All Questions Without Notice
26 Feb 2007
My question is to the Minister for Human Services, Senator Ian Campbell. Is the minister aware of the dramatic increase in the number of Aboriginal Australians on income support payments who have been given an eight-week non-payment penalty, or breached, by Centrelink? Is the minister aware that, in the first three months of the new compliance system, 140 Aboriginal people were breached? This is nearly double the figure of the previous three months, or an increase of 133 per cent. Is the minister concerned that, of 170 breaches in his home state of WA, 50 were Aboriginal people-nearly a third of all breaches? Is the minister aware of these alarming figures? What does the minister intend to do to address this pressing problem?
06 Dec 2006
My question is to Senator Ian Campbell, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Is the minister aware of the findings in the Australia state of the environment 2006 report, released today, about the dramatic impact on wetlands-that the ecological characteristics of 22 Ramsar wetlands have changed?
Is the minister aware of the latest report on the Coorong which shows its ecological characteristics have changed?
The minister has received a letter from Gwydir landholders asking him to delist those wetlands. Is the minister going to put the Gwydir wetlands and the Coorong wetlands on the Montreux Record?
29 Nov 2006
My question is to Senator Santoro, the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, and it is also about petrol sniffing. I understand that the advertising and public education campaign explaining the safety and importance of the non-sniffable Opal fuel was completed sometime ago but has not been implemented.
Can the minister explain why the government has failed to act to counter misinformation and negative stories about Opal in the Alice Springs media?
Can the minister explain what proportion of the money allocated to the education campaign has already been spent and does he expect that ads will be placed in local media?
06 Sep 2006
My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell. I refer to the minister's deliberation on how to protect the heritage values of the Burrup Peninsula. Is the minister aware of other appropriate sites for development in the Pilbara region? Does the minister believe that the best way to promote development and return to the heritage values on the Burrup is for heavy industry to be encouraged to alternative sites such as Onslow or Maitland or the joint venture site on the Burrup?
If so, is the federal government willing to support measures encouraging industry to set up in alternative locations?
14 Aug 2006
My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage.
I refer to reports on the weekend that the Japanese fishing industry has illegally taken $2 billion worth of southern bluefin tuna over the past 20 years. I note that this unreported and illegal catch of between 12,000 and 20,000 tonnes is double or triple Japan's legal quota and that the Bureau of Rural Sciences has classified this species as overfished every year since it began reporting in 1992.
In light of this information, will the minister list the species as threatened under the EPBC Act as advised by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee in September 2005? Will the minister now revoke the wildlife trade operation declaration under the EPBC Act that the fishery is ecologically sustainable?
09 Nov 2005
My question today is to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. I seek further information on the actions the government intends to take on whaling. I refer to the answer given by the minister yesterday in response to a question by Senator Andrew Bartlett. If the government is not contemplating legal action, can the minister explain what diplomatic and other actions he will be taking to halt the greatly expanded Japanese whaling program?
In particular, I refer to the 14 recommendations provided to the minister by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which include banning any vessels supporting the whaling fleet from access to Australian ports and monitoring and documenting the whaling activity. What actions, if any, is the minister intending to take?
14 Sep 2005
My question is to the Minister for Family and Community Services. Given the unmet need for disability support services acknowledged by the Senate yesterday, and given the Commonwealth's powers as recognised under the CSTDA-
Senator Abetz-What does that stand for?
Senator SIEWERT-for example, section 4.2(b), which obliges the Commonwealth and states to: strengthen across government linkages to ensure access to appropriate services, and improve collaboration and coordination across programs and government, and section 4.2(d) which obliges governments to take a strategic approach to equitable funding to respond to unmet demand, and given the shared roles outlined in section 6(1)(b), (e) and (f), which encourage reform of existing services to achieve objective and policy priorities of the agreement and to fund R&D in the provision of services, does the minister acknowledge that the federal government has a clear mandate under the Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement to address unmet need? Can the minister outline what actions she intends to take to meet these unmet needs? Is the Commonwealth prepared to put in more money to make this happen?
The PRESIDENT-Senator, that was a very long question.