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QUESTION ON NOTICE

Question:

1. When ASIC decides to commence an official investigation on a corporate entity or individual persons who within ASIC becomes aware of the investigation and the company and/or people who are the target of that investigation? 2. Are ASIC staff outside the Office of Enforcement able to find out who is being officially investigated by ASIC? 3. Does ASIC ever inform the Department of the Treasury about active official investigations and who are the subject of them? 4. Does ASIC ever inform the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer, or any other Cabinet Minister about what official investigations are being undertaking by ASIC and who are subject of those investigations? If so, when does ASIC make these disclosures and how does ASIC exercise its discretion? 5. Is the Treasurer or the Assistant Treasurer able to ask ASIC who is under official investigation? If so, what are the procedures of how such requests are made and managed? 6. If ASIC becomes aware that a Federal Parliamentarian has either a public or private relationship with a corporate entity or individuals under official investigation, what does ASIC do in this circumstance? Are there any operational procedures? Does ASIC’s operational procedures in this regard change if the Federal Parliamentarian is a Cabinet Minister? 7. Under section 14 of the ASIC Act, the Treasurer has the legal power to instruct ASIC to commence an investigation. Conversely, does the Treasurer (or other Cabinet Minister such as the Prime Minister) have the power to instruct ASIC to shut down an official investigation? If so, where is this legal power and how would the Treasurer exercise this power? 8. Who within ASIC has the operational power to close an official investigation? Is it: a. The senior investigator? b. The senior manager? c. The executive leaders within the Office of Enforcement? d. ASIC’s Enforcement Committee (which includes ASIC’s Deputy Chair)? e. The ASIC Chairman? 9. Has a Federal Parliament ever been subjected to a section 19 examination by ASIC? On how many occasions has this occurred?

Answer:

Question Number: 68
PDR Number: SBE068
Date Submitted: 14/11/2022
Department or Body: Australian Securities and Investment Commission

1. ASIC staff are generally permitted to access information about ASIC investigations on a ‘need to know’ basis for the proper and efficient performance of their duties unless information about a particular matter has been restricted through system access controls (i.e. the documents are locked down), for example, because it relates to market sensitive information. Staff members are subject to various statutory provisions to properly use confidential information they obtain during their employment including under section 127 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) (“Confidentiality”), section 28 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (“Duty in relation to use of information”), Australian Privacy Principle 6 of the Privacy Act 1988 (“Use or disclosure of personal information”) and Division 122 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which sets out offences for the unauthorised use or disclosure of information obtained by current and former Commonwealth officers.

2. Please refer to the answer to Question 1. It may be necessary for staff outside of the Office of the Enforcement to be aware of whether a person or entity they are interacting with as part of their regulatory work is under investigation. A failure to share this information could result in the investigation or subsequent enforcement action being prejudiced.

3. ASIC is an independent Commonwealth agency and only shares confidential information with Government or other Government agencies where it is appropriate to do so. ASIC’s ability to share confidential information about an investigation with other persons is governed by various legislation, including section 127 of the ASIC Act and the Legal Services Directions 2017 (which requires ASIC to report ‘significant issues’ to the Attorney-General arising during the conduct of litigation, and to also consult Treasury when seeking certain legal advice). Section 127 of the ASIC Act authorises ASIC to disclose confidential information to the Minister or the Secretary of Treasury (or their authorised officer) for the purposes of advising the Minister. ASIC’s Chair (or his or her delegate) can also authorise the disclosure of confidential information to another agency, government, officer, body or committee in certain circumstances (see for example s127(4) of the ASIC Act). ASIC may also, in certain circumstances be directed to prepare and give a copy of an investigation report to the Minister under sections 16, 17 and 18 of the ASIC Act.

4-6. Please refer to the answer to Question 3.

7. ASIC is not aware of any power for the Minister or other Cabinet Ministers to direct ASIC to not investigate a particular matter. Furthermore, subsection 12(3) of the ASIC Act provides that the Minister must not give a direction about a particular case.

