General

questions-on-notice

Dalai Lama in Australia

25 Mar 2011

Question No. 333Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 6 December 2010:With reference to the visit to Australia by His Holiness the Dalai Lama which is scheduled for some time around the middle of 2011: (1) Will the Minister meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he is in Australia.

Question No. 333

Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 6 December 2010:

With reference to the visit to Australia by His Holiness the Dalai Lama which is scheduled for some time around the middle of 2011:
(1) Will the Minister meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he is in Australia.

speeches-in-parliament

Australian Information Commissioner

20 Feb 2011

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (6.15 pm)-I will probably pick up in more or less the same vein as Senator Cormann. People by now are probably quite well aware of the issue that is at stake here, and that is what we do when the executive and one of the chambers of parliament disagree about whether it is in the public interest that particular material be tabled and put into the public domain. We have processes under freedom of information legislation that apply to journalists or members of the general public who are seeking to get information, but what happens when one of the chambers of the parliament is seeking information and a minister of the Crown decides that it is not appropriate for it to be handed over? At the moment the remedies that the parliament can pursue are actually quite severe. In Victoria, for example, ministers have been prevented from entering the chamber and it has become a bit of a debacle.

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (6.15 pm)-

I will probably pick up in more or less the same vein as Senator Cormann. People by now are probably quite well aware of the issue that is at stake here, and that is what we do when the executive and one of the chambers of parliament disagree about whether it is in the public interest that particular material be tabled and put into the public domain. We have processes under freedom of information legislation that apply to journalists or members of the general public who are seeking to get information, but what happens when one of the chambers of the parliament is seeking information and a minister of the Crown decides that it is not appropriate for it to be handed over? At the moment the remedies that the parliament can pursue are actually quite severe. In Victoria, for example, ministers have been prevented from entering the chamber and it has become a bit of a debacle.

questions-on-notice

International Product Stewardship Summit speaker sponsor

18 Feb 2011

Senate Question No.318 Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, in writing, on 6 December 2010:With reference to the International Product Stewardship Summit, scheduled to be held in Sydney from 9 November to 10 November 2010, being organised by the Global Product Stewardship Council of which the department is listed as an ‘international speaker sponsor':(1) What is the cost of the department's sponsorship.(2) Is the sponsorship for a particular speaker; if so, who is the speaker.(3) What amount of sponsorship was initially sought for the conference and who requested it.(4) When was the funding approved.

Senate Question No.318

Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, in writing, on 6 December 2010:

With reference to the International Product Stewardship Summit, scheduled to be held in Sydney from 9 November to 10 November 2010, being organised by the Global Product Stewardship Council of which the department is listed as an ‘international speaker sponsor':
(1) What is the cost of the department's sponsorship.
(2) Is the sponsorship for a particular speaker; if so, who is the speaker.
(3) What amount of sponsorship was initially sought for the conference and who requested it.
(4) When was the funding approved.

media-releases

NBNCo must be subject to Freedom of Information Act

18 Jan 2011

The Australian Greens will take action in the Senate to make the National Broadband Network Company subject to the Freedom of Information Act.Greens spokesperson for communications Senator Scott Ludlam said that it was unacceptable that a public enterprise investing approximately $27.5 billion of tax-payer's money would be exempt from the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation.

The Australian Greens will take action in the Senate to make the National Broadband Network Company subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Greens spokesperson for communications Senator Scott Ludlam said that it was unacceptable that a public enterprise investing approximately $27.5 billion of tax-payer's money would be exempt from the Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation.

news-stories

Queensland Floods Appeal

11 Jan 2011

The tragic loss of life in the Queensland floods, as well as the shocking images of besieged cities, evacuated suburbs, homes and cars swept away and farms ruined, leaves us luckier Australians asking how we can help.
Please join with us in giving to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.From http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.htmlThe Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help fellow Queenslanders affected by the recent floods. Many communities have been devastated. Some families have lost everything. You can help make a difference by donating to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.At this time, the Queensland Government is inviting financial donations only. Unfortunately this appeal cannot accept donations of goods or services.

