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Tuesday, 13 September 2005
Page: 42

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage, entitled Sustainable cities, tabled on 12 September 2005, and

(ii)   the committee’s call for the Government to exercise leadership in addressing urgent issues of sustainability, including:

(a)   increasing funding for public transport,

(b)   establishing an Australian sustainability charter and an independent Australian sustainability commission,

(c)   reviewing fringe benefits tax concessions for car use,

(d)   considering lifting the tariff on four-wheel drive vehicles, while exempting primary producers,

(e)   coordinating a national report on options for future water use, including greater use of recycled water,

(f)   encouraging state and territory governments to mandate disclosure of energy efficiency and greenhouse performance of residential properties at point of sale or lease,

(g)   ensuring that Commonwealth departments improve the energy efficiency of the properties they own or lease,

(h)   doubling the photovoltaic rebate to encourage the uptake of photovoltaic systems,

(i)   examining the environmental and economic benefits of decentralised energy delivery and encouraging investment in this area, and

(j)   developing a set of national environmental objectives for Australia; and

(b)   calls on the Government to adopt the committee’s recommendations.

Senator Murray to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in March 2006:

The impact on rural water usage of recent water policy initiatives and the possible role for Commonwealth agencies, with particular reference to:

(a)   the development of water property titles;

(b)   methods of protection for rivers and aquifers;

(c)   farming innovation;

(d)   monitoring drought and predicting farm water demand; and

(e)   the implications for agriculture of predicted changes in patterns of precipitation and temperature.

Senator Siewert to move on Tuesday, 4 October 2005:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes the damage caused to deep sea coral and sponge communities by the increasing prevalence of bottom trawling;

(b)   recognises that unregulated high seas bottom trawling is inconsistent with international law as recognised in the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Law of the Sea;

(c)   acknowledges the collapse of seamount fisheries to the south east of Australia, with severe consequences for target species such as orange roughy as well as many untargeted species;

(d)   commends the Government for taking initial steps toward protecting some deep sea coral and sponge ecosystems under its jurisdiction;

(e)   supports the prohibition of bottom trawling of deep sea coral and sponge ecosystems in Australian waters; and

(f)   supports a UN moratorium on high seas bottom trawling pending the development and implementation of legally-binding regimes to protect deep sea biodiversity from high seas bottom trawling and to conserve and manage bottom fisheries of the high seas consistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (1995), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Agreement to promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (1993), the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (1995).

Senator O’Brien to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   based on longstanding bipartisan policy as announced by the then Prime Minister, Mr Fraser, in May 1997 (Uranium—Australia’s Decision, Fraser Government, 24 May 1977), export of uranium from Australia is permitted only to those states which are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and with which Australia has a bilateral safeguards agreement,

(ii)   Australia has a right to be selective as to the countries to which it is prepared to export uranium on the basis of the need for assurances that exported uranium and its derivates cannot be used in the development of nuclear weapons or in other military programs,

(iii)   Australia has 19 bilateral safeguard agreements which cover 36 countries that are party to the treaty, providing for the continued export of uranium to those countries including existing exports to Japan, South Korea, France, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Finland and the United States of America,

(iv)   China is a signatory to the treaty, and

(v)   India is not a signatory to the treaty; and therefore

(b)   calls on the Government to immediately rule out the export of uranium from Australia to India in order to uphold our international obligations as a signatory to the treaty.

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   half of the world’s population lives on less than $US2 a day, and

(ii)   the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) has flagged increasing Australia’s overseas aid contribution by $1 billion, phased in over 5 years, which will still leave Australia short of the United Nations (UN) recommended level of 0.7 per cent of gross national income;

(b)   calls on the Government at the New York summit on the UN Millennium Development Goals, from 14 September to 16 September 2005, to commit to lifting Australia’s overseas aid contribution to the UN recommended level within 3 years; and in the meantime

(c)   calls on the Government to double its current overseas aid budget and allocate $5 billion in the 2006-07 Budget for the purpose.