Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Page: 5516


Senator WORTLEY (3:42 PM) —On behalf of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, I give notice that, 15 sitting days after today, I shall move:

That the Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Rules 2008 (No. 2) made under item 3A of the table in section 333-20 of the Private Health Insurance Act 2007, be disallowed.

I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a short summary of the matter raised by the committee.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Private Health Insurance (Benefit Requirements) Rules 2008 (No. 2) made under item 3A of the table in section 333-20 of the Private Health Insurance Act 2007

These Rules specify the minimum benefit requirements for psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care and other hospital treatment.

The Explanatory Statement to this instrument states that in Part 3 of Schedule 3 to the Rules, Category 9 of the current Rules (which comprises certain Medicare Dental Items) has been omitted from the Type C List in the Rules. This reflects the withdrawal of these items from the Medicare Benefits Schedule by the Health Insurance (Dental Services) Amendment and Repeal Determination 2008. However, that Determination was disallowed by the Senate on 19 June 2008, with the consequence that those items were reinstated in the Medicare Benefits Schedule on that date. The Committee has written to the Minister seeking advice on this matter.

Senator Milne to move 10 sitting days after today:

   That the Environmental and Natural Resource Management Guidelines in relation to the establishment of trees for the purposes of carbon sequestration, made under subsection 40-1010(3) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, be disallowed. [F2008L02397]

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   the South African Minister of Minerals and Energy, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, in the week beginning 21 September 2008 put on hold the mining rights previously awarded to the Australian company Mineral Commodities Limited and its South African partner Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources,

(ii)   this planned sand mining operation along a 22 kilometre stretch of coastal dunes on South Africa’s wild coast would have changed the way of life of the AmaDiba people who have lived in the area for centuries, and

(iii)   such changes may cause further social conflict, forced evictions, loss of access to farmland, relocation of ancestral graves, destruction of culturally-important archaeological sites and unacceptable environmental and health impacts; and

(b)   calls on the Government to investigate whether human rights abuses, violence and conflict have occurred or are occurring, as a result of this Australian company’s activities and planned mining operations.

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   prior to the 2007 federal election the Australian Labor Party (ALP) promised to reform the Freedom of Information (FOI) process and establish an FOI Commissioner,

(ii)   at the time the ALP said that ‘The current FOI regime allows the Howard Government to escape real transparency and genuine accountability. For 11 years, the Howard Government has shrunk away from the light of public scrutiny and transparency - by abusing the current FOI laws’,

(iii)   it took the Government 6 months to decide to release (subject to the agreement of Gunns Ltd) the report by Dr Michael Herzfeld on the potential marine impact of effluent from the Gunns’ pulp mill, and

(iv)   the Government has recently refused the Senate’s request for the release of the Wilkins report, Strategic Review of Climate Change Policies, citing Howard Government precedence as an excuse; and

(b)   calls on the Government:

(i)   to live up to its election promise to govern with transparency and accountability, strengthening the public interest test for access to information, and

(ii)   to update the Senate on its review of the FOI process.