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Notice given 31 August 2012

2124  Senator Birmingham: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence ( transferred to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 13 September 2012 )—With reference to the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010 and the Convention on Cluster Munitions:

(1) What form will the ‘public statement’ or ‘non-legislative assurances’ take, to be made by the Government at the time of Australia’s ratification of the convention.

(2) Is there a process under the convention enabling such statements.

2131  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—Given that: (a) in 2010, a team of scientists led by noted biologist Dr John Woinarski reported a 71 per cent decline in small mammal numbers in Kakadu National Park for the period between 1996 and 2007, in addition to recording declines among other animal groups; (b) possible causes have been discussed by Dr Woinarski in the peer reviewed scientific journal Wildlife Research , including the spread of cane toads across Northern Australia, unsuitable fire regimes and feral cats; and (c) Dr Woinarski and his team have called for an urgent management response in Kakadu National Park, notably adaptive management trials and targeted research on the population dynamics of the rare and unique fauna:

(1) Is the Minister aware of this paper.

(2) Can an outline be provided of the department’s response to this crisis.

(3) Apart from ongoing monitoring, what action is being taken to determine the possible causes of this wildlife decline.

(4) Are fire proof exclosures, free of cats and toads, being set up.

(5) Is the department establishing ‘extinction-proof’ captive colonies of endemic and threatened species inside and/or outside the Kakadu National Park.

(6) What action is being taken by qualified biologists to identify the status of the endemic and threatened animals of Kakadu National Park before they actually become extinct.