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Notice given 29 March 2006

*1667  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) What is the timeline for the planned roll-out of ABC News Radio to regional Australia.

(2) What is the proposed order in which areas will gain access to news radio services.

(3) What is the proposed cost of this roll-out.

(4) Can the Minister provide a time frame in which all areas of Australia will have access to news radio services.

 

 *1668  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—

(1)  What measures have been taken to ensure the superannuation deductions of newly arrived refugees are being transferred to appropriate superannuation schemes.

(2) Are there cases in which such refugees in Tasmanian do not receive the deductions benefits.

*1669  Senator Wong: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—

(1) For each year since 1996, and for each state and territory, how many ‘457’ visa applicants have been granted an exemption from the minimum skill requirements.

(2) For each year since 1996, and for each state and territory, how many ‘457’ visas have been approved:

(a) below the gazetted minimum salary level;

(b) at the gazetted minimum salary level; and

(c) above the gazetted minimum salary level.

*1670  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the abandoned vessel identified as Jian Seng :

(1) On what date was the vessel first sighted in Australian waters.

(2) Who first sighted the vessel.

(3) Who reported it to the Australian Customs Service and/or another agency.  

(4) On what date was it reported.

(5) What was the location of the vessel when first sighted.

(6) What activity was the vessel engaged in at the time of this first sighting.

(7) Was the vessel under tow.

(8) Was the vessel drifting. 

(9) Were any people on board the vessel.

(10) Was the vessel in the vicinity of other vessels; if so, what is the identity of these vessels.

(11) On what date was the: (a) Australian Customs Service; (b) Minister’s office; and (c) the Minister, informed of this sighting.

(12) On what date did Customs undertake an aerial inspection of the vessel.

(13) What prompted this aerial inspection.

(14) If it was a further sighting: (a) who made the report; (b) what was the location of the vessel at the time of this sighting; and (c) what activity was the vessel engaged in at the time of this inspection.

(15) Was the vessel drifting.

(16) Was the vessel in the vicinity of other vessels.

(17) What was the location of the vessel at the time of the aerial inspection.

(18) What activity was the vessel engaged in at the time of this inspection.

(19) Was the vessel in the vicinity of other vessels; if so, what is the identity of these vessels

(20) Was the vessel under tow.

(21) On what date was a Customs vessel dispatched to intercept the vessel.

 

 (22) From which port was the Customs vessel dispatched.

(23) What prompted the dispatch of the Customs vessel.

(24) If it was a further sighting:  (a) who made the report; (b) what was the location of the vessel at the time of this sighting; and (c) what activity was the vessel engaged in at the time of this inspection.

(25) Was the vessel drifting.

(26) Was the vessel in the vicinity of other vessels.

(27) On what date did the Customs vessel intercept the vessel.

(28) On what date was the vessel boarded.

(29) What was the reason for the delayed boarding.

(30) How was the vessel identified.

(31) What volume of rice was found on board.

(32) What other goods were found.

(33) Did officials of any other agency board the vessel with Customs.

(34) With reference to the statement by a Customs spokesperson that ‘it appears to have been adrift for some time before we boarded it’: how was it ascertained that the vessel had been adrift for some time.

(35) How long had the vessel been adrift before it was boarded.

(36) On what dates was: (a) the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) (b) the Office of Transport Security; and (c) Maritime Safety Queensland, informed the vessel was drifting in Australian waters.

(37) On what date were other vessels in the area alerted about the hazard represented by the unmanned and unlit vessel.

(38) On what date was responsibility for the vessel passed to AMSA.

(39) What disaggregated costs have been borne by the department and its agencies in relation to the identification and management of the vessel.

*1671  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the abandoned vessel identified as Jian Seng :

(1) On what date was the: (a) Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA); (b) Office of Transport Security; (c) Minister’s office; and (d) Minister, informed that the vessel was adrift in the Gulf of Carpentaria. 

(2) In each case: (a) what was the source of the information; and (b) what was the location of the vessel at that time.

(3) On what date was an alert about the unlit and unmanned Jian Seng issued to vessels in its vicinity.

(4) What was the form of the alert.

(5) What was the location of the vessel at this time.

(6) How did AMSA manage the potential risk to the marine environment posed by this adrift vessel.

(7) On what date did AMSA assume responsibility for control of the vessel.

(8) What was the location of the vessel at this time.

(9) What emergency towage arrangements were put in place.