8. Generally, ASIC’s Senior Executives in the Office of Enforcement and the Commission Enforcement Committee make decisions to conclude investigations without ASIC taking further action.

9. Yes, ASIC has previously examined a Federal Parliamentarian pursuant to s19 of the ASIC Act. However, ASIC considers that to ascertain the exact number of instances in which this has occurred would involve a manual search of ASIC’s records and would cause an unreasonable diversion of ASIC’s resources.

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HAVE YOUR SAY

LATEST QUESTIONS ON NOTICE

Senator RENNICK: Okay-last question. I had a conversation with Gavin Morris a couple of years ago about the way the ABC reports the increase in temperature from 1910. The ABC, like many other media organisations, reports the homogenised data without actually explaining the difference between the homogenised data and the raw data. Gavin Morris stressed that they reported the raw data. That is incorrect; the ABC reports the homogenised data. So I’ll ask this question again: why won’t the ABC distinguish between the raw data and the homogenised data, which is a different dataset to the actual observations recorded by the bureau? Mr Anderson: I don’t know the answer to that. I will need to take that on notice and provide a response to you. Senator RENNICK: Okay. I would like to point out that Gavin Morris did say last time that they reported the raw data and that they distinguished between raw and homogenised. I’ll stress this again, the ABC doesn’t, but I think in terms of full transparency they should.

Senator RENNICK: Do we have any costings for storage? How much will it cost, in terms of storage, to get to our 2030 target? Mr Duggan: A lot of this is, of course, private provisions. In fact, you’d hope that the vast majority of it was. Government has policies that would assist thatSenator RENNICK: That is fine, but we’re told every day that renewables are cheaper. I want that quote substantiated by proper costings, whether it’s funded publicly or privately, because it’s going to end up either out of the taxpayer’s pocket or on their energy bill. So I’m looking for costings just on storage. I want it on other issues as well, such as transmission, but I’m asking: do you have costings on that storage? Ms Brunoro: We’ll take that on notice. The difficulty with answering that question with any kind of precision is that, in terms of deep storage, it will relate to a number of technologies-it’s the same for deep and shallow. It will ultimately depend on the precise mix of those, but we can do things at a high level with respect to the nature of the type of storage that fits within that and provide some estimates to you. Senator RENNICK: So you don’t have definite figures at the moment? Mr Duggan: What we can do for you-and we’ll have to take this on notice-is look at the existing pipeline of projects that are underway and what the private proponents have told us about the cost of those things. We can add to that: through Rewiring the Nation or other policies that are helping to assist that, we can break down the government contribution to that. But we just don’t have all that detail in front of us. Senator RENNICK: I want government and private, because, ultimately, it going to cost the consumer through taxes or energy bills. But is that fair to say that that’s not completed yet? Mr Duggan: We will take that on notice and we’ll endeavour to do our best to come back to you.

Senator RENNICK: Thanks very much. Yet again, in terms of the overall modelling, have you got a breakout of how many turbines you need, how many solar panels you need to get to 82 per cent renewables? Ms Brunoro: Again, the Integrated System Plan does provide an indication of the type of the level of renewable energy, so just bear with us a second. Mr Peisley: Sorry, I don’t think we do have that figure in front of us. We’re happy to take it on notice and get it to you. Ms Brunoro: But if it gives you a sense of it, it’s nine times the amount of the existing variable renewable energy that currently is-well, as of when the last Integrated System Plan came out, it was operating in the NEM at that point. So that gives you the quantum ofSenator RENNICK: So nine times what? Ms Brunoro: Nine times. Senator RENNICK: Yes, but what? Ms Brunoro: The variable renewable energy that is currently in the National Electricity Market. Senator RENNICK: So what’s the cost of that? Ms Brunoro: Again, Senator, it depends on the mix of technologies that you’re going to deploy. There are some figures that we can pull out for you around what they roughly think around different-solar versus wind for instance. We can actually seek to provideSenator RENNICK: So can you give me some definite costings on that? Not now, but on notice?

