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Notice given 24 November 2003

2389  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Are there any restrictions on joining the Australian Defence Force (ADF) because of colour blindness; if so, what is the nature of these restrictions, for example, what units will not accept recruits who are colour blind, are there restrictions on colour blind personnel serving in combat roles etc.

(2) (a) For what scientific reasons does colour blindness preclude people from enlisting in the ADF in certain roles; and (b) what scientific research was used to make this decision.

2390  Senator Nettle: To ask the Special Minister of State—

(1) Was an environmental impact assessment conducted when the preferred tenderer for the Australian Government vehicle fleet management and leasing services contract was being selected; if so, what was the outcome of this assessment; if not, why not.

(2) Was consideration given to increasing the proportion of hybrid or more environmentally-friendly or fuel efficient vehicles in the Australian Government vehicle fleet; if so, what was the outcome; if not, why not.

(3) How many vehicles are in the fleet.

(4) (a) What is the total annual carbon dioxide output of a single vehicle of the Australian Government vehicle fleet, based on estimated average usage; and (b) how does this compare with the total annual carbon dioxide output if the vehicle was a hybrid vehicle.

2391  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) (a) How many backscatter x-ray machines, by type, does the Australian Customs Service operate; (b) when was each purchased; (c) what was the cost; and (d) where is each machine deployed.

(2) In each year of operation, how many illegal imports have been detected at all ports by these machines.

(3) Given that this equipment was purchased and continued to be purchased, what advantages does it have.

(4) Was an evaluation ever conducted of the backscatter equipment’s performance; if so, when, and what were the findings.

(5) (a) What was the assessment process used in originally choosing the backscatter technology; and (b) what expertise was engaged in the evaluation.

(6) Given the performance of this technology, why was its further purchase for Australian sea ports dismissed.

(7) In the assessment of the further purchase of backscatter equipment for Australia’s sea ports: (a) what technical expertise was obtained; (b) from which organisation; and (c) what were the qualifications of the key people providing the assessment.

(8) In the assessment of the competing technologies for x-ray installation at Australia’s sea ports, what was the relative cost of assessing units.

(9) (a) What was the total cost of acquiring the selected technology; (b) how many units will be installed; and (c) how many backscatter machines could have been acquired with the same sum of money.

(10) Are backscatter machines better at examining cluttered environments, and what advantages was the chosen technology seen to have over the backscatter alternative.

2392  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) What progress has been made under the Renewable Energy Action Agenda (REAA).

(2) Is it the case that, at its current level of 9500 GWh, the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target is not expected to be sufficient to support the growth in sales required to achieve the $4 billion target for the REAA by 2010; if so, what measures are proposed to meet the target.

(3) With electricity sector emissions now up to 40.5 per cent on 1990 levels, what new measures, if any, are proposed to reduce that increase.