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Tuesday, 10 August 2004
Page: 26009

Senator Mason to move on the next day of sitting:

That the time for the presentation of the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters on electoral funding and disclosure and any amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Act necessary in relation to political donations be extended to 30 September 2004.

Senator Heffernan to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, 11 August 2004, from 4.30 pm to 8 pm, to take evidence for the committee's inquiry into the provisions of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2004.

Senator Ridgeway to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 9 August 2004 was International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples,

(ii) this is the final year of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, which commenced in 1995, and

(iii) the theme of the decade was `Indigenous people—partnership in action', with the focus on strengthening international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by Indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health;

(b) notes that Mr John Howard's Coalition Government has been in power for eight of the 10 years in which the human rights of Indigenous people have been an international focus and that, in those past 8 years:

(i) the gap between the life expectancy of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has widened,

(ii) Indigenous Australians continue to suffer from ill-health at drastically higher rates than non-Indigenous Australians, for example, Indigenous people suffer from middle ear infections at a rate that is more than 4 times that determined by the World Health Organization to constitute a national health emergency,

(iii) the rates of imprisonment of Indigenous Australians have increased compared to those of non-Indigenous Australians,

(iv) the ratio of Indigenous to non-Indigenous university students has declined, and

(v) amendments to the NativeTitleAct1993 have further diminished Indigenous land rights;

(c) notes that:

(i) self-determination is a human right enshrined in international law, that services to Indigenous people are most effective when they are controlled and run by Indigenous people, and that Indigenous self-determination in Australia has been attacked by the Howard Government's mainstreaming approach, including the recent abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, and the tendering out of Indigenous Legal Services, and

(ii) Australia is the only state which has spoken, in the inter-sessional Working Group, against the inclusion of any language of self-determination in the draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and

(d) calls on the Government to:

(i) immediately abandon its alternative draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as this contravenes the basic anti-discrimination principles of the common article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and

(ii) engage in constructive dialogue with Indigenous groups in Australia, and to ensure that any proposal to alter the current text of the draft declaration adheres to the principles espoused by Mick Dodson in 1996, namely, the proposal must be reasonable, necessary and strengthen the existing text, and accord with the principles of equality, non-discrimination and the absolute prohibition of racial discrimination.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Finance and Administration, no later than 1 pm on 12 August 2004, the document containing the Commonwealth sites, including offshore islands and territories, listed as potential sites for the storage of nuclear waste and referred to by the Minister on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's AMProgram on 14 July 2004.

Senator Sherry to move 15 sitting days after today:

That new Divisions 9.2A and 9.2B in item [10] of Schedule 1 to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 2), as contained in Statutory Rules 2004 No. 84 and made under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, be disallowed.

Senator Greig to move, contingent on the notice of motion for the first reading of the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 being called on:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Greig moving a motion to provide that the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 not be further considered until the Senate has finally considered the Sexuality and Gender Identity Discrimination Bill 2003.

Senator Greig to move, contingent on the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 being read a second time:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Greig moving a motion to provide that the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 not be further considered until the Senate has finally considered the Sexuality Anti-Vilification Bill 2003.

Senator Greig to move, contingent on the order of the day for the further consideration of the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 being called on:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Greig moving a motion to provide that further consideration of the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004 be postponed until the Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee has presented its report on the provisions of the Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill 2004.

Senator Bartlett to move two sitting days after today:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the High Court of Australia on Friday, 6 August 2004, gave rulings addressing two areas of great significance regarding existing Australian legislation,

(ii) the ruling showed that there is a lack of any statutory provisions for stateless people within the jurisdiction of Australia, resulting in the possibility of lifetime detention for any stateless person who was not granted a protection visa but cannot be deported to any other country, and

(iii) the ruling also showed that there is a lack of legislation relating to conditions of administrative detention that must be met for that detention to remain lawful; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government, as a matter of urgency, to:

(i) enact legislation to prevent the situation whereby people who have been charged with no crime are faced with the possibility of lifetime detention,

(ii) enact legislation to resolve the issue whereby there are no legal provisions regarding the conditions which administrative detention must meet in order to remain lawful,

(iii) resolve the issues surrounding stateless people currently in immigration detention in Australia, by the granting of visas while the Government is unable to deport those people, and

(iv) investigate the implications of the High Court's interpretation of the Australian Constitution that allows for lifetime administrative detention, with a view to enacting a Bill of Rights in order to protect people within the jurisdiction of Australia from such an abuse of basic human rights.

Senator Ian Campbell to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to provide certainty about the validity of certain plans of management under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, and for related purposes. Fisheries (Validation of Plans of Management) Bill 2004.

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Western Australia—Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (3.36 p.m.)—I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5), (6) and (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2004, allowing it to be considered during this period of sittings.

I also table a statement of reasons justifying the need for this bill to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Purpose of the Bill

The bill introduces new and updated telecommunications offences in the Criminal Code to replace existing outdated offences in the Crimes Act 1914, including Internet child pornography offences and Internet “grooming” and procuring offences. The bill will also insert new contamination of goods offences and new personal financial information offences into the Criminal Code and includes a number of other measures, clarifying aspects of the Criminal Code, Customs Act 1901, Cybercrime Act 2001, Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987 and Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991.

Reasons for Urgency

The content of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures) Bill 2004, introduced in the Senate on 24 June 2004, was re-introduced in the House of Representatives on 4 August 2004 in two separate bills: the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures) Bill (No. 2) (the Telecommunications Offences Bill No. 2) and the Criminal Code Amendment (Suicide Related Material Offences) Bill.

The Telecommunications Offences Bill No. 2 contains a number of very important measures dealing with use of the Internet to facilitate or exploit the sexual abuse of children. These measures include new offences covering use of the Internet to access, transmit and make available child pornography, and use of the Internet to “groom” or procure children with the intention of engaging in sexual activity with them.

The Telecommunications Offences Bill No. 2 also contains a range of other new measures of particular relevance to events of recent years. These include strong new offences dealing with:

- threats and hoaxes made over the telephone or by email

- contamination of goods, and

- dishonestly obtaining or dealing in personal financial information (these offences cover credit card skimming and “phishing” for bank details over the Internet).

Given the important issues dealt with by the Telecommunications Offences Bill No. 2, the Australian community would benefit greatly from it being considered and passed by the Senate as soon as possible.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Justice and Customs)