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Notice given 19 October 2012

2384  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) What military and civilian response plans, if any, does the Australian Government have in place to respond to a nuclear attack against Australian territory.

(2) What such plans have been in place in the past.

(3) Will the Government release the sections of the Force Posture Review prepared along with the 2009 Defence White Paper that relate to the issue of attacks on Australian and joint Australia-United States (US) military and intelligence facilities in the event of major conflict between the US and China.

(4) What sites in Australia does the Government believe are likely nuclear targets in the event of major conflict.

(5) Does the presence of joint US military and intelligence facilities in Australia increase the risk of a nuclear attack against Australia.

(6) Does the presence of US nuclear-armed submarines in Australian waters and at Australian ports increase the risk of a nuclear attack against Australia.

(7) Does the Government have any casualty estimates resulting from nuclear attacks against Pine Gap and other facilities in Australia that are likely nuclear targets.

(8) How many designated burns beds would be available across Australia in the event of a nuclear attack against Australia.

(9) What general advice, if any, does the Government offer the Australian public in case of a nuclear attack against Australia.

(10) How would the Government attempt to protect medical and other emergency response workers from radiation effects in the aftermath of a nuclear attack.


 (11) What research and preparations has the Government conducted on the effects of nuclear weapons on health and the environment.

(12) What are the likely effects of a regional nuclear war in South Asia on agricultural production in Australia.

(13) To what extent do the humanitarian and environmental effects of nuclear weapons inform Australia’s policies on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

(14) Will the Australian Government participate in the conference in Oslo in March 2013 on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

2385  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—With reference to the mandatory disclosure of payments for listed extractive companies and the Publish What You Pay initiative:

(1) Is the Government aware of the efforts to stop corruption across the world through new rules for the mandatory disclosure of payments made by extractive industry companies to governments.

(2) Has the department conducted any research or provided any advice on these laws; if so, can copies be provided.

(3) Has the Minister been briefed on these developments and what steps is the department taking to determine whether Australia should follow suit.

(4) Given that BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and other ASX-listed companies will be covered by the new regulations as they are also listed in the United States (US), has the department discussed with these companies the possibility of aligning Australia’s legislation with rules in other nations.

(5) What progress has been made in regard to the pilot Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) program being undertaken in Australia.

(6) What is the Minister’s view on the statement by the Chair of EITI, former United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development, Ms Clare Short, that the ‘SEC and EU transparency requirements are complementary to, and not in conflict with, the EITI transparency requirements. Let us be clear, the extraction of oil, gas, and minerals is still failing to bring the benefits to ordinary citizens that it should, particularly in the poorer countries. Implementation of the EITI standard does not achieve enough in isolation. We need a range of different transparency, accountability and governance reforms’.

(7) Has the US Government, which is undertaking the EITI in addition to implementing legislation, got it wrong.

2386  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—

(1) In regard to the transition of National Indigenous Television (NITV) into the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), will NITV staff be paid at the same rate as SBS staff when the transition and probationary period is complete.

(2) How is SBS applying recent funding increases to equipment upgrades and increases in staffing levels in radio or operations areas.

(3) How many full-time equivalent staff are employed by SBS compared to casual or part-time staff.

(4) Has SBS introduced full in-program advertising breaks to programs on the SBS On Demand internet service.


 (5) Was the On Demand service previously operating with a single advertisement before each program, and with no advertisements during the program.

(6) Did SBS make a public statement that it intended to insert advertising breaks into internet television programs.

(7) Do advertisers pay a smaller amount or nil payment for ‘play only’ advertisements, and a higher amount for each ‘click on the advertisement’ advertisement.

(8) How is the On Demand advertiser rate card calculated and what does SBS charge.

(9) Will SBS re-introduce the ‘skip advert’ button that was removed from the On Demand player.

(10) What percentage of total revenue does SBS expect to generate from forcing advertisement breaks into the On Demand service.

