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Notice given 3 April 2008

Senator Stott Despoja: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *390-*391)—

(1) Is the Government engaged in the Open-ended Working Group on an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).

(2) What is the Government’s position in relation to the protocol.

(3) If the protocol is adopted, does the Government intend to ratify it.

(4) Will the Government recognise the competence of the committee to develop appropriate rules of procedure to receive communications and launch inquiries rather than elaborating these principles in the text of the protocol.


 (5) Will the Government support provisions in the protocol which grant standing to non-government organisations to make submissions or file communications on behalf of individuals.

(6) Will the Government support an ‘opt in’ approach to the protocol, whereby countries ratifying the protocol can be selective as to which rights are available for adjudication by the committee, or does the Government prefer an approach that recognises the universality and interdependence of all human rights by making all rights protected by ICESCR justiciable under the protocol.

(7) Does the Government support the concept of a ‘margin of discretion’ as a relevant consideration in relation to the examination of a communication under the protocol.

*390 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

*391  Minister representing the Attorney-General

*392†  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs—With reference to the report, Operation of the prohibition on interactive gambling advertisements , dated in August 2007:

(1) What was the outcome of the Australian Federal Police investigation following the complaint of 5 May 2006.

(2) Since that time, what complaints have been received and what action has been taken.

*393  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—With reference to inspections of occupational health and safety (OHS) in Commonwealth workplaces and workers covered under Commonwealth agreements:

(1) For each of the financial years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06, by state and territory, what was the number of OHS: (a) inspections; (b) investigations; (c) fines; and (d) prosecutions.

(2) What administrative arrangements are currently in place for OHS regulation in Commonwealth workplaces and workers covered under Commonwealth agreements.

*394†  Senator Siewert: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—Can the Minister provide, for each year since 1990, by state and territory, the number of grocery stores and supermarkets in Australia.