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Notice given 3 October 2012

2231  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the freedom of information papers FOI Reference No: 11/4734, released on 28 May 2012:

(1) In regard to the recognition of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic on page 92, who does the Australian Government recognise as exercising state sovereignty in the area east and inland of the berm which divides Western Sahara.

(2) In regard to the recognition of the Polisario Front in the document entitled Western Sahara: Policy as ‘an important representative body’, and the statement that ‘it would be hard to preclude the emergence of other Western Sahara voices as the situation evolves’, has the Government been approached by any other emerging Western Saharan voices claiming to represent the interests of the Saharawi People.

(3) Given that, prior to 1975, the International Court of Justice advised that Morocco’s claimed legal ties to Western Sahara were not sovereign ties to that territory, does Australia consider that Morocco’s sovereign claims to Western Sahara are more legitimate now than when examined by the International Court of Justice.

(4) If the Government accepts the International Court of Justice decision, that Western Sahara was not terra nullius and that Morocco’s legal ties were insufficient to create any sovereign interest in the territory, why does Government policy attach equal importance/legitimacy to Morocco’s continuing sovereign claim to rule Western Sahara by characterising the issue of sovereignty over Western Sahara as a conflict with two sides.

(5) Does the Government take the view that the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion was ambiguous in regard to Morocco’s claims to sovereignty over Western Sahara.

(6) Does Morocco’s 36 year occupation of Western Sahara create greater sovereign interest in the natural resources of Western Sahara, allowing it to legally exploit those resources in partnership with Australian companies, despite having no legally recognised sovereign ties to the territory prior to invasion and annexation.

(7) In regard to the United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations (UNLOC) (pp. 171-172, 303, 308-309):

(a) is the Government aware that Standards Australia has considered and rejected the UNLOC code as an Australian standard and advises that Australians needing to state country locations in official documents must rely on their own enquiries and legal advice as to the actual geographical location of any particular city or the validity of sovereign claims to resources;

(b) does the Government’s official endorsement of the misleading UNLOC code contradict its policy not to advise importers in regard to the legal implications of importing Western Saharan goods; and

(c) can a list be provided of the number and type of goods imported from the occupied territory of Western Sahara that have declared Western Sahara as the country of origin in importation documents.

(8) In regard to fishing and information referred to at http://www.austrade.gov.au/Morocco-profile/default.aspx , and given that trade figures provided for 2007 state ‘prepared seafood’ was imported from Morocco, are these products still being imported and do they come from Western Saharan waters.

(9) In regard to the letter from the Government of Morocco dated 13 February 2008, requesting support for its autonomy plan, what was the Australian Government’s response.

(10) Does the Government support the Moroccan autonomy plan as the preferred solution to the conflict over self-determination in Western Sahara.

(11) Will the Government revise its commercial and military regulations and guidelines so as to make any trade with Morocco conditional upon restoring human rights.

Senator Bernardi: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 2232-2279)—In regard to each department and agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and each Commonwealth authority under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 within the Minister’s portfolio:

(1) Is information collected from stakeholders and the broader community; if so: (a) what forms or other methods are used to collect information; (b) how many of these forms are: (i) paper-based, (ii) electronic-based; and (iii) both; (c) do these forms request an estimate of the time taken to complete; if not, why not; and (d) is data collected on how long it takes to complete each form; if so, can this data be provided.

(2) For each proposed regulatory initiative since August 2010: (a) how many stakeholder consultations have been conducted; and (b) have there been any complaints from stakeholders about the consultation process; if so, from whom.

2232 Minister representing the Prime Minister

2233 Minister representing the Treasurer

2248 Minister representing the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth

2256 Minister representing the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation ( transferred to the Minister representing the Treasurer on 5 October 2012 )

2257 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth on 14 January 2013 )

2264 Minister representing the Minister for Early Childhood and Childcare ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth on 14 January 2013 )

2265 Minister representing the Minister for Employment Participation ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth on 14 January 2013 )

2276 Minister representing the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development ( transferred to the Minister representing the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth on 14 January 2013 )

2277 Minister representing the Assistant Treasurer ( transferred to the Minister representing the Treasurer on 5 October 2012 )