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Notice given 1 August 2003 

1683  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) What is the Government’s current assessment of the situation in Zimbabwe compared with its assessment at the time of the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

(2) What action will the Government be requesting at the next CHOGM, scheduled for December 2003, in relation to Zimbabwe’s possible re-admission to the Commonwealth.

(3) Does the Government support Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the Commonwealth.

(4) What other options are open if the Commonwealth fails to take appropriate action to improve the situation in Zimbabwe; could options include action by the United Nations and coalitions of countries.

(5) Would Australia be willing to send a delegation of election supervisors to Zimbabwe if the electoral challenge by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in November 2003 is successful.

1684  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1370 concerning the northern peninsula of Research Bay, Tasmania, in which it was stated that ‘sites are currently being assessed by the Tasmanian Heritage Council’:

(1) Is the Minister aware that the Tasmanian Heritage Council has resolved that ‘the onus of providing information which would be considered in establishing significance was a matter for the nominator(s) and accordingly it [the Heritage Council] would not be carrying out any further research’.

(2) Given the potential and international significance of the area, does the Minister consider it adequate for an assessment by the Tasmanian Heritage Council to rely on the efforts of volunteer members of the community.

(3) In relation to the assessment and protection of the northern peninsula of Research Bay: (a) what communication has the Commonwealth had with the Tasmanian Government, Gunns Pty Ltd and the owners of relevant land; and (b) can details be provided of correspondence and meetings, including the parties involved, dates and the matters discussed.

1685  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—Further to the answer to question on notice no. 1370 concerning the northern peninsula of Research Bay, Tasmania

(1) What steps is the Commonwealth taking to establish the significance of the cultural landscape of the northern peninsula of Research Bay, including all the areas occupied and traversed by the D’Entrecasteaux expedition.

(2) Has the Commonwealth commissioned research to establish the significance of the area; if so: (a) who is undertaking the research; (b) how much will it cost; (c) when will it be completed; and (d) will the report be made public.

(3) When will the Commonwealth be in a position to consider the issue of acquisition.

1687  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) What is the policy of Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) regarding the care of children who are left unattended when their parent is, or parents are, placed in isolation units for lengthy periods.

(2) Are any ACM staff trained professional child care workers.

(3) Can the Minister clarify why one detainee was locked into an isolation cell that had to be drilled open, as shown on the ABC Four Corners program during May 2003.

(4) Why have all the Woomera DC 2000 and most of the Villawood DC 2001 medical files of the detainee Mohammad Hassan Sabbagh, who suffered a mental breakdown and has been held in detention since December 1999, disappeared.

(5) (a) What is the ratio of staff to detainees in all centres; and (b) is this ratio uniform.

(6) What does the Minister propose to do with the long-term detainees who cannot be returned to their country of birth, for example, stateless Kuwaitis.

(7) Given that the Government has been unable to deport the detainee Hassan Sabbagh, who has been held for more than three and a half years, to Iraq, why can he not be released into the care of willing community support groups, such as the Jesuit Refugee Services or the Uniting Church, rather than burdening the taxpayer unnecessarily.  

1697  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) With reference to the discussion and recommendations of the March 1999 Review of Military Compensation by Mr N Tanzer AO, what progress has been made on the development of a premium-based model for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

(2) What is the current estimated liability of the Military Compensation Scheme.

(3) For each of the past 3 years, what total sum has been paid by way of: (a) lump sums for permanent impairment; and (b) incapacity payments to current and discharged personnel.

(4) For each of the past 3 years: (a) what total sum has been paid under Defence Act Determinations; and (b) to how many recipients.

(5) How many ADF personnel have died as a result of service-related injuries in each of the past 3 years.

(6) What claims, by injury group, for compensation by ADF personnel deployed to the Iraq operations during 2003 have been: (a) made; and (b) accepted; under the Military Compensation Scheme.

(6) What claims, by injury group, for compensation by ADF personnel deployed to the Iraq operations during 2003 have been: (a) made; and (b) accepted; under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986.  

1703  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) For each of the past 7 years, on how many occasions, and to which commemorative events overseas, has there been official attendance by invitation by: (a) Government ministers (can a list of names be provided), (b) Opposition spokesmen, (c) other members of Parliament; and (d) representatives from the veteran community by: (i) number, and (ii) organisation.

(2) What was the cost of each commemorative ceremony referred to in paragraph (1) above for: (a) ministerial travel and allowances; (b) ministerial spouse travel; (c) ministerial staff travel and allowances; (d) departmental and other officials’ travel and allowances; (e) ex-service community travel and allowances; (f) official entertainment; (g) gifts and memorabilia; (h) Australian Defence Force personnel travel and allowances; (i) monument construction; (j) public relations; (k) venue hire; (l) security; and (m) insurance.

(3) What is the current program of commemorative activity overseas for which funds have been estimated in the budget process over the next 3 years.

(4) What is the current proposed list of invitees for the opening of the war memorial in London on 11 November 2003, and of those: (a) how many are veterans and war widows; and (b) how were they selected.

1704  Senator Bishop: To ask the Special Minister of State—

(1) For the past 7 years, on how many occasions has the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs travelled overseas.

(2) What was the cost of each journey in relation to: (a) travel; and (b) allowances.

(3) For each journey: (a) how many staff accompanied the Minister; and (b) what was the cost of staff travel.

(4) (a) On how many occasions was the Minister accompanied by a spouse or partner; and (b) what was the added cost.

(5) What was the purpose of each journey.

(6) Has a full acquittal been completed for each journey by ministers and staff.

(7) What was the total cost of that travel.