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


Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

Notice given 10 September 2003

1973  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) For each of the following financial years; 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2002-03: (a) how many suspected illegal fishing vessels in the Heard and McDonald Island (HIMI) region have been reported to Australian authorities; and (b) in each case: (i) what was the source of the report, and (ii) on what date was the report received.

(2) For each of the following financial years; 2000-01, 2002-02, and 2002-03: (a) how many suspected illegal fishing vessels in the HIMI region were reported to Australian authorities but not subsequently intercepted; and (b) in each case where a suspected illegal fishing vessel was identified but not intercepted, why was it not intercepted.

1974  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the answer to paragraph (3)(a) of question on notice no. 565 (Senate Hansard , 11 November 2002, p. 6016):

(1) Was the alleged broadcasting of bogus Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon signals by the Volga to assist the illegal fishing vessel the Lena to evade hot pursuit by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority contracted Southern Supporter subject to investigation by Australian authorities; if so, what was the outcome of the investigation and do current charges against the crew of the Volga relate to this alleged activity; if no investigation has been undertaken, why not.

(2) Was the alleged broadcasting of bogus Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon signals by the Florence during the Southern Supporter’s hot pursuit of the illegal fishing vessel the Lena , and the Florence’s alleged re-fuelling of the Lena, subject to investigation by Australian authorities; if so, what was the outcome of this investigation and what legal action, if any, has been initiated against the crew of the Florence ; if no investigation has been undertaken, why not.

1975  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the answer to paragraph (3)(b) of question on notice no. 731 (Senate Hansard , 9 December 2002, p. 7520): Has the Australian Government yet made direct representations to the Bolivian Government on Australia’s concerns about illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and flag of convenience fishing; if so, when and in what form were these representations made; if not, why not.

1976  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) What companies have been issued with a licence to fish in the Heard and McDonald Island Fishery.

(2) In relation to each company: (a) what is its registered address; and (b) when was the licence issued and, if applicable, renewed.

(3) (a) What total allowable catch, by species, is each licence holder allocated; and (b) in relation to each licence holder, have catch limits been varied; if so, when and what is the nature of the variation.

1978  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) Did the Minister authorise the release of the details about Operation ‘Rushcutter’ contained in his ministerial media statement AFFA03/86MJ, issued on 12 May, including detailed vessel specifications of the Aurora Australis , patrol duration incorporating departure and return dates, a detailed description of crew numbers, training and operational capacity, the area of operation and the operational command structure; if not, who authorised the release of this information.

(2) Did the Minister authorise the release of information about the sidearms carried by officers and larger calibre weapons available aboard the Aurora Australis during Operation ‘Rushcutter’, as reported in the Hobart Mercury on 13 May 2003; if not, who authorised the release of this information.

(3) With reference to the Minister’s media statement ‘$12 million Budget boost to fight illegal fishing in Southern Ocean’ issued on 13 May 2003, can details be provided of the Government’s new program of armed enforcement patrols, including the proposed patrol frequency and enhanced enforcement capacity.

1979  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) For each of the following financial years; 2001-02 and 2002-03: what was the estimated illegal catch of Patagonian toothfish and other fish species taken from the Heard and McDonald Islands region.

(2) For each of the following financial years; 2001-02 and 2002-03: what assessment has the Government made of incidental mortality, including marine species and sea birds, resulting from this illegal fishing activity.

1980  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) What charges were laid against the master and crew of the vessel the Aliza Glacial , arising from its apprehension in October 1997, for alleged illegal fishing activity in Australian waters near the Heard and McDonald Islands.

(2) When did the master and crew depart Australia.

(3) Did the departure of the master and crew stall the prosecution for alleged illegal fishing activity; if so: (a) what conditions were placed on their departure; (b) what has the Government done to secure the return of the accused to Australia; (c) what is the current location of the accused; (d) what is the status of the outstanding charges; and (d) what future action is proposed by the Government in this matter.

