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LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS REFERENCES COMMITTEE—PROPOSED REFERENCE

Senator Xenophon, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved business of the Senate notice of motion no. 2—That the following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 23 November 2011:

 (a)  the expected role of government in preventing the destruction and concealment of documents which should be retained in the public interest, including documents in relation to potential legal proceedings;

 (b) the circumstances under which documents should be categorised as Cabinet-in-confidence;

 (c) the need for a national requirement for documents relating to child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, to be held for a minimum of 30 years;

 (d) the appropriateness of victims of child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, being required to sign confidentiality agreements as part of any compensation arrangements;

 (e) the role state and federal archivists can play in setting standards for the preservation of documents relating to the above matters;


 (f) in relation to events relating to allegations of abuse in the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in Queensland from 1988:

  (i) the shredding of documents by the then-Queensland Government in 1990 relating to the alleged rape of a resident at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in 1988, and other abuses and the implications these actions had on the ability of victims and others to pursue their legal rights with reference to section 129 of the Queensland Criminal Code, and the need for a national approach to the protection of such documents,

  (ii) previous Queensland Government initiated inquiries and Federal Parliamentary inquiries into the matters referred to at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre,

  (iii) whether evidence provided to previous Senate committee inquiries about the shredding of the documents referred to was misleading, or whether evidence was withheld from previous Senate committee inquiries, and whether there is any new evidence relating to these matters, and

  (iv) the prevalence of abuse, and how reports of abuse were managed by management at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre, and whether there should be national standards generally in relation to the reporting and management of such matters; and

 (g) any other related matter.

Statements by leave: Senator Xenophon, the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown), the Leader of the Family First Party (Senator Fielding) and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig), by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 32

Senators—

Adams

Back

Barnett

Bernardi

Birmingham

Boswell

Boyce

Brandis

Bushby

Cash

Colbeck

Coonan

Cormann

Eggleston

Ferguson

Fierravanti-Wells

Fifield

Fisher

Humphries

Johnston

Joyce

Macdonald

Mason

McGauran

Parry (Teller)

Payne

Ronaldson

Ryan

Scullion

Troeth

Trood

Xenophon

NOES, 32

Senators—

Arbib

Bilyk

Bishop

Brown, Bob

Brown, Carol

Cameron

Crossin

Farrell

Faulkner

Feeney

Fielding

Forshaw

Furner

Hanson-Young

Hogg

Hurley

Hutchins

Ludlam

Ludwig

Lundy

Marshall

McEwen (Teller)

McLucas

Milne

Moore

O'Brien

Polley

Pratt

Sherry

Siewert

Stephens

Sterle

The ayes and noes were equal and so the question was negatived.

Statement by leave: The Leader of The Nationals in the Senate (Senator Joyce), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.