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Notice given 29 March 2007

3091  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) (a) Can separate figures be provided, for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and Defence staff, which detail the number of personnel that have been posted overseas for: (i) less than 6 months, and (ii) more than 6 months; and (b) which locations have these staff been posted to and for what purposes.

(2) (a) For each location referred to: (i) what is the estimated cost, for each of the financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08, for supporting each of these postings, including service charges from other agencies and costs of locally engaged staff, and (ii) how many staff are locally engaged; and what security procedures apply to their selection.

(3) (a) Can separate figures be provided, for ADF personnel and administrative staff, by rank and location, that detail the number of personnel currently seconded or attached to forces of other nations; and (b) of these personnel, how many are deployed as part of military activity outside the homeland of these forces.

(4) How many personnel of other nations are currently seconded to the ADF, by nationality.

3093  Senator Stott Despoja: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—

(1) Given that the current bilateral agreement for prisoner transfers between Australia and the United States of America (US) relates to the former and not the current military commission process, when, if at all, does the Australian Government propose to enter into a bilateral agreement for the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

 

 (2) How will any bilateral agreement entered into with the US for the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay be enforced by Australian law.

(3) Is there a proposal to amend the International Transfer of Prisoners Act 1997 or promulgate new regulations to cover the situation of Mr David Hicks where there is no mirror offence in Australian law.

(4) Will the text of any agreement entered into with the US be incorporated into the Act or enabling regulations.

(5) Will the agreement be tabled and referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances or the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties for scrutiny.

(6) Can the Attorney-General confirm that, in the agreement, important terms relating to prisoner transfers, such as visitation rights, recognition of time served, and pardon (prerogative writs) will be enshrined in the implementing Australian law.

(7) Given that the constitutionality of the current military commission process has been appealed to the US Supreme Court, if the Court decides that the military commission process is unconstitutional and, therefore, any sentences produced by it are null and void: (a) if Mr Hicks is transferred to Australia to serve his sentence, will he still have to serve the sentence in Australia; and (b) will Mr Hicks be entitled to compensation.

(8) Given: (a) that under the International Transfer of Prisoners Act there is no right of appeal in Australia and; (b) the Attorney-General’s statement on 28 March 2007 that there will be no commutation or pardon of Mr Hicks’ sentence; what, if any, administrative law rights will be available to Mr Hicks if he is transferred to South Australia to serve his sentence as a detainee of the Commonwealth.

(9) Given that Mr Hicks has never undergone an independent mental health assessment, is the Government prepared to accept the US military commission’s findings in respect of Mr Hicks’ voluntariness, or otherwise, to enter into a plea bargain and consent to a prison transfer.

(10) Given that rule 910 of the Manual for Military Commissions requires a military judge to ensure that any plea entered into is voluntary, what, if any, attempts has the Australian Government made to ensure that an independent psychiatric assessment of Mr Hicks is completed, as provided for under rule 706.

(11) What effect, if any, will the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 have on Mr Hicks.

3094  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) With reference to the description of the activities of the Coordination and Public Affairs Division (CPA) on page 33 of the department’s annual report for 2005-06, how many staff were dedicated, in whole or in part, to the management of the: (a) Kovco Board of Inquiry; and (b) the Sea King Board of Inquiry.

(2) (a) What was the total cost to the CPA of each of the inquiries identified in (1); and (b) what were the costs of: (i) members’ fees, (ii) members’ travel and support, (iii) witnesses’ expenses, (iv) counsel, (v) transcripts, and (vi) staff support from the CPA.

 

 (3) With reference to each of the Boards of Inquiry identified in (1): (a) what public relations support was provided; (b) what was the cost of the support, in each case, (c) how many media releases were drafted for: (i) the Minister, and (ii) the Board; (d) how many media inquiries were logged; and (e) how many briefs were prepared and provided to the Minister’s office.

(4) With reference to the Kovco matter not involving the Board of Inquiry (BoI): (a) what travel was undertaken by staff of the CPA; (b) on how many occasions was contact made with Private Kovco’s family with respect to his death, the return of his body, and funeral arrangements; (c) what arrangements were discussed with the organisers of the 2006 ANZAC Day commemoration in Victoria; (d) how much was spent for transport and other support, not associated with the BoI, of Private Kovco’s family; and (e) what was the cost of the state funeral accorded to Private Kovco.

(5) (a) How many journalists are employed by the CPA; and (b) at what annual cost are they employed, including salary and all other costs, such as accommodation, travel and support.

(6) (a) In the 2006-07 financial year to date, how many media releases have been drafted in the CPA for the: (i) Minister; (ii) Minister Assisting, and (iii) Parliamentary Secretary; and (b) approximately how many staff are engaged in the production of these media releases.

(7) Of the 49.5 hours of vision referred to as having been prepared in the 2005-06 financial year, how many hours included images of the Minister.

(8) (a) In the 2006-07 financial year to date: (i) which non-Defence journalists have travelled to operational areas, (ii) which media establishments are these journalists from, and (iii) to which operational areas have they travelled; (b) what was the cost of each trip to the department and the Australian Defence Force (ADF); and (c) how many of these journalists, or journalists sponsored by other agencies, were supported by the department and the ADF, in whole or in part, during that travel.

(9) Is there a current hospitality funding allocation to the CPA or are funds made available from other sources; if so: (a) how much has been spent; (b) on whom has it been spent; and (c) on what date, and for what purpose.

(10) For the financial year 2006-07 to date, what is the current internal allocation within the CPA for staff travel and accommodation.

(11) (a) How many training courses or ad hoc training sessions have been delivered to senior staff attending estimates and other parliamentary committees; (b) who prepares and delivers these courses; and (c) what evaluation of these courses has been conducted to date.

(12) What is the current estimated cost of maintaining the Defence web page.