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Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Page: 1472

Presentation

Senator Hanson-Young to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 17 June 2014:

The delivery of quality and affordable early childhood education and care services, including:

(a) outcomes for children in early childhood education and care services, including;

(i) workforce factors such as stability, qualifications and wage rates,

(ii) quality regulation (including staff-to-child ratios),

(iii) participation and access to services, and

(iv) environments for learning;

(b) a progress report into the implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF), including targets met and those working toward;

(c) parents’ experiences of the outcomes of the NQF;

(d) impacts of the announced government amendments to the NQF, and the outcomes for children and early childhood education and care services; and

(e) any other related matters.

Senator Lundy to move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, by the adjournment of the Senate on 12 December 2013, the current edition of, ‘Signed Sealed and Delivered. Departmental Officials handbook’, produced by the Treaties Secretariat of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Senator Sterle to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 25 June 2014:

The implications of the restriction on the use of Fenthion on Australia’s horticultural industry, including:

(a) the roles and responsibilities of relevant departments and agencies of Commonwealth, state and territory governments in relation to the regulation of pesticides and veterinary chemicals;

(b) the short- and long-term impact of the decision on stakeholders;

(c) the effectiveness and sustainability of chemicals other than Fenthion to manage fruit fly;

(d) transition arrangements following the restriction on the use of Fenthion, including Area Wide Management; and

(e) any related matters.

Senator McKenzie to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 28 March 2014:

The industry structures and systems governing the collection and disbursement of marketing and research and development levies pertaining to the sale of grass-fed cattle set out in subsections 6(l)(a), 6(1)(b), 6(2)(a) and 6(2)(b) of Schedule 3 (Cattle transactions) of the Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, including:

(a) the basis on which levies are collected and used;

(b) the opportunities levy payers have to influence the quantum and investment of the levies;

(c) industry governance arrangements, consultation and reporting frameworks; and

(d) recommendations to maximise the ability of grass-fed cattle producers to respond to challenges and capture opportunities in marketing and research and development.

Senator Xenophon to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 26 March 2014:

The future of the beekeeping and pollination service industries in Australia, with particular reference to:

(a) the importance of these industries from a food security, environmental and financial point of view;

(b) current challenges facing the beekeeping industry domestically and internationally, and its future sustainability;

(c) the adequacy of the current biosecurity arrangements for imported and exported honey, apiary products, package bees and queen bees;

(d) Australia’s food labelling requirements, and how these affect the beekeeping industry;

(e) the recommendations from the House Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Resources 2008 report More than Honey; the future of the Australian honey bee and pollination industries, and the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee 2011 report Science underpinning the inability to eradicate the Asian honey bee; and

(f) any related matters.

Senator Xenophon to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 27 March 2014:

The immediate future of the childcare sector in Australia, with particular reference to:

(a) cost and availability for parents over the short term, including the effectiveness of the current government rebates;

(b) administrative burden, including the impact of the introduction of the National Quality Framework;

(c) the current regulatory environment and the impact on children, educators and service operators;

(d) how the childcare sector can be strengthened in the short term to boost Australia’s productivity and workplace participation for parents; and

(e) any related matters.

Senator Rhiannon to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the significant consequences of Qantas failing, including national security implications, loss of manufacturing and tourism jobs, and the impacts on the wider economy; and

(b) calls on the Government to seriously consider investing in Qantas to maintain its viability as Australia’s national airline carrier.

Senator Rhiannon to move:

That there be laid on the table, by 2 January 2014, by Infrastructure Australia or the Infrastructure Coordinator, all documents in relation to the WestConnex motorway project in New South Wales provided to Infrastructure Australia by the New South Wales Government, in particular, but not restricted to, the full business case.

Senators O’Neill, Lines, McLucas, Pratt and Peris to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the national framework agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2008 to tackle Indigenous disadvantage and the six priority areas for change identified by COAG;

(b) further notes that there have been five annual reports by the Prime Minister to the Australian Parliament on progress in meeting these Closing the Gap targets;

(c) is of the view that the presentation of these annual reports should be marked by a special parliamentary procedure in recognition of the significance of these initiatives to all Australians;

(d) therefore proposes to the House of Representatives that it consider marking the presentation of the Prime Minister’s annual report on Closing the Gap by:

(i) hosting a meeting of the House to which senators are invited in a similar manner as senators are invited to attend addresses by foreign Heads of State, and

(ii) inviting senior Indigenous leaders to be present when the Prime Minister’s annual report is presented; and

(e) resolves that, on its presentation to the Senate, the Prime Minister’s annual report on Closing the Gap and accompanying ministerial statement be listed for consideration as a government business order of the day, and that the Government undertake to provide for at least 2 hours consideration of the statement during government business time.

