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Notice given 19 September 2003

2141  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 27 September 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.

2142  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Given the recent awarding of medical places to the Notre Dame University in Western Australia, has the Minister been contacted by any organisations expressing concern that the university’s philosophy may prevent them from training students in the full range of reproductive health treatments; if so, how many groups or organisations have contacted the Minister.

(2) Will the university have control over the curriculum taught at the medical school, and therefore be able to restrict the curriculum and the selection of staff and students on the basis of conformity with the university’s Catholic philosophy.

(3) Will students be able to graduate without having a full medical education in the areas of birth control, infertility, sterilisation, stem cell research and preventative medicine relating to sexual activity and health.

(4) Will graduates who lack these skills be limited in their capacity to provide health services to the public.

2143  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Given the recent awarding of medical places to the Notre Dame University in Western Australia, has the Minister been contacted by any organisations expressing concern that the university’s philosophy may prevent them from training students in the full range of reproductive health treatments; if so, how many groups or organisations have contacted the Minister.

(2) Will the university have control over the curriculum taught at the medical school, and therefore be able to restrict the curriculum and the selection of staff and students on the basis of conformity with the university’s Catholic philosophy.

(3) Will students be able to graduate without having a full medical education in the areas of birth control, infertility, sterilisation, stem cell research and preventative medicine relating to sexual activity and health.

(4) Will graduates who lack these skills be limited in their capacity to provide health services to the public.

2145  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the meeting on 20 June 2002 referred to in the answer to question on notice no. 717 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8646) between delegations from Australian mining companies and Australian embassy officials in Indonesia with senior officials from the Department of Forestry:

(1) Which companies were represented.

(2) Who represented each company.

(3) In relation to what specific projects did they make representations.

2146  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 719 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8647) relating to meetings hosted by the former Ambassador to Indonesia with journalists: What were the dates in 2002 on which each of the meetings with Don Greenlees and Rowan Callick were held.

2147  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 717 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8646) that Australian embassy officials in Indonesia met to discuss ‘the uncertainty surrounding the conservation value of some areas that had been designated as “protected forest”:

(1) To which specific mining projects did this ‘uncertainty’ relate.

(2) What specifically is the ‘uncertainty’ for each of the protected forests affecting individual mining projects.

(3) What information has been sought or provided to the embassy affecting each of the mining projects which challenges the conservation or other natural values of these areas.

(4) With reference to the Indonesian Forestry Law 41 of 1999, which prohibits open cut mining in ‘hutan lindun’ i.e. protected forest areas: (a) Are Australian officials aware that the legislation states that the aim of such protected forest is not conservation in terms of biodiversity or similar (which is instead dealt with by ‘hutan konservasi’ i.e. Conservation Forest), but specifically the protection of livelihoods, prevention of floods and erosion through water catchment protection; and (b) why did Australian embassy officials consider it was relevant to raise concerns around the ‘conservation value’ of areas designated as ‘hutan lindung’.

(5) Do Australian Embassy officials consider that lobbying Indonesian government officials on seven occasions within a year regarding mining in protected forests, given Australia’s role as neighbour and donor to Indonesia, amounts to applying pressure on this issue.

(6) Are Australian government officials aware that members of the Indonesian government have stated to the media at various times and in a parliamentary committee meeting on 7 May 2003 that they feel pressured by foreign governments to remove laws which protect forests and other conservation areas from mining.

(7) Given the very small percentage of Indonesian land area designated as ‘hutan lindung’, and Indonesia’s extensive and serious problems associated with forest and other natural vegetation loss, including erosion and flooding: why does the Australian Government consider it is more important to lobby on behalf of Australian companies than to support the Indonesian government environment protection laws.

(8) Are Australian government officials aware that members of the Indonesian government have stated to the media at various times that they fear costly international arbitration will be brought against the Indonesian government by mining companies, if they do not allow lease holders to mine in protected areas.

(9) Have Australian government officials ever discussed with Indonesian officials the possibility of international arbitration over this issue; if so: (a) who raised the issue; and (b) what advice was given by Australian government officials.

(10) Are Australian government officials aware that Australian companies own mining leases over other types of protected areas in Indonesia, including national parks.

(11) Have Australian government officials ever discussed with Indonesian officials the issue of Australian-owned mining leases over other types of protected areas in Indonesia, including national parks; if so: (a) who raised the issue; and (b) advice was given by Australian government officials.

2148  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade—With reference to the answer to paragraph (2)(b) of question on notice no. 720 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8647) relating to meetings organised by Austrade on behalf of Esmeralda Exploration, which is involved in the Aurul SA joint venture in Romania:

(1) On how many occasions did Austrade assist with arranging meetings with Romanian government officials.

(2) When were each of these meetings.

(3) Who were each of these meetings with.

(4) What was the purpose of each of these meetings.

2149  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 720 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8647) relating to meetings organised by Austrade on behalf of Esmeralda Exploration, which is involved in the Aurul SA joint venture in Romania:

(1) When did Austrade first become aware of what was referred to in the Hungarian media as the ‘Kiraly affair’.

(2) What is the Austrade understanding of what caused the controversy over the charging of Kiraly.

(3) Did Austrade or other embassy officials in Romania or Hungary make representations to Romanian or Hungarian Government officials in relation to the ‘Kiraly affair’.

2150  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—Following the collapse in January 2001 of the tailings dam at the Aurul mine in Romania operated by the Perth-based Esmeralda Exploration:

(1) When did the company first contact the Minister or his staff.

(2) What was the nature of the representation made by the company.

(3) What assistance, if any, did the company seek.

(4) What assistance, if any, was provided.

(5) On how many occasions subsequently did Esmeralda Exploration representatives contact the Minister or his staff.

(6) When did each of these contacts occur.

2151  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs— 

(1) Is Mr Luo Gan, the head of the G10 Office in Beijing, due to visit Australia; if so, when and why.

(2) What is Mr Luo’s record on human rights, including in relation to  repression of adherents to Falon Gong.