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Thursday, 19 June 2008
Page: 2887

Senator CHRIS EVANS (Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) (3:01 PM) —Yesterday, Senator Bartlett asked me a question regarding nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and Senator Sandy Macdonald asked me a question on Zimbabwe. I seek leave to incorporate two answers in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The answers read as follows—

Senator Bartlett—Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament—Answer

The Government is engaging in consultations with other countries and others about the International Commission on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, including its precise mandate, membership, structure and program of work. The Secretariat and support requirements for the Commission will reflect those functions. An announcement on the formal establishment of the Commission will be made once these processes are completed.

The Commission will have as its objective the strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. The Commission will be independent and it would be inappropriate to prejudge its findings.

The Government’s policy is to supply uranium only to those countries that are party to the NPT and with which Australia has a bilateral safeguards agreement. This is an Australian Government policy principle that is not directed specifically at India.

Senator Bartlett—Zimbabwe—Answer

Stephen Smith, Minister for Foreign Affairs, has repeatedly stated in public Australia’s willingness to send election observers to Zimbabwe if asked. Australia has not been invited to send an election observer delegation to the Zimbabwe Presidential run-off election on 27 June.

The Mugabe regime has publicly stated that Zimbabwe would not accept observers from countries that have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. Australia has implemented targeted sanctions against the Government of Zimbabwe and its close supporters.