1. According to the December 2020 update, Australia emitted 499 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent to a 5 per cent decrease on 2019. Australia’s grasslands are estimated to be 440 million hectares and native forest 147 million hectares, a total of approximately 587 hectares. It is estimated forest and grasslands absorb between 0.5 and 2 tonnes of carbon per hectare. Assuming an average of 1 tonne of CO2 absorbed by these landscapes then isn’t Australia already at net zero? 2. Can the CSIRO provide a comprehensive roadmap of the work required for Australia to meet a 43% reduction in CO2 by 2030? This roadmap should set out the length of transmission lines, the number of transmission towers, the number of solar panels (for a given wattage), the number of wind turbines (for a given wattage), the number of batteries (for a given storage), the amount of lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel, concrete, and steel etc. needed to build the aforesaid generators and storage. It will need to include the amount of land needed for solar, wind, transmission, and storage products and the biodiversity offsets. Could the amount of CO2 required to build, recycle, or dispose of the aforementioned items also be included. Likewise, could the cost of building, recycling, and disposing of the aforementioned items also be clearly outlined. Biodiversity impacts such as increased tyre wear due to heavier batteries in cars, increased breaking distance on roadkill, impact on bats and birds from transmission lines and wind turbines, and removal of native flora and fauna due to land use should also be clearly outlined. 3. If the CSIRO cannot provide, can it state which department is responsible for maintaining and tracking the roadmap and refer the question onto them? 4. Could the change in Earth’s temperature as a result of Australia undertaking the 43% reduction in CO2 measures please be stated in order to ensure appropriate benchmarking and accountability if targets are not met? 5. Could the CSIRO confirm if every country uses the same methods to calculate CO2 emission and reductions? If not, why not? What guarantees are there under the Net Zero that Australia won’t be disadvantaged as a result of signing up to the Net Zero pledge?

1. Can the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water provide a comprehensive roadmap of the work required for Australia to meet a 43% reduction in CO2 by 2030. This roadmap should set out the length of transmission lines, the number of transmission towers, the number of solar panels (for a give wattage), the number of wind turbines (for a given wattage), the number of batteries (for a given storage), the amount of lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel, concrete, and steel etc. needed to build the aforesaid generators and storage. It will need to include the amount of land needed for solar, wind, transmission and storage products, and the biodiversity offsets. Could the amount of CO2 required to build, recycle, or dispose of the aforementioned items also be included? Likewise, could the cost of building, recycling, and disposing of the aforementioned items also be clearly outlined? Biodiversity impacts such as increased tyre wear due to heavier batteries in cars, increased breaking distance on roadkill, impact on bats and birds from transmission lines and wind turbines, and removal of native flora and fauna due to land use should also be clearly outlined. 2. If the Department cannot provide, can it state which department is responsible for maintaining and tracking the roadmap and refer the question onto them?