1983  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 730 (Senate Hansard, 10 December 2003, p. 7659):

(1) Has Australia finalised an agreement with France on combating illegal fishing in Australia’s sub-Antarctic excusive economic zones; if so when was the agreement finalised and what are the details of the agreement; if not: (a) why not; (b) what negotiations have been undertaken since the Minister advised in his answer that a proposed draft text was agreed; (c) were negotiations progressed during the Minister’s meeting with the French Minister for Overseas Territories in Paris in June 2003; (d) have negotiations included consideration of joint use of French facilities or French patrols of Australian waters; (e) what future negotiations are planned; and (f) when does the Minister expect the agreement will be finalised and active.

(2) Has a cooperative arrangement to combat illegal fishing been negotiated with South Africa; if so, when was the arrangement finalised and what are the details of the arrangement; if not: (a) what negotiations have been undertaken since the Minister wrote to his South African counterpart in September 2002 initiating formal discussions; (b) what future negotiations are planned; and (c) when does the Minister expect a cooperative arrangement will be finalised.

1986  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) What specific outcomes beneficial to Australian fisheries management can be attributed to the Minister’s attendance at the fisheries roundtable organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation, held in Paris in June 2003.

(2) Can an English-language communiqué of the roundtable be provided.

(3) Which French Ministers did the Minister meet to discuss illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean around Australia’s Heard and McDonald Islands and France’s Kerguelen Island.

(4) What new measures did the French Ministers propose to facilitate surveillance and apprehension of boats illegally fishing in Australian and French waters in the Southern Ocean.

(5) What new measures did the Minister propose to the French Ministers.

(6) When did the Minister depart Australia for the roundtable visit.

(7) When did the Minister return to Australia.

(8) Who accompanied the Minister on this trip.

(9) Can the details of the Minister’s official itinerary be provided.

(10) (a) What was the total cost of the Minister’s visit to Paris, including departmental officers and ministerial staff; and (b) which department or departments met these costs.

1987  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the Minister’s meeting with the French Minister for Overseas Territories in Paris on 3 June 2003:

(1) Did the Minister discuss aerial surveillance of the French Kerguelen Island and Australia’s adjacent Heard and McDonald Islands as a means to combat illegal fishing during the meeting.

(2) Was agreement reached on aerial surveillance; if so, what are the details of the agreement; if not, what future negotiations are planned and when does the Minister expect agreement will be reached.

1988  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—With reference to the Minister’s address to the National Press Club on 19 August 2003 concerning illegal toothfish fishing in Australian waters:

(1) What action has the Government taken to investigate and prosecute the 20 to 30 alleged regular illegal fishing operators known to the Government.

(2) (a) Is the Minister aware of allegations that the operator of the so-called ‘Alphabet Boats’ is a well known Hong Kong-based company with a wholly-owned Jakarta-based subsidiary that services the illegal fleet; (b) what action has the Government taken to investigate these allegations; (c) what representations has the Government made to the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Indonesian Government, in relation to this company’s alleged involvement in the operation of the ‘Alphabet Boats’.

1990  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) When were Australian authorities first made aware of alleged, actual or intended illegal fishing activity by the vessel the Viarsa in Australian waters near the Heard and McDonald Islands (HIMI).

(2) What was the source of the information.

(3) When did Australian authorities authorise the Australian Fisheries Management Authority-contracted vessel the Southern Supporter to intercept the Viarsa .

(4) Where and when did the Southern Supporter first locate the Viarsa .

(5) (a) What action, pursuant to what international or domestic law, did the Southern Supporter order the Viarsa to undertake; (b) when was this order made; and (c) what was the Viarsa’s response.

(6) (a) Were the Viarsa’s identifiers displayed at the time it was located by the Southern Supporter ; if so, were these identifiers later removed and when.

(7) When and how did the Viarsa first identify itself to the Southern Supporter .

(8) Was authorisation from a Minister or departmental officer required before the Southern Supporter commenced its hot pursuit of the Viarsa ; if so: (a) when was this authorisation requested; (b) when was it provided; and (c) who provided it.

(9) When did the ‘hot pursuit’ of the Viarsa by the Southern Supporter commence.

(10) Why did the Minister not announce the commencement of the pursuit until 12 August 2003.

(11) With reference to the Minister’s statement on 13 May 2003 concerning armed enforcement in HIMI, was the Southern Supporter armed; if not, what capacity did the Southern Supporter have to apprehend the Viarsa without additional enforcement assistance.

(12) Was the Department of Defence asked to provide logistical or enforcement assistance in the interception of the Viarsa ; if so: (a) when was the request made; (b) what was the department’s response; and (c) what assistance was provided.

(13) (a) When did the Australian Government first make direct representations to the Uruguayan Government urging it to exercise its flag state responsibilities and require the Viarsa to accompany the Southern Supporter to the nearest Australian port; (b) what form did those representations take; (c) what was the Uruguayan Government’s initial response and when was that response received; (d) did the Uruguayan Government consent to Australia’s request that the Viarsa be ordered to accompany the Southern Supporter ; (e) did the Uruguayan Government order the Viarsa to accompany the Southern Supporter to an Australian port; if so, when was that order made and what is the source of that information.

(14) (a) What subsequent representations did the Government make to the Uruguayan Government prior to the vessel’s apprehension; (b) what was the Uruguayan Government’s response to these representations; (c) when did the Minister make direct contact with the Uruguayan Minister for Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries; (d) what assistance did the Minister seek; (e) how did the Uruguayan Minister respond to the Minister’s request for assistance; and (f) what assistance has the Uruguayan Embassy in Canberra provided in the Viarsa matter. 

(15) Did the Uruguayan Government order the Viarsa to return to Montevideo; if so, when was that order made and what is the source of the information.

(16) (a) When was the Minister and/or his department informed that a Uruguayan Government official was aboard the Viarsa ; (b) what was the source of this information; (c) what is the name of the Uruguayan Government official and what position does the official hold; (d) what representations has the Government made to the Uruguayan Government in this matter; (e) what was the Uruguayan Government’s response; (f) when did the Uruguayan official board the Viarsa .

(17) (a) What representations has the Government received from the Uruguayan Government since the vessel’s apprehension; and (b) how has Australia responded to those representations.

(18) When did the Government first alert the secretariat of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) of the alleged illegal fishing activity by the Viarsa .

(19) (a) What assistance did the Government, through its secretariat, ask members of CCAMLR to provide in relation to the Viarsa ; (b) when was that assistance sought; and (c) what assistance, by country, was provided.

(20) (a) When did the Government first make direct representations to the South African Government seeking assistance in the apprehension of the Viarsa ; (b) what request did the Government make; (c) what response did the South African Government provide and when was it received; (d) when was the Government informed that the SA Agulhas would be directed to intercept the Viarsa ; and (d) when did the SA Agulhas join the “hot pursuit” of the Viarsa .

(21) (a) When did the Government initiate commercial negotiations on the hire of the tug boat John Ross to assist in the apprehension of the Viarsa ; (b) when did the tug commence pursuit of the Viarsa ; (c) what was the composition of the crew aboard the tug; (d) did the tug operate under Australian command; (e) what was the total cost of the tug hire; (f) was the cost of hiring the tug reduced as a result of Australia’s cooperative relationship with the South African Government on illegal fishing matters; and (g) what total cost is payable to South African interests for assistance in the Viarsa matter.

(22) (a) When did the Government first make direct representations to the United Kingdom Government seeking assistance in the apprehension of the Viarsa ; (b) what request did the Government make; (b) what response did the United Kingdom Government provide and when was it received; (c) what assistance did the United Kingdom Government provide; and (d) what total cost is payable to United Kingdom interests for assistance in the Viarsa matter.

(23) When and where was the apprehension of the Viarsa effected.

(24) (a) What was the number and composition of the crew aboard the Viarsa upon its apprehension; (b) has the Government made representations to other governments on the presence of their nationals aboard the Viarsa ; if so, what representations has the Government made and what was the response.

(25) What fish and equipment was allegedly found aboard the vessel.

(26) (a) What progress has been made in the investigation into the Viarsa’s conduct in Australian waters; and (b) where is the vessel and its crew currently located.

(27) What arrangements has the government made for the disposal of fish allegedly found aboard the vessel.

(28) How has the Government recognised the performance of the Australian officers involved in the pursuit and apprehension of the Viarsa .

