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Notice given 1 November 2006

2596  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) (a) What contracts currently exist in the Defence portfolio for the provision of: (i) catering, (ii) cleaning, (iii) grounds maintenance, (iv) stores management, (v) warehousing and distribution, and (vi) explosives ordnance storage and management; and (b) for each category: (i) which companies have been awarded these contracts, (ii) for what term, (iii) at what total cost, and (iv) at which sites.

(2) (a) What tenders are currently in place for paragraph (1) (above); (b) what are the closing dates; and (c) which have closed and await finalisation.


 (3) (a) What provisions referring to employment policies and practices are currently being used in tenders; and (b) what is the policy when prospective tenderers decline to offer Australian Workplace Agreements.

(4) What tenders in the categories in paragraph (1), are due to be issued in the next 3 months.

2598  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the Government is considering early testing of children for basic literacy skills; if so, at what age would this testing begin.

(2) Would the testing include screening for the presence of learning disabilities and disorders.

(3) Would the testing be conducted by a professional qualified to administer diagnostic tests for learning disabilities and disorders; if not, why not.

(4) What follow-up and support would be provided to students who are diagnosed with learning disabilities and disorders.

2599  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the election of a new Director-General for the World Health Organization (WHO) at meetings held in Geneva from 6 November to 9 November 2006:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that there are currently 13 candidates, one of whom is Mr Julio Frenk, the Mexican Minister of Health.

(2) Is the Minister aware that in 2004, the Mexican Ministry of Health signed an agreement with Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco that, in exchange for a small voluntary contribution from the tobacco industry to a health insurance fund, Mexico will adopt some very modest tobacco control measures that fall far short of the mandates of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which Mexico has ratified.

(3) Is the Minister aware that the agreement also ties the Mexican Government’s interests to the tobacco industry’s well-being, and terminates if the Government of Mexico imposes significant tobacco taxes.

(4) Given this history, will the Government support Mr Frenk’s candidacy for Director-General of the WHO.