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Notice given 9 September 2003

1937  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—For each of the past 10 years:  (a) how much federal funding has been allocated to environment groups in Australia; and (b) how much went to each environment group which was funded, directly or indirectly.

1939  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1)  Why does the Civil Aviation Safety Regulation CASR 91.355, which prohibits self-service of alcoholic beverages on board commercial aircraft, not come into effect earlier than 2005.

(2)  (a) What consultation did the Government conduct with regard to the timing of the introduction of this regulation; and (b) can a copy of the advice given by stakeholders to the Government on the timing be provided.

1940  Senator Hutchins: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1)  Can information be provided relating to the average time that it takes for successful onshore parent visa applicants to receive a queue date, from the time they first lodge their applications with the department.

(2)  Can information be provided relating to the average time required for onshore parent visa applicants to be given a health check, from the time they first lodge their applications with the department.

1941  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  How has the Government responded to Alzheimers Australia’s call for dementia to be made a national health priority.

(2)  What are the age and demographic trends for dementia in Australia.

(3)  What financial, respite or other government assistance is available to people caring for dementia suffers at home.

1942  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to logging in Papua New Guinea:

(1)  For each of the past 5 years, how much Australian aid, direct or indirect, has been made available.

(2)  What was the nature of this aid.

(3)  What demonstrable benefit has come from the aid.

(4)  Is the industry more accountable, socially advantageous or ecologically- sustainable than 5 years ago; if so, how.

1943  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Small Business and Tourism—

(1)  Given that, according to the Complementary Healthcare Council, sales of complementary medicines are down 20 to 40 per cent and export sales are down by $200 million, does the Government intend to compensate small retail businesses for this economic loss and the general decline in consumer confidence.

(2)  What response has the Government made to the request from the council for funds to invest in marketing for the industry and positive statements from the Government about complementary medicines.

(3)  What is the progress on the Government’s request to major distributors that claims by small business for refunds to consumers on recalled products should be expedited.

(4)  Is the Government monitoring the financial impact of this recall on small business; if so, what is the impact; if not, why not.

Senator Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1944-1945)—With reference to wheat streak mosaic virus:

(1)  Has the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation or any other Australian research organisation, ever imported the virus for research or any other purpose: if so; (a) who licenced and monitored importation of the virus; (b) when was the virus imported; (c) by what means was the virus imported; (d) by what route was the virus imported and transported; (e) in which facilities is, or in which facilities was, thevirus stored and used; (f) has the virus been transported to other facilities; (g) has the virus imported under OGTR/GMAC1507 been destroyed; (h) who is or was responsible for containing and managing the virus; (i) has the Office of the Gene Technology Regulation (OGTR) ever inspected, assessed or approved any facilities in which the organisms licenced under GMAC1507 are stored or used; if so, what were the results of those inspections; (j) is there any evidence that the virus may have escaped from storage or research facilities into any other environments; (k) is there any evidence that the virus, licenced by OGTR/GMAC1507 or any other research project using the virus, may be the source of  infections recently identified in wheat plants in various research facilities around Australia.

(2)   If the virus was used for research or other purposes in Australia, what evidence shows that this was not the source of the current infection in wheat at various locations, which threatens the Australian wheat industry.

1944 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1945 Minister representing the Minister for Science

Senator Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1946-1947)— With reference to wheat streak mosaic virus was the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or any other Australian research organisation, aware of the presence of the virus in Australia prior to the 2003 outbreak at research institutions; if so:  (a) which research organisations were involved; (b) when was the virus detected; (c) has the virus been researched; if so, is this the reason for the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee (GMAC) and Office of the Gene Technology Regulation (OGTR) licenses; (d) was the virus transported; if so, (i) how, (ii) where to, and (iii) when was the virus transported; (e) in which facilities is, or in which facilities was, the virus stored and used; (f) has the WSMV virus been transported to other facilities; (g) has the virus been destroyed; (h) who is or was responsible for containing and managing the virus; (i) has the OGTR ever inspected, assessed or approved any facilities in which the organisms licenced under GMAC1507 (OGTR 5607) are stored or used; if so, what were the results of those inspections; (j) is there any evidence that the virus may have escaped from storage or research facilities into any other environments; and (k) is there any evidence that the virus licenced by OGTR 5607/GMAC1507 or any other research project using the virus may be the source of plant infections recently identified in wheat plants in various research facilities around Australia.

