Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document


Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

Notice given 18 September 2003

2118  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—

(1) With regard to the proposed low level and short-lived intermediate level radioactive waste repository:

(a) who will be responsible for the transportation of radioactive waste to the repository;

(b) will the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) be responsible for the transportation of radioactive waste from the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights to the repository; 

(c) will ANSTO be responsible for the transportation of radioactive waste from sites occupied by other Commonwealth agencies, state agencies or any private person to the repository;

(d) will the Commonwealth regulate the transportation of radioactive waste to the repository; if so, what legislation will the Commonwealth use;

(e) have any Indigenous groups consented to the construction and operation of the repository at the site known as Site 40a; if so, which groups; 

(f) have any Indigenous groups stated that Site 40a has no particular Indigenous heritage values; if so, which groups;

(g) how many truckloads of radioactive waste are expected to be transported to the repository each year.

(2) With regard to the proposed long-lived intermediate level radioactive waste repository:

(a) will the Minister table a copy of the list of sites that are being considered for the construction of this repository by no later than 8 October 2003; 

(b) will the Commonwealth require access to a port in order to receive intermediate-level radioactive waste for the proposed repository; if so: (a) which port or ports is the Commonwealth considering using;  

(c) will the Minister table, by no later than 8 October 2003, a copy of the radiological consequence analysis, prepared by Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, in relation to Lucas Heights.

2119  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the discovery of live sea lice in a shipment of imported salmon on 3 September 2003:

(1) What was the exporting country.

(2) When did the shipment depart.

(3) If not exported from the country of origin, what was the exporting country.

(4) What was the port of departure.

(5) When did the shipment arrive in Australia.

(6) Was Sydney the port of arrival

(7) What salmonid species did the shipment contain.

(8) When did the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) issue the permit to import quarantine material.

(9) When was the official certificate issued by an AQIS-recognised Competent Authority in the exporting country.

(10) What was the form, presentation and weight of the salmon

(11) What was the intended end use of the salmon, including, if applicable, commercial processing, processing for retail sale and/or direct retail sale.

(12) When and where did AQIS first inspect the salmon.

(13) When was the salmon seized.

(14) Was the salmon ordered to be frozen, if so: (i) when was that order made, and (ii) on what date was the salmon frozen.

(15) In relation to the sea lice analysis: (a) when did this commence and conclude; (b) where was this done; and (c) who conducted the analysis.

(16) When was the Minister and/or his office and/or his department informed about the analysis findings; (a) what are the analysis findings, including: (i) details of the sea lice species, (ii) whether the species are usually found in Australian waters, and (iii) whether the sea lice present a quarantine risk.

(17) (a) When did AQIS consult with Food Standards Australia New Zealand and state and territory food agencies about the salmon; (b) what state and territory food agencies were consulted; and (c) what was the nature of those consultations.

(18) In relation to the outcome of the sea lice discovery and analysis: (a) If the salmon was released for sale: (i) when, (ii) what conditions, if any, were placed on its end use, and (iii) what was its end use; (b) if the salmon was ordered to be re-exported: (i) when was that order made, (ii) when was the salmon exported, (iii) how was the exported salmon labelled; and (iv) to what country was it exported; (c) if the salmon was ordered to be destroyed: (i) when was that order made, (ii) when and how was it destroyed.

2120  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—Can details be provided of all breaches of import conditions applying to the commercial importation of uncanned salmonid product since new quarantine conditions came into effect on 1 June 2000, including, for each breach: (a) the date of importation; (b) the nature of the breach, including: (i) failure to provide an Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) permit, (ii) failure to provide a completed official certificate issued by an AQIS-recognised competent authority, (iii) failure to remove the head and gills, and (iv) any other reasons; (c) the salmonid species; (d) the country of export; (e) if not exported from the country of origin, the country that exported the salmonid product; (f) the product presentation and form; and (g) action taken in response to the breach including, if applicable: (i) the suspension or revocation of the import permit, and (ii) the disposal or re-export of the salmonid product.

2121  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Advisory Committee:

(1) When in 2003 did the department seek applications for eight part-time vacancies.

(2) In what newspapers and other media did the department place advertisements seeking applications.

