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Notice given 25 June 2012

1896  Senator Cash: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Disability Reform—

(1) What action has the Government taken and what is the Government currently doing to address its commitment to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, especially regarding women with disabilities.

(2) Is data from the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline currently disaggregated by gender; if not, why not.

(3) Will the Government consider disaggregating data by gender to enable a better understanding and analysis of the figures on violence against disabled women; if so, when will this occur; if not, why not.

(4) What progress has been made on the high-priority action of developing a national response to auditing crisis accommodation services for accessibility for women with disabilities, one of the 20 high-priority actions identified by the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children in the report Time for Action: The National Council’s Plan for Australia to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, 2009-2021 .

(5) What progress has been made in regard to the initiatives listed in the fact sheet ‘Women with disability and the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children’, found at http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/women/pubs/violence/np_time_for_action/info_sheets/Documents/info_sheet_disability.pdf .

1897  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry— 

(1) Given that the shark product data collected by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) is of a ‘greater resolution’ than that held by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), why is ABS data publically available yet AQIS will not publically release shark product export data for the period 2008 to 2011.

(2) Can a list be provided detailing the total quantity of shark fin exported under the trade codes FU0316 (shark fin) and FU0180 (dried shark fin), listed separately, for the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, including:

(a) the total quantity, by weight, for each export code;

(b) each Australian port from which the shark fin was exported; and

(c) the destination of the export.

(3) Can a list be provided detailing the total quantity of shark product exported under the trade codes FC0560, FF0520, FF0957, FF1226, FF1350, FF1702, FU0291, FU0299, FU0313, FU0388, FU0389, FU0414, FF0316 and FU0180, listed separately, for the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, including:

(a) the total quantity, by weight, for each export code;

(b) each Australian port from which the shark fin was exported; and

(c) the destination of the export.

 

 (4) For the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, does the total quantity, by weight, of shark products exported under each of the above trade codes correspond with reported catches from Commonwealth, state and territory fisheries and reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

(5) Following the TRAFFIC review of South African shark imports and a subsequent letter from TRAFFIC to the former Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mr Peter McGauran, in 2007, what measures has the Government taken to improve the quality of shark import and export data.

(6) What action has the Government taken to ensure imports of seafood into Australia are ‘responsible’, through being consistent with all elements of the FAO Technical Guidelines for the Responsible Fish Trade.

(7) Will the Government consider adopting a risk assessment method consistent with that being developed by TRAFFIC for the United Kingdom Joint Nature Conservation Committee as a way of identifying species that are not consistent with responsible fish trade.

(8) Will the Government consider adopting a similar regulation to that adopted by the European Union to limit the access of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) derived fisheries products into the Australian marketplace, by requiring the validation of all exports to Australia by Flag States that the products have been caught legally.

(9) Given that under the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and, in  particular, clause 9ZO (Prohibited ways of processing fish) of the Regulations made under section 14 of the Act, the caudal lobe and the dorsal, pectoral or caudal fins of sharks of the class Chondrichthyes may be removed from the carcass before the fish is landed and received by a fish receiver permit holder, a ban that enables species identification on landing and in turn monitoring that catches are within prescribed limits, protected species monitoring and compliance with legal size limits, for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012:

(a) to what extent has the Australian Fisheries Management Authority investigated compliance with this measure;

(b) how many shark landings (in-port), at sea and fish receiver inspections have been observed;

(c) how many compliance breaches were recorded and have any offenders been successfully prosecuted;

(d) if no compliance monitoring has taken place, why not; and

(e) if illegal shark finning activity has been recorded, what quantity of shark and shark fin, by weight, was apprehended.

(10) For the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012:

(a) how many foreign fishing vessels have been observed and apprehended fishing in the Australian Fishing Zone;

(b) how many of these vessels were in possession of shark or shark fin;

(c) what was the total quantity, by weight, of shark and shark fin taken illegally by foreign fishing vessels; and

(d) what was the composition (species) of the illegal take of sharks.