1. What research is the CSIRO undertaking in regard to using mosquitoes as a way to spread vectors? 2. Referring to this NASA energy diagram http://climateimages.homestead.com/nasa-2.jpg we see a claim that greenhouse gases (GHG) send 324 w/sqm downwards but there is only a total of 165 + 30 = 195 w/sqm going from the atmosphere and clouds upwards to Space. Does the CSIRO agree that the GHG molecules somehow “know” to radiate more downwards than upwards? How does it explain these figures in that NASA energy diagram? 3. The same diagram shows a total of 168 + 324 = 492 w/sqm coming out of the base of the atmosphere and into the surface, whereas the solar radiation that enters the atmosphere after some is reflected back to Space is only 342 – 77 = 265 w/sqm, so how is that 265 somehow increased to 492 w/sqm by the atmosphere as is implied? 4. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann Law calculator at https://coolgyan.org/calculators/stefanboltzmann-law-calculator and entering 1 for emissivity (because reflection by the surface has been deducted) and 168 w/sqm does the CSIRO agree that we get a temperature of about 233.3K (about -40C) for what the Solar radiation could achieve on its own? 5. Using the same calculator, does the CSIRO agree that 342 w/sqm is what would be emitted by a blackbody at about 278.7K (about 5.5C)? 6. Does the CSIRO agree that water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane each only radiate in a few frequencies whereas a blackbody radiates a full spectrum of frequencies? 7. Considering all questions above, is it likely that GHG spread out over the height of the troposphere would radiate as much to the surface as a blackbody at an altitude of only about 1.5Km where the average temperature would be about 278.7K? 8. A climatologist Dr Roy Spencer once admitted that the 324 back radiation figure was not a measurement but merely calculated so that all figures balance. Has the CSIRO any contrary information as to how it was either measured or calculated, noting the fact that it implies that the atmosphere generates energy? 9. Referring to the calculations in the note below the NASA diagram, does the CSIRO agree, using the Stefan-Boltzmann calculator, that the net 390 w/sqm is the (uniform) radiation from a blackbody that would achieve a temperature of about 288.0K namely just under 15C as the global mean surface temperature? 10. Can the CSIRO produce any documentation or experiments that confirm that the StefanBoltzmann Law can be used for the arithmetic sum of radiative fluxes from different sources, such as is implied it can be in the NASA diagram. Does it have any such proof that it can be used and give correct temperatures for such a sum of atmospheric and solar radiation less nonradiative surface cooling? 11. In light of responses to all the above, does the CSIRO agree that the NASA diagram does not represent reality and the surface temperature cannot be quantified with such radiation calculations as are implied (and no doubt used in computer models) by that NASA diagram? 12. In the 1870’s a physicist named Josef Loschmidt explained that gravity forms a temperature gradient in solids, liquids, and gases. Do you agree that Loschmidt was correct? 13. Climatologist Dr Roy Spencer once stated “that a column of air in the troposphere would have been isothermal but for the assumed greenhouse effect.” This is in accord with the “explanation” once appearing on the IPCC website that the solar radiation achieves a temperature of 255K at the “radiating altitude” and that GHG radiation then raises the surface temperature (from what it would have been if the troposphere were isothermal, namely 255K) by 33 degrees to 288K, this being the global mean surface temperature. That would mean that water vapour (the main GHG) does most of those 33 degrees and thus increases the magnitude of the temperature gradient. But it is well known that water vapour reduces the magnitude of the temperature gradient (AKA “lapse rate”) so how do scientists explain this contradiction? 14. It may be shown that the temperature gradient in all planetary tropospheres is a function of the quotient of the acceleration due to the planet’s gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases. This is accurately the case for the planet Uranus where Voyager II made measurements. Yet the base of the 350Km high nominal troposphere of Uranus is estimated to be 320K – hotter than Earth’s mean surface temperature, even though the Solar radiation can achieve only about 53K at the top of that troposphere. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranus#Troposphere) There is no compelling evidence of net cooling of Uranus and there is no Solar radiation reaching the base of that troposphere and nor any solid surface there, so how do scientists explain the necessary heat input to support such a temperature? 15. Climate change theory appears to explain quite cogently that the “science” upon which it is assumed that carbon dioxide and methane could warm the planet is based on a false supposed application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in that (as implied in climatology energy diagrams) it depends upon the false assumption that radiation from these gases in cool regions of the atmosphere could cause heat transfer into the warmer surface. Why does the CSIRO not believe in the second law of thermodynamics? 16. Albert Einstein in his 1917 paper on the Quantum Theory of Radiation states the radiation is so insignificant as compared with other heat transfers that it drops out. Does the CSIRO believe Albert Einstein is wrong? 17. Won’t convection naturally offset any insignificant impact of radiation as a result of the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

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