(3) How many applications did the department receive from applicants nominating qualifications in respect of the following positions designated in section 64 of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act 1994 : (a) representatives of breeders, and likely breeders’ of new plant varieties; (b) a representative of users, and likely users, of new plant varieties; (c) a representative of consumers, and likely consumers, of new plant varieties or of the products of new plant varieties; (d) a representative of conservation interests in relation to new plant varieties and the potential impacts of new plant varieties; (e) a representative of indigenous Australian interests in relation to new plant varieties and the source, use and impacts of new plant varieties; and (f) others with appropriate experience or qualifications.

(4) How many people did the department interview in relation each designated position.

(5) Can details be provided of each industry, consumer, conservation, indigenous and/or other organisation consulted prior to the appointment of the current committee members.

(6) When did the Minister appoint the current members.

(7) (a) What is the name and business address of each member; (b) what interests do they represent pursuant to section 64 of the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act 1994 .

(8) Which organisations provided letters of support for each member.

(9) Since its appointment, when has the current committee met.

(10) What are the names and terms of appointment for all members of the committee since its formation in 1994.

2122  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Government’s revised corporate branding requirements:

(1) For each of the following Research and Development Corporations (RDCs): What advice has the Minister or his department provided concerning branding requirements: (a) Cotton; (b) Fisheries; (c) Forest and Wood Products; (d) Grains; (e) Grape and Wine; (f) Land & Water Australia; (g) Rural Industries; (h) Sugar; and (i)Tobacco.

(2) For each RDC in paragraph (1), when did the Minister provide this advice.

(3) For each RDC in paragraph (1), what assessment has the Minister or his department made about the costs associated with new corporate branding requirements.

(4) For each RDC in paragraph (1), when did consultation with RDCs on revised branding commence; if consultation did not commence prior to the provision of instructions about new branding requirements, why not.

(5) For each RDC in paragraph (1), when did the Minister commence consultation with related commodity groups on revised branding requirements; if consultation did not commence prior to the provision of instructions about new branding requirements, why not.

(6) For each RDC in paragraph (1): (a) what response has the Minister or his department received in relation to the revised branding requirements; (b) when was this response received; and (c) did this response include cost estimates;  if so, can details be provided. 

(7) Is the Minister or his department aware of concerns held by the Chair of the Grains RDC and the Deputy President of the Grains Council of Australia, reported in the Weekly Times of 17 September 2003, concerning the appropriateness of branding an RDC as a government agency; if so, what action has the Minister or his department taken in response to those concerns.

(8) For each RDC in paragraph (1), can details be provided of new branding requirements, including but not necessarily limited to name and logo.

(9) What impact will the new branding requirements have with respect to the following industry-owned companies in receipt of levies and matching Commonwealth payments: (a) Meat and Livestock Australia Limited; (b) Horticulture Australia Limited; (c) Australian Wool Innovation Limited; (d) Australian Pork Limited; (e) Dairy Australia Limited; and (f) Australian Egg Corporation Limited.

2123  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. 1688 (Senate Hansard , 8 September 2003, p. 14043) concerning Area Consultative Committees (ACC):

(1) Why have the ACC Handbook and the Governance Manual not been publicly released.

(2) Can copies of the ACC Handbook and the Governance Manual be provided; if not, why not.

2124  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the meetings between the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia and representatives of Australian-owned mining operations in Indonesia on 30 January 2002:

(1) What issues were raised.

(2) What actions did the Ambassador agree to undertake.

(3) What specific actions did the Ambassador or other embassy staff take following this meeting, and when.

(4) When representatives of Aurora Gold informed the meeting of the shooting and injury by security force personnel of a so-called ‘illegal miner’: (a) did any representatives of other companies raise any concerns about security forces resorting to violence; if so, what concerns were raised and who raised them; or (b) did other representatives offer support to Aurora Gold representatives; or (c) did they say nothing.

2125  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the meetings between the Ambassador to Indonesia and representatives of Australian-owned mining operations in Indonesia on 8 February 2001:

(1) What issues were raised.

(2) What actions did the Ambassador agree to undertake.

(3) What specific actions did the Ambassador or other embassy staff take following this meeting, and when.

2126  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the meetings between the Ambassador to Indonesia and representatives of Australian-owned mining operations in Indonesia on 10 May 2001:

(1) What issues were raised.

(2) What actions did the Ambassador agree to undertake.

(3) What specific actions did the Ambassador or other embassy staff take following this meeting, and when.

2127  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the meetings between the Ambassador to Indonesia and/or other embassy staff, and representatives of Australian-owned mining operations in Indonesia on 10 August 2000:

(1) What issues were raised.

