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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 241

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (15:43): I know Senator Rhiannon was intending to lodge a notice of motion and I think she went out of the chamber to try to organise it. So I will give notice on her behalf just in case she has not had yet the opportunity to sign her notice.

The PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Senator Siewert. We will take that in general terms as a notice of motion that Senator Rhiannon will lodge.

The following notices were presented—

Senators Brown and Conroy to move:

That the Senate—

notes that:

the 2016 Paralympics will take place in Rio from 7 September to 18 September,

around 4,350 athletes from more than 160 countries will travel to Rio to compete in 528 medal events in 22 different sports,

Australia will be represented by 169 athletes competing across 15 sports, and

Australia has a proud history of success at the Paralympic Games, competing at every Games since the first one in Rome in 1960 and finishing in the top five at every summer Games since the Barcelona Games in 1992, including at the London 2012 Paralympic Games where Australia placed fifth on the gold medal tally with 32 gold, 23 silver and 30 bronze medals;

recognises that the Paralympic Games play an important role in:

putting a spotlight on inclusion in our society,

highlighting the need for greater support for people living with disability in Australia and around the world,

shaping community attitudes towards disability, and

promoting sport for all Australians;

recognises the dedication and hard work of the athletes who have been named as part of the Australian Paralympic Team;

wishes our athletes well in Rio; and

calls on all parliamentarians to support the Australian Paralympic Team at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Senator Singh to move:

That the Senate—

notes that:

a large cache of documents has been made public regarding the treatment of asylum seekers including children on Nauru, and

these documents contain concerning reports of alleged abuse; and

call upon the Australian Government:

to reveal whether these serious and disturbing allegations of abuse have been investigated and the outcomes of those investigations, and

to appoint an Independent Children’s Advocate backed by adequate resources and statutory powers to ensure the rights and interests of children are protected.

Senators Leyonhjelm, Day, Xenophon, Lambie, Griff, Kakoschke-Moore, Burston, Culleton and Roberts, the Leader of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (Senator Hanson) and Senator Hinch to move:


the Senate notes that:

the President’s report to the Senate on government responses outstanding to parliamentary committee reports as at 30 June 2016, listed the report of the Select Committee on Wind Turbines amongst the reports the Government had failed to respond to within the 3 month timeframe, and

the Government still has not provided a formal response to the committee’s report, although it has been some 12 months since the report was tabled; and

there be laid on the table by no later than 3.30 pm on 21 November 2016 by the Minister representing the Minister for Environment and Energy the Government’s response to the report of the Select Committee on Wind Turbines, dated August 2015.

The Minister for Communications (Senator Fifield) to move:

That consideration of the business before the Senate on the following days be interrupted at approximately 5 pm, but not so as to interrupt a senator speaking, to enable senators to make their first speeches without any question before the chair, as follows:

Tuesday, 13 September 2016—Senator Roberts; and

Wednesday, 14 September 2016—Senator Hanson.

Senator Watt to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in March 2017:

The serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, with particular reference to:

the factors that have contributed to the abuse and self-harm alleged to have occurred;

how notifications of abuse and self-harm are investigated;

the obligations of the Commonwealth Government and contractors relating to the treatment of asylum seekers, including the provision of support, capability and capacity building to Nauruan authorities;

the provision of support services for asylum seekers who have been alleged or been found to have been subject to abuse, neglect or self-harm in the Centre or while residing in Nauru;

the effect of Part 6 of the Australian Border Force Act 2015;

attempts by the Commonwealth Government to negotiate third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees;

additional measures that could be implemented to expedite third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees within the Centre; and

any other related matters.

Senator Lambie to move:

That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent this resolution having effect.

That the Veterans’ Entitlement Amendment (Expanded Gold Card Access) Bill 2015 be restored to the Notice Paper and that consideration of the bill be resumed at the stage reached in the last session of the previous Parliament.

Senator Dastyari to move:

That the Senate notes that the Prime Minister (Mr Turnbull) has repeatedly said making changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is “not a priority” but has refused to rule them out.

