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Notice given 10 October 2006

2549  Senator Wong: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—What percentage of FEE-HELP loans are taken out by domestic undergraduate students from higher education providers listed in ‘Table A’ of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

2550  Senator Wong: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—For each year for which figures are available, and listed by institution, how many undergraduate students enrolled in a full fee paying place at an Australian university transferred into a Commonwealth supported place in the second (or subsequent year) of their course.

2551  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) Can the Minister make available, or is the Minister empowered to obtain a record of the money donated to, or otherwise invested in the University of Sydney by Macquarie Bank since 1996 (or any recent year); if so, can details of the record be provided.

(2) Is information relating to Macquarie Bank’s investments in other Australian universities since 1996 available; if so, can the information be provided; if not, why not.

Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 2552-2553)—With reference to the claims made on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners television program on 25 September 2006 that large sums of money have been illegally couriered across Australia’s borders by the Exclusive Brethren sect:

(1) What action has the Government taken to investigate these serious claims of criminal activity.

 

 (2) Has an investigation been undertaken: (a) if so: (i) by whom, and (ii) with what terms of reference; and (b) if not, why not.

(3) Has the former Exclusive Brethren elder who made the claims been questioned; if not, why not.

(4) Has the Exclusive Brethren’s Elect Vessel or any other member been questioned; if not, why not.

2552 Minister representing the Attorney-General

2553 Minister for Justice and Customs

2554  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Did the former Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mr Truss, extend Mr John Walter’s appointment as chair of the Wheat Export Authority (WEA) for a period of 6 months from 1 July 2004.

(2) Did Mr Truss announce this extension on 24 June 2004.

(3) Did Mr Walter write to fellow WEA board members on 27 July 2004 advising that a conflict of interest existed in relation to his role as a partner at Minter Ellison because the firm was acting for Australian Wheat Board (AWB) Limited and seeking board approval to stand aside.

(4) Did Mr Walter write to Mr Truss on 27 July 2004 advising that he had written to the WEA board seeking approval to stand aside and advising Mr Truss that he was willing to pursue ‘any other course of action’ suggested by the Minister.

(5) (a) On what date(s) did the existence of Mr Walter’s conflict of interest first become known to: (i) Mr Truss, (ii) the department, and (iii) the WEA board; and (b) if it was not via Mr Walter’s correspondence dated 27 July 2004, what was the source of this information.

(6) Did the government member of the WEA board become aware of the conflict of interest before other board members; if so: (a) how; and (b) on what date.

(7) Is it the case that Mr Walter required the consent of the WEA board to stand aside so as to avoid termination by virtue of the operation of section 8(2)(c) of the Wheat Marketing Act 1989 .

(8) (a) On what date(s) did the WEA board: (i) formally consider Mr Walter’s request to stand aside, and (ii) write to Mr Walter informing him of the outcome of its consideration; (b) was Mr Walter present at the meeting that considered his request; and (c) can a copy of the relevant board minutes and all WEA’s correspondence with Mr Walter in relation to this matter be provided; if not, why not.

(9) (a) On what date did Mr Truss respond to Mr Walter’s correspondence; (b) did Mr Truss suggest ‘any other course of action’ to Mr Walter; (c) did Mr Truss ask Mr Walter to resign; if not, why not; and (d) can a copy of Mr Truss’ correspondence with Mr Walter be provided; if not, why not.

(10) What was the precise nature of the conflict of interest involving Mr Walter including the capacity in which Minter Ellison acted for AWB Limited and/or AWB (International) Limited.

(11) (a) On what date did the conflict of interest (i) arise, and (ii) cease; and (b) did Mr Walter resume his role as chair of the WEA upon the cessation of the conflict of interest; if not, why not.

 

 (12) (a) On what date did Mr Walter formally stand aside; and (b) on what date(s) was: (i) AWB Limited, (ii) AWB (International) Limited, and (iii) the Grains Council of Australia (GCA), informed that Mr Walter had stood aside.

(13) Which WEA board meetings did Mr Walter fail to attend between 27 July 2004 and the date the WEA formally consented to him standing aside.

(14) If applicable: (a) on what date did Mr Walter resume his role as chair of the WEA; and (b) on what date was: (i) AWB Limited, (ii) AWB (International) Limited, and (iii) the GCA, informed that Mr Walter had resumed his role.

(15) Did Mr Walter undertake any WEA duties between the date he stood aside and the date he resumed his role or the date his contract expired, whichever is applicable.

(16) What payments were made to Mr Walter between the date he stood aside and the date he resumed his role or the date his contract expired, whichever is applicable.

(17) Why was Mr Walter paid for duties he was not undertaking.

(18) Did Mr Walter receive WEA board papers between the date he stood aside and the date he resumed his role or the date his contract expired, whichever is applicable; if so, can those papers be identified.

(19) Did Mr Walter receive a copy of the confidential report, Performance Monitoring of AWB (International) Limited under the Wheat Marketing Act 1989 , July 2003 to June 2004 which was presented to Mr Truss in October 2004; if so, on what date.

(20) Did Mr Walter receive any extracts of the above report; if so, on what date(s).

(21) Did Mr Walter receive any drafts of the above report prior to its presentation to Mr Truss; if so, on what date(s).

(22) Did Mr Walter receive a copy of the confidential report, 2004 Wheat Marketing Review ; if so, on what date.

(23) On what date(s) did the WEA board resolve that board member Mr Tim Besley should act as presiding member.

(24) During the period in which Mr Besley was the presiding member, did he undertake any statutory functions including, but not necessarily limited to, presenting reports to the GCA, informing the Minister about changes to the operational plan of the WEA and signing certificates relating to proceedings for offences against section 57 of the Wheat Marketing Act 1989 .