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Notice given 26 May 2009

*1599  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Special Minister of State—With reference to the Minister’s decision to include Reflex Laser Carbon Neutral paper in the office requisites contract:

(1) How much of the carbon neutrality of the paper is achieved by: (a) purchasing carbon offsets; and (b) genuine changes to reduce carbon emissions as a result of logging of native forests, the transport of pulp and the production of the paper.

(2) If the carbon neutrality is achieved primarily from buying offsets, what stops any paper manufacturer being included on this basis.

(3) How much of the pulp used to produce the paper comes from: (a) native forests in Victoria and/or Tasmania; and (b) plantations.

(4) Does any of the pulp used in the paper come from overseas; if so: (a) where; and (b) can Australian Paper prove that the pulp comes from sustainably logged plantations.

(5) Does Reflex include the carbon emissions from any burning of forests after logging in its account of how much carbon is emitted from the production of the paper.

*1600  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—

(1) Is it the case that body corporates are not eligible to receive any Federal Government solar rebate funding for the installation of solar panels for energy use in common areas; if so: (a) why do they not meet established eligibility criteria; and (b) why have they been excluded.

(2) Does the Government support body corporates adopting solar technology in common areas; if so, what mechanisms and/or initiatives are in place to demonstrate such a commitment; if not, why not.

(3) Given that a home owner and/or landlord may apply for solar rebate funding under a variety of initiatives, including the Solar Homes and Communities Plan and that, in contrast, body corporate unit owners are required to pay part of electricity costs to body corporates, who in turn are ineligible themselves for a rebate for the installation of solar panels for energy use in common areas, will the Government reconsider the eligibility of body corporates for solar rebate funding; if not, why not.

*1601  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister for Climate Change and Water—

(1) How many tonnes of greenhouse gases are generated to produce one mega litre of potable drinking water in Australia.

(2) Given the National Plumbing Regulators Forum is urgently seeking funding to conduct drain flow tests at the Canberra Technical College to understand the increasing problems drains are experiencing from decreasing water flows causing increased blockages and associated serious health issues, when is the Minister going to make a decision on funding this urgent testing.


 *1602  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1389 (Senate Hansard , 14 May 2009, p.125):

(1) In the interests of ensuring Commonwealth Government compliance with the spirit and intent of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and in the interests of applying Commonwealth controls to the potentially-threatening activity of heavy vehicle traffic across the Richmond Bridge, will the Commonwealth Government ensure that a reduced load limit is placed on the bridge by the Tasmanian Government as a condition of finalising the management plan; if not, why not.

(2) In regard to the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of funds in 2007 to assist the Tasmanian Government in conducting laser scans of the Richmond Bridge:

(a) how were the details and structural findings of the laser scan incorporated into the current draft conservation management plan and/or the final conservation management plan; and

(b) was any structural analysis a requirement for the preparation of the draft and/or final management plans; if not, why not.

(3) What rights, obligations and/or responsibilities does the Commonwealth Government have regarding:

(a) the protection of structures, for example Richmond Bridge, which are listed on the National Heritage List (NHL) and owned by state governments; and

(b) the protection of structures such as buildings that are privately-owned and listed on the NHL.

(4) Given that the current draft conservation management plan for the Richmond Bridge has recommended the current load limit of 25 tonnes remain the same:

(a) when did the Commonwealth Government express its concern to the Tasmanian Government regarding heavy vehicles being driven across the bridge;

(b) what Commonwealth Government key concerns were expressed to the Tasmanian Government;

(c) what action, if any, did the Commonwealth Government request the Tasmanian Government to undertake to mitigate and/or eliminate expressed concerns; and

(d) what was the Tasmanian Government’s response to these expressed concerns and is the Commonwealth Government satisfied with its response; if not, why not.

(5) In regard to the allocation of funds for the 2007-08 financial year to prepare a new conservation management plan for the Richmond Bridge:

(a) who or which department informed the Commonwealth Government that a structural analysis of the bridge was not required and/or necessary;

(b) what reasons were provided to demonstrate that a structural analysis was not required or necessary; and

(c) when did such discussions, either written or verbal, take place.