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Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Page: 88

Senator Eggleston to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Committee be authorised to hold a private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1) during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 10 May 2007, from 1 pm.

Senator Watson to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, 13 June 2007, from 11.30 am to 1 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the financial reporting and equipment acquisition at the Department of Defence and the Defence Materiel Organisation.

Senator Payne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of the report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on the Cluster Munitions (Prohibition) Bill 2006 be extended to 31 May 2007.

Senator Stephens to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the growing incidence of, and pressures on, grandparents who are being called upon to resume the role of parenting of grandchildren because of family tragedies, family breakdown, or the devastating impact of drug or alcohol abuse,

(ii)   the important role played by community organisations and support services in highlighting these issues and seeking funding for services, and

(iii)   the fundamental role many grandparents play in holding family units together, and their struggle to provide a safe, secure and supportive environment for their grandchildren;

(b)   acknowledges:

(i)   the support currently provided by government departments and agencies,

(ii)   the contribution of peak organisations, including research and reports developed by such bodies as Families Australia (Grandparenting: present and future, January 2007) and, in the Australian Capital Territory, the Canberra Mothercraft Society Inc (Grandparents parenting children because of alcohol and other drugs, 2006), and

(iii)   calls to achieve substantive improvements in quality of life for grandparents and the children in their care by advocating for legislative recognition of these particular family units and their unique situations;

(c)   recognises:

(i)   the need for relevant, current and accessible information as soon as children arrive,

(ii)   the potential for significant financial hardship and compromise when they take on parenting of grandchildren,

(iii)   the need for access to affordable legal advice and support,

(iv)   that parenting over the age of 55 years has significant health impacts,

(v)   the significant contribution grandparents make to the social capital of their communities and the nation, and

(vi)   the need for further research to identify the extent of grandparent families, particularly Indigenous grandparent families; and

(d)   calls for improved responses by government to these issues, including in relation to:

(i)   accessibility of relevant information and advice,

(ii)   consideration of financial implications,

(iii)   legal complexities and costs,

(iv)   health impacts on grandparents and children,

(v)   impact on grandparents and their contribution to society, and

(vi)   the need for further research.

Senator Sherry to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate notes the 2007-08 Budget:

(a)   fails to:

(i)   tackle Australia’s poor productivity performance,

(ii)   meet the challenges of climate change,

(iii)   deliver practical solutions to the water crisis, and

(v)   ensure long-term investment in broadband infrastructure; and

(b)   focuses on a short-term election fix rather than long-term nation building.

Senator Joyce to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   on 30 April 2007, CPA Australia presented Senator John Watson with the Meritorious Service Award, and

(ii)   the Meritorious Service Award is the highest honour bestowed by CPA Australia; and

(b)   commends Senator Watson, the father of the Senate, for his long-standing contribution to the Senate and the people of Australia particularly for his work on superannuation.

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the extensive history of violence directed towards human rights defenders and non-violent activists in Colombia, and

(ii)   that Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits violence against civilians in the context of armed conflict that occurs within the borders of a sovereign state and is not of an international character;

(b)   recognises the importance of human rights and peace work in the current situation in Colombia;

(c)   recalls its resolution of 4 August 2004, in which it expressed its ‘hope that the Colombian Government will guarantee the safety of the people of San José de Apartadó, and of the international observers who accompany them’;

(d)   remembers the death of Luis Eduardo Guerra, leader of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, his partner and child, in a massacre of eight people in the Department of Antioquia, Colombia in February 2005;

(e)   notes that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has strongly condemned these murders and called on Colombian authorities to prosecute those responsible;

(f)   recognises the importance of the Colombian Public Prosecutor calling in 69 soldiers from the 17th Brigade, based in Carepa, Department of Antioquia, for questioning in regards to this tragic crime; and

(g)   calls on the Colombian Government to:

(i)   ensure that this investigation is carried out in an exhaustive and impartial manner to ascertain all the relevant facts and bring to justice those responsible for the murders, and

(ii)   open an investigation of the 130 murders of members of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó which have not yet been duly investigated.

Senator Allison to move on 13 June 2007:

   That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to establish a Commission for peace and non-violence, and for related purposes. Peace Commission and Non-Violence Bill 2007.

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that most industrialised nations now accept the imperative of constraining global temperature increase to 2 degrees or less to avoid catastrophic climate change; and

(b)   agrees that the imperative of constraining global temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels should underpin government policy responses to global warming.

Senator Bob Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate calls on the Government to inform the Senate by 13 June 2007 on the following matters:

(a)   the number of civilians displaced by the war in Iraq, both internally and externally;

(b)   the circumstances of these Iraqi refugees;

(c)   what aid or assistance is going to the refugees and what component of that aid comes from the Australian Government;

(d)   how many such refugees have been accommodated in Australia and what plans there are to give refuge to more; and

(e)   what calls from the United Nations, the Red Cross or any other international agencies have been made to nations, including Australia, to meet the refugees’ needs.