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Notice given 7 October 2003

619  Senator Allison: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that since the Government’s announcement that it would introduce an excise on alternative fuels commencing 2008, the effect on the LPG industry has been to:

(i) during the week beginning 28 September 2003, force Australia’s largest manufacturer and supplier of automotive LPG tanks and accessories for factory fitted gas only and dual fuel motor vehicles and after-market dual fuel installations - APA Manufacturing Pty Ltd - into voluntary administration,

(ii) put 75 Victorian jobs at APA Manufacturing under threat, with an estimated 200 - 300 direct flow-on jobs also threatened,

(iii) make unlikely any sale of APA Manufacturing as a going concern, and

(iv) reduce demand for LPG-only vehicles by approximately 50 per cent, largely because of fleet buyer concerns about the effect of resale values of excise imposition;

(b) notes that:

(i) the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) wrote to the industry in November 2002, stating that the Government had no intention of imposing an excise on LPG,

(ii) Australia has the second highest number of LPG vehicles in the world despite the price differential between LPG and petrol being the second smallest in the world, and

(iii) LPG use in transport currently reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than 840 000 tonnes a year and avoids the need to import around 13 million barrels of oil a year; and

(c) urges the Government to restore certainty to the sector by designing a tax system which:

(i) recognises the environmental benefits of LPG, and

(ii) gives incentive to consumers to adopt LPG as a transport fuel.

Notice of motion altered on 8 October 2003 pursuant to standing order 77.

624  Senator Stott Despoja: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the extensive history of violence directed towards human rights defenders in Colombia,

(ii) that Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibits violence against civilians in the context of armed conflict that occurs within the borders of a sovereign state and is not of an international character, and

(iii) recognises the importance of human rights work and views with regret any implication that human right s is connected with terrorism;

(b) welcomes:

(i) the Colombian Ministry of Defense Directive 09 of 8 July 2003, obliging the State Security Forces to protect the work of human rights organisations, and

(ii) the Presidential Directive 07 of 9 September 1999, requiring all government officials to refrain from questioning the legitimacy of human rights organisations or making statements that discredit, persecute, or incite persecution of such organizations;

(c) expresses its concern for the safety of human rights defenders in Colombia following recent statements by President Álvaro Uribe Velez, who, in a speech on 8 September 2003, described human rights organisations as ‘politickers at the service of terrorism’ and ‘terrorist agents and cowards who hide their political ideas behind human rights’;

(d) notes:

(i) the important role performed by international human rights organisations in Colombia and the positive contribution made by international observers, including the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Peace Brigades International, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and

(ii) with concern the continuing allegations of collusion between the Colombian military and paramilitary groups and that impunity continues to be a serious problem within Colombia; and

(e) expresses its hope that the Colombian Government will take steps to make clear its commitment to human rights, and to reduce the harassment suffered by human rights defenders and organisations in Colombia.

625  Senator Brown: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the continuing horror of the Cormo Express ’ passage to the Middle East which has resulted in the death of at least 8 per cent of its cargo of 53 000 sheep; and

(b) calls on the Government to immediately suspend the live sheep and cattle trade from Australia.

627  Senator Brown: To move—That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Science, no later than 5 pm on Monday, 13 October 2003, the following documents:

(a) the undated work in progress working paper containing a preliminary example of modelling based on unpublished data provided to Rio Tinto Technology by Roam Consulting, as identified in the response to question on notice no. 1374 (Senate Hansard , 15 September 2003, p. 14466);

(b) all working documents of the independent working group which operated in 2002 to produce a report for the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council on ‘Beyond Kyoto: Innovation and Adaptation’ as identified in the response to question on notice no. 1374; and

(c) correspondence and records of meetings between employees or representatives of Rio Tinto and the Minister for Science, his department or the Office of the Chief Scientist from 1 January 2002 to the present relating to: (a) Dr David Cain’s participation in the Working Group which produced ‘Beyond Kyoto: Innovation and Adaptation’; and (b) the provision by Rio Tinto of data, modelling or other information for use by the Working Group or the Chief Scientist.