(29) What was the cost of the operation to apprehend the Viarsa .

(30) What total cost has the Government incurred in the Viarsa matter, including the cost of pre-pursuit and post-apprehension operations.

(31) Will the cost of the Viarsa operation be met from the $12 million budget allocation for Southern Ocean fisheries enforcement in the 2003-04 financial year, announced by the Minister on 13 May 2003; if so, how will the operational plan for the 2003-04 financial year be amended to account for the Viarsa operation.

(32) What provision has the Government made for Southern Ocean fisheries enforcement beyond 2003-04.

1998  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Does the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) receive advice from Livecorp on all withdrawals of accreditation and accreditation downgrades under the Live Export Accreditation Program (LEAP).

 (2) Can details of all such accreditation withdrawals be provided for each of the following financial years; 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03, including for each withdrawal: (a) the name of the company; (b) reason for withdrawal; and (c) consequential action by AQIS.

(3) Can details of all such accreditation downgrades be provided for each of the following financial years: 2000-01, 2001-02 and 2002-03, including for each downgrade: (a) the name of the company; (b) change in accreditation level; (d) reason for downgrade; and (d) consequential action by AQIS.

1999  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—Which countries have banned, suspended or varied conditions of export for Australian live animals since 1996; and in each case, can details of the ban, suspension or variation, including date of action and basis of action, be provided.

2000  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What action has been taken to investigate claims of serious animal cruelty involving Australian export cattle slaughtered at the abattoir in Bassatin, Egypt.

(2) When did the Minister, his office and his department become aware of claims of animal cruelty at the abattoir involving Australian export cattle.

(3) (a) What action has been taken to improve animal welfare practices at the abattoir; (b) what improved animal welfare practices have resulted from this action; and (c) what is the source of information about these improved practices.

2001  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to allegations of misreporting of live export mortality numbers aboard a journey of the Al-Khaleej in 2001, aired on 60 Minutes on 27 July 2003:

(1) (a) When did the Minister, his office and his department first become aware of allegations of misreporting of mortality numbers relating to this shipment; and (b) in each case, what was the source of this information.

(2) (a) When did the Minister, his office and his department first become aware that Livecorp has instigated an independent investigation of the allegations; and (b) in each case, what was the source of the information.

(3) (a) When did the Livecorp investigation commence and what are its terms of reference; and (b) what was the source of this information.

(4) If applicable: (a) when did the Livecorp investigation conclude; (b) when did the Minister receive the report; (c) what is the outcome of the investigation; (d) can a copy of the investigation report be provided; and (e) what consequential action has Livecorp and/or the Minister taken.

(5) When did the Minister direct the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) Compliance Unit to undertake an inquiry into the allegations concerning the Al-Khaleej .

(6) (a) What terms of reference did the Minister establish for the inquiry; and (b) when were these terms of reference established.

(7) When did the inquiry commence.

(8) If applicable: (a) when did the inquiry conclude; (b) what findings and recommendations did it make; and (c) what consequential action has the Minister taken.

(9) If the inquiry has concluded, can a copy of the report be provided; if not, why not.

(10) If the inquiry has not concluded, when does the Minister expect it will conclude and will a copy of the inquiry report be made available; if not, why not.

(11) In respect to the journey of the Al-Khaleef subject to inquiry: (a) can the following information be provided: (i) date of departure, (ii) export licence holder, (iii) loading port/s, (iii) destination port/s, (iv) voyage length, (v) number and type of animals exported, (vi) reported mortality number, (vii) reported mortality rate, and (viii) reported explanation for mortality; (b) what is the source of this information; and (c) when was the mortality data reported to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and/or AQIS.

(12) What mortality number and rate was initially reported to: (a) Saudi authorities; (b) the export licence holder; and (c) Livecorp, and, in each case, when were these reports made and when did the department become aware of the report figures.

(13) What, if any, revised mortality data was reported to: (a) Saudi authorities; (b) the export licence holder and (c) Livecorp and in each case, when were these reports made and on what date did the department become aware of the report figures.

(14) What was the actual mortality number and rate aboard the Al-Khaleej ; and, if different from the reported mortality data, what is the explanation for the difference.