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Motion: University divestment

Lee Rhiannon 17 Nov 2014

The Senate-
1. Notes that:
a) Many Australians consider universities to be important institutions that provide a significant social, cultural and economic good.
b) Australian universities collectively hold investments worth billions of dollars.
c) The University of Glasgow, Stanford and twelve other universities in the United States have divested from fossil fuels, and the Australian National University has divested itself from a range of social and environmentally damaging companies, including fossil fuel companies.

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Adjournment: Climate change

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (02:04): In the last hour, the Liberal-National government has hammered another nail in the coffin of government action on climate change with the passing of the Carbon Farming Initiative Amendment Bill 2014. But, as is so often the case when governments fail to act on progressive change, people take action, speak up, stage protests and achieve change for the better, and that is what we are seeing in Australia today with climate action.

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: In previous estimates hearings, Senator Brandis, you confirmed that the Australian government was abandoning the internationally accepted description of East Jerusalem as 'occupied' because the term is 'judgemental'. Since then, Australia's ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, has told Israeli media outlets that the entire West Bank should not be referred to as 'occupied'. This includes Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah and all parts of the Golan Heights. Is Australia's official position that the West Bank is not occupied?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

CHAIR: Senator Faulkner, could you pause there for a moment, please? I will go to Senator Rhiannon.

Senator RHIANNON: To continue there, with Sierra Leone, Liberia, Britain, the United States and also the NGOs that have approached you about managing the Ebola crisis, which ones have asked for teams to be deployed into west Africa?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: I will move on to the Pacific now. How much Australian funding has been contributed to the survey and registration of land for individual land ownership or title in the Pacific?

Mr McDonald : I think we will need to take that on notice.

Ms Rawson : I do not have that level of detail with me so I will take it on notice.

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you. I am interested in where land titles across the Pacific are held. Are they actually lodged somewhere?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: I now want to move on to issues to do with global health programs.

Senator McEWEN: Senator Rhiannon, just while we are finding someone to answer those questions for you, the mysterious $800,000 was in DFAT's answer to QON 409. It was the amount that had been spent on consultancies for IT integration to date. So perhaps you could take on notice, Mr Varghese, whether that amount is still the same or whether or not it has increased.

Mr Varghese : I am happy to do that.

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio)

Senator RHIANNON: In the foreign aid budget, what percentage and what dollar amount is allocated to non-government organisations?

Mr McDonald : I need the CFO for that answer.

Senator RHIANNON: I will keep going, then. In previous Senate estimates, former Foreign Minister Bob Carr spoke about four allegations of the mistreatment of Tamils that have been investigated. Are you aware if there have been further allegations apart from those four?

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Estimates: National Water Commission

National Water Commission

[16:56]

CHAIR: Welcome. Would you like to make a short statement?

Ms Olsson : No, thank you.

CHAIR: Then we will go straight to questions.

Senator RHIANNON: Has the National Water Commission been consulted in relation to any of the government's initiatives to build dams and other water infrastructure projects in Australia?

Ms Olsson : Not over this recent period, no.

Senator RHIANNON: When you say 'recent period'-

Ms Olsson : I mean not under this government.

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