 

 (11) Given that the 2007 Australian Institute of Criminology report, A national study of crime in the Australian fishing industry, identified evidence of illegal activity in obtaining shark fins and noted the high value of fins as a driver of illegal activity, stating: ‘in the Northern Territory, stakeholders considered that large scale and well-organised shark finning had developed in northern Australia, with family groups and companies involved’:

(a) what measures has the Government taken to address the issue since the publication of the report;

(b) what evidence is there that the measures have been successful; and

(c) if no action has been taken, why not.

1898  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs— 

(1) Given that, in a speech made to the Association of International Life Offices, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi asked countries to prevent their companies from partnering with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise due to the lack of transparency and accountability, will the Government take steps to stop Australian companies investing in Burma’s oil and gas industry.

(2) Will the Government apply internationally recognised standards such as the International Monetary Fund’s Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency in its trade with Burma, and require Australian companies to be subject to the code including the publication of accounts.

1899  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—Will the Minister intervene in the modern awards review by Fair Work Australia and seek a new award for ‘Green Jobs’ or ‘Green Collar Workers’; if not: (a) why not; and (b) which award will apply to these workers.

1900  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—Can a list be provided detailing on how many occasions costs have been awarded by Fair Work Australia, including for each: (a) the reason why costs were awarded; and (b) whether they were awarded to the: (i) applicant or defendant; and (ii) employer or employee.

1901  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—Can a list be provided detailing all payments and grants made to unions or employee organisations, listed per year since 1 January 2008.

1902  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister for Human Services—How many recipients of Clean Energy Future Household Assistance Package payments have been found to be: (a) deceased; (b) living outside Australia; and (c) not eligible for such a payment.

1903  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research—Given that the Australian National University Student Union has used funds acquired under compulsory student unionism to purchase jelly beans for a free giveaway:

(1) Is the Government’s reintroduction of compulsory student unionism being implemented as intended.

(2) Did the Government envisage the spending of funds on jelly beans.

 

 (3) Does the Government consider this an appropriate use of funds acquired in accordance with compulsory student unionism.

1904  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—Given that the Minister’s office rewrote the terms of reference for the review of the Fair Work Act 2009 , removing references to flexibility and the impact on ‘red tape’, why did the Government: (a) rewrite the terms of reference; and (b) ignore the Department of Finance and Deregulation’s recommendation to include ‘productivity’.

1905  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—Does the Government support the findings of Fair Work Australia’s report into the Health Services Union.

1906  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the Government’s Key Performance Indicator regarding the Fair Work Act 2009 level of industrial action: Does the Minister still consider a doubling in the working days lost over the past year, from 117 500 to 257 600, as ‘steady’.

1907  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the Incoming Minister brief that was released following a question on notice, which contained a Hot Issue brief on the implementation of Government policy in line with changes to the Labor Party policy platform, what changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 are being pursued by the Government outside the current review process.

1908  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—

(1) Why did the Minister refuse to meet with the Secretary of the Health Services Union.

(2) Are there any other union executives with whom the Minister has refused to meet.

1909  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—

(1) Why did the Minister decide to intervene in the Health Services Union.

(2) When was advice first sought to do so.

(3) Which stakeholders did the Minister liaise with prior to making the decision.

1910  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1570 (Senate Hansard , 8 May 2012, p. 2802), which states ‘as the investigations are completely independent of the Government, the Government will consider the findings of the KPMG review before deciding whether to comment publicly on this matter’:

(1) Given this comment, what prompted the Minister’s announcement of changes to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 .

(2) Will the Government make any further changes following the KPMG report.

 

 1911  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the statement made during question time on 19 March 2012, that the Minister would ‘draw it [the Fair Work Australia report into the Health Services Union] to the attention of the ATO [Australian Taxation Office]’:

(1) Was the report referred to the ATO; if not, why not.

(2) Did the Minister refer the report to any other agency.

1912  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the unanswered questions on notice nos 1558, 1761, 1809 and 1814:

(1) Why does each question on notice remain unanswered.

(2) Why does the Minister take longer than 30 days to respond to questions on notice.

