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Mining myths shattered - time to collect the rent

Watershed research from the Australia Institute released today once again illustrates the need for Australia to manage the mining boom properly, say the Australian Greens.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the paper ‘Mining the Truth' makes it clear the mining industry is dodging its social responsibilities while causing damage to other sectors of the economy.

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Woodside commercially-in-confidence reports put the lie to “clean gas” myth

The Australian Greens say Woodside-commissioned confidential reports into the carbon footprint of Australian gas have revealed industry claims that gas is a clean fuel are greatly overstated.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the gas industry had significantly exaggerated the benefit of LNG production as a substitute for coal-fired power generation.

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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Senator LUDLAM-I have questions on ACTA, the ACTA treaty negotiations. I thought that might be now.

CHAIR-That is, yes.

Senator LUDLAM-Great. I have raised a couple of these issues before. Do we have the right expertise at the table for ACTA?

Mr Gosper-Yes.

Senator LUDLAM-I am just wondering whether we could start with a quick overview of why we need this treaty at all given that part II of the TRIPS agreement covers almost all of the enforcement issues that are contained in what we understand to be the ACTA text?

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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Senator Ludlam asked:
A. Can the Department provide a brief run down on the kinds of stakeholders who you consulted with and who consulted with you prior to the decision taken to join negotiations on the ACTA?
B. What are the types of counterfeiting that the treaty is seeking to deal with?

Answer
A. On 1 February 2008, Minister Crean announced that Australia would participate in negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

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Rail Manufacturing in Australia

Senator LUDLAM-You can talk about freeways, too? I am just wondering whether you are aware that UGL Rail, which is Australia's largest provider of rolling stock, is in the process of closing the Broadmeadow facility near Newcastle, which is going to shed about 200 jobs and more indirect jobs. What action, if any, has the government taken? Can you point us to initiatives that you have taken to retain rail manufacturing in Australia, particularly in regional areas, and either reflect directly on Broadmeadow or in general?

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Government procurement and open source software

Senator LUDLAM-I have some questions I would like to ask about government business and ICT. I am looking at software procurement. I am following up on issues that got a bit of an airing in the Canberra Times, I think last week, on open-source software and government. Rather than focusing on a specific department, I am interested in the whole-of-government approach. The article left some real ambiguities in terms of what it costs government annually to run IT in a building but across the whole range of Commonwealth departments.

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Attorney Generals Department

Senator LUDLAM-First of all, I am seeking some information, not for this session but probably for the next, as far as the structure of the department is concerned. What is the name of the office or the section within the Attorney-General's Department that supports the coordination of information sharing between state and territory police departments? Is there such an office of coordination?

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