(10) On what date did the vessel arrive at Weipa. 

(11) Was the vessel anchored outside or inside Weipa Harbour; if outside, why.

 

 (12) (a) Which agencies inspected the vessel; (b) on what dates; and (c) for what purposes.

(13) (a) Was the hull inspected for exotic marine pests; and (b) how was this inspection conducted. 

(14) On what date was the vessel permitted entry to Weipa Harbour.

(15) What role, if any, have agencies other than AMSA, including but not necessarily limited to AusSar and Marine Safety Queensland, played in: (a) the minimisation of risk to the marine environment and other vessels; and (b) the recovery of the vessel.

(16) What is the vessel’s home port and registry.

(17) What disaggregated costs have been borne by the department and its agencies in relation to the identification and management of the vessel.

(18) (a) On what date was the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number of the vessel identified; and (b) what is the IMO number.

*1672  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Does the Office of Transport Security monitor the presence of vessels in Australian waters; if so, how.

(2) On what date did the Office of Transport Security identify the presence of the abandoned vessel Jian Seng in Australian waters.

(3) How long had the Jian Seng been adrift before the Office of Transport Security identified its presence.

(4) Was there any lapse of awareness by the Office of Transport Security in relation to the Jian Seng ; if so, has the Minister investigated this lapse.

*1673  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the operations of Pan Shipping Australia:

(1) Has the vessel Boomerang I been re-flagged to the Australian registry; if so, on what date.

(2) On what date did Boomerang I commence coastal trading.

(3) (a) What was the port of origin; and (b) what was the port of destination.

(4) Have any Flag of Convenience vessels trading under a single or continuous voyage permit carried cargo for which the Boomerang I was available and suitable for the task; if so, in each case:

(a) can the dates and the ports of origin and destination be provided;

(b) when and how was the department informed of this carriage;

(c) did the department subsequently issue any directions to the permit holder including a direction to discharge the cargo; if so (i) on what dates were these directions issued, and (ii) how did the permit holder respond;

(d) did the carriage of the containers constitute a breach of the permit;

(e) on what date did the permit holder provide a Statement of Cargo Actually Carried;

(f) what was the nature of the cargo;

(g) what action has the department initiated against the permit holder; and

 

 (h) what action has the department taken to prevent a further breach of the coastal trade provisions of the Navigation Act 1912 undermining Pan Shipping Australia’s operations.

*1674  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Has the Minister advised a meeting of the National Party in Queensland that there is ‘hardly anything odd’ about AWB Limited’s alleged payment of bribes to the Saddam Hussein regime.

(2) Does the Minister apply the same standard in relation to his department’s dealings with foreign governments; if so, what bribes or other unlawful commissions have been paid by the Department of Transport and Regional Services.

*1675  Senator Crossin: To ask the Minister for the Arts and Sport—

(1) What were the arrangements for the transfer of money devoted to Indigenous Sport under Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) to be transferred to the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA).

(2) What date did this transfer occur.

(3) How much money was transferred from ATSIC’s budget to DCTIA for use on indigenous sports programs.

(4) (a) What was the amount of money budgeted for under the Indigenous Sport and Recreation Program (ISRP) for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 financial years; and (b) what amount was expended during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 financial years.

(5) Can a list be provided of all programs or requests funded under this program by state and territory and the amount allocated to each of these programs.

(6) Who is responsible for assessing funds to be allocated under this program.

(7) Are requests for funding initially assessed by state and territory departments of DCITA and then forwarded to Canberra for final approval; if so, how many requests for funding under this program were received in the Northern Territory (NT) in each of the 2004-05 and 2005-06 financial years.

(8) How many of these were approved by the NT office of DCITA but not given final approval.

(9) How many of these were not given any approval or funds at all during these years.

(10) Why were these unallocated funds under this program at the end of last year.

(11) What process was put in place to reassess unallocated funds.

(12) In regard to the AFL (Australian Football League) NT’s initial application for $200 000 for the 2005-06 financial year that was not approved: (a) on what grounds was this funding not approved; and (b) who was responsible for that recommendation.

(13) Given that the AFL NT originally applied for $200 000 and was finally given only $75 000, where has the remaining $125 000 been allocated.

(14) What indicators or objectives are used to elevate programs that receive any funding under this program.

 

 (15) Can a copy be provided of each and every program, including the objectives and performance indicators, or evaluation, that was funded in the NT under this program for the 2005-06 financial year.