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Notice given 22 September 2003

2152  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 22 July 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 undertake following this meeting, and when.

2153  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the Freeport mine in the Indonesian province of Papua on 4 May and 5 May 2001:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) What was the purpose of the visit.

(3) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(4) (a) Who else did the embassy officials meet during their visit; and (b) who did they represent.

(5) Prior to the visit, were embassy officials aware of human rights abuses by security forces around the mine.

(6) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces during the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(7) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘concerns about the security environment in the area surrounding the mine’ did company representatives raise.

(8) Did they seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so, what requests were made.

(9) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(10) Did embassy officials raise concerns with mining company representatives about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine; if so, what response was received.

(11) Did embassy officials raise concerns about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine in any meetings with Indonesian security officials; if so, what response was received.

(12) Did mining company representatives inform embassy officials at any time during the visit that the company was paying millions of dollars directly to the Indonesian security forces around the mine; if so, who informed the embassy officials.

(13) Did embassy officials ask mining company representatives if the company was making payments to the local security forces; if not, why not.

(14) Why did embassy officials decide not to organise meetings with representatives of key local indigenous landowner group LEMASA (Amungme people’s representatives) and LEMASKO (Komoro people’s representatives), other landowner groups or other non-government organisations.

2154  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the Freeport mine in the Indonesian province of Papua on 19 June to 21 June 2001:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) What was the specific purpose of the visit, especially given the earlier visit in May 2001.

(3) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(4) (a) Who else did the embassy officials meet during their visit; and (b) who did they represent.

(5) Prior to the visit, were embassy officials aware of human rights abuses by security forces around the mine.

(6) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces during the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(7) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘concerns about the security environment in the area surrounding the mine’ did company representatives raise.

(8) Did they seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so what requests were made.

(9) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(10) Did embassy officials raise concerns with mining company representatives about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine; if so, what response was received.

(11) Did embassy officials raise concerns about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine in any meetings with Indonesian security officials; if so, what response was received.

(12) Did mining company representatives inform embassy officials at any time during the visit that the company was paying millions of dollars directly to the Indonesian security forces around the mine; if so, who informed the embassy officials.

(13) Did embassy officials ask mining company representatives if the company was making payments to the local security forces; if not, why not.

(14) Why did embassy officials decide not to organise meetings with representatives of local landowner groups or other non-government organisations.

2155  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the Freeport mine in the Indonesian province of Papua on 5 December to 7 December 2001:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) What was the specific purpose of the visit, especially given the earlier visits in May 2001 and June 2001.

(3) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(4) (a) Who else did the embassy officials meet during their visit; and (b) who did they represent.

(5) Prior to the visit, were embassy officials aware of human rights abuses by security forces around the mine.

(6) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces during the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(7) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘concerns about the security environment in the area surrounding the mine’ did company representatives raise.

(8) Did they seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so, what requests were made.

(9) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(10) Did embassy officials raise concerns with mining company representatives about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine; if so, what response was received.

(11) Did embassy officials raise concerns about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine in any meetings with Indonesian security officials.

(12) Did mining company representatives inform embassy officials at any time during the visit that the company was paying millions of dollars directly to the Indonesian security forces around the mine; if so, who informed the embassy officials.

(13) Did embassy officials ask mining company representatives if the company was making payments to the local security forces; if not, why not.

(14) Why did embassy officials decide not to organise meetings with representatives of local landowner groups or other non-government organisations.

2156  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the Freeport mine in the Indonesian province of Papua between 4 September to 6 September 2002:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) What was the specific purpose of the visit, especially given the earlier visits in May 2001, June 2001 and December 2001.

(3) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(4) (a) Who else did the embassy officials meet during their visit; and (b) who did they represent.

(5) Prior to the visit, were embassy officials aware of human rights abuses by security forces around the mine.

(6) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces during the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(7) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘concerns about the security environment in the area surrounding the mine’ did company representatives raise.

(8) Did they seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so, what requests were made.

(9) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(10) Did embassy officials raise concerns with mining company representatives about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine; if so, what response was received.