Senator Ludlam to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 10 June 2014:

Comprehensive revision of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (the Act), with regard to:

(a) the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice report, dated May 2008, particularly recommendation 71.2; and

(b) recommendations relating to the Act from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Inquiry into the potential reforms of Australia’s National Security Legislation report, dated May 2013.

Senator McKenzie to move:

That answers be provided by 13 January 2014 to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee in respect of estimates questions to the Department of Education lodged with its predecessor committee in the course of the Budget estimates hearings in June 2013 which remained unanswered at the beginning of the new Parliament.

Senator Farrell to move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend legislation relating to defence, and for related purposes. Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Bill 2013.

Senator Carr to move:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on School Funding, be established to inquire into and report on the development and implementation of national school funding arrangements and school reform, with particular reference to:

(a) the implementation of needs-based funding arrangements, from 1 January 2014, for all schools and school systems, including:

(i) Commonwealth funding, methods for the distribution of funds, funding arrangements and agreements with states and territories, as well as related accountability and transparency measures,

(ii) funding arrangements for individual schools,

(iii) the extent to which schools can anticipate their total future funding and links to educational programs in future years,

(iv) the consequential equity of educational opportunity between states and territories, schools and students,

(v) progress towards the Schooling Resource Standard, and

(vi) the implementation of schools reforms,

(b) how funding arrangements will meet the needs of all schools and individual students, including Indigenous students, students with disability, small schools, remote schools, students with limited English, and students from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds;

(c) the Government’s proposed changes to the Australian Education Act 2013, related legislative instruments and their consequences;

(d) the economic impacts of school education policy;

(e) the Government’s consideration of expert findings, research, public consultation and reports in the development and implementation of school policy, including the selection of experts to provide advice on education policy; and

(f) any related matters.

(2) That the committee may present interim reports and must present a final report on or before 13 May 2014.

(3) That the committee consist of 7 senators, 3 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 3 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, and 1 nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens.

(4) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator; and

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee.

(5) That 3 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee.

(6) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(7) That the committee elect as chair a member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition and as deputy chair, a member nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens.

(8) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(9) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.

(10) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, has a casting vote.

(11) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to examine.

(12) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(13) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(14) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

Senator Xenophon to move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Code Act 1995, and for related purposes. Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013.

Senator Madigan to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 27 March 2014:

The form of a referendum on an amendment to the Constitution confirming that all powers pertaining to making laws for marriage rest with the Commonwealth and that those powers may only be used to confirm marriage to be the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life, with particular reference to:

(a) what question should be put to the electors;

(b) any effect of the alteration on the Parliament’s powers under section 51(xxi) of the Constitution;

(c) the level of state and territory support;

(d) the potential ramifications for states and territories if such an amendment +was made; and

(e) any other matters that the committee considers may be relevant to a decision on whether to conduct a referendum, and the timing of any referendum.

Senator Moore to move:

That the Senate condemns the Coalition for its failure to honour its pre-election commitments to the Australian people.

Senator Di Natale to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the open letter to the Government, dated 9 December 2013, signed by 44 prominent academics and public health experts, which expresses alarm around the effects these potential changes could have on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the integrity of Australian public health initiatives;

(b) reiterates its call for the Government to make public the details of the final agreed text and Australia’s position regarding these controversial intellectual property provisions; and

(c) reaffirms its opposition to any measures, such as Investor-State Dispute provisions or strengthening of the patent system, whether in this treaty or otherwise, which limit Australia's ability to implement domestic public health policy and safeguard the efficient operation of our system of medicines.

Senator McLucas to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 16 July 2014:

Affordable housing, including the following matters;

(a) the role of all levels of government in facilitating affordable home ownership and affordable private rental, including:

(i) the effect of policies designed to encourage home ownership and residential property investment,

(ii) the taxes and levies imposed by state and territory governments,

(iii) the effect of policies designed to increase housing supply,

(iv) the operation, effect and future of the National Rental Affordability Scheme,

(v) the regulatory structures governing the roles of financial institutions and superannuation funds in the home lending and property sectors, and

(vi) the operation and effectiveness of rent and housing assistance programs;

(b) the impacts, including social implications, of public and social housing policies on housing affordability and the role of all levels of government in providing public and social housing;

(c) the impact of Commonwealth, state and territory government policies and programs on homelessness;

(d) the contribution of home ownership to retirement incomes;

(e) the implications for other related changes to Commonwealth government policies and programs, including taxation policy, aged care, disability services, Indigenous affairs and for state and territory governments;

(f) the need to develop improved overview and accountability mechanisms in relation to Commonwealth grants and funding to the states and territories in order to ensure that public funding delivers outcomes consistent with Commonwealth objectives;

(g) planning and policies that will ensure that women, particularly vulnerable women, have access to secure, appropriate, affordable and adaptable accommodation;

(h) planning and policies that will ensure emergency and essential service workers have access to affordable housing close to where they work;

(i) planning and policies that will ensure the availability of an appropriately skilled workforce; and

(j) any other matters the committee considers relevant.

