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Notice given 17 August 2011

915  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—

(1) What was the total government contribution toward the purchase of Henbury Station in the Northern Territory by RM Williams Agricultural Holdings.

(2) Who holds the title to this property after the sale.

(3) Will the Government receive any financial return derived from future activities or enterprises operated on Henbury Station.

(4) What taxpayer benefits does the Government expect to deliver through this investment.

(5) Given that official statements by the Government refer to Henbury Station as a former pastoral property, has the land tenure changed from a perpetual pastoral lease; if not, is it the intention to change the land tenure.

 

 (6) If the land use and therefore land tenure is changed what are the Native Title implications.

(7) Will this type of government assistance/investment be made available to other pastoral enterprises, particularly smaller private operators in the Northern Territory, considering that it has indicated that Henbury Station is a pilot project that could lead to other farms also being included in the program.

(8) Can a detailed assessment be provided of the environmental benefits to be gained from removing cattle from the property, given that the department already states that 70 per cent of the property largely remains in its natural condition at present.

(9) Can a copy be provided of the modelling which demonstrates how the project will achieve the company plan to sequestrate up to 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year for the next 10 to 15 years.

(10) Does the Government intend funding further baseline audits to allow other organisations to develop similar proposals for their businesses.

(11) Will the value of non Kyoto compliant carbon credits be subsidised by the Government as they currently have little to no value, and what will this cost be in future years.

(12) (a) what social and economic impact assessment did the Government undertake to establish the likely impacts on profitability of the remainder of the beef industry in that region and the impact of taking a significant food production property out of production and can that research be provided; and (b) what impacts will this have on the provision of services and infrastructure (given a very significant part of the industry no longer exists) leaving those still operating to bear a proportionately higher cost of service industry overheads and can any research be provided.

(13) Did the Government conduct any research into what impacts this contraction of local industry may have on the capital value of the other properties in the Alice Springs region, given that profitability will reduce and that reduced social strength will make the region less attractive to investment by traditional food producers; if so, can that research be provided.

918  Senator Joyce: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—In regard to the department’s 2011-12 Portfolio Budget Statement, and in particular the Bureau of Meteorology: can an outline be provided of its expenditure under program 1.1.4 Water Information (p. 106) of their responsibilities, both departmental and administered funding, for each year of the forward estimates.

921  Senator Joyce: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities—In regard to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), can a list be provided of all office locations that the MDBA leases or owns, including the following details for each location:

(a) office size;

(b) if leased, annual lease payments and lease cost per square metre;

(c) if leased, the length of the lease, including any options to terminate the lease;

(d) the value of any buildings owned; and

(e) depreciation costs on buildings that are owned.

 

 927  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—How many debtors have been refused a passport renewal under section 16(1) of the Australian Passports Act 2005 .

928  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—What is the accumulated sum of outstanding and written off debt from consular assistance rendered since the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee report, Helping Australians abroad: A review of the Australian Government’s consular services was tabled in 1997.

929  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Was the Australian Government’s revenue from passport fees in the 2009-10 financial year equal to or greater than the cost of providing consular assistance.

930  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Does the department have an estimate of the number of uninsured Australian travellers.

931  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Does the department keep data on what proportion of those who seek consular assistance are uninsured; if not, why not.

932  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Did the Minister receive a brief from the department seeking approval of text contained in the request for tender and/or associated documents in relation to Australia Network before their release, if so:

(1) When was the brief received by the Minister’s office.

(2) When was brief sighted by the Minister.

(3) What type of ministerial action was requested by the department, and was it agreed to by the Minister.

933  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff request changes to the text contained in the request for tender and/or associated documents in relation to Australia Network; if so, when, and what was the nature of the requested changes.

934  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Was the final version of the request for tender and associated documents in relation to Australia Network approved by Cabinet or the Minister; if so, when.

935  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff receive a briefing, written or verbal, from the department or a member of the tender panel regarding any of the information provided by tenderers in their tender submissions in relation to Australia Network; if so, when and what was the nature of the information provided.

936  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—When did the tender panel in relation to Australia Network finalise its report and did it include a recommendation as to a preferred tenderer.

937  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Was it the panel’s view that both tenderers met the requirements of the tender in relation to Australia Network.

 

 938  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff receive a briefing, written or verbal, from the Department or a member of the tender panel regarding the panel’s progress in relation to the Australia Network tender.

939  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—When was the tender panel’s report in relation to Australia Network first sighted by the Secretary of the department.