1946 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1947 Minister representing the Minister for Science

Senator Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1948-1949)—In relation to wheat streak mosaic virus:

(1)  Has the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Office (CSIRO) or any other Australian research organisation ever obtained:  (a) the agreement of the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee (GMAC); and/or (b) a licence from the Office of Gene Technology Regulation (OGTR), for the use of genetically modified viruses and/or plants in a genetic engineering research project entitled ‘the use of virus vectors for gene silencing in plants (virus induced gene silencing)’.

(2)  Does the deemed licence issued by the OGTR, identified by the GMAC number 1507 and appearing on the OGTR's public register as GMO Dealing Not Involving Release (DNIR) OGTR 5607, licence the use of various genetically-engineered viruses.

(3)  Does the deemed licence, issued to the CSIRO, include approval for the use of ‘GMO5 Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus’.

1948 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1949 Minister representing the Minister for Science

1950  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—

(1)  Did the Government receive a legal opinion from the Australian Government Solicitor about whether or not it was constitutionally possible for the Commonwealth to deliver a legally binding and enforceable right of veto to the States in relation to the rate of a goods and services tax (GST); if so; can a copy of that opinion be provided.

(2)  Since the passage of the GST legislation, do the state and territory governments have a legally binding and enforceable right of veto over changes to the rate of the GST now and in the future.

1951  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1)  Can the Minister confirm that the former Bureau of Resource Sciences engaged in research comparing data on the shark catch and the incidence of seismic testing in south eastern Australian waters, and that this research was due for publication in 2000.

(2)  Why was this research never published.

(3)  When will the study be made available.

1952  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1)  Have Benaris Energy NV and Woodside Energy Ltd applied to the Commonwealth for permits to undertake seismic testing and survey work in coastal waters around south eastern Australia; if so, where.

(2)  Will the testing include 3D seismic surveys.

(3)  Will the testing include the 12 Apostles Marine National Park.

(4)  What are the impacts of 3D seismic testing on marine animals and are the impacts variable depending on the reproductive cycles of the animals; if so, will the Government prohibit testing during breeding and spawning periods.

(5)  What consultation has the Government conducted with local communities and key stakeholder groups in relation to the proposed Benaris and Woodside seismic surveys; if none, why.

(6)  Does the Government require the application for permits to be publicly advertised; if not, why not.

(7)  Will the Government exercise the precautionary principle in relation to these permit applications.

1953  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—Is the cost of the advertising campaign in relation to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), targeted to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, included in the $27 million program allocated for the PBS advertising campaign targeted to non-Indigenous Australians; if not, what are the additional costs or separate budget allocations for the Indigenous advertising campaign.

1954  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  What is the total cost, including production and placement, of advertising in relation to the Australian Health Care Agreements, placed by the Commonwealth in all newspapers on 21 August 2003.

(2)  What is the total cost, including production and placement, of advertising in relation to the Australian Health Care Agreements, placed by the Commonwealth in all newspapers on 29 August 2003.

1955  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  Why was the decision made to abolish one of the two director positions in the Public Affairs Unit, effective 1 July 2003.

(2)  Who made this decision.

(3)  Was the money used in financial years prior to 2003-04 to fund the second director position reallocated to another position within the Public Affairs Unit; if so, how has this saving been allocated.

(4)  In relation to the additional budgetary allocation, referred to in part (2)(b) of the answer to question on notice no.1601 (Senate Hansard , 8 September 2003, p. 14003), why did this amount increase from $1 251 000 in 2000-01 to $1 875 000 in 2001-02.

1956  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  In relation to the article in the Melbourne Herald Sun of 28 August 2003, can the Minister advise the following: (a) is the treadmill referred to fully owned by the Minister; (b) was the entire purchase price of the treadmill paid by the Minister using her personal income;  (c) did the Minister receive any discount on the purchase of the treadmill; if so, on what basis; (d) was there, or is there, any sponsorship arrangement for the full or part costs of the treadmill; (e) was the purchase of the treadmill borne, in full or in part, by a private health insurer.

(2)  In relation to the article in the Melbourne Herald Sun of 28 August 2003, can the Minister advise the following:  (a) are the weights referred to fully owned by the Minister; (b) was the entire purchase price of the weights paid by the Minister using her personal income; (c) did the Minister receive any discount on the purchase of the weights; if so, on what basis; (d) was there, or is there, any sponsorship arrangement for the full or part costs of the weights; (e) was the purchase of the weights borne, in full or in part, by a private health insurer.

