Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Page: 6110


Senator Siewert to move:

That the time for the presentation of the report of the Community Affairs References Committee on palliative care in Australia be extended to 19 September 2012.

Senator Siewert to move:

That the Community Affairs References Committee be authorised to hold a private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1) during the sitting of the Senate on Tuesday, 11 September 2012, from 12.30 pm.

Senator Eggleston to move:

That the time for the presentation of the report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee on the procurement procedures for defence capital projects be extended to 30 August 2012.

Senator Sterle to move:

That the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 23 August 2012, from 4.30 pm, to take evidence for the committee's inquiry into the management of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Senator Sterle to move:

That the time for the presentation of the report of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee on the management of the Murray-Darling Basin be extended to 1 November 2012.

S enators Crossin, Moore, Boyce, Nash, Siewert and Xenophon to move:

That the Senate—

   (a) notes that September 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the Fred Hollows Foundation;

   (b) recognises the work of the late Professor Fred Hollows, AC, and the clinicians, administrators and volunteers who have followed in his footsteps over the past 2 decades;

   (c) commends the Fred Hollows Foundation for its achievements, including:

      (i) producing millions of intraocular lenses at factories in Eritrea and Nepal and exporting those lenses to more than 75 countries,

      (ii) training tens of thousands of clinical and support staff, including ophthalmologists, nurses and community workers,

      (iii) building or renovating more than 100 health facilities, and

      (iv) reducing the cost of cataract operations to just $25 in many developing countries; and

   (d) endorses the ongoing mission of the Fred Hollows Foundation to give local communities the skills and tools to eradicate avoidable blindness and improve lives in Australia and around the world.

Senators Mason and Cormann: To move:

That the Senate—

   (a) notes that 23 August is the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism (also known as International Black Ribbon Day), which:

      (i) commemorates the tens of millions of those who were murdered by fascist and communist totalitarianism in the 20th century, as well as those imprisoned, deported and persecuted by fascist and communist regimes,

      (ii) is the anniversary of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, the non-aggression treaty signed on 23 August 1939 by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, which partitioned Eastern Europe between them and gave a green light to the commencement of World War II,

      (iii) was first held in 1986 as a day of protest and remembrance around the world, including in Australia, before spreading to the Baltic states where, in 1989, two million Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians formed a human chain to protest the continuing Soviet occupation of their countries, and

      (iv) was adopted by the European Parliament in 2009 and is commemorated in many European Union countries, including Great Britain, as well as in Canada and Georgia; and

   (b) joins in remembering all the victims of Nazism and Stalinism.

S enator Siewert to move:

That the Senate—

   (a) notes the success of the Kimberley Girl Program in improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, their families and communities;

   (b) notes that:

      (i) since Kimberley Girl commenced in 2004, the program has provided 219 young women with personal development training, including public speaking,

      (ii) one-third of these participants have experienced five of the seven socio-economic disadvantage factors, 45 per cent have experienced four or more and 65 per cent have experienced three or more disadvantage factors,

      (iii) 90 per cent of these women said that they benefitted from the skills acquired during the program and half said that their life is better now than it was before they did Kimberley Girl, and

      (iv) due to the success of Kimberley Girl, there have been a number of requests to roll the program out to other regions of Australia;

   (c) recognises the importance of long-term funding to support this and other programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, families and communities;

   (d) welcomes the Government's support of $479 000 for the Kimberley Girl Program since 2008; and

   (e) calls on the Government to commit to funding the program over the next 3 to 5 years.

Senator Brown to move:

That the Senate—

   (a) recognises the significance of goods and services tax (GST) receipts to state governments;

   (b) acknowledges the commitment given by the Federal Labor Government to Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation (HFE);

   (c) notes that:

      (i) HFE is the distribution method that underpins the concept of federalism in this country and spreads Australia's wealth fairly across all states and territories,

      (ii) HFE is vitally important to the Federation and this long-standing principle of equalisation has served Australia well, and that this has long been a bipartisan position of successive Labor and Liberal Commonwealth Governments, and

      (iii) a move to per capita distribution of the GST would have disastrous consequences for the budgets of smaller states and territories in the Commonwealth, whose residents would consequently receive a significantly inferior level of key services such as health and education; and

   (d) endorses HFE and calls on all sides of politics to support the principle that HFE be maintained into the future.

Senator Wright to move:

That the Senate—

   (a) recognises that discrimination and inequality are alive and well in Australia, for example, in August 2010, women earned 16.9 per cent less than men on average per week, with the total earnings gap increasing to 34.8 per cent per week when taking into account part time and casual work; and

   (b) calls on the Government to:

      (i) seize the opportunity to introduce a stand-alone Federal Equality Act that adopts global best-practice standards and brings Australian law into line with our international human rights obligations, and

      (ii) ensure that new equality legislation includes, among other things, a specific duty to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, prohