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Notice given 1 September 2003

1827  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) What funding was provided for each branch of the Cadets (i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force) for the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; (b) 2001-02; and (c) 2002-03.

(2) What is the proposed level of funding for each branch of the Cadets for the 2003-04 financial year.

(3) For each branch of the Cadets: (a) how many units were there at the beginning of 2000; (b) how many units are there currently; (c) if there has been an increase in the number of units over that period, where are those units located; and (d) if there has been an increase in the number of units, what criteria were used to determine the new locations.

(4) For each branch of the Cadets: (a) what was the number of cadets at the beginning of 2000; and (b) what is the current total.

(5) For each branch of the Cadets: (a) what was the number of officers at the beginning of 2000; and (b) what is the current total.

(6) What recruiting measures are being undertaken by each branch of the Cadets to encourage young people to join.

1828  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Defence—Given that the Minister was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald as stating, ‘that the Government had refused to release its advice on whether Mr Hicks’ detention was legal because it could damage Australia’s relations with the United States’: How can Australia’s relations with the United States be damaged if the Government’s advice was that David Hicks’ detention was lawful.

1829  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) Given that medical records from Australian Correctional Management’s staff psychologist Ramesh Nair have documented the deteriorating mental health of Iraqi detainee Hasan Sabbagh, who has been held in detention since l999: Why has the department failed to act on any of Dr Nair’s recommendations.

(2) Given that over the past three and half years, Hassan Sabbagh has applied four times to the Minister to be released from detention, with no response: How much longer will he have to wait for a response.

(3) Given that Hassan Sabbagh’s original case for protection against repatriation to Iraq has never been heard and yet the department wants to deport him back to Iraq: Is this against the International Refugee Convention.

1830  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—Given that in the 2003-04 financial year the migrant intake is set at between 100 000 and 110 000, including the refugee/humanitarian component, and that, according to Government figures, 43 per cent of the existing Australian population was born overseas, or are the children of overseas-born persons:

(1) Is the government committed to a continuing migration and humanitarian intake.

(2) (a) Is the Government committed to implementing its policy as stated; and (b) how does the Government aim to achieve this.

(3) What responsibility does the Government have to provide effective settlement services for people in Australia.

(4) In view of the accolades that Migration Resource Centres (MRC) have received for their work; why is the Government considering removing their funding.

(5) (a) Why are some MRCs singled out for early termination; and (b) how will this produce equitable results for the people served by these centres.

(6) What alternative, if any, does the Government propose to replace these centres and their services.

1831  Senator Bartlett: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) (a) How many divisions or units are there currently in each arm of the Cadets (i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force); and (b) how many were there 5 years ago.

(2) (a) How many officers or instructors are there currently in each arm of the Cadets; and (b) how many were there 5 years ago.

(3) Is a list available of the location of units.

(4) Are instructors or officers being recruited; if so, by what means.

(5) Are participants being recruited; if so, by what means.

(6) Does any recruitment target girls and young women.

(7) (a) Is any arm of the Cadets less well represented at public events than others; and (b) what determines the cadets’ participation at public events.

1832  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—In relation to departmental officers across Australia and in overseas posts considering applications for entry and/or residency visas:

(1) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of the statutory requirements for that class of visa; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying statutory requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(2) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of standard requirements for consideration of documentary evidence to substantiate the claims made by the applicant; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying documentary requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(3) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly in the order of receipt of the application; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying order of consideration requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(4) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of the merits of the case before them; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying merit requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(5) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of the case before them, irrespective of whether the applicant is represented by a Migration Agent, and irrespective of whether the applicant is represented by a particular Migration Agent; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying relevance requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(6) In relation to each of the application assessment process requirements outlined in parts (1) to (5), are these requirements applied equally when being considered by a departmental officer in Australia or in overseas posts; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying these assessment process requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(7) In relation to all of the application assessment process requirements outlined in part (6), are each of these requirements applied equally in all departmental offices across the State of New South Wales; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying these application assessment process requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

1833  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1630:

(1) Can the Minister now offer a satisfactory answer to parts (1) and (2) of that question, in which it was asked whether grey-headed flying-foxes or spectacled flying-foxes ‘occur’ on any Commonwealth land and not if the Government was aware of any ‘permanent colonies’.

(2) When will the recovery plans for the grey-headed flying-fox and spectacled flying-fox be released for public comment.

(3) When does the Minister expect the recovery plans for the grey-headed flying-fox and spectacled flying-fox to be finalised and made under section 269A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 .

(4) Given that at the time the 2002 guidelines were issued, there was a considerable amount of uncertainty regarding the size of the spectacled and grey-headed flying-fox populations: Has the Commonwealth obtained any additional information on the conservation status of the spectacled and grey-headed flying-foxes to support the proposed policy in relation to these species; if so, can this information (including copies of relevant publications) be provided; if not, why not.

(5) Has the Commonwealth obtained any information on the total numbers of spectacled and grey-headed flying-foxes that were killed between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2003; if so, can this information (including copies of relevant publications) be provided; if not, why not.

(6) Given that the Minister has indicated that the Commonwealth has not received any information on the actual number of spectacled and grey-headed flying-foxes that were killed under state authorisations between July 2002 and June 2003: Why is the Minister proposing to adopt a policy concerning killing members of two threatened species without information on the numbers of these species that were killed in accordance with the policy over the past 12 months.