the Spectacled Flying-fox.

(4) (a) How many referrals have been received under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999  in relation to culling Grey-headed Flying-foxes; and (b) how many referrals have been received under the Act in relation to culling Grey-headed Flying-foxes since the publication of the ‘Administrative Guidelines on Significance - Supplement for the Grey-headed Flying-fox’.

(5) (a) How many referrals have been received under the Act in relation to culling Spectacled Flying-foxes; and (b) how many referrals have been received under the Act in relation to culling Spectacled Flying-foxes since the publication of the ‘Administrative Guidelines on Significance - Supplement for the Spectacled Flying-fox’.

(6) Has the Minister or the department sought any information on the number of Grey-headed Flying-foxes authorised to be killed under governmental authorisations (however described) issued by the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian governments between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003; if so, how many Grey-headed Flying-foxes were authorised to be killed; if not, why not.

(7) Has the Minister or the department sought any information on the number of Grey-headed Flying-foxes killed under governmental authorisations (however described) issued by the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian governments between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003; if so, how many Grey-headed Flying-foxes were killed; if not, why not.

(8) Has the Minister or the department sought any information on the number of Spectacled Flying-foxes authorised to be killed under governmental authorisations (however described) issued by the Queensland Government between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003; if so, how many Spectacled Flying-foxes were authorised to be killed; if not, why not.

(9) Has the Minister or the department sought any information on the number of Spectacled Flying-foxes killed under governmental authorisations (however described) issued by the Queensland Government between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003; if so, how many Spectacled Flying-foxes were killed; if not, why not.