Senators Siewert and Rhiannon to move:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges:

(i) the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System was introduced under the Export Control Act 1982 to provide minimum standards for the welfare of Australian livestock in importing countries,

(ii) that exporters who disregard or deliberately flout the standards set under this system should be met with the full force of the law,

(iii) that the Department of Agriculture is currently investigating 14 complaints regarding breaches of these standards,

(iv) that the export company Livestock Shipping Services is implicated in three of these complaints regarding the sale and cruel slaughter of livestock outside approved supply chains, and

(v) the Maysora, a ship operated by Livestock Shipping Services, has docked in the Fremantle Port; and

(b) calls on the Government to prevent Livestock Shipping Services from exporting any further animals from Australia until investigations on their previous activities have been completed.

Senator Xenophon to move:

(1) That a Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform be established to:

(a) inquire into and report on the following:

(i) the Productivity Commission report on gambling, released in June 2010, including a national response to the full set of its recommendations,

(ii) any gambling-related legislation that has been tabled in either House, either as a first reading or exposure draft,

(iii) monitoring the impact of problem gambling and reforms to address problem gambling, and

(iv) such other matters relating to gambling referred by either House; and

(b) make recommendations to the Minister for Social Services and the Assistant Treasurer, to inform any position that the Commonwealth will take to the COAG Select Council on Gambling Reform.

(2) That the committee consist of 10 members, 2 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by the Government Whip or Whips, 2 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by the Opposition Whip or Whips, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by any minority party or independent Member, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and 1 Senator to be nominated by any minority party or independent Senator.

(3) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee; and

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of a member of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee.

(4) That every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(5) That the members of the committee hold office as a joint select committee until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time.

(6) That the committee elect as its chair a member nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

(7) That the committee elect as its deputy chair a non-Government member nominated by either the Opposition Whip or a minority party or independent Member of the House of Representatives.

(8) That the deputy chair shall act as chair of the committee at any time when the chair is not present at a meeting of the committee, and at any time when the chair and deputy chair are not present at a meeting of the committee the members present shall elect another member to act as chair at that meeting.

(9) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(10) That 3 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee, provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include 1 Government member of either House and 1 non-Government member of either House.

(11) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members and to refer to any subcommittee any matter which the committee is empowered to examine.

(12) That the committee appoint the chair of each subcommittee who shall have a casting vote only and at any time when the chair of a subcommittee is not present at a meeting of the subcommittee the members of the subcommittee present shall elect another member of that subcommittee to act as chair at that meeting.

(13) That 2 members of a subcommittee constitute a quorum of that subcommittee, provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include 1 Government member of either House and 1 non-Government member of either House.

(14) That members of the committee who are not members of a subcommittee may participate in the proceedings of that subcommittee but shall not vote, move any motion or be counted for the purpose of a quorum.

(15) That the committee or any subcommittee have power to call for witnesses to attend and for documents to be produced.

(16) That the committee or any subcommittee may conduct proceedings at any place it sees fit and sit in public or private.

(17) That the committee or any subcommittee have power to adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

(18) That the committee may report from time to time, but that it present its final report no later than 30 June 2015.

(19) That the provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

(20) That a message be sent to the House of Representatives seeking its concurrence in this resolution.

Senator Siewert to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a new Draft GST Ruling, GSTR 2013/02, in which it has drastically altered its view on the goods and services tax (GST) treatment of supplies made by operators of a mobile home parks,

(ii) once the draft ruling is finalised, home park operators will no longer be able to treat their lease, or licence of the site, to a resident as a supply of commercial residential premises and as a result, operators will be liable for GST on the full value of the supply rather than having access to the 50 per cent discount that is currently available for supplies of long-term accommodation, and

(iii) the likelihood that these charges will be passed on to consumers, many of whom are low income earners and pensioners, and that the increase in their fee may constitute 10 per cent or more of their meagre disposable income; and

(b) urges the ATO to maintain the current GST arrangements on mobile home parks, in order to ensure that low income earners are not disproportionately impacted.