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Notice given 31 March 2009

*1463  Senator Cormann: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) With reference to the 2008-09 Budget measure entitled ‘Crude oil excise - condensate’, that imposed, for the first time, excise on condensate from the North West Shelf Gas Project, how much revenue has been collected by the Commonwealth under the measure from: (a) 13 May 2008 to 30 June 2008; and (b) 1 July 2008 to 30 March 2009.

(2) How much revenue has been collected by the Commonwealth from additional onshore areas included as a result of the measure from: (a) 13 May 2008 to 30 June 2008; and (b) 1 July 2008 to 30 March 2009.

Senator Cormann: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1464-*1465)—With reference to the Australian Labor Party’s election commitment to promote ‘investment in exploration by allowing the selective use of flow through share schemes for smaller operators in the gas, oil and mineral exploration industries’:

(1) What steps have been taken to introduce a flow-through share scheme.

(2) When was the department instructed to develop a flow-through share scheme.

(3) When will the necessary legislation be introduced into the Parliament.

(4) Will a flow-through share scheme, as promised before the 2007 election, be implemented by the end of 2009; if not: (a) why not; and (b) when is a flow-through share scheme expected to become available.

*1464† Minister representing the Treasurer

*1465† Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy

Senator Cormann: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1466-*1468)—

(1) What changes have been made to the pre-budget processes of the Government since 24 November 2007.

(2) Can the Minister confirm that, in addition to the Expenditure Review Committee process, there is a further process for some items, described as ‘mini-Cabinet’ meetings or some such process.

(3) What type of pre-budget or other items are considered at the ‘mini-Cabinet’ meetings.

(4) Who has been present, including ministers and public officials, at each of the ‘mini-Cabinet’ meeting held so far.

(5) Who provides official support for the ‘mini-Cabinet’ meetings.

(6) Are there agenda papers for the ‘mini-Cabinet’ meetings; if not, why not.

(7) Are official records of the meetings kept; if not, why not.

*1466† Minister representing the Prime Minister ( transferred to the Minister representing the Treasurer on 16 April 2009 )

 

 *1467† Minister representing the Treasurer

*1468† Minister representing the Minister for Finance and Deregulation ( transferred to the Minister representing the Treasurer on 16 April 2009 )

*1469† Senator Cormann: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—

(1) Do the comments by Midnight Oil drummer Mr Rob Hirst, reported on Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio on 27 March 2009, that the Minister ‘will do all he can to ensure a gas processing plant is not built in Western Australia’s Kimberley region’, accurately reflect the Minister’s intentions.

(2) Has the Minister at any time made any private statement to Mr Hirst or others that he will do all he can to prevent a gas processing plant being built in the Kimberley Region; if so, what was the nature of those comments.

(3) If the Minister has not at any time made any private statement to Mr Hirst or others, what steps has the Minister taken to correct Mr Hirst’s perception that the Minister will do all he can to ensure a gas processing plant is not built in Western Australia.

(4) Does the Minister’s reported intention to do all he can to prevent a gas processing plant being built in the Kimberley region represent official government policy.

(5) What current federal issues are being considered under relevant legislation in relation to the development of a gas processing plant in the Kimberley region.

(6) When is that process expected to conclude and a final decision made.

(7) Given the inevitable perception of a conflict of interest by the Minister on the basis of personal bias against the development of a gas processing plant in the Kimberley Region, has the Minister considered recusing himself from any decision under Commonwealth legislation on any such project; if not, has the Minister or the department sought legal advice to quantify any exposure of the Commonwealth to litigation as a result of a decision made by the Minister in these circumstances.

*1470† Senator Cormann: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to the comments by Midnight Oil drummer Mr Rob Hirst, reported on Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio on 27 March 2009, that the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts ‘will do all he can to ensure a gas processing plant is not built in Western Australia’s Kimberley region’:

(1) Has the Prime Minister or his office sought assurances directly from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts that:

(a) the reported comments are not an accurate reflection of his intentions in his official capacity as a Minister of the Crown; and

(b) he has not at any time made private statements to Mr Hirst or others that he will do all he can to prevent a gas processing plant to be built in the Kimberley Region.

(2) If the Prime Minister or his office has sought the assurances in (1) above: (a) was the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts able to provide such assurances; and (b) has the Prime Minister or his office sought assurance from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts that he has corrected Mr Hirst’s perception that he will do all he can to ensure a gas processing plant is not built in Western Australia.

 

 (3) If the Prime Minister did not seek the assurances in (1) and (2)(b) above, why not.

(4) Do the reported intentions of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts to do all he can to prevent a gas processing plant to be built in the Kimberley region represent official government policy.

(5) Has the Government made any strategic decision about its intentions in relation to the development of a gas processing plant in the Kimberley region.

(6) Does the Prime Minister agree that the question of development of a gas processing plant in the Kimberley region of Western Australia is primarily a matter for the State of Western Australia to consider and decide on.

(7) Given the inevitable perception of a conflict of interest by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts on the basis of personal bias against the development of a gas processing plant in the Kimberley region, has the Prime Minister considered asking the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts to recuse himself from any decision under Commonwealth legislation on any such project; if not, has the Prime Minister or the department sought advice to ensure that the Commonwealth will not be exposed to litigation as a result of a decision made by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts in these circumstances.