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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 7983


Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery) (15:31): I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to various bills, allowing them to be considered during this period of sittings.

Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 7) Bill 2011

Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Participants in British Nuclear Tests) Bill 2011.

I table statements of reasons justifying the need for these bills to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statements incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statements read as follows—

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR INTRODUCTION AND PASSAGE IN THE 2011 SPRING SITTINGS

COAL MINING INDUSTRY (LONG SERVICE LEAVE FUNDING) LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill amends the coal mining industry long service leave funding scheme to embody the current award-based long service leave entitlement into Commonwealth legislation, with amendments to the qualification period from 'continuous service' to 'aggregate service'. The bill will also facilitate changes to employer reimbursement arrangements and the basis on which the levy is imposed. In addition, compliance arrangements for the scheme will be improved and changes will be made to the structure of the representation on the Board including establishing an independent Chair.

Reasons for Urgency

This bill gives effect to the agreed reforms of an Industry Working Party (IWP). The parties to the IWP agreement include the key stakeholders in the industry of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union - Mining and Energy Division, Electrical Trades Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, NSW Minerals Council Limited, Queensland Resources Council, Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia, NSW Colliery Officials Association and Mine Managers Association of Australia.

The Government has given a commitment to black coal mining industry stakeholders that it would use best endeavours to ensure that the amendments to the scheme could commence on 1 January 2012. The Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation has commissioned systems changes to take effect from this date.

The amendments benefit both employers and employees in the black coal mining industry. Employers will benefit from a closer alignment between the amount of levy payable by employers and the amount to which employers are entitled to be reimbursed under the scheme. Employees will have the certainty and benefit of a legislated long service leave entitlement with improved compliance arrangements.

The amendments also seek to remedy an unintentional effect of the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Amendment Act 2009 (the Amendment Act) which allows employees included into the scheme by Schedule 2 of the Amendment Act to be reimbursed for service in the black coal mining industry dating back indefinitely.

 

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR INTRODUCTION AND PASSAGE IN THE 2011 SPRING SITTINGS

MARITIME LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill increases selected penalties to deter shipping companies and their crews from operating a vessel in a way that causes damage to environmentally sensitive marine ecosystems.

Reasons for Urgency

The grounding of the Shen Neng 1 at Douglas Shoal in the Great Barrier Reef on 3 April 2010 highlighted the inadequacy of existing provisions to act as an effective deterrent to shipping companies and their crew operating vessels in a way that damages, or is likely to damage, marine ecosystems critical to Australia, such as the Great Barrier Reef. Current Commonwealth provisions fall significantly short of penalties operating in State waters and have dissuaded prosecution for offences because the penalties are inconsequential. The bill will strengthen the Commonwealth's capacity to protect environmentally sensitive marine ecosystems and will give effect to action announced on 18 April 2010.

 

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR INTRODUCTION AND PASSAGE IN THE 2011 SPRING SITTINGS

TAX LAWS AMENDMENT (2011 MEASURES NO. 7) BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill:

changes the taxation of the capital gains tax main residence exemption for special disability trusts;

enhances film tax offsets;

allows early access to Farm Management Deposits for primary producers suffering natural disasters and improved administrative arrangements;

reduces the bottom marginal rate for non-marginal individuals participating in the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme;

extends for three months the temporary loss relief for superannuation funds that merge;

amends taxation of financial arrangement (ToFA) provisions — pay as you go instalments (PAYGI) and extend the time for making a transitional election;

introduces a new regulatory framework for public ancillary funds; and

ensures the validity of certain director penalty notices.

Reasons for Urgency

The special disability trusts measure is retrospective (from July 2006). There is pressure to implement the measure.

Taxpayers seeking to benefit from the film tax enhancement measure will be unable to do so until the legislation is passed.

The early access for primary producers suffering natural disasters measure commences from 1 July 2010.

Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme measure operates from 1 July 2011.

The superannuation funds that merge measure extends temporary loss relief to 30 September 2011, so enactment is required as soon as possible.

The taxation of financial arrangements amendments requires Royal Assent by mid December to permit the Commissioner of Taxation to issue a ToFA inclusive instalment rate, which allows financial institutions to opt into new ToFA instalments arrangements.

Public ancillary fund stakeholders are anxious to have the new framework legislated as soon as possible.

The director penalty notice (DPN) measure arises as a result of a recent court decision which affects up to 17,000 DPNs. The measure aims to negative the likely invalidation of these DPNs, and will protect the revenue otherwise at risk (which amounts to approximately $195 million in currently outstanding tax debts and a further $45 million of already collected revenue). Importantly too, this measure will mitigate the considerable administrative uncertainty currently faced by the Australian Taxation Office.

