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NOTICES

Senator Ferguson: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) rural commodity prices are expected to increase in 1995

by up to 12 per cent,

(ii) surveys show that farm business profit would again be

negative for most rural industries over the 1993-94

financial year and the Australian Bureau of

Agricultural and Resource Economics predicts only

slightly better performance for the 1994-95 financial

year, and

(iii) 1995 will be the fifth successive year of farm business

losses; and

(b) calls on the Government to ensure equal educational

opportunities for all young Australians by ensuring that Austudy

benefits become available to all children from low income rural

families, regardless of their asset levels.

Senator Abetz: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate

congratulates the Tasmanian Attorney-General, the Honourable Ronald

Cornish MHA, for his strong and principled stance in:

(a) opposing the Federal Government's plan to override the laws of

the State of Tasmanian as determined by its

democratically-elected Parliament; and

(b) rejecting the United Nations (UN) findings in the Toonen case on

the basis that:

(i) the UN failed to apply the most basic rules of natural

justice,

(ii) the UN held its hearings in private,

(iii) the UN made its preliminary findings before the

Tasmanian Government could respond to the Toonen

submission which was a distortion of the truth,

(iv) the UN made blatantly incorrect findings, and

(v) the UN body which made the findings is undemocratic,

unelected and includes representatives from countries

such as Cuba.

Senator Coulter: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that 20 June 1994 marked the first anniversary of

Australia's ratification of the Convention on Biological

Diversity;

(b) expresses grave concern that, since ratification, threats to

Australia's biological diversity have not abated but have in

fact increased due in large part to the destruction of habitat

from the continued logging of old-growth forests and wilderness

areas and the large-scaleclearance of native vegetation,

particularly in New South Wales and Queensland;

(c) recognises that Reedy Marsh in Tasmania, habitat of rare and

threatened species, is just one of a large number of areas

across Australia threatened by destructive logging activity; and

(d) calls on the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories

(Senator Faulkner) to nominate native vegetation clearance as a

key threatening process under the Endangered Species Protection

Act 1992 and to ensure that areas of high conservation value are

excluded from the 1994 woodchip licences in accordance with the

moratorium clause of the national forest policy.

Senator Watson: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate

notes--

(a) that the Government appears to have overlooked the impact of the

fringe benefits tax (FBT) on revenue in the 1994-95 Budget

announcement enabling acquisition of shares by employees in the

Government-owned airline Qantas; and

(b) that, if implemented in the approved form, the acquisition of

shares proposal would result in an FBT liability of $20 million

which must inevitably reduce the budget asset sale value of

Qantas.

Senator Margetts: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) the week beginning 19 June 1994 is Refugee Week, which

is designed to raise awareness in the community of the

plight of the world's 20 million refugees,

(ii) the number of refugees has risen by 800 000 in the past

year due in part to crises in Bosnia, Rwanda and Yemen,

and

(iii) refugees are the product of economic, political and

personal insecurity caused by war, famine, poverty,

violence, ethnic strife and social and economic

inequality; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to maintain its existing

peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan and Cambodia, and to urge

the world community to strengthen peace-making activities in

countries which are currently not the centre of world attention

such as Angola, Somalia, Iraq and Kuwait in order to minimise

the plight of refugees.

Senator Baume: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) the Honourable Edward Obeid MLC, a New South Wales

right-wing factional colleague of the Prime Minister

(Mr Keating) and a "mate' of former Senator Richardson,

became, on 22 April 1994, a director of Jensay Pty Ltd,

Mr Keating's formerly half-owned member company of his

piggery group which was shown as the owner of the

group's Meek's Road, Marrickville property, with the

company's fixed and floating Commonwealth Bank charge

over its assets being discharged on 29 April 1994,

(ii) on 22 April 1994, Mr Obeid also became a director of a

new company, Olympia Group Pty Ltd, over whose assets

Macquarie Bank Ltd has a fixed and floating charge

dated 29 April 1994, coincidental with the technically

bankrupt Keating piggery group company, Olympia

Refrigeration (Sales) Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries

discharging,on 5 May 1994, a fixed and floating charge

over its assets, held by the Commonwealth Bank as part

of the piggery group's huge, and largely bad, debt to

the Commonwealth Bank,

(iii) Mr Obeid's solicitor in this and other matters, such as

the remarkable recent settlement with the Tax

Commissioner of his tax problems relating to a

superannuation scheme, is Mr Greg Keating, who acts as

secretary of his brother Paul's family investment

company, Pleuron Pty Ltd, and

(iv) Mr Obeid and his son Paul Obeid appear to have bad luck

with fires in companies of which they are directors;

and

(b) seeks an assurance that the security held by the Commonwealth

Bank over the Keating piggery group debts, against which a

provision for bad debts of $4.5 million has already been made,

has not been further diminished by these arrangements, as both

Jensay Pty Ltd and Olympia Refrigeration (Sales) Pty Ltd are

still shown as owned by the piggery group.