Senators Lambie, Xenophon, Hinch and Culleton to move:


the Senate notes that:

the number of veterans who have served overseas in war and warlike circumstances since 1999 is some 50,000 personnel over 75,000 deployments which is now approaching the number of Australian veterans who served in Vietnam - 60,000 between 1962 and 1972,

some reports from ex-service organisations and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members suggest that the number of veterans in our community who have committed suicide may be more than 280 veterans since 1999,

the Turnbull Government must now take steps to acknowledge this crisis among so many ADF veterans, and undertake the necessary research so as to measure the scale of the suicide rate,

some ex-service organisations and former ADF members believe that the complexity of Australia’s military compensation schemes, together with administrative failures and slow decision-making by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), is a contributing factor to imposing financial hardship, stress on families, delays in medical treatment, and even homelessness and suicide; Australian Military Compensation Arrangements must be fair and provide former members of the Defence Force and their families who suffer a service injury or disease with a strong system of compensation and other benefits,

media reports and discussions with individual veterans, along with feedback from ex-service organisations have revealed a number of serious issues with the administration, governance and processes of DVA was over five years ago and is now outdated and the Turnbull Government must commit to undertaking a thorough review of DVA, addressing the issues above, and

the RSL Tasmania State Executive supports the following motion by State President Robert Dick: “As a society, we have an obligation to ensure that we care for those called upon to serve and defend our country. When there is a failure in the system that looks after and cares for these people, it is important to understand why that failure has occurred and to rectify it to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. A Senate inquiry is the most appropriate vehicle to explore these failures and identify the best means to remedy this situation and hold those responsible for the failures to account”; and

the above matters be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 1 December 2016, with particular reference to:

the reasons why Australian veterans are committing suicide at such high rates,

previous reviews of military compensation arrangements and their failings,

the Repatriation Medical Authority’s Statements of Principles, claims administration time limits, claims for detriment caused by defective administration, authorised medical treatment, level of compensation payments, including defence abuse, as contained in all military compensation arrangements,

the performance of DVA, and

any other related matters.

Senator Waters to move:

That the Senate—

notes that:

Australia has committed at the Paris climate talks to keep global warming below 2 degrees, and to pursue efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees,

with only 1 degree of global warming so far, the Great Barrier Reef has already suffered the worst ever mass coral bleaching event,

if built, the Adani Carmichael coal mine would cancel out Australia’s weak 5 per cent pollution reduction target three times over, and

fourteen major international and domestic banks have ruled out providing finance to the Adani mine or associated infrastructure; and

calls on the Federal Government to rule out giving any public funding to the Adani coal mine or any associated infrastructure, including via the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

Senators Ludlam, Moore and Pratt to move:

That the Senate—

recognises the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria:

provides an invaluable contribution to the global decline in the numbers of new cases of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as well as rates of morbidity and mortality in almost every country and region,

has, as a result of programs since 2002, saved an estimated 22 million lives by the end of 2016, and

requires long term ongoing funding to enable a continuation of this vital and significant improvement in the many countries that face the severe challenges posed by HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria;

notes that, on 16 and 17 September 2016, leaders of goverments and non-government contributors to the Global Fund will gather in Montreal to commit resources to the Global Fund for 2017-2019; and

acknowledges that:

the Fifth Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria presents an important opportunity for Australia to increase our contribution to assist countries in our region combat the ongoing burden of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and

Australia’s contribution to the Global Fund has a high return for the Asia Pacific region, with the Global Fund investing $15 in the Asia Pacific for each $1 Australia contributed to the Global Fund.

The Senator Di Natale to move:

That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent this resolution having effect.

That the Restoring Territory Rights (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2016 be restored to the Notice Paper and that consideration of the bill be resumed at the stage reached in the last session of the previous Parliament.

Senator Rice to move:

That the Senate—


Transurban now either fully or partially operates 13 of the 15 toll roads in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane,

Transurban’s role in the construction and future operation of Melbourne’s Western Distributor, a “market-led” proposal,

Transurban’s stated intention to become the ‘natural custodian’ of Australia’s motorways as policy shifts towards greater road pricing,

the New South Wales Government’s stated intention to sell down its stake in the WestConnex project,

the extension of Transurban’s Citylink monopoly as part of the Western Distributor contract, and

the Productivity Commission’s assessment of the dangers of public private partnerships unless the “risks are transferred efficiently, transparently and credibly, with incentives that align the interests of the private sector with that of the public”; and

supports the approach that all contracts, business cases, transport and economic modelling and other associated documents of governments and between governments and private contractors in the planning, construction and operation of toll roads should be made fully available to the public, unredacted, in a timely manner.

Senator McKim to move:

That the following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 15 March 2017:

Noting the sovereignty of the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and within the limits of Australia’s sovereignty:

conditions and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at the regional processing centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea;

transparency and accountability mechanisms that apply to the regional processing centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea;

implementation of recommendations of the Moss Review in relation to the regional processing centre in the Republic of Nauru;

the extent to which the Australian-funded regional processing centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea are operating in compliance with Australian and international legal obligations;

the extent to which contracts associated with the operation of offshore processing centres are:

delivering value for money consistent with the definition contained in the Commonwealth procurement rules,

meeting the terms of their contracts, and

delivering services which meet Australian standards;

the documents known as the ‘Nauru files’; and

any other related matter.

