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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.