All Questions Without Notice
19 Aug 2009
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Sherry. Is the government proposing to proceed with opening an additional 10,000 square kilometres of the Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery and the North West Slope Trawl Fishery, off the Western Australian coast, to bottom trawling? If so, why is this being opened?
16 Jun 2009
My question is to Senator Wong, the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. I wish to draw the minister's attention to the recently released four-year study of the impact of phytophthora dieback in WA-Project Dieback. Phytophthora dieback is identified as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act and has been named as the most significant threat to biodiversity in south-west WA, which is a world biodiversity hotspot. Project Dieback showed that one million hectares in southern WA is infected with dieback and another one million hectares is at high risk. Nearly 80 per cent of the plant species in the south-west of WA are found nowhere else in the world. At least half of these are vulnerable to dieback. As a key threatening process under the EPBC Act, why is dieback not listed as a priority funding under Caring for our Country and what action is the government taking to address phytophthora dieback urgently?
18 Mar 2009
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services, Senator Ludwig. Minister, how many Australian not-for-profit organisations have recently applied for tenders for new employment service contracts and have failed to be awarded contracts for services they are currently delivering? What is the estimated value of employment service contracts that have now been awarded to profit driven overseas providers?
04 Dec 2008
Senator Siewert: My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Ludwig. The Minister for Health and Ageing recently appointed Mr Barry Williams of the Lone Fathers Association as one of the ambassadors for the national men's health policy.
14 Nov 2008
My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In June this year, two Greenpeace campaigners, now known as the Tokyo Two-Junicho Sato and Toru Suzuki- were arrested by Japanese authorities for their efforts in exposing a widespread whale meat scandal in Japan. They have been in jail and under house arrest for 145 days.
Amnesty has protested the arrest as politically motivated, and the UN Human Rights Committee has severely reprimanded the Japanese government for ‘unreasonable restrictions placed on freedom of expression in Japan'. What efforts, if any, have been undertaken by Australia in negotiating for fair treatment and proper justice for the Tokyo Two?
Has the Prime Minister raised this issue with Japan and has the Australian government investigated whether the actions of the Japanese authorities are a breach of international law under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights?
14 Oct 2008
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Evans. My question concerns the recent police raid on Kunoth town camp in Alice Springs, which residents described as an ‘over-the-top terrorist like raid'. Is the minister aware of this raid? Can the minister tell the Senate how many police were involved and whether they were exclusively Northern Territory Police or whether Federal Police or police seconded from other states were involved? Were members of the NT tactical response group involved? Were police wearing bulletproof vests or other riot gear? Did they have weapons drawn? How many houses were raided? How long did the raid take?
25 Sep 2008
My question is to Senator Ludwig, the minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing. When did the minister first have information that the Chinese sweet, White Rabbit Creamy Candies, was contaminated and was available for sale in Australian supermarkets? What tests have been taken on this product, and when? Are these products now off all shelves in Australia? How can we be assured that there are no other similarly contaminated products in Australia at the time?
04 Sep 2008
My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Wong. My question concerns progress on the intergovernmental agreement on the Murray-Darling Basin reform and the referral of powers by state and territories required to give effect to the agreement and to establish a basin plan.
Can the minister inform the Senate how many of the states and territories of the Murray-Darling Basin have passed this enabling legislation?
How many have even drafted and introduced such legislation in time to meet the 1 November 2008 deadline, as committed to in the IGA?
Will any states or territories be able to meet this deadline and will the promised reforms of the intergovernmental agreement be in place by 1 November 2008?
28 Aug 2008
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Evans. I note that Minister Macklin announced the welfare suspension truancy trial in the suburb of Cannington.
Can the minister confirm whether this trial site is in fact restricted to the suburb of Cannington or does it in fact extend across the Cannington Centrelink district, which includes the suburbs of South Guilford, Burswood, Victoria Park, South Perth, Queens Park, Belmont, Bentley, Rossmoyne, Welshpool and Canning Vale, to mention several of them?
What support services are in place for the families that have had their payments suspended, particularly for those that have more than one child-in other words, children other than the ones involved in the suspension of payments?
What is the expected increase in demand for charity and other services in this region when they are forced to cope with the families that have had their payments suspended?
28 Mar 2007
My question is to Senator Ellison, the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing. It relates to the provision of infrastructure to support youth diversionary programs to combat petrol sniffing. Can the minister inform the Senate whether the government has allocated or plans to allocate resources for youth programs and infrastructure for those communities in the northern part of the central region who have recently become part of the rollout of Opal fuel?
25 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?
05 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?
28 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?