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Austrade and investment in Burma

Question No. 330

Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 6 December 2010:
Has Austrade provided any services, assistance or grants to Australian companies investing, or doing business, in Burma; if so, can a detailed explanation be provided of those services.

Senator Conroy - the following answer has been provided by the Minister for Trade to the honourable Senator's question:

Answer

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Offer refuge to Chinese human rights hero

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to do everything it can to assist Chinese human rights advocate Gao Zhisheng.

Mr Gao was arrested in China in February 2009 and was held in secret for more than one year. He re-emerged in late March 2010 and told journalists he had endured torture at the hands of Chinese police, only to be arrested and "disappeared" again early the next month.

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National Contact Point - Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Estimates Transcript - Economics Committee - Wednesday 20th October
Department of the Treasury

CHAIR-I now welcome the Markets Group of Treasury to the table.

Senator LUDLAM-I think it is Mr Murphy who I want to put some questions to. I was just going back through the transcript from last year and it was a nearly a year ago today that we spoke about the OECD national contact point. Are you still the right person to put some questions to about that?

Mr Murphy-Yes, if you want to. Frank Di Giorgio is here as well.

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Greens negotiate safeguards for public NBN

The Australian Greens have secured safeguards making any future privatisation of the National Broadband Network subject to a full public inquiry and vote in parliament.

"The point of this exercise is to make it as difficult as possible for a future Government to put us through a repeat of the Telstra privatisation debacle," Senator Scott Ludlam said.

"If we're going to the expense of $11 billion to bring Telstra's networks back into public hands, we'd rather not repeat the whole privatisation mess in 13 years time."

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Trade and investment in Burma

(Question No. 147)
Senator Ludlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 28 September 2010:

With reference to the Government's policy of neither encouraging nor discouraging trade or investment in Burma:

(1) Does the Austrade office in Bangkok and the Australian Embassy in Rangoon provide advice to Australian companies enquiring about the operating environment in Burma for business.

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Full trade embargo on Burma needed now

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to take a strong stand against the ruling Burmese junta's violent repression of its own people.

"Having completed their sham election, the dictators of Burma are concentrating on brutalising ethnic minorities and anyone it suspects of supporting democratic groups within the country," said Senator Scott Ludlam. "Many people have been killed and about 10,000 refugees have fled from Burma into Thailand as the Burmese army moves to crush any resistance to its bloody rule."

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SBS subtitling

Senator Ludlam (Western Australia) asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 2 July 2010:

(1) Which positions are being made redundant in the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) subtitling and news and current affairs areas.

(2) What are the reasons for these cuts.

(3) Will these cuts make a difference to the quality of SBS's news and current affairs coverage; if so, how.

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