(11) Did embassy officials raise concerns about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine in any meetings with Indonesian security officials; if so, what response was received.

(12) Did mining company representatives inform embassy officials at any time during the visit that the company was paying millions of dollars directly to the Indonesian security forces around the mine; if so, who informed the embassy officials.

(13) Did embassy officials ask mining company representatives if the company was making payments to the local security forces; if not, why not.

(14) Why did embassy officials decide not to organise meetings with representatives of local landowner groups or other non-government organisations.

2157  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the four visits by Australian embassy officials to the Freeport mine in the Indonesian province of Papua during 2001 and 2002:

(1) Does the Minister acknowledge that the failure to organise meetings with more diverse interest groups, beyond the mining company, resulted in a failure to gain a broad understanding of issues affecting the mine; if not, why not.

(2) Is it official policy not to meet with representatives of non-government organisations on visits to mines in Indonesia; if so, why.

(3) Were embassy officials aware of the collapse of the Lake Wanagon mine waste dump in 2001, which resulted in the deaths of four workers, the destruction of property and livestock of villagers and the release of acidic, heavy metal laced mine waste in the valley below.

(4) Did embassy officials at any time discuss with mining company representatives the collapse of the waste dump.

(5) (a) Did embassy officials inspect the waste dump; and (b) did embassy officials inquire of measures made to prevent a reoccurrence of this disaster; if not, why not.

(6) Did embassy officials at any time discuss with mining company representatives the adverse findings by a Jakarta court that company advertising in relation to the collapse of the waste dump was misleading.

(7) Did embassy officials inspect any of the hundreds of square kilometers of forest covered in mine waste (tailings) by the mine’s disposal of mine waste into the Ajkwa and Kamora rivers; if not, why not.

(8) (a) Are embassy officials aware that it appears from satellite photos published by Indonesian non-government organisations that tailings disposed of by the mine have contaminated the World Heritage-listed Lorenz National Park via the Mawati and Otokwa Rivers; and (b) has the matter ever been discussed with mining company representatives, and with what result.

(9) Did embassy officials raise the issue or seek assurances about the safety of tailings released via the Ajkwa and Kamora rivers into the Arafura Sea directly north of Australia; if not, why not.

2158  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the public disclosure, in March 2003, by Freeport McMoRan, the owner of the Freeport mine in Papua, Indonesia, part-owned by Australian-listed company Rio Tinto and with whom Rio Tinto has a 40 per cent joint venture agreement, that it has paid millions of dollars to the military forces guarding its mine:

(1) Does the Minister consider these payments appropriate.

(2) When did Australian officials first become aware that the owners of the Freeport mine, were making payments to the military.

(3) Have representatives of Rio Tinto made representations to the Minister or Australian officials about this matter: (a) if so, when; and (b) if not, have the Minister, the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia or Australian officials raised the issue with the company; if so, when; if not, why not.

(4) What explanation, if any, did the company provide for the payments.

(5) When did these payments commence.

(6) (a) What explanation, if any, has the company provided for keeping these payments secret for years; and (b) why did the Indonesian military keep the payments secret, and indeed continue to deny the extent of the payments even after Freeport revealed their existence.

(7) Has the Minister or government officials raised the matter with Indonesian government officials; if so, with whom and when.

(8) Has the Minister and/or the department sought or received legal advice about whether the payment of Indonesian military forces by private interests is legal under Indonesian law.

(9) Has the Minister and/or the department sought or received legal advice that direct payments to the Indonesian military by mining companies are not in keeping with Indonesian Law No.3 2002, regarding National Defence, (and its predecessor, Law No.20 1982) which in Chapter 7, section 25(1) sets out that the military is to be paid for only from the national budget.

(10) Has the Minister and/or the department sought or received legal advice about whether payments by Australian companies to Indonesian military or police forces is consistent with Australian law; if so, when was legal advice on this matter last sought.

(11) Will the Minister and the department ask all Australian resource extraction companies operating in Indonesia to disclose payments both ongoing and past, made to Indonesian security forces, including military and police; if not, why not.