 

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR INTRODUCTION AND PASSAGE IN THE 2011 SPRING SITTINGS

VETERANS' AFFAIRS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (PARTICIPANTS IN BRITISH NUCLEAR TESTS) BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill amends the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 to enable the Repatriation Commission to determine, by legislative instrument, additional eligibility criteria relating to British nuclear test defence service. The bill also amends the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Act 2006 to enable the Repatriation Commission to determine, by legislative instrument, additional eligibility criteria relating to nuclear test participants. These amendments will ensure that access to benefits can be provided to eligible participants in a timely manner.

Reasons for Urgency

Australian participants in the British nuclear test program are now elderly and in ill health. Introduction and passage of the bill in the 2011 Spring sittings will ensure that British nuclear test participants receive access to compensation, treatment and other benefits as soon as possible.

Senator SHERRY: to move:

That the following bill be introduced:

A Bill for an Act to deal with consequential matters in connection with the Business Names Registration Act 2011 and the Business Names Registration (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2011, and for related purposes. Business Names Registration (Application of Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011.

Senator COLBECK: to move:

That there be laid on the table by 5 pm on Thursday, 10 November 2011 by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig), all documents, including electronic communications, held by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, relating to the imposition, and subsequent extension, of the ban on the export of live cattle to Indonesia.

Senator COLBECK: to move:

That there be laid on the table by 5 pm on Thursday, 10 November 2011 by the Minister representing the Attorney-General (Senator Ludwig), all documents, including electronic communications, held by the Australian Government Solicitor, relating to the imposition, and subsequent extension, of the ban on the export of live cattle to Indonesia.

Senator COLBECK: to move:

That there be laid on the table by 5 pm on Thursday, 10 November 2011 by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig), all advice provided by the independent expert schedulers regarding the harvesting requirements within the 430 000 hectare area nominated for conservation under the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement, including the initial advice presented to government and signatories on 13 October 2011 and further information requested by the signatories in relation to the initial report.

Senator COLBECK: to move:

That there be laid on the table by 5 pm on Thursday, 10 November 2011 by the Minister representing the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Senator Conroy), all documents, including electronic communications, held by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, relating to the imposition, and subsequent extension, of the ban on the export of live cattle to Indonesia.

Senator WILLIAMS: to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that 28 of the 31 Australian Labor Party senators in the Australian Senate are former union officials; and

   (b)   resolves that any senator who genuinely views Qantas' recent actions as 'extreme' should give up their membership of Qantas' Chairman's Lounge.

Senator FAWCETT:

Senator STERLE: to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   condemns the tragic violence towards Coptic Christians in Egypt;

   (b)   expresses grave concerns for the safety of Copts in Egypt;

   (c)   condemns the recent attacks on 9 October 2011 in Cairo, resulting in 27 fatalities and more than 300 injuries; and

   (d)   calls on the Government to make further representations to the Egyptian Government to strengthen its efforts to promote and practice tolerance towards all citizens.

Senator FAWCETT:

Senator STERLE: to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   condemns the death sentence given to Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran on crimes of apostasy;

   (b)   notes that this charge is in direct conflict with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which allows freedom of religion and freedom to change one's religion, of which Iran is a signatory;

   (c)   calls on the Government to make representations on the matter; and

   (d)   strongly urges the Iranian Government to uphold religious freedom for all citizens.

Senator CROSSIN: to move:

That the time for the presentation of the report of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee on the Native Title Amendment (Reform) Bill 2011 be extended to 9 November 2011.

Senator SIEWERT: to move:

That the time for the presentation of the report of the Community Affairs References Committee on the Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies be extended to 29 February 2012.

Senator MADIGAN: to move:

That, in light of the fact that the Australian Parliament, on behalf of the Australian people, has rightly recognised the cultural heritage of the Indigenous members of our community and identified the importance of their historic connection to the land on which we all live, the Senate recognises that there are other Australian communities which also have a cultural heritage which comes from their connection, over generations, to the district and environment which they have inhabited and from which they have created an identity which is passed on to future generations of those communities.

Senator LUDWIG: to move:

That the order of the Senate agreed to on 21 September 2011, relating to the hours of meeting and routine of business, be amended as follows:

      Omit paragraphs (3) to (6), substitute:

(3)   On Wednesday, 9 November 2011, and Thursday, 10 November 2011, any proposal pursuant to standing order 75 shall not be proceeded with.

(4)   That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Bill 2011 and a related bill.

(5)   On Thursday, 3 November 2011:

   (a)   the hours of meeting shall be 9.30 am to 8.40 pm;

   (b)   consideration of general business and consideration of committee reports, government responses and Auditor-General's reports under standing order 62(1) and (2) shall not be proceeded with;

   (c)   the government business order of the day relating to the Clean Energy Bill 2011 and 17 related bills shall have precedence over all government business;

   (d)   divisions may take place after 4.30 pm; and

   (e)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall be proposed at 8 pm.