940  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff receive a briefing, written or verbal, from the department regarding the tender panel’s report and recommendation of a preferred tenderer in relation to the Australia Network tender:

(1) If so:

(a) when was the brief received by the Minister’s office;

(b) when was the brief sighted by the Minister; and

(c) what type of ministerial action was requested by the department, and was it agreed to by the Minister.

(2) If not, why not.

941  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Did the department prepare a Cabinet submission detailing the tender panel’s report and recommendation of a preferred tenderer in relation to the Australia Network tender; if so, when.

(2) Was input into the brief provided by other governments; if so, which ones.

942  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—When was the department first notified of the Government’s intention to extend the existing Australia Network contract, while additional information is sought from tenderers.

943  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from the department and/or consultants regarding the expansion of the Australia Network into the Middle East and North Africa and its impact on the Network’s penetration rates in Asia and/or the Pacific; if so, when and what was the nature of this advice.

944  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Prior to the Cabinet’s consideration of the Australia Network tender, who was the designated decision-maker for the tender.

(2) Assuming that the designated decision-maker was not Cabinet, on what legal basis was the decision-maker stripped of that role.

(3) Prior to the former decision-maker being stripped of this role had a decision been made as to who would be the successful tenderer.

(4) Who is now the decision-maker.

 

 945  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from the department and/or consultants regarding the additional costs associated with expanding the Australia Network’s coverage into the Middle East and North Africa; if so, when and what was the nature of this advice and the additional cost.

946  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from the department and/or consultants expressing their concerns about the change to the request for tender and/or association documentation in relation to Australia Network; if so, when and what was the nature of their concerns.

947  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Has the Minister or any of his staff and/or the department received any correspondence from, or had discussions with, any of the interested parties involved in the tender process in relation to Australia Network concerning the impact of the Government’s decision on the financial viability of their proposal; if so, when and what parties were involved, and what was the nature of the correspondence and/or discussions.

948  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff and/or the department received correspondence from, or had discussions with, any of the interested parties involved in the tender process in relation to Australia Network since the Government’s decision to seek further information; if so, when and which parties were involved, and what was the nature of the correspondence and/or discussions.

949  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—Further to the answer to a question (House of Representatives Hansard , 28 February 2007, p. 192) in writing, on what dates have Australian consular officials: (a) visited; or (b) otherwise had contact with, Mr Jean-Philippe Wispelaere since February 2007.

950  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from his department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and/or consultants regarding the expansion of the Australia Network into the Middle East and North Africa and its impact on the Network’s penetration rates in Asia and/or the Pacific; if so, when and what was the nature of this advice.

951  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from his Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and/or consultants regarding the additional costs associated with expanding the Australia Network’s coverage into the Middle East and North Africa; if so, when and what was the nature of this advice and the additional cost.

952  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff received a briefing, written or verbal, from his department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and/or consultants expressing their concerns about the change to the request for tender and/or association documentation in relation to Australia Network; if so, when and what was the nature of their concerns.

 

 953  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Has the Minister, any of his ministerial staff and/or the department received any correspondence from, or had discussions with, any of the interested parties involved in the Australia Network tender process about the impact of the Government’s decision on the financial viability of their proposal; if so, when and what parties were involved, and what was the nature of the correspondence and/or discussions.

954  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Has the Minister, any of his ministerial staff and/or the department received correspondence from, or had discussions with, any of the interested parties involved in the Australia Network tender process since the Government’s decision to seek further information; if so, when, which parties were involved, and what was the nature of the correspondence and/or discussions.

955  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—When was the department first notified of the Government’s intention to extend the existing Australia Network contract while additional information is sought from tenderers.

956  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Has the Minister or any of his ministerial staff been given a copy of the tender panel’s report in relation to Australia Network; if so, when.

957  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—When did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff first see the text contained in the request for tender and/or associated documents in relation to the Australia Network tender.

958  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff receive a briefing, written or verbal, from his department, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or a member of the selection panel regarding any of the information provided by tenderers in their tender submissions in relation to the Australia Network tender; if so, when and what was the nature of the information provided.

959  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff receive a briefing, written or verbal, from the department or a member of the tender panel regarding the panel’s progress in relation to the Australia Network tender.

960  Senator Johnston: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—Did the Minister or any of his ministerial staff receive a briefing, written or verbal, from his department or the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade regarding the tender panel’s report and recommendation of a preferred tenderer in relation to the Australia Network tender:

(1) If so:

(a) when was the brief received by the Minister’s office;

(b) when was brief sighted by the Minister; and

(c) what type of ministerial action was requested by the department, and was it agreed to by the Minister.

(2) If not, why not.