2159  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs— 

(1) Did Australian embassy officials visit the Freeport mine after the visit on 4 September to 6 September 2002; if so, when and what was the purpose of the visit.

(2) Did the mining company seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so, what requests were made.

(3) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

2160  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the Mt Muro mine operated by Aurora Gold in Indonesian between 25 November and 26 November 1999:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(3) (a) Who else did the embassy officials meet during their visit; and (b) who did they represent.

(4) Prior to the visit, were embassy officials aware of human rights abuses by security forces around the mine.

(6) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces during the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(7) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘registered concerns about the security of company staff from incursions from illegal miners’ did company representatives raise.

(8) Did they seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so what requests were made.

(9) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(10) Did embassy officials raise concerns with mining company representatives about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine.

(11) Did embassy officials raise concerns about human rights abuses in the area surrounding the mine in any meetings with Indonesian security officials; if so, what response was received.

(12) What advice, if any, did the embassy officials offer Aurora Gold representatives.

(13) Why did embassy officials decide not to organise meetings with representatives of local landowner groups or other non-government organisations.

2161  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the BHP Billiton owned PT Arutrim Indonesia-Senakin mine in South Kalimantan on 6 March 2000:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) What was the specific purpose of the visit.

(3) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(4) (a) Who else did the embassy officials meet; and (b) who did they represent.

(5) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces during the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(6) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘concerns about the security of company staff from incursions by illegal miners’ did company representatives raise.

(7) Did they seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so what requests were made.

(8) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(9) Did mining company representatives inform embassy officials at any time whether they had been asked to make payments to the Indonesian security forces around the mine; if so, who informed the embassy officials.

(10) Did embassy officials ask mining company representatives if the company was making payments to the local security forces; if not, why not.

2162  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the BHP Billiton owned PT Arutrim Indonesia-Senakin mine in South Kalimantan on 24 May 2001:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) What was the specific purpose of the visit, especially given the earlier visit in March 2000.

(3) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(4) (a) Who else did the embassy officials meet; and (b) who did they represent.

(5) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces during the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(6) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘concerns about the security of company staff from incursions by illegal miners’ did company representatives raise.

(7) Did they seek any assistance from embassy officials; if so what requests were made.

(8) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(9) Did mining company representatives inform embassy officials at any time whether they had been asked to make payments to the Indonesian security forces around the mine; if so, who informed the embassy officials.

(10) Did embassy officials ask mining company representatives if the company was making payments to the local security forces; if not, why not.

2163  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs— 

(1) Is the department aware of whether any of the following companies have been approached by Indonesian security forces, including military and police operating near their respective mining operations, to contribute financially to the security forces’ local costs or make other payments: (a) Newcrest Indonesia; (b) BHP Billiton Indonesia; (c) Rio Tinto Indonesia; (d) Normandy Asia/ Horas Nauli; (e) Placer Dome; (f) Westralian Atan Minerals; and (g) Barisan Tropical Mining.

(2) Is the department aware or whether any of the following companies have made payments to the Indonesian security forces, including military and police operating near their respective mining operations: (a) Newcrest Indonesia; (b) BHP Billiton Indonesia; (c) Rio Tinto Indonesia; (d) Normandy Asia/Horas Nauli; and (e) Placer Dome.

2164  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the visit by Australian embassy officials to the Kaltim Prima coal mine owned by Rio Tinto on 22 May 2001:

(1) Which embassy officials visited the mine.

(2) Which mining company representatives did embassy officials meet.

(3) Who else did the embassy officials meet during their visit and who did they represent.

(4) In relation in the answer to question on notice no. 721 (Senate Hansard , 5 February 2003, p. 8648), what specific ‘registered concerns about the increasing strike activity on the mine site’ did company representatives raise.

(5) In relation to the answer to question on notice no. 721: (a) what specific instances were company representatives referring to when they, ‘registered their concerns about recent instances of violent behaviour by striking workers at the mine site’; and (b) what occurred in each instance.

(6) Did the company representatives seek any assistance from embassy officials in relation to the strike activity; if, so what.