1957  Senator Carr: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1)  (a) Can a list be provided of new nursing place commencements, by institution, for the out years; and (b) what is the cost of each place.

(2)  (a) Can a list be provided of new medical place commencements, by institution, for the out years; (b) what is the source of the funding; and (c) what is the cost of each place.

1958  Senator Evans: To ask the Special Minister of State—

(1)  What is the current status of Defence lands on the Georges River in New South Wales adjoining Holsworthy Army Base, between Alfords Point and Sandy Point.

(2)  Has this land been transferred from the Department of Defence to the Department of Finance and Administration; if so, (a) when and why did this occur; and (b) who authorised the transfer.

(3)  What was the land used for previously.

(4)  What does Defence envisage that the site could be used for in the future.

(5)  What is the size of the site.

(6)  Has the site been valued by either the New South Wales Valuer-General or the Australian Valuation Office; if so, please indicate the dates on which the valuations occurred and the estimated value of the site.

(7)  Is it intended that the site will be sold; if so, when is the sale forecast to occur.

(8)  Is Defence aware of any heritage or environmental significance attached to the site; if so, can details be provided.

(9)  Have any parties (individuals, organisations or governments) expressed an interest in acquiring the site; if so, can details of each expression of interest be provided.

(10)  Has the New South Wales Government expressed an interest in acquiring the site; if so, can details be provided.

(11)  (a) Why has the land not been transferred to the New South Wales Government for protection as parkland; (b) has there been any consultation with the New South Wales Government in this regard; and (c) can details of the nature of each consultation with the New South Wales Government on this issue be provided.

(12)  (a) When did the Commonwealth first acquire the site from New South Wales; and (b) what was the purpose of the acquisition.

(13)  (a) What was the process for acquiring the site from New South Wales; (b) did the Commonwealth pay New South Wales for the acquisition of the land; if so, how much was paid.

(14)  What other Defence land is currently controlled by the Department of Finance and Administration.

(15)  Is it intended that any of these other properties are to be sold; if so: (a) which properties will be sold; (b) what is the size of each property; (c) what is the value of each property; and (d) when are the sales expected to occur.

1959  Senator Evans: To ask the Special Minister of State—

(1)  What is the current status of Defence lands at Malabar Headland in New South Wales (the Anzac Rifle Range).

(2)  Has this land been transferred from the Department of Defence to the Department of Finance and Administration; if so, (a) when and why did this occur; and (b) who authorised the transfer.

(3)  What was the land used for previously.

(4)  What does Defence envisage that the site could be used for in the future.

(5)  What is the size of the site.

(6)  Has the site been valued by either the New South Wales Valuer-General or the Australian Valuation Office; if so, please indicate the dates on which the valuations occurred and the estimated value of the site.

(7)  Is it intended that the site will be sold; if so, when is the sale forecast to occur.

(8)  Is Defence aware of any heritage or environmental significance attached to the site; if so, can details be provided.

(9)  Have any parties (individuals, organisations or governments) expressed an interest in acquiring the site; if so, can details of each expression of interest be provided.

(10)  Has the New South Wales Government expressed an interest in acquiring the site; if so, can details of each expression of interest be provided.

(11)  (a) Why has the land not been transferred to the New South Wales Government for protection as a national park; (b) has there been any consultation with the New South Wales Government in this regard; and (c) can details on the nature of each consultation with the New South Wales Government on this issue be provided.

(12)  (a) When did the Commonwealth first acquire the site from New South Wales; and (b) what was the purpose of the acquisition.

(13)  (a) What was the process for acquiring the site from New South Wales; (b) did the Commonwealth pay New South Wales for the acquisition of the Malabar Headland site; if so, how much was paid.

1960  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1)  How many security clearance applications are currently waiting to be processed by the Defence Security Authority.

(2)  How many security clearance re-evaluations are currently waiting to be processed by the Defence Security Authority.

(3)  Can a breakdown be provided of how long all security clearances waiting to be processed, including re-evaluations and new applications, have been delayed, for example, x applications are delayed by 1 month, y applications are delayed by 2 months etc.

(4)  What has such a large backlog developed.

(5)  What is the current estimate of the length of time it will take before the backlog is fully cleared.

(6)  What processes or initiatives are being put in place to reduce the backlog.

(7)  What processes or initiatives are being put in place to ensure that such a backlog does not arise again in the future.

