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Notice given 21 March 2006

1626  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1463 (Senate Hansard , 9 February 2006, p. 220):

(1) Is the Minister aware that, according to the 2002-03 Annual Report of the Tiwi Land Council, Tiwi forest clearing operations, approved under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC), commenced in early 2003 and not 2004 as stated in the Minister’s answer.

(2) Given that, under condition 11 of the EPBC approval (as amended), the audit of this forest clearing project is required to be forwarded to the Minister within 6 months after the triennial anniversary of the commencement of the action, will the Minister immediately require that this audit be carried out; if not, why not.

(3) Given that conditions 5, 6, 7 and 10 require that APG (now Great Southern Plantations Ltd) and the Tiwi Land Council produce plans, studies, reports and agreements for presentation to and the approval of the Minister: (a) has each of these documents been completed and presented to the Minister; and (b) has each been approved by the Minister; if not, why not.

1627  Senator George Campbell: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services—With reference to the victims of the Port Arthur massacre:

(1) What programs has the Government put in place to provide ongoing assistance to survivors of the massacre.

(2) Is there a special fund or scheme in place to which survivors can apply for assistance with pharmaceutical, medical and related costs.

1628  Senator George Campbell: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the victims of the Port Arthur massacre and the recommendations made by the Auditor-General, Mr Doyle, in 1997:

(1) Have the Auditor-General’s recommendations been implemented; if not, why not; if so, what department is responsible for implementing the recommendations, particularly those regarding the massacre survivors.

(2) Who was the public liability underwriter of the Port Arthur site.

(3) Who currently provides public liability cover for the site.

1629  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Has the officer investigating the claim against the Government by Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd, or any other person acting on his or her behalf, sought technical, expert or other independent advice about the nature of the claim and the role of the department and agencies in the assessment of the application for the permit to import marine worms and the issuing of that permit; if so: (a) what advice has been sought; (b) who has provided that advice; (c) who determined what individuals or organisations would be asked to provide advice; and (d) in each case, when was the advice provided and what was the cost of its provision.

(2) Regarding the above investigation: (a) when did the investigation commence; (b) who authorised it; and (c) when did the investigation conclude.

1630  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to evidence by Dr Glegg to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee’s estimates hearing of 14 February 2006:

(1) When and how did Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd advise Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) officers that gamma irradiation would destroy the integrity of marine worms.

(2) When did AQIS seek advice on an alternative to gamma irradiation.

(3) When was that advice received.

(4) Who provided that advice.

(5) What was the cost of that advice.

(6) When did AQIS accept Marnic’s advice and consent to an alternative process.

(7) Who made that decision and why.

1631  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to evidence given by Mr Yuille to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee’s estimates hearing of 14 February 2006:

(1) Is it the case that any importation of marine worms would require a permit.

(2) Can the Minster confirm that a permit to import marine worms was first issued by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) to Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd on 7 April 2003.

(3) Can the Minister confirm that AQIS holds a copy of the permit assessment underpinning the issuing of that permit.

(4) Can the Minister confirm that prior to the issuing of  that permit there were five shipments of marine worms cleared by AQIS for entry into Australia.

(5) Can the Minister confirm that these shipments were approved and that each of the following ‘final release certificates’ were issued:

(a) 31 January 2003 - Final Release from Quarantine certificate number W030000739;

(b) 4 February 2003 - Final Release from Quarantine certificate number 5130340445D;

(c) 5 February 2003 - Final Release from Quarantine certificate numberW030000831;

(d) 22 February 2003 - Final Release from Quarantine certificate number W030001214; and

(e) 18 March 2003 - Final Release from Quarantine certificate number 618-31118835.

(6) On what basis were these sample shipments cleared by AQIS in the absence of an import permit.

 

 1632  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to evidence given by Dr Glegg to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee’s estimates hearing of 14 February 2006:

(1) Is it the case that in addition to the Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd application to import marine worms there was a second application lodged with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).

(2) (a) On what date was that second application made; (b) who made the application; and (c) how was the application made.

(3) Was there material attached to the second application that related to a proposed protocol for the importation of marine worms; if so: (a) did that additional material refer to the process of preserving marine worms in alcohol as an effective means to ensure the worms did not present a quarantine risk; and (b) did the material attached to this second application propose the worms be preserved in 70 per cent alcohol for a period of one hour or three hours.

(4) On what date was the second application referred to Biosecurity Australia.

(5) On what date and in what form did Biosecurity Australia advise AQIS about the conditions that should be applied to the second application.

(6) What were those conditions.

1633  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to evidence given by Dr Glegg to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee’s estimates hearing of 14 February 2006:

(1) Is it the case that the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) received a request from Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd to add a new Indonesian competent authority to its permit.

(2) (a) On what date was this application to add a new competent authority received; (b) on what date was the application provided to Biosecurity Australia for advice; (c) on what date was that advice received from Biosecurity Australia; and (d) on what date was Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd advised of the outcome of the Biosecurity Australia assessment.

(3) Did AQIS advise Biosecurity Australia that the existing permit would need to be revoked prior to Biosecurity Australia viewing the competent authority application documents.

(4) Can the Minister confirm that Biosecurity Australia holds a copy of an assessment of the quarantine risk associated with the importation of marine worms, which includes White Spot Syndrome and Whirlings Disease. 

(5) Did this assessment lead to the revocation of permit number 300615340 in November 2004.

1634  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to evidence given by Dr Glegg to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee’s estimates hearing of 14 February 2006:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd provided the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) with details of a number of diseases associated with marine worms that would be of quarantine concern to Australia.

 

 (2) Is it the case that disease risks associated with the importation of marine worms are similar to those associated with the importation of farmed prawns from China.

(3) Is it the case that farmed marine worms are, in some cases, grown in the same ponds used for the farming of prawns.

(4) Is it the case that prawns are the prime vectors for White Spot Syndrome and Whirlings Disease and that worms are the secondary, lesser recipient.

1635  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to evidence given by Dr Glegg to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee’s estimates hearing of 14 February 2006 that the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) only retains documents that are lodged as part of an application to import a product:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that all documents associated with the application from Marnic Worldwide Pty Ltd to import marine worms, lodged on 4 April 2003, are still held by AQIS; if not, on what basis were documents lodged as part of this application not retained by AQIS.

(2) If all documents lodged as part of the above application were not retained: (a) who made that decision; (b) on what dates were these decisions made; (c) how were the documents destroyed; and (d) when were the documents destroyed.

(3) Was a National Australia Bank cheque supplied by the applicant with these documents deposited into an AQIS or departmental account; if so, on what date; if not, why not.

1636  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) How much funding was provided for the 2005-06 financial year to each division of General Practice for Mental Health.

(2) Have these amounts increased each year over the past five financial years; if so, by how much.

(3) What formula does the department use to determine how much each division receives.

1637  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—Why does Australia not provide abattoir facilities, within Australia, where animals can be slaughtered as humanely as possible to facilitate compliance with the religious requirements of overseas markets.