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16  Defence—Submarines Tender Process—Legal Advice—Order for Production of Documents

Senator McEwen, also on behalf of Senator Xenophon, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 1066—That—

    (a)   the Senate notes that:

                  (i)   on 17 November 2014 the Senate agreed to an order for the production of documents directed at the Minister for Defence for ‘any documents produced by Macroeconomics.com.au Pty Ltd as a result of tender reference DMOCIP/RFT 0315/2012, including economic modelling and other examination of the potential economic impact of the SEA1000 submarine project on the Australian economy, among other subjects’,

                 (ii)   on 23 February 2016 the Minister for Defence rose in the Senate and made a ‘Cabinet-in-Confidence’ related public interest immunity claim with respect to the documents ordered, and

                (iii)   on 16 July 1975 the Senate laid out by resolution its position with respect to public interest immunity claims - where paragraph 4 of that resolution makes it clear that, while the Senate may permit claims of public interest immunity to be advanced, it reserves the right to determine whether any particular claim will be accepted; and

    (b)   there be laid on the table by the Minister for Defence, no later than 15 March 2016, the independent legal advice which grounds the Minister’s public interest immunity claim made in the Senate on 23 February 2016 in relation to the Senate resolution agreed to on 17 November 2014.

Question put and passed.