1961  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1)  Can a breakdown be provided of all costs associated with the planned disposal of the Defence land at Point Nepean in Victoria, including all marketing, advertising, tender evaluation, legal and other costs.

(2)  Can this information be provided in respect of both the abandoned proposal to sell the Point Nepean land and the current proposal to lease the site.

1962  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—With reference to former Defence properties that were sold in the 2002-03 financial year, can details of the sale price and the new owners be provided for the following:

(1)  749 hectares of vacant land at Leakes Road, Rockbank, Victoria.

(2)  1.43 hectares at Crows Nest Barracks, Flinders Street, Queenscliff, Victoria.

(3)  0.89 hectares of vacant land at 150-160 Mine Road, Korumburra, Victoria.

(4)  208 hectares at the former Royal Australian Navy Armament Depot, Somerton Road, Somerton, Victoria.

1963  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—Can a breakdown be provided of all costs, including all marketing, advertising, tender evaluation, legal and other costs associated with the disposal of Defence properties during the 2002-03 financial year.

1964  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—Can a market valuation be provided for each property sold by Defence during the 2002-03 financial year.

1965  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Is it true that the area in which the major West Papuan refugee centre in Papua New Guinea is located is to be logged; if so: (a) what will be the impact on the refugees; and (b) what is Australia doing to ensure the logging is not detrimental to the refugees.

1966  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Are any Australian companies involved in logging in Papua New Guinea or West Papua; if so:  (a) which companies; and (b) what is the involvement of the Australian Government.

Senator Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1967-1968)—

(1)  Is the person appointed to the position of Chief Scientist required to adhere to the Australian Public Service values, the Australian Public Service code of conduct or an equivalent standard.

(2)  Can a copy of Dr Robin Batterham’s deed of appointment to the position of Chief Scientist in 1999 and 2002 be provided.

1967 Minister representing the Prime Minister

1968 Minister representing the Minister for Science

1969  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  What is the Rural and Remote Area (RRMA)-by-Rural and Remote Area (RRMA) breakdown for the percentage of total unreferred general practitioner (GP) attendances bulk billed for the 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(2)  What is the RRMA-by-RRMA breakdown of the number of total unreferred  GP attendances bulk billed by, federal electoral division, for the 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(3)  What is the RRMA-by-RRMA breakdown for the average patient contribution per service (patient billed services only) for total unreferred GP attendances by, federal electoral division, for the 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(4)  What is the RRMA-by-RRMA breakdown for the number of services for total unreferred GP attendances by, federal electoral division, for 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(5)  For the 12 months to 30 June 2003, what is breakdown by RRMA of the percentage of GPs who bulk billed for unreferred services in the following bands: (a) less than 5%; (b) 5% to 25%; (c) 25% to 50%; (d) 50% to 70%; (e) 70% to 75%; (f) 75% to 80%; (g) 80% to 95%; and (h) greater than 95%. Include only those GPs who provided 1 000 or more unreferred services in the period.

1970  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  What are the breakdowns, by state and territory, of the percentage of total unreferred general practitioner (GP) attendances bulk billed for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(2)  What are the breakdowns, by state and territory, of the number of total unreferred GP attendances bulk billed for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(3)  What are the breakdowns, by state and territory, for the average patient contribution per service (patient billed services only) for total unreferred GP attendances for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(4)  What are the breakdowns, by state and territory, for the number of services for total unreferred GP attendances for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

1971  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  What are the breakdowns of the percentage of total unreferred attendances bulk billed by, federal electoral division, for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002 and 30 June 2003.

(2)  What are the breakdowns of the number of total unreferred attendances bulk billed by, federal electoral division, for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(3)  What are the breakdowns for the average patient contribution per service (patient billed services only) for total unreferred attendances by, federal electoral division, for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(4)  What are the breakdowns for the number of services for total unreferred attendances by, federal electoral division, for the quarters ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

1972  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1)  What are the breakdowns of the percentage of total unreferred general practitioner (GP) attendances bulk billed, by federal electorate division, for the 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(2)  What are the breakdowns of the number of total unreferred GP attendances bulk billed, by federal electorate division, for the 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(3)  What are the breakdowns for the average patient contribution per service (patient billed services only) for total unreferred GP attendances, by federal electoral division, for the 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.

(4)  What are the breakdowns for the number of services for total unreferred GP attendances, by federal electoral division, for the 12 months ending: (a) 30 June 2000; (b) 30 June 2001; (c) 30 June 2002; and (d) 30 June 2003.