1913  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the grounding of the Qantas fleet in October 2011, was the Minister privy to the teleconference of ministers that determined the Government’s action; if so, who else was on the teleconference.

1914  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—Has the Minister received a copy of the Fair Work Act Review; if so, is the Minister confident that it will satisfy the requirements of an Office of Best Practice Regulation post-implementation review.

1915  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the appointment of Mr Bernie Riordan to Fair Work Australia (FWA):

(1) With whom did the Minister or the Minister’s office discuss the issue of the civil case outstanding against Mr Riordan.

(2) When was the Minister made aware that the case had settled.

(3) Was there any delay on the announcement of the appointments to FWA as a result of the outstanding case.

1916  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the Government’s amendment to the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2012: (a) who was consulted prior to the amendment being circulated; and (b) which stakeholders supported the amendment.

1917  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—Given that there have been a number of media reports of ambit claims, with union executives in the university sector seeking a 27 per cent pay increase; in addition, there have been claims for hangars, paid shower time and lockers, are such claims a reflection that the Fair Work Act 2009 is not operating as intended.

1918  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the decision of Senior Deputy President (SDP) Richards of Fair Work Australia, in the case CFMEU v. Brookfield Multiplex Australasia , in which SDP Richards found it was not permissible to include a contractors clause in an enterprise agreement, does the Government agree with the decision.

 

 1919  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the Fair Work Australia case involving JJ Richards & Sons: (a) does the Government intend on making amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 to reflect what was promised during the lead up to the 2007 Federal Election; or (b) does the Government agree with the decision of the Federal Court of Australia, and subsequently support the precedent that union bosses can take strike action without the majority support of workers and without having commenced good faith negotiations.

1920  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—In regard to Individual Flexibility Agreements (IFAs), does the Minister stand by the former Minister’s comments that the 28-day-rule is an ‘impediment to the use of IFAs’.

1921  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—In regard to the Minister’s address to the ACTU Congress on 18 June 2012, which made reference to a list that the Government had ‘ticked off’, can details be provided of what else on this list the Government plans on legislating.

1922  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—

(1) Is the Minister aware of the Howe Inquiry.

(2) Given that the report based many of its findings on the Race to the Bottom: Sham Contracting in Australia’s Construction Industry report released by CFMEU Construction and General, which was subsequently discredited by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) review into sham contracting, does the Minister agree with the ABCC’s findings or with the Australian Council of Trade Unions report.

1923  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to the promise made by the Treasurer in the 2011-12 Federal Budget, that the Government would create half a million jobs: (a) how many jobs have been created; and (b) how many will be created.

1924  Senator Abetz: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—In regard to the Fair Work Australia (FWA) investigation into the Health Services Union and the Government’s response:

(1) What is the policy justification for allowing FWA to wholly outsource inquiries that it has been asked to conduct.

(2) Does the Minister agree that FWA cannot cooperate with police.

(3) With reference to a letter from a Detective Sergeant of the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad, which stated that FWA’s advice was based on ‘misconceived understanding’, does the Minister believe FWA can cooperate with police; if not, why not.

1925  Senator Whish-Wilson: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to media reports that the company Seafish Tasmania Pty Ltd (Seafish) is seeking to bring the ‘super trawler’ Margaris to Tasmania, to be docked at Devonport in order to fish in the Commonwealth Small Pelagic Fishery:

(1) Has the Commonwealth recently increased the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for this fishery; if so, when and by how much.

(2) What data did the Commonwealth rely upon to increase the quota and when was this data last updated.

 

 (3) Is the data reviewed according to the precautionary principle before there are any alterations in the TAC.

(4) Have there been any written or verbal discussions between the Tasmanian and Commonwealth governments regarding this company, its trawler proposal and the TAC in the fishery.

(5) Have there been any discussions between Seafish and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) regarding the trawler proposal or the TAC; if so, has the Minister been involved in or informed of these discussions.

(6) Have Seafish or AFMA consulted with commercial or recreational fishers in Tasmania about the trawler proposal; if so, what was the outcome.

(7) Has modelling been done on the impact of the trawler on Tasmanian fisheries.