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Notice given 5 May 2008

433  Senator Ellison: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—

(1) How many weekly, fortnightly and monthly reports are prepared by departmental officials for: (a) the Minister; (b) the Secretary of the department; and (c) the Deputy Secretaries of the department.

(2) What is the title of each of the reports in (1)(a), (b) and (c).

434  Senator Ellison: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship—

(1) For each year since 2000, how many people have been found to be working illegally in Australia, and in each case: (a) what was their nationality; and (b) in which state were they found to be working.

(2) For each month since July 2007, how many people have been found to be working illegally in Australia, and in each case: (a) what was their nationality; and (b) in which state were they found to be working.

435  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Is the Minister aware of the recently-released global report on agriculture (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, www.agassessment.org) which indicates that support for agro-ecological approaches is essential for the world to continue to be able to feed the world and to optimise sustainability and productivity.

(2) Is the Minister aware of the 2007 report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization which concluded that systems-based agro-ecological approaches could improve ecological sustainability, increase farming productivity, minimise fertiliser costs and increase resilience of the agriculture sector to the environmental impacts of climate change.

(3) What action, if any, will the Government take in response to these reports.

(4) Will the innovation review address the question of agro-ecological innovation in Australia; if so, how.

(5) What were the reasons for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) rejecting funding support for two bids for an organic cooperative research centre.

(6) (a) What level and proportion of departmental appropriation revenue is allocated to agricultural research; (b) what level and proportion of this revenue is spent on farm-based research; and (c) of the departmental budget for farm-based research, what proportion is from external funding.

(7) (a) What level and proportion of CSIRO appropriation revenue is allocated to agricultural research; (b) what level and proportion of this revenue is spent on farm-based research; (c) of the CSIRO budget for farm-based research, what proportion is from external funding; (d) what level and proportion of the CSIRO Plant Industry’s appropriation revenue is spent on farm-based research; and (e) to what research is the remaining revenue allocated.

(8) What level and proportion of the farm-based research funding in (6)(b) and (7)(b) is allocated to studying agro-ecological systems (please provide both figures).

(9) What level and proportion of the farm-based research funding in (6)(b) and (7)(b) is allocated to comparing different farm management practices and their impact on the ecology (please provide both figures).

(10) What level and proportion of the farm-based research funding in (6)(b) and (7)(b) is allocated to long-term trials, comparing the impact of organic, biological and conventional farming systems on various indicators of sustainability (please provide both figures).

(11) What are the changes in budget allocation and expenditure for the areas of research referred to in paragraphs (8) to (10) over the past decade (please provide figures).

(12) What proportion of CSIRO’s collaborations with research and development (R&D) organisations include research areas referred to in paragraphs (8) to (10) (please provide figures).

(13) What plans are there to carry out long-term comparative field trials that identify how different farming practices, including organic, biological and conventional approaches, impact on the ecology that underpins sustainable farming.

(14) With reference to the statement by Mr TJ Higgins of the CSIRO on the Special Broadcasting Service’s Insight program on 22 April 2008 that CSIRO spends 2 per cent of its total research budget on genetically-modified (GM) related research and less than a tenth of this comes from multinational companies: (a) what is the total research budget for GM-related research; (b) what percentage of CSIRO’s appropriation revenue allocated to agricultural research is spent on GM-related research; (c) how is the rest allocated; (d) how is GM-related research defined; and (e) does the total research budget include money from research and development corporations or is it appropriation revenue.

(15) (a) What percentage of CSIRO’s appropriation revenue allocated to agricultural research is spent on laboratory-based biotechnologies; and (b) how is the rest allocated.

(16) Is it the case that CSIRO’s agriculture research is increasing laboratory-based work and decreasing on-farm research.

(17) Does the Minister consider on-farm research to have been neglected by the previous government, leaving the CSIRO without agro-ecological research insights and putting the ongoing sustainability of Australian agriculture at risk.

(18) What percentage of CSIRO Plant Industry’s appropriation revenue allocated to agricultural research is spent on laboratory-based biotechnologies; and (b) how is the rest allocated.

(19) What arrangements and plans, if any, does the Government and/or CSIRO have for intellectual property agreements and alliances with global agribusiness which control the path to market for agriculture-based products.

 

 (20) (a) What formal and informal arrangements does CSIRO currently have with global agribusiness that facilitates research in the area of biotechnology; and (b) can a list of these organisations and the arrangements be provided.

(21) What proportion of the Government’s $130 million initiative to help farmers adapt to climate change (Australia’s Farming Future Initiative) will be allocated to an examination of the possible contribution of organic and biological approaches to agriculture.

436  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs—

(1) Can the Minister explain whether advice provided to doctors and patients on the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA’s) frequently asked questions on access to unapproved drugs via the Special Access Scheme is inconsistent with Part 5, Clause 11(b) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the regulations).

(2) Since 1996, by year and drug, how many permits to import drugs in the ‘restricted goods’ category have been issued by the TGA (the date the amendment was made to the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 to include a ‘restricted goods’ category and make the importation of these drugs under the Special Access Scheme subject to the regulations).

(3) Of the permits issued and surrendered to the Australian Customs Service (ACS) when the consignment arrives in Australia, how many and which have complied with Part 5, Clause 11(b) of the regulations.

(4) Who is responsible for ensuring that the Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing and authorised persons in the TGA comply with Part 5, Clause 11(b) of the regulations.

(5) Does the ACS have any role in ensuring compliance with the regulations through an audit process, monitoring and reporting, given it is responsible for the administration of the regulations.

(6) Does the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ACS enforce compliance of the regulations with respect to Part 5, Clause 11(b) of the regulations; if so, how.

(7) Is the CEO of the ACS aware of any audits that have taken place on the TGA’s compliance with Part 5, Clause 11(b) of the regulations; if so, what were the dates of those audits and what were the results of the audits regarding compliance with Part 5, Clause 11(b) of the regulations.

(8) How many permits issued by the TGA were not subsequently surrendered to ACS.

(9) (a) How many of these cases included people who did not proceed with the importation following the issue of a permit due to the fact that the TGA has not complied with Part 5, Clause 11(b) of the regulations and they experienced difficulty in locating an overseas supplier as a result; and (b) of those people how many died before they could obtain information on overseas suppliers contact details and complete the importation process (see 2006 Estimates Hansard).