The committee be granted access to all inquiry submissions and documents of the preceding committee relating to its inquiry on a similar matter.

Senator Ludlam to move:


the Senate notes the Turnbull Government intends to provide funding now worth $1.2 billion for the Perth Freight Link and has no social, environmental or economic credibility; and

there be laid on the table no later than 11 am on Monday, 12 September 2016 by the Minister for Finance:

an estimate of the financial penalties or compensation that the Barnett Government has exposed WA taxpayers to, should the contracts be terminated, and

any correspondence or information (including briefings and meeting notes) relating to penalties or compensation that will be offered to contractors, should the contracts for the Perth Freight Link be terminated upon a change of government, including correspondence between any Australian Government minister, department or agency and the Western Australian Government on this matter.

Senator Xenophon to move:


the Senate notes that:

on 3 August 2016, the Australian Statistician was interviewed on the ABC television program 7.30 in relation to the 2016 Census, and

during the interview the Australian Statistician referred to legal advice received from the Australian Government Solicitor; and

there be laid on the table no later than 3 pm on Monday, 12 September 2016 by the Minister representing the Minister for Small Business, the legal advice referred to by the Australian Statistician during his appearance on 7.30 on 3 August 2016.

Senators Xenophon and Rhiannon to move:

That the Senate—

notes that:

at least 114 countries have banned foreign political donations, and

Australia is not one of the at least 114 countries that ban foreign political donations; and

calls on the Government to support legislative changes to make overseas political donations illegal.

Senators Griff, Kakoschke-Moore and Xenophon to move:

That the Senate—

notes that:

more than $800 million was lost by Australians on legal sports betting in the 2014-15 financial year, an increase of more than 30 per cent from 2013-14,

while some restrictions on gambling advertising exist, there is an exemption that allows gambling advertising during televised sporting events at children’s viewing times,

research shows that children are especially susceptible to such advertising, and

there is a pressing need to ban gambling advertising particularly during children’s viewing times;

calls on the Government to amend the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 to ban gambling advertising during sporting broadcasts during children’s viewing times; and

further notes community concern about the recent increased level of gambling advertising on the Special Broadcasting Service, and calls on the Minister for Communications to issue a directive under section 11 of the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 to limit the amount of such advertising.

Senator Xenophon to move:

That the Senate—

notes that:

statistics from Tourism Research Australia show that backpackers spent approximately $3.4 billion in Australia for the year ending December 2015,

backpackers play a vital role in the Australian economy and perform important work in rural and regional areas,

while the Government has given a temporary reprieve on the backpacker tax, there is still a threat that it will be implemented in its current form,

rural and regional communities across Australia will be damaged if the Government does not rule out implementing the backpacker tax in its current form, and

the Queensland Liberal National Party recently passed a motion against the Government’s planned backpacker tax at its state convention; and

calls on the Government to immediately announce that it will not proceed with the implementation of the backpacker tax in its current form.

Senator Conroy to move:

That the following matters be referred to the Standing Committee of Privileges for inquiry and report:

In relation to the execution of search warrants by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on the Melbourne office of Senator Conroy and the home of an Opposition staff member on 19-20 May 2016, and on the Department of Parliamentary Services at Parliament House, Canberra, on 24 August 2016 or subsequent actions allegedly undertaken by the AFP and NBN Co Limited, as specified in Senator Conroy’s letter to the President of the Senate of 30 August 2016 raising a matter of privilege:

whether there was any improper interference, or attempted improper interference, with the free performance by Senator Conroy of his duties as a senator;

whether disciplinary or other adverse action was taken against any person in connection with the alleged provision of information to Senator Conroy; and

if so, whether any contempts were committed in respect of those matters.

Senator Rhiannon to move:

That the Senate—

notes that:

former Treasurer Mr Wayne Swan thinks there should be stronger debate about the role of political donations and how donations are potentially leading to the skewing of political decision-making in favour of foreign countries,

most political donations are from domestic sources, which carry a similar risk of skewing decision-making in favour of donors, and

in the Australian Government’s 2008 Electoral Reform Green Paper, former Special Minister of State, Senator Faulkner, argued that the perception of undue influence can be as damaging to democracy as undue influence itself; and

calls for a ban on foreign political donations, and domestic donations from property developers, tobacco industry business entities, liquor business entities, gambling industry business entities, mineral resources or mining industry business entities, and industry lobby groups who represent these entities.