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Notice given 22 December 2003

*2476  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Why has the Australian Government withdrawn from the compulsory maritime boundary arbitration mechanisms of the United Nations Convention Law of the Sea and the International Court of Justice.

(2) Does the Government consider this is a fair course of action given that this withdrawal has effectively prevented East Timor seeking independent resolution under international law of the disputed maritime boundary between Australia and East Timor.

*2477  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Auslink Green Paper and funding for this policy:

(1) Can the Minister outline the funding mechanism and funding priorities for 2003-04 and 2004-05 for Auslink.

(2) Does the funding regime include specific funding for infrastructure for timber plantation transport.

(3) Does the funding regime include specific funding for transport projects, such as the construction of regional infrastructure to provide intermodal rail and road system links.

(4) Does the funding regime include allocation for transport projects in specific regional areas, such as the south west of Western Australia or the Illawarra; if so, what allocation is each region to receive and what priorities exist for funding within these regions.

*2480  Senator Nettle: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to land clearing in Reserve 41812 within the Kununurra RAMSAR site boundary:

(1) Has the Minister been made aware of this clearing.

(2) Was a permit to clear sought by the proponents from Environment Australia; if not, why not.

(3) Does this land clearing breach the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conversation Act 1999 ; if not, why not.

(4) Does this land clearing breach the requirements of Australia’s commitment to a RAMSAR agreement; if not, why not; if so: (a) will the proponent be prosecuted; if not, why not; and (b) will the proponent be required to rehabilitate the area; if not, why not.

*2481  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Since 1996, how much has Australia committed each year to the war on HIV/AIDS overseas.

(2) In each year, how much went to each of the following: (a) Papua New Guinea, (b) Africa, and (c) Southeast Asia.

(3) In what form has the aid been given and what are the results.

(4) What was the 2002-03 budgetary allocation to this global effort in terms of a percentage of the total overseas aid budget and as a percentage of the United Nations’ desired budget.

*2483  Senator Cherry: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—What is the cost of the one day trip by the Prime Minister to the Solomon Islands on 22 December 2003, including any related security costs.