Thursday, 26 June 2008
GT Leste Biotech
- That the Senate asks the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Smith) to assess the memorandum of understanding between the Government of Timor Leste and GT Leste Biotech for a 100,000 hectare sugar plantation and ethanol plant to ensure Australian funds are not involved if there are adverse social or environmental consequences.
Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement in relation to the motion the Senate has just dealt with.
I note that Senator Brown’s notice of motion relates to a memorandum of understanding between the Timor Leste government and an Indonesian company. The Australian government is not in a position to assess memorandums of understanding between other parties. I can say to the Senate that the government is not currently aware of any Australian Commonwealth funding for this project.
I seek leave to make a brief statement.
I thank Senator Faulkner for that information. The motion sought to ensure that no Australian government funding does go into this very contentious proposal for 100 hectares of food producing land in Timor Leste to be taken over by a company for the production of ethanol. I will be further seeking to ensure that Australian public funds are not given to that purpose.