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Notice given 5 February 2007

2976  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources—

(1) Has the Government, through the National Water Commission (NWC), received correspondence from BHP Billiton (BHP) concerning government funding for a desalinisation plant or related pipeline infrastructure proposed to be constructed to support the expansion of the Olympic Dam Mine in South Australia; if so, can details be provided of the correspondence received, including e-mails and records of telephone conversations, and all replies.

(2) Has the Government, through the NWC or any other government agency, received an application from BHP for grants under any government program, including the Australian Government Water Fund; if so, can details be provided of the correspondence received, including e-mails and records of telephone conversations, and all replies.

(3) What is the Government’s position on: (a) desalinisation plants; and (b) providing public funding to the mining industry for desalination plants.

(4) If the Government receives an application from BHP for Commonwealth funding to construct a desalinisation plant, will the Government commit to undertake an assessment of the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of the plant incorporating construction through to operation.

(5) Does the Prime Minister’s statement at the National Press Club on 25 January 2007 on the impact of the proposed expansion of the Olympic Dam Mine on water usage in the Murray-Darling Basin, that ‘everyone would have to do their bit for conservation’ indicate that the Government is favourably disposed towards supporting a desalination plant.

 

 2977  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the drug, Tysabri, was: (a) approved for use in the treatment of multiple sclerosis; and (b) registered for use in Australia in 2006.

(2) Has an application been made for Tysabri to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; if so, when.