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Notice given 28 February 2006

1606  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) Given that the Victorian and New South Wales (NSW) governments have committed $50 million from the proceeds of the sale to returning water to the Snowy River, and $10 million to maximising environmental outcomes, what money will the Commonwealth contribute to the ongoing health and viability of the Snowy River.

(2) (a) Will the Commonwealth Government commit to ensuring the Snowy River flows at a minimum of 28 per cent of its original flow, prior to the proposed sale; and (b) will the Commonwealth hold the NSW Government to its previous commitments to establish the Snowy Scientific Committee to ensure environmental flows have the greatest possible ecological benefit.

(3) Given the Minister’s strong interest in Alpine Heritage: (a) does he fully support privatisation of such an important and iconic piece of infrastructure; and (b) has he assessed the environmental and heritage impacts of the sale.

1607  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Does the Government agree with the United Nations report on Guantanamo Bay that calls for the immediate closure of this illegal detention centre where prisoners are ‘systematically tortured through sleep deprivation, temperature extremes, and static positions designed to produce prolonged pain and discomfort’; if not, why not.

(2) Will the Government now join the British Government in declaring that it does not recognise the military tribunal that David Hicks faces.

(3) Will the Government make representation to the United States Government to have David Hicks returned to Australia; if so, what form will that representation take.


 (4) Does the Government consider that the detention at Guantanamo Bay of 500 Muslims, many of whom were fighting to defend their country during an invasion, should be classified under the Geneva Convention as prisoners of war and should have been either released or charged and tried for war crimes; if not, why not.

(5) Does the Government agree with Amnesty International’s assessment that there are two levels of justice operating in which David Hicks’ detention is based on his activity in terrorist training camps at a time when this activity was not illegal yet no such retrospective action appears likely be applied to Australian Wheat Board management and government officials who bribed the terrorist regime of Saddam Hussein; if not, why not.