(2) What actions did the Ambassador or embassy staff agree to undertake.

(3) What specific actions did the Ambassador or other embassy staff take following this meeting, and when.

2128  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to dealings from 1999 onwards with representatives of Aurora Gold concerning its Mt Muro mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia:

(1) In the light of demonstrations that occurred in the forecourt of the Australian Embassy in March 2000, and the persistent claims of non-government organisations: Were Australian embassy officials aware of the widespread speculation over the past decade that major resource projects in Indonesia, including those owned by Australian companies, made payments to the Indonesian military and paramilitary police for the security forces located near their projects.

(2) Did Australian Embassy officials inquire as to whether Aurora Gold had ever been approached by the security forces, whether police or military, to make donations or pay for any costs associated with operating near the mine; if not, why not.

(3) Did Australian Embassy officials ask representatives of Aurora Gold if any such payments had been made; if so, what was the response; if not, why not.

(3) If any such payments were made: (a) when did these occur; and (b) what advice, if any, did Embassy officials offer to company representatives.

2129  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the meeting on 30 January 2002 with representatives of Aurora Gold and other mining companies:

(1) What undertakings did the Ambassador give about making further representations to Indonesian officials about dealing with small-scale miners at Mt Muro, or other Australian-owned mining operations.

(2) What explanation did Aurora Gold representatives provide to the Ambassador about the shooting injury of a small scale miner at the Mt Muro mine on 19 January 2002.

(3) Did Aurora Gold representatives express any concern about the actions of the security forces.

(4) Did the Ambassador raise any concerns in the meeting about the actions of the security forces with Aurora Gold representatives; if so, what were those concerns; if not, why was the Ambassador not concerned.

2130  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the 27 August 2001 shooting injury of a teenage boy considered an ‘illegal miner’ at the Mt Muro mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia in May 2001: Why is the Minister not prepared to table a copy of the 5 March 2002 written briefing provided to the Ambassador by Aurora Gold.

2131  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the briefing from the President of Aurora Gold to the Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, on the killing of two people by Indonesian security forces at the Mt Muro mine in Kalimantan, Indonesia in May 2001:

(1) Why did an Australian embassy official request the briefing, as referred to in the answer to question on notice no. 707 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p 8641):

(2) What prompted the request.

(3) What explanation did Aurora Gold provide to the Ambassador for the killings.

(4) Did the Ambassador accept the explanation.

(5) Why did the Ambassador consider it acceptable for Aurora Gold not to notify him soon after the killings by security forces at Mt Muro mine.

(6) Why did the Ambassador decide that the nationality of those killed by the security forces at the Mt Muro mine meant that no representations should be made to Indonesian officials to ensure appropriate investigations and, where appropriate, prosecutions, should be undertaken against the perpetrators.

2132  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by the Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, to the Mt Muro mining lease area in Indonesia in May 2001, which was then held by the Australian company, Aurora Gold, and his meeting with Indonesian security officials:

(1) In the light of a peaceful demonstration held on the forecourt of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in March 2000 by women and children, Dayak people from the Mt Muro mining lease area and women’s groups, at which Australian embassy officials addressed demonstrators but denied the group access to the embassy: What steps did the Ambassador take to investigate the grievances which led the group to demonstrate at the Australian Embassy regarding Aurora Gold’s operations.

(2) Did the Ambassador accept that allegations made by local villagers of human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces dating back as far as the early 1990s were legitimate; if not, why not.

(3) Did the Ambassador meet with: (a) local landowner groups, to discuss their relationship with the mine; and (b) local landowner groups and non-government organisations, to discuss allegations of forced resettlement by the mining company and human rights abuses by Indonesian security forces, including a claim that villages in the mining concession area were bulldozed and burned to the ground.

(4) What was the basis for the Ambassador thinking that any security forces operations against those deemed by the company to be ‘illegal’ miners would be undertaken in a ‘peaceful manner’, as suggested in the answer to question on notice no. 706 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8641).

(5) Did the Ambassador accept that there was a possibility that Indonesian security forces could use violence against those deemed by the company to be ‘illegal’ miners; if not, why not.

(6) Does the Ambassador accept that the violence against the ‘illegal’ miners was reasonably foreseeable; if not, why not.