(6)   On Tuesday, 8 November 2011:

   (a)   the hours of meeting shall be 10 am to 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 10.40 pm;

   (b)   the routine of business from 10 am to 2 pm, and from the resumption of government business till not later than 5 pm, shall be the government business order of the day relating to the Clean Energy Bill 2011 and 17 related bills, and these bills have precedence over all government business till completed;

   (c)   commencing immediately after the preceding item the order of government business shall be consideration of the government business orders of the day relating to the:

      (i)   Steel Transformation Plan Bill 2011, and

      (ii)   Australian Renewable Energy Agency Bill 2011 and a related bill; and

   (d)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall be proposed at 10 pm.

(7)   On Wednesday, 9 November 2011:

   (a)   the order of government business shall be consideration of the government business orders of the day relating to the:

      (i)   Steel Transformation Plan Bill 2011, and

      (ii)   Australian Renewable Energy Agency Bill 2011 and a related bill, and

      that consideration of these bills shall have precedence over all government business till 5.30 pm; and

   (b)   consideration of government documents shall not be proceeded with.

(8)   On Thursday, 10 November 2011:

   (a)   the hours of meeting shall be 9.30 am to adjournment;

   (b)   consideration of general business and committee reports, government responses and Auditor-General's reports under standing order 62(1) and (2) shall not be proceeded with, and instead the routine of business shall be government business only;

   (c)   the government business order of the day relating to the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 and the Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Bill 2011 shall have precedence over all government business, except that the routine of business from 12.45 pm till not later than 2 pm shall be the following government business orders of the day:

Excise Tariff Amendment (Condensate) Bill 2011

Excise Legislation Amendment (Condensate) Bill 2011

Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Air Cargo) Bill 2011

Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 7) Bill 2011

Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Participants in British Nuclear Tests) Bill 2011

Work Health and Safety Bill 2011

Work Health and Safety (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Bill 2011

Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Navigation Amendment Bill 2011

Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment (Oils in the Antarctic Area) Bill 2011;

   (d)   divisions may take place after 4.30 pm; and

   (e)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall not be proposed until a motion for the adjournment is moved by a minister.

(9)   The government business order of the day relating to the Clean Energy Bill 2011 and 17 related bills be considered under a limitation of debate and that the time allotted be as follows:

   (a)   on Thursday, 3 November 2011, from not later than 3.45 pm to 4 pm—second reading; and

   (b)   on Tuesday, 8 November 2011, from not later than 11 am to noon—all remaining stages.

(10) The government business order of the day relating to the Steel Transformation Plan Bill 2011 be considered under a limitation of debate and that the time allotted be as follows:

      on Wednesday, 9 November 2011, from not later than 10 am to 11.30 am—all remaining stages.

(11) The government business order of the day relating to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Bill 2011 and a related bill be considered under a limitation of debate and that the time allotted be as follows:

      on Wednesday, 9 November 2011, from the completion of the Steel Transformation Plan Bill 2011 till 5.30 pm—all remaining stages.

(12) The government business order of the day relating to the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 and a related bill be considered under a limitation of debate and that the time allotted be as follows:

      on Thursday, 10 November 2011:

      from not later than 3.45 pm till 7 pm—second reading

      from 7 pm till 8 pm—committee stage

      from 8 pm till 8.30 pm—all remaining stages.

(13) Paragraphs (9) to (12) of this order operate as a limitation of debate under standing order 142.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: to move:

That the Deterring People Smuggling Bill 2011 be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 21 November 2011.

Senator LUDWIG: to move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the following bills, allowing them to be considered during this period of sittings:

Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 7) Bill 2011

Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Participants in British Nuclear Tests) Bill 2011.

Senator WATERS: to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

      (i) there are significant gaps in independent scientific research on the ecology and biodiversity of Cape York, particularly in the remote western parts of the Cape,

      (ii) two new species, a crab and a shrimp, have recently been discovered on western Cape York in the course of the Environment Impact Assessment for Rio Tinto Alcan's proposed South of Embley bauxite mine,

      (iii) these new species are believed to only exist in this area and may well meet the criteria for listing as federally threatened under our national environmental laws, but this lengthy listing process has not commenced,

      (iv) the enormous footprint of the proposed mine almost certainly presents a significant threat to these species,

      (v) the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) is precluded from considering the impacts of the proposed mine on these new species in his current assessment of the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act), as they are not yet listed,

      (vi)   the Act lacks provisions for 'emergency listings' of newly discovered species, but the Government has committed to introduce such provisions as part of its environment protection and biodiversity conservation reform package due in 2012 - too late to save these creatures, and

      (vii)   Senator Waters' currently has a bill before the Senate to fast-track this government commitment to add emergency listing provisions for species and ecological communities, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Emergency Listings) Bill 2011; and

   (b)   calls on the Government to:

      (i)   act swiftly to ensure these newly discovered species get the federal protection they urgently need to avoid the possibility of them being sent to extinction before they have even been named, and

      (ii)   urgently commission its own studies to ensure independent and full information about the biodiversity on the South of Embley site underpins the Minister's decision regarding this mine.