The tragic loss of life in the Queensland floods, as well as the shocking images of besieged cities, evacuated suburbs, homes and cars swept away and farms ruined, leaves us luckier Australians asking how we can help.

Please join with us in giving to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

From http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate.html

The Queensland Government has launched an appeal to help fellow Queenslanders affected by the recent floods. Many communities have been devastated. Some families have lost everything. You can help make a difference by donating to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.

At this time, the Queensland Government is inviting financial donations only. Unfortunately this appeal cannot accept donations of goods or services.

estimates

OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises

23 Dec 2010

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)Senator Ludlam asked:Senator LUDLAM-Thank you. So you have two cases ongoing. Mr Colmer has attended a couple ofmeetings. This might be germane to the meetings that Mr Colmer has attended: what is the Australiangovernment's position on calls to strengthen the text of the guidelines for the current review of the OECDGuidelines for Multinational Enterprises? There are obviously calls from several society groups and somegovernments to strengthen the guidelines in regard to human rights; free, prior and informed consent; duediligence; supply chains; transparency; and disclosure, among other matters. Has the Australian governmentgot a formal position, have we put a draft text, or is there any documentary position that you can provide for usthat we are taking into these negotiations?

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)

Senator Ludlam asked:

Senator LUDLAM-Thank you. So you have two cases ongoing. Mr Colmer has attended a couple of
meetings. This might be germane to the meetings that Mr Colmer has attended: what is the Australian
government's position on calls to strengthen the text of the guidelines for the current review of the OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises? There are obviously calls from several society groups and some
governments to strengthen the guidelines in regard to human rights; free, prior and informed consent; due
diligence; supply chains; transparency; and disclosure, among other matters. Has the Australian government
got a formal position, have we put a draft text, or is there any documentary position that you can provide for us
that we are taking into these negotiations?

estimates

Strengthening the Australian National Contact Point (NCP)

23 Dec 2010

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)Senator Ludlam asked:Senator LUDLAM-There have been some calls, since the last time we spoke, about strengthening theinstitutional arrangements and independence of the Australian NCP. Is their a view within government-eitherwithin the department or with the minister-that this would be appropriate? I guess what I am asking is: are we happy with the situation as it is?Mr Di Giorgio-I think it is fair to say that our thinking on the position is that there is a process in the OECD at the moment around that. We are part of that process in considering how that may evolve. But it is not a settled position as such and so it is something that we would have to consider and brief and seek the opinionof government on.Senator LUDLAM-When does that review conclude? What can you tell us about the timing of that?Mr Di Giorgio-I would have to check and give you the facts on that. I know there are meetings happening this year and there is another one occurring, I believe, in December.Answer:

SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS QUESTION - (Supplementary Budget Estimates 20 October - 21 October)
Senator Ludlam asked:

Senator LUDLAM-There have been some calls, since the last time we spoke, about strengthening the
institutional arrangements and independence of the Australian NCP. Is their a view within government-either
within the department or with the minister-that this would be appropriate? I guess what I am asking is: are we happy with the situation as it is?

Mr Di Giorgio-I think it is fair to say that our thinking on the position is that there is a process in the OECD at the moment around that. We are part of that process in considering how that may evolve. But it is not a settled position as such and so it is something that we would have to consider and brief and seek the opinion
of government on.

Senator LUDLAM-When does that review conclude? What can you tell us about the timing of that?

Mr Di Giorgio-I would have to check and give you the facts on that. I know there are meetings happening this year and there is another one occurring, I believe, in December.

Answer:

media-releases

PM must retract “illegal” WikiLeaks claim

17 Dec 2010

The Australian Greens have called on Prime Minister Gillard to unequivocally retract her claim that the work of WikiLeaks is "illegal". Greens communications and legal affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Prime Minister had attempted to back-pedal on her original claim but a straight-forward retraction was in order.