(7) Does the Ambassador believe that the deaths and injuries that occurred as a result of action in three separate incidents in May 2001, August 2001 and January 2002 were ‘lawful’ and ‘peaceful’ means of protecting mining interests; if so, why.

2133  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—With reference to the public relations consultancy contract entered into in 2003 with Michels Warren in relation to the proposed nuclear waste dump:

(1) What was the specific purpose of the consultancy.

(2) Was the consultancy subject to a tender process; if not, why not.

(3) (a) When did this consultancy commence; and (b) what is the duration of the consultancy.

(4) What is the budgeted cost for the consultancy for each of the following financial years: (a) 2002-03; and (b) 2003-04.

(5) What were the key tasks the consultants were hired to perform.

2134  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—With reference to work by the department on the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia:

(1) Did departmental officers develop a list of ‘experts’ that were used to make public comments in support of the proposed nuclear waste dump; if so, when was this list first developed.

(2) What was the proposed nature of the relationship with the ‘experts’.

(3) Were members of the media and/or ‘media commentators’ proposed to be included as part of the expert panel; if so, why.

(4) What tasks were each of the ‘experts’ required to perform.

(5) Were formal contracts entered in to with each of the ‘experts’.

(6) Were any payments made to any of the ‘experts’; if so: (a) to whom; (b) what amount; (c) what were the payments for; and (d) when were the payments made.

(7) Was it a requirement that these ‘experts’, including members of the media and/or ‘media commentators’, be required to disclose these payments when making any public comments.

(8) Did departmental officers consider the need to undertake media training of the ‘experts’ selected to support the proposed nuclear waste dump.

(9) How was the expert panel formed.

(10) Were any of the ‘experts’ provided with media training by consultants to the department; if so: (a) who received training; and (b) what was the cost.

2135  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—With reference to the hiring by the department of public relations consultants to work on the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia: Were specialist consultants hired by Hill and Knowlton on behalf of the department to undertake ‘Indigenous community relations’ work; if so: (a) which consultants were hired; (b) what were their tasks; and (c) what was the cost of their work.

2136  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—With reference to the work done by consultants Hill and Knowlton for the department on the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia:

(1) What was the total amount paid for their work under the contract.

(2) Was a final report submitted on completion of the work by Hill and Knowlton.

(3) Did departmental officers and the consultants convene regular meetings and/or phone link-ups to review progress on the contract; if so, when.

(4) Did departmental officers discuss with the company the possibility of organising a speaking tour to South Australia by Canadian consultant, Patrick Moore; if so: (a) was Mr Moore approached; and (b) did he indicate his willingness to assist.

2137  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—With reference to the public relations brief sent by the department to prospective public relations consultants regarding the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia, which referred to the public consultation phase of the Environmental Impact Statement and stated that a ‘separate short term communications strategy is underway to manage this issue’:

(1) Who undertook the communications strategy.

(2) When was this strategy prepared.

(3) (a) When did implementation of this strategy commence; and (b) what was the cost.

(4) Which agency or consultant was tasked to implement the strategy.

(5) (a) What was the objective of the strategy; and (b) what were the key tasks identified to be performed.

(6) What were the criteria against which the strategy would be evaluated.

(7) Is this the strategy referred to as ‘Communications strategy - announcement of low level radioactive waste site in SA’.

2138  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—With reference to the hiring by the department of public relations consultants to work on the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia in late 2002:

(1) How many companies were: (a) sent a copy of the public relations brief; and (b) requested to submit a proposal.

(2) How many attended a question and answer session after receiving the brief.

(3) How many developed a written proposal.

(4) How many presented a proposed strategy to the evaluation panel.

(5) How many consultants were shortlisted to give a presentation before the Ministerial Committee on Government Communications.

(6) Who are the members of this ministerial committee.

2139  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—With reference to market research work undertaken in relation to the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia in the 2002-03 financial year: (a) What market research was undertaken; (b) who undertook the work; (c) what was the cost of the research; and (d) when was the research report completed and supplied to the department.

2140  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Science—With reference to the public relations consultancy work undertaken by Michels Warren in relation to the proposed nuclear waste dump in South Australia prior to December 2002: (a) When did this consultancy work commence and conclude; (b) what was the cost involved in each financial year that it ran; (c) what was the objective of the consultancy; (d) what were the key tasks the consultants were required to perform; and (e) what was the nature of the ‘issues monitoring’ work undertaken by the company.