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Notice given 22 February 2007

3018  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Does the Minister consider the current labelling requirements on palm oil products to be satisfactory.

(2) Does the Minister agree that palm oil, though technically a vegetable oil, should be identified as palm oil, given that it is a saturated fat; if not, why not.

(3) Has the Government investigated the extent to which palm oil is being used in processed food; if so, does it consider its use a health risk.

3020  Senator Bartlett: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources—

(1) Does the department provide funding to non-government organisations whose objectives or activities include the culling of either native or introduced animals living in the wild; if so, can details be provided of the: (a) names of the organisations; (b) amount of funding; and (c) names of the funding programs.

(2) Do any of these organisations qualify for funding either primarily or partially on the basis that their objectives or activities include the killing of animals (for example, pest control); if so, which organisations receive these moneys: (a) primarily; or (b) partially, on this basis.

(3) What steps does the department take, prior to paying these moneys, to ensure that any killing of animals undertaken will be: (a) conducted humanely; and (b) economically cost effective, (for example, if moneys are paid to an organisation to assist it with the killing of cane toads, what steps are taken to ensure that: (i) the toads are killed as quickly and painlessly as possible, and (ii) the killing of the cane toads will have a beneficial effect in terms of reducing the damage perceived to be caused by the toads).

(4) Does the department provide these organisations with any guidelines and/or advice on the most humane killing techniques and methods for each particular species; if so: (a) who prepares these guidelines and/or advice; (b) on what information and expert advice is it based; and (c) in what form are the guidelines and/or advice provided.

(5) Does the department assess the effectiveness of these organisation’s activities in terms of addressing the perceived problem.

(6) What steps does the Government take, after paying these moneys, to ensure that: (a) any killing of animals undertaken was: (i) conducted humanely, and (ii) justifiable in terms of its benefits to the Australian public; and (b) such moneys are not paid again to the same organisation for the same purpose, if any killing of animals: (i) was undertaken inhumanely, or (ii) has resulted in no discernable benefit to the Australian public.

3021  Senator Stott Despoja: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—

(1) Has the Government of the United States (US) of America applied to the Attorney-General for permission to bring firearms into Australia during the period of Vice President Cheney’s visit to Australia, as called for under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.

(2) (a) What legislation in New South Wales addresses the carriage of firearms by foreign security personnel; (b) under what circumstances would foreign security personnel be permitted to carry firearms, in New South Wales; and (c) what types of firearms would they be allowed to carry.

(3) Given that Guideline 14.6 of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Protocol Guidelines, pertaining to security personnel for foreign dignitaries, does not appear to allow any exceptions to its determination that: ‘It is a long-standing policy of the Australian Government that foreign security personnel accompanying foreign dignitaries on visits to Australia are not permitted to carry firearms’, can the Government confirm whether in fact there are any exceptions allowed under this Guideline.

(4) Can the Government reassure the Australian people that US security personnel accompanying Vice President Cheney on his visit to Australia will not be permitted to carry firearms while performing their duties, in accordance with DFAT Protocol Guideline 14.6.

3022  Senator Stott Despoja: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—

(1) Did the Federal Government request that the Government of New South Wales alter firearms regulations to allow security personnel for United States (US) Vice President Cheney to carry firearms while in Australia; if so: (a) what changes were made to New South Wales regulations; and (b) what type of firearms will US security personnel be allowed to carry.

(2) On what basis does the Federal Government consider it acceptable to alter longstanding policy against foreign security personnel carrying firearms when, as detailed in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Protocol Guidelines, Australia has security capabilities of a ‘…very high standard’ and a ‘...low level of threat’.

(3) Will the Federal Government now consider allowing foreign security personnel guarding prominent dignitaries from other countries to carry firearms in Australia.