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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 2403

Senator Moore to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of the report of the Community Affairs Committee on compliance audits on Medicare benefits be extended to 10 June 2009.

Senator Hurley to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of the report of the Economics Committee on foreign investment in Australia be extended to 17 July 2009.

Senator McGauran to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 14 May 2009, from 9.30 am.

Senator Colbeck to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of the report of the Select Committee on Climate Policy be extended to 15 June 2009.

Senator Hogg to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate records its deep regret at the death, on 24 April 2009, of Miss Anne Lynch, former Deputy Clerk of the Senate, and places on record its appreciation of her long and meritorious public service and tenders its profound sympathy to her family in their bereavement.

Senator Hutchins to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   the passing of the esteemed union leader and Australian Labor Party (ALP) hero, Mr Laurie Short, and

(ii)   the international regard in which he was held as a prominent member of the Australian labour movement;

(b)   acknowledges his substantial contribution to fighting the communist threat within the labour movement and the ALP;

(c)   recognises that he made this contribution at a time when opposing the communists meant risking real physical harm, which he was subjected to from time to time; and

(d)   passes its condolences to his daughter, Susanna Short and her family.

Senator Minchin to move on the next day of sitting:

(1)   That the Senate notes that the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (Senator Conroy) is in contempt of the Senate for his failure to comply with a Senate order of 4 February 2009 for the production of documents relating to the National Broadband Network (NBN) tender process.

(2)   That there be laid on the table by 6.50 pm on Wednesday, 13 May 2009:

(a)   the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s formal report on the NBN proposals to the NBN Panel of Experts; and

(b)   the final report provided to the Government from the NBN Panel of Experts on submissions to the NBN process.

(3)   That if the Government continues to refuse to comply with the orders of the Senate for the provision of these documents, consideration of any bill relating to the Government’s ‘new national broadband network’ be postponed and made an order of the day for the next day of sitting after the documents described in (2)(a) and (2)(b) are laid on the table.

Senators Siewert and Fifield to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the following matters be referred to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee for inquiry and report by 25 June 2009:

(a)   the conduct of the 2009 tendering process by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to award Employment Services contracts, with particular attention to:

(i)   the design on the tender, including the weighting given to past performance and the weighting given to the ‘value for money’ delivered by previous and new service providers,

(ii)   evaluation of the tenders submitted against the selection criteria, including the relationship between recent service performance evaluations in various existing programs (such as provider star ratings), selection criteria and tendering outcomes, and

(iii)   the extent to which the recommendations of the 2002 Productivity Commission report into employment services have been implemented;

(b)   the level of change of service providers and proportion of job seekers required to change providers, and the impacts of this disruption in communities with high levels of unemployment or facing significant increases in unemployment;

(c)   any differences between the recommendations of the Tender Assessment Panel and the announcement by the Minister for Employment Participation of successful tenders on 2 April;

(d)   the transaction costs of this level of provider turnover, the time taken to establish and ‘bed-down’ new employment services, and the likely impacts of this disruption on both new and existing clients seeking support during a period of rapidly rising unemployment;

(e)   communication by the department to successful and unsuccessful tenderers, the communications protocol employed during the probity period, and referrals to employment services by Centrelink during the transition period;

(f)   the extent to which the Government has kept its promise that Personal Support Program, Job Placement Employment and Training and Community Work Coordinator providers would not be disadvantaged in the process, and the number of smaller ‘specialist’ employment service providers delivering more client-focused services still supported by the Employment Services program;

(g)   the particular impact on Indigenous Employment Services providers and Indigenous-focused Employment Services providers;

(h)   the Employment Services Model, including whether it is sustainable in a climate of low employment growth and rising unemployment, and whether there is capacity to revise it in the face of changed economic circumstances; and

(i)   recommendations for the best way to maintain an appropriate level of continuity of service and ongoing sector viability while at the same time ensuring service quality and accountability and maximising the ancillary benefits for social inclusion through connection and integration with other services.

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

   That the Senate, in regard to the massacre of civilians, including hundreds of children in the Tamil homelands of northern Sri Lanka, calls on the Government to take decisive action commensurate with the need to immediately halt this unnecessary bloodshed.

Senator Hanson-Young to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 to guarantee 26 weeks government-funded paid parental leave, and for related purposes. Fair Work Amendment (Paid Parental Leave) Bill 2009.

Senator Ludlam to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   recalls the Government’s election promise and policy platform to repeal the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act 2005;

(b)   notes:

(i)   the statement given by the Minister for Resources and Energy (Mr Ferguson) on ABC Radio, Darwin, on 30 April 2009 which indicated that the Government will keep its election promise, but refused to confirm when this will occur, and

(ii)   that the Minister indicated that scientific reports on the assessment of potential sites have almost been completed and that the Government will be making a recommendation on an appropriate site, but has not yet finalised its policy on community consultation; and

(c)   calls on the Government to establish a process for identifying suitable sites that is scientific, transparent, accountable, fair and allows access to appeal mechanisms, ensures full community consultation in radioactive waste decision-making processes, and for international best practice scientific processes, including transportation and storage, to underpin Australia’s radioactive waste management.

Senator Siewert to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that the week beginning 11 May 2009 is National Volunteer Week;

(b)   recognises that more than 5.4 million Australian volunteers contribute more than 700 million hours of their time to support our community in a wide range of areas from aged cared, health, emergency services, education and sport;

(c)   acknowledges that community groups, charities and services would not be able to deliver their services without volunteers;

(d)   commends volunteers for their tireless contributions to our community; and

(e)   acknowledges the enormous role that volunteers play in civil society.