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Notice given 23 January 2006

1555  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to the granting of a state funeral:

(1) What are the criteria for awarding a state funeral or memorial service.

(2) What was the process, if any, that led to the assessment that Mr Kerry Packer met these criteria.


 (3) What is the estimated cost of the state service for Mr Packer.

1556  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) Over the past 5 years, how much money have Australian companies spent on ‘facilitation’ payments.

(2)  What is the estimated cost to Australian taxpayers of providing tax deductibility for ‘facilitation’ payments.

(3) Following the concerns relating to Australia’s laws raised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will the Treasurer commit to introducing laws banning the tax deductibility of ‘facilitation’ payments in the next parliamentary sitting period.

(4) Will the Treasurer adopt the OECD’s recommendation and push for stronger whistleblower protection laws to protect Australian public servants based overseas who detect instances of bribery.

1557  Senator Murray: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—With reference to the recent and first Western Australian cyclone of the season, Cyclone Clare, and with reference to any current concerns with potential targeted terror attacks in key economic and strategic areas:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the north-west shelf of Western Australia is a key economic and strategic area, responsible for approximately 26 per cent of Australia’s exports by value.

(2) (a) Can the Minister confirm that: (i) the one Telstra Exchange services a large area including Port Hedland, Karratha and Dampier, and (ii) that there are no second-line or back-up systems; and (b) in view of the known cyclone dangers and terror concerns, what back-up or contingency is available or planned.

(3) (a) Can the Minister confirm that the central Telstra exchange servicing that area incurred a serious roof leak and then burnt down so that for at least 3 days of Cyclone Clare there was no fixed line or mobile telephone service and only satellite phone services; (b) was the state of the roof known in advance; and (c) can details be provided.

(4) Can the Minister confirm that the community lost Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio service as well during Cyclone Clare and why.

(5) What effects on: (a) security; (b) emergency service coordination; and (c) community information services, did these events have during the period of Cyclone Clare.

(6) (a) Can details be provided of when the Telstra exchange was last assessed for: (i) upgrade, (ii) maintenance, and (iii) security; (b) by whom; and (c) with what consequence.

(7) (a) Can the Minister confirm that Telstra is responsible for the back-up systems for the ABC radio station in Karratha; (b) can details be provided of when the ABC facilities in north-west Western Australia in Karratha were last assessed for: (i) upgrade, (ii) maintenance, and (iii) security; (c) by whom; and (d) with what consequence.

(8) Can the Minister confirm that the ABC Karratha back-up lead-acid batteries were not serviced by Telstra as they should have been under the sub-contract, and that they were flat, resulting in the ABC Karratha losing its ability to provide emergency community service during Cyclone Clare.


 1559  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to a visit to Australia by Bill Lowther, a non-executive director of British Nuclear Fuels Limited: Did the Prime Minister, or anyone from the Prime Minister’s office, meet with Bill Lowther; if so: (a) what was the nature of the meeting or meetings; (b) who attended any such meeting or meetings; and (c) when did any such meetings occur.