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Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Page: 7253

Senator Cormann, Senator Fielding and Senator Xenophon to move on the next day of sitting:

   That items 42698, 42701, 42702 and 42718 in Part 3 of Schedule 1 to the Health Insurance (General Medical Services Table) Regulations 2009, as contained in Select Legislative Instrument 2009 No. 272 and made under the Health Insurance Act 1973, be disallowed.

Senator Moore to move on 16 November 2009:

   That the Senate—

(a)   applauds the Government’s increase of total health funding in the foreign aid budget and an increase in spending to maternal, newborn and child health and acknowledges that this is much needed when in our region, including South Asia, 200 000 mothers and 3.2 million children are dying every year from preventable causes;

(b)   notes that:

(i)   Australia still requires an increase in total health funding in the foreign aid budget to progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 by 2015,

(ii)   MDG 4, to reduce child mortality by two-thirds, and MDG 5, to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters, have made the slowest progress of all the MDGs and are off-track to being achieved by 2015,

(iii)   MDG 5 has made virtually no progress globally and has reversed in most of sub-Saharan Africa in the past 20 years and it is the only MDG not making progress of any significance, and

(iv)   the health MDGs are achievable but require increased effort and greater cooperation from all developing and developed countries, given that evidence indicates that successful proven, cost-effective strategies exist that can reduce child deaths by at least 60 per cent and maternal deaths by 75 per cent, saving the lives of 240 000 children and 26 000 mothers in our immediate region each year;

(c)   acknowledges the importance of the Australian Government increasing its support for health systems in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa (through coordinated mechanisms including the international Health Partnership) to ensure that adequate, coordinated, long-term and predictable donor resources are available to support effective basic and reproductive health plans and systems in each developing country in our region;

(d)   recognises that greater focus must be placed on training health professionals and midwives to ensure significant reductions in newborn, child and maternal mortality and that system strengthening must also be ensured to provide incentives for staff to remain in country and in areas of need; and

(e)   recognises that an increase in Australian support for maternal and child health related spending is required to support the provision of basic health services and strengthened health systems and that this will demonstrate Australia’s leadership and commitment to ending the preventable deaths of children and mothers globally.

Senator Fisher to move on the next day of sitting:

   That—

(a)   when the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee meets to consider additional estimates in 2010:

(i)   the committee further examine Fair Work Australia, and

(ii)   the President of Fair Work Australia appear before the committee to answer questions; and

(b)   on each subsequent occasion on which the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee meets to consider estimates in relation to Fair Work Australia, the President of Fair Work Australia appear before the committee to answer questions.

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the following matters be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 31 March 2010:

(a)   a reconsideration of the committee’s findings in relation to Australia’s Mandatory Last Resort Home Warranty Insurance Scheme, in light of:

(i)   the 2008 Federal Ombudsman’s report that demonstrated that last resort home warranty insurance is the worst performing insurance in the nation,

(ii)   the Essential Services Commission’s review of the Victorian Domestic Insurance Scheme which demonstrates that there is virtually no benefit to anyone other than the insurers and their brokers of this insurance product,

(iii)   evidence to these inquiries which demonstrate that the Senate’s conclusions were based on information now shown to be wrong, including the fact that the Senate estimated that less than 10 per cent of builders provided securities whereas 44 per cent of those in Victoria have done so since 2002,

(iv)   the lack of competition in the market which is now down to three insurers, and

(v)   the questionable legality of the deeds of indemnity, bank guarantees and securities demanded by insurers as a condition of eligibility for warranty insurance;

(b)   any reforms which may lead to appropriate consumer and builder protection and improved housing affordability; and

(c)   any related matters.

Senator Ludwig to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate notes that the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2009 proposes legislative reforms to enhance competitive outcomes in the telecommunications industry and strengthen consumer safeguards, and is independent of the Government’s new National Broadband Network legislation, and is therefore exempt from the order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 relating to the consideration of that legislation.

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

   That the Senate agrees with a recent European Union resolution on Sri Lanka, that:

   (a)   deplores the fact that approximately 250 000 Tamil civilians are still held in camps, contrary to undertakings given by the Colombo Government, and calls on the Government to return them to their homes and give humanitarian organisations free access to the camps to provide necessary humanitarian assistance;

(b)   Tamil leaders must commit themselves to a political settlement and renounce terrorism and violence once and for all;

(c)   the Government must respect human rights in the conduct of trials of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam members;

(d)   the Sri Lankan Government must cease its repression of the media in the name of its anti-terrorist legislation, which must be overhauled, and press freedom must be recognised; and

(e)   the Sri Lankan Government must put more effort into clearing minefields, which are a serious obstacle to reconstruction and economic recovery, and must comply with the Ottawa Treaty (Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction).

Senator Milne to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   the Renewable Energy Target Scheme allows renewable energy certificates to be generated from the installation of solar hot water and heat pumps, even though these are energy efficiency measures and not renewable energy generators,

(ii)   this, as predicted by the industry and the Australia Greens, has collapsed the price, and

(iii)   many hundreds of jobs are at risk in the coming months, unless the problem is fixed; and

(b)   calls on the Government to immediately reintroduce Renewable Energy Electricity legislation to address the problem by making the credits from these technologies additional to the renewable energy target.