(7) What assistance, if any, was subsequently provided.

(8) Did embassy officials meet representatives of the security forces on the visit; if so, what was the purpose of the meetings.

(9) Did embassy officials raise concerns about strike activity with the security forces; if so, what action did embassy officials request.

(10) (a) What action, if any, did Indonesian security forces take; and (b) when did these actions occur.

(11) Were embassy officials advised of whether the mining company had been approached to make payments to the security forces.

(12) (a) Were embassy officials advised of whether the mining company had made payments to the security forces; and (b) did embassy officials ask mining company representatives whether any payments had ever been made to the security forces.

(13) Did embassy officials meet with any representatives of the workers who went on strike; if so, what specific issues were raised with the officials; if not, why not.

(14) Does the Minister acknowledge that it would have been useful to at least hear the grievances of the striking workers; if not, why not.

2165  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—In relation to the quarterly meetings between the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith, and/or other embassy staff, and representatives of Australian-owned mining operations in Indonesia:

(1) Has the issue of mine waste disposal at sea (submarine tailings disposal, also known as DSTP), ever been raised at these meetings; if so, by whom was it raised.

(2) (a) Has the Ambassador or any other Australian government official ever been requested to make any representations to Indonesian government officials regarding DSTP; and (b) have any representations regarding DSTP ever been made by Australian government officials to Indonesian government officials.

(3) Has the issue of mine closure ever been raised at these meetings; if so, by whom was it raised.

(4) (a) Has the Ambassador or any other Australian government official ever been requested to make any representations to Indonesian government officials regarding mine closure; and (b) have any representations regarding mine closure ever been made by Australian government officials to Indonesian government officials.

(5) Has the Ambassador or any Australian government official ever visited an Australian-owned mine which has closed or is in the process of closing.

(6) Is the Ambassador satisfied that all operating and planned Australian-owned mines have plans for prompt and proper mine closure, developed in consultation with local communities and government officials, including progressive rehabilitation of completed areas while mining progresses.

(7) In the absence of detailed Indonesian regulations or government policy regarding mine closure, is the Ambassador satisfied that all Australian-owned mine closure plans are in keeping with best Australian mining practice.

(8) Does the Ambassador consider that Australian-owned mines should plan for closure rehabilitation, which includes ensuring mine pits are never simply allowed to remain and fill with water which may become polluted with acid and heavy metals.

2166  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the quarterly meetings between the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr Richard Smith and/or other embassy staff, and representatives of Australian-owned mining operations in Indonesia:

(1) Have any meetings occurred since the meeting held on 22 July 2002; if so, for each meeting: (a) which companies attended; (b) who represented the individual companies; and (c) can a list be provided of the issues raised.

(2) What actions, if any, did the Ambassador or embassy staff agree to undertake from each of these meetings.

2167  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to the supplementary estimates question no. RDG04, provided to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee on 11 February 2003, containing a table of Sustainable Regions Program direct funding and other contributions:

(1) Can an updated table be provided which includes: (a) all projects approved for funding and the approved level of funding; (b) funding already provided and the amount outstanding; and (c) the financial years in which expenditure of outstanding funds is likely to occur.

(2) In relation to the Regional Partnerships Program: (a) how many projects have been approved for funding in the 2003-04 financial year; (b) what is the total level of funding for these projects; and (c) how much has been committed for expenditure in the following financial years: (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05, (iii) 2005-06, and (iv) 2006-07.

(3) In relation to projects approved prior to 1 July 2003 under the Regional Solutions Program, the Rural Transaction Centres, the Regional Assistance Program, the Dairy Regional Assistance Program, the Wide Bay Burnett Structural Adjustment Package, the Namoi Valley Package, the Weipa Electricity Generation Compensation Package and the South West Forests of Western Australia Structural Adjustment Package: (a) how much has been committed for expenditure in the 2003-04 financial year; (b) how much of the funds committed for expenditure in the 2003-04 financial year has been expended to date; and (c) how much has been committed for expenditure in the following financial years: (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06, and (iii) 2006-07.