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Notice given 13 October 2003

640  Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett): To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the United States (US) Government has 10 600 nuclear warheads, of which nearly 8 000 are considered operational,

(ii) that the Chinese Government has approximately 400 nuclear warheads, and

(iii) that the US and Chinese Governments both signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty on 24 September 1996 but neither nation has ratified the Treaty; and

(b) calls on the Government to urge the leaders of the US and China to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible.

Notice of motion altered on 14 October 2003 pursuant to standing order 77.

641  Senator Stott Despoja: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the People’s Republic of China has forbidden Falun Gong practitioners from practising their beliefs and has systematically attempted to eradicate Falun Gong by persecuting its practitioners,

(ii) the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners within China includes torture and murder, and that women are targeted with various forms of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault and forced abortion, and

(iii) the People’s Republic of China has taken measures to conceal these atrocities, such as the immediate cremation of victims, the blocking of autopsies, and the false labelling of deaths as from suicide or natural causes;

(b) calls on the People’s Republic of China to immediately cease its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, release all Falun Gong practitioners who are currently in detention, and allow Falun Gong practitioners to pursue their personal beliefs;

(c) welcomes the re-establishment of dialogue between the People’s Republic of China and representatives of the Dalai Lama in September 2002 and its progress since that time;

(d) encourages the People’s Republic of China to increase the level of contact with the Dalai Lama and to proceed with a substantive dialogue on the political status of Tibet;

(e) expresses its deep concern at reports that Tibetan monk, Nyima Drapka, who had been imprisoned by the People’s Republic of China since 2002, recently died after being brutally beaten for refusing to recant his separatist beliefs;

(f) calls on the People’s Republic of China to:

(i) immediately release all prisoners being held in relation to non-violent protest activities, such as calling for an independent Tibet,

(ii) make public the whereabouts of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and others detained and imprisoned in relation to his case, the charges against them, any evidence supporting the charges, and their medical conditions, and

(iii) repeal all laws and regulations which permit it to interfere in religious affairs and which infringe the right to freedom of religion;

(g) urges the People’s Republic of China to agree to an immediate visit, without conditions, by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religion, who has not visited China since 1994;

(h) notes that the People’s Republic of China continues to restrict the right to freedom of association for workers; and

(i) calls on it to repeal all laws and regulations which prohibit workers from organising collectively, and to ratify International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 and 98, which protect the freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively.

642  Senator Stott Despoja: To move—That the Senate—

(a) recognises that global terrorism is a threat to the international rule of law and the fundamental human rights of all peoples;

(b) notes that the United States (US) Government continues to detain more than 600 detainees at Guantanamo Bay and, in particular, that:

(i) none of the detainees has been charged with any criminal offence,

(ii) reports indicate that the detainees include children as young as 13 years of age,

(iii) by classifying the detainees as ‘unlawful combatants’, the US has stripped them of the rights and protections that would have otherwise been available to them as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions,

(iv) by holding the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the US has prevented them from challenging the legality of their detention under US law, and

(v) it is proposed to try the detainees before military tribunals, which lack independence, do not adhere to the usual rules of evidence, severely limit the right to appeal and are subject to Presidential direction;

(c) notes that the US refuses to recognise the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was established to put an end to impunity for the very worst crimes against humanity and, in particular, that the US:

(i) maintains its refusal to ratify the Rome Statute,

(ii) has adopted a National Security Strategy which seeks to ensure that its military efforts ‘are not impaired by the potential for investigations, inquiry, or prosecution by the International Criminal Court’,

(iii) has enacted the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act of 2001, which prohibits US cooperation and intelligence sharing with the ICC, restricts US participation in United Nations’ peacekeeping forces, and authorises the use of military force in order to retrieve US personnel being held by or on behalf of the ICC,

(iv) has entered into agreements with a number of states under Article 98 of the Rome Statute to prevent the prosecution of American citizens for crimes against humanity,

(v) has suspended $47.6 million in military aid and $613 000 in military education programs to 35 of the world’s poorest countries, which refused to enter into Article 98 agreements with it, and

(vi) is currently pursuing additional Article 98 agreements with other nations, including Australia; and

(d) expresses concern at the US disregard in these instances for fundamental human rights and the principles and institutions of international law, which we must seek to defend in the fight against terrorism.

Notice of motion altered on 14 October 2003 pursuant to standing order 77.

644  Senator Wong: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that 15 October 2003 marks the 50th anniversary of the first atomic test conducted by the British Government in northern South Australia,

(ii) that on this day, ‘Totem 1’, a 10 kilotonne atomic bomb, was detonated at Emu Junction, some 240 kilometres west of Coober Pedy,

(iii) that the Anangu community received no forewarning of the test, and

(iv) that the 1984 Royal Commission report concluded that Totem 1 was detonated in wind conditions that would produce unacceptable levels of fallout, and that the decision to detonate failed to take into account the existence of people at Wallatinna and Welbourn Hill;

(b) expresses its concern for those Indigenous peoples whose lands and health over generations have been detrimentally affected by this and subsequent atomic tests conducted in northern South Australia;

(c) congratulates the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta - the Senior Aboriginal Women of Coober Pedy - for their ongoing efforts to highlight the experience of their peoples affected by these tests;

(d) condemns the Government for its failure to properly dispose of radioactive waste from atomic tests conducted in the Maralinga precinct; and

(e) expresses its continued opposition to the siting of a low-level radioactive waste repository in South Australia.

646  Senator Allison: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the following motion was adopted unanimously at the National Party of Australia Federal Conference on Sunday, 12 October 2003:

‘That as a matter of urgency, this Conference of the National Party of Australia:

(a) Endorses the strong Federal Coalition policy on Development incentives for the ethanol industry as taken to the last Federal Election,

(b) Supports a 10 year excise exemption for ethanol,

(c) Endorses a mandate of 10% Australian-produced ethanol content for fuel sold in Australia to achieve the Federal Government’s policy of a target of 350 million litre production of biofuel by 2010, and

(d) Notes the ALP and minor parties opposition to ethanol, including their opposition to mandating 10% Australian produced ethanol content for fuel sold in Australia’,

(ii) the significant benefits derived from alternative fuels in terms of air quality, public heath, regional development and energy security, and

(iii) the Government’s May 2003 budget decision to impose an excise on alternative fuels from 2008;

(b) corrects the National Party motion with respect to (d), pointing out that the Australian Democrats strongly support alternative fuels, including ethanol, and made a submission in September 2003 to Cabinet calling for targets to be set to increase alternative fuel use in Australia; and

(c) urges the Government to:

(i) reverse its budget decision and not impose an excise on ethanol, other biofuels, LPG, CNG and LNG for at least 10 years, and

(ii) conduct a review of the timetable and incentives required for industry to meet a mandated level of 10 per cent ethanol content in petrol.