(11) In the 2011-12 financial year: (a) of the $46 million that was revenue generated from advertisements on SBS television, as articulated during the 2012-13 Budget estimates hearing of the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee, what percentage of advertisements were positioned between programs only; and (b) how much did SBS spend on local Australian television production and the commissioning of such programs.

(12) Did SBS lawyers check and approve ‘The Last Frontier’ program before it was aired.

(13) What interaction did management have with the SBS Ombudsman on ‘The Last Frontier’ matter.

(14) Is it usual for a utility to go directly to the head of SBS with a grievance and to lobby for an apology.

(15) What time frame does the SBS Ombudsman usually have to decide on such matters and how does that compare with the decision on ‘The Last Frontier’.

(16) Does Hydro Tasmania advertise on SBS; if so, what revenue does SBS generate from this.

(17) Did the SBS Ombudsman consult with others to provide a right-of-reply in relation to the Hydro Tasmania complaint.

(18) Will Dateline make available on its website the full interviews with Hydro Tasmania and the Sarawak companies, to enable viewers to be fully informed and make independent decisions in relation to the story.

2387  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy—With reference the role of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in captioning regulations and quotas:

(1) What monitoring processes has ACMA put in place to ensure that new caption quotas are being met.

(2) How does ACMA monitor and ensure the quotas are being met in different regions of Australia.

(3) What processes are in place if a station or channel is not meeting, or is expected not to meet, the required quota.


 (4) Will ACMA undertake any independent investigations to identify potential factors that may create quality issues and develop strategies to circumvent these.

(5) What consumer campaign efforts does ACMA have planned to help people understand the changes to captioning regulations.

(6) How is ACMA ensuring: (a) which channels are being captioned and to what levels on subscription-based television; and (b) that captioning is occurring also on repeat programs.

2388  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Why has Australia not signed up to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, given that a number of countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom and United States are participants.

(2) Would an Australian company engaging the services of the Burmese military be viewed as in violation of Australia’s arms embargo.

(3) Has the Australian Government, through any agency, provided any funding to Asialink at the University of Melbourne for their Asialink Conversations or missions to Burma or for the Australia Myanmar Business Taskforce.

(4) Is Australia providing any financial or in-kind assistance to Australian businesses to invest or operate in Burma.

(5) What precisely is proposed by the Minister when Australia offering support ‘in establishing an investment regime’ in Burma is discussed.

(6) With reference to the Labour, Trade and Investment Delegation to Myanmar: (a) when is it scheduled to take place; (b) who will participate and from which corporations; and (c) with whom will the delegation meet.

(7) What is department’s budget in relation to Burma.

(8) What is the budget used to fund.

(9) Who implements the programs and what proportion of funding is allocated to each element.

2389  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy—

(1) With reference to the tender process for the concept design of a national radioactive waste facility: (a) what is the status of the tender process; (b) who tendered for this work; (c) what is the selection process; (d) when is the successful tenderer likely to be announced; (e) when is the contract expected to be completed; and (f) what are likely to be the key performance criteria, outcomes and headland dates of the contract.

(2) Has the department had any dialogue or provided briefings to the new Northern Territory Government or its agencies regarding the location of a national radioactive waste facility at Muckaty; if so with whom and when.

(3) Has the department had any dialogue with any stakeholders over the potential for a further site nomination: (a) within the Muckaty Land Trust area; and (b) in any other region of the Northern Territory or elsewhere.

(4) What is the status of the planned transport of radioactive materials to the proposed Muckaty site.


 (5) Has the department undertaken any further work on developing the preferred transport option or on detailing further options.

(6) What is the department’s anticipated timeline in advancing the assessment and approvals needed for the Muckaty proposal, and what is the next step.

(7) What is the current status of expansion plans at Olympic Dam.

(8) What formal or informal applications or discussions have been received from or undertaken with BHP Billiton regarding potential future project configurations.

(9) When do existing state and federal approvals for the shelved development option and the wider project lapse.

(10) With reference to the proposed sale of the Yeelirrie project from BHP Billiton to Cameco: (a) what is the status of the sale; (b) has the sale been completed; (c) has the sale received Foreign Investment Review Board approval and what is the process and timeline for this approval; and (d) what rights, agreements and approvals would be transferred to the new owner.

(11) With reference to reports of renewed company interest in advancing the development of the Angela and Pamela deposits: (a) what is the current status of this project; (b) what assessment and approvals are needed to further advance development; (c) have there been any formal or informal application or discussions between the department and the project proponent around this issue; and (d) what implications does the recent change of government in the Northern Territory have for this project.

(12) What is the department’s understanding of the current status of uranium mining in Queensland.

(13) Has there been any dialogue between the department or any federal agencies with the Liberal National Party (LNP) Queensland Government or any state government agencies about this issue.

(14) Has the department had any formal or informal dialogue with any uranium mining companies or industry bodies in relation to this issue.

(15) What implications does the election of the LNP in Queensland have on this issue.

(16) What are the current status and production rates at the Honeymoon uranium project.

(17) What is the status of approvals at the Samphire uranium project near Whyalla in South Australia.

(18) What is the status of the current trials of the U-HiSAL uranium extraction process.

2390  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) What is Australia’s position, and what activities has Australia recently undertaken, regarding French Polynesia’s bid to be re-inscribed on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

(2) What occurred in relation to this issue at the 2012 Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

(3) Will Australia oppose international scrutiny of the self-determination process at the Cook Islands meeting of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.


 (4) Is the Government aware that in September 2012, the Final Communiqué of the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement affirmed the inalienable right of the people of French Polynesia, Ma’ohi Nui, to self-determination in accordance with Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV).

2391  Senator Ludlam: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs ( transferred to the Minister representing the Attorney-General on 24 October 2012 )—

(1) Does the Australian Government provide information about financial transfers to Australia originating from Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to regulatory authorities in PNG; if so: (a) is this information provided automatically or on request; and (b) to which bodies in PNG is the information provided.

(2) How many discrete communications about financial transfers to Australia from PEPs in PNG were provided in the 2011-12 financial year.

2392  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to the Defence Integrated Distribution System contract that outsourced the management of Defence warehouses:

(1) Is the department acting on the commercial advice of Deloitte and the legal advice of the Australian Government Solicitor, that the TenixToll consortium is completely liable for the $4 million in missing stock and the department is entitled to enforce its contractual rights to have these losses refunded; if not: (a) why not; and (b) can an explanation be provided as to why the department considers it is not in breach of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 by refusing to enforce its contractual rights to reclaim the $4 million.

(2) Can a complete inventory of all the missing stock be provided.

(3) Are reports that the clauses relating to the liabilities of TenixToll have been amended to provide for ‘further discussions’ correct; if so, what have been the outcomes of the further discussions between the parties.

(4) In awarding the tender to TenixToll, what processes were in place to guard against conflicts of interest, given that the former Minister who launched the tender, Mr Peter Reith, worked as a consultant to the firm when the tender was awarded.

2393  Senator Milne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) How many departmental representatives attended meetings with Tenix executives, the Tenix subsidiary in the Philippines and Philippines Government representatives regarding the company’s successful bid to supply search and rescue vehicles to the Philippines Coast Guard between 1996 and 2004.

(2) When and where did each of the meetings occur.

(3) Did departmental representatives meet with the Philippines Government to arrange for the coast guard to be administered by the Department of Transport, rather than the navy; if so, when and where did each of the meetings occur.


 (4) Following the discovery by Filipino Senator Franklin Drilon in 2005, that the 2000 contracts for a further six search and rescue vessels had never been approved by Congress as required by law, did any departmental representatives meet with Philippines Government officials to discuss the suspension of loan repayments; if so, when and where did each of the meetings occur.

(5) What representations were made by departmental representatives to the Philippines Government or Members of Congress in relation to the loan repayments, and what was the negotiated outcome of those discussions.

(6) When and how did the Government and/or Congress lift the suspension and start repayments again.