The Australian Greens have called on Prime Minister Gillard to unequivocally retract her claim that the work of WikiLeaks is "illegal".

Greens communications and legal affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Prime Minister had attempted to back-pedal on her original claim but a straight-forward retraction was in order.

news-stories

Frustration in Senate stalling on NBN legislation

25 Nov 2010

Senator Ludlam expresses frustration at the Opposition filibustering instead of debating the amendments in the Tesltra separation legislation on what was supposed to be the last day of Parliament.

Senator Ludlam expresses frustration at the Opposition filibustering instead of debating the amendments in the Tesltra separation legislation on what was supposed to be the last day of Parliament.


media-releases

Australian Government must stop supporting Indonesian “torture” unit

04 Nov 2010

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to stop funding and training an Indonesian "counter-terrorism" unit linked to a series of human rights abuses.
"On the day the Government lodged our National Report for the United Nations Human Rights Council's review, we should be taking a strong stand for human rights in our region by refusing to support an agency that is using torture," said Senator Scott Ludlam. "Special Detachment 88 has been linked to grievous human rights abuses for three years - and operates with funding and support from the Australian Government."
At a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Senate Estimates session last month Senator Ludlam grilled department officials on the Detachment's reported arbitrary arrest and torture of people in Ambon, Maluku, for peaceful protests. He was told there has been no formal or informal inquiry into the allegations.
"How much money and resources do we commit to training this outfit?" Senator Ludlam asked the hearing. "This is a unit that we fund and assist in training which is being accused of some quite horrific activities... surely we are interested in what is occurring there."
"These are not terrorist activities that these police are investigating. The demonstrators arrested in Ambon unveiled their independence flag at an event at which the Indonesian president was present... They have subsequently been jailed and many of them tortured and hospitalised," Senator Ludlam said. "70 political activists in Maluku have been imprisoned since 2007."
Detachment 88's major facility at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation was established in 2004 with almost $40 million of Australian funding. According to its website, most of the counter-terrorism seminars at the Centre are run by the Australian Federal Police, and it is a major beneficiary of $16 million in annual funding allocated to the AFP to combat terrorism in south-east Asia.
"The United States introduced a ban on training or assisting Detachment 88 members in Maluku in 2008 after the allegations of torture first emerged in 2007, but our Government continues to actively support this unit," said Senator Ludlam.
 http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/transcript/detachment-88

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to stop funding and training an Indonesian "counter-terrorism" unit linked to a series of human rights abuses.


"On the day the Government lodged our National Report for the United Nations Human Rights Council's review, we should be taking a strong stand for human rights in our region by refusing to support an agency that is using torture," said Senator Scott Ludlam. "Special Detachment 88 has been linked to grievous human rights abuses for three years - and operates with funding and support from the Australian Government."


At a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Senate Estimates session last month Senator Ludlam grilled department officials on the Detachment's reported arbitrary arrest and torture of people in Ambon, Maluku, for peaceful protests. He was told there has been no formal or informal inquiry into the allegations.


"How much money and resources do we commit to training this outfit?" Senator Ludlam asked the hearing. "This is a unit that we fund and assist in training which is being accused of some quite horrific activities... surely we are interested in what is occurring there."


"These are not terrorist activities that these police are investigating. The demonstrators arrested in Ambon unveiled their independence flag at an event at which the Indonesian president was present... They have subsequently been jailed and many of them tortured and hospitalised," Senator Ludlam said. "70 political activists in Maluku have been imprisoned since 2007."


Detachment 88's major facility at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation was established in 2004 with almost $40 million of Australian funding. According to its website, most of the counter-terrorism seminars at the Centre are run by the Australian Federal Police, and it is a major beneficiary of $16 million in annual funding allocated to the AFP to combat terrorism in south-east Asia.


"The United States introduced a ban on training or assisting Detachment 88 members in Maluku in 2008 after the allegations of torture first emerged in 2007, but our Government continues to actively support this unit," said Senator Ludlam.


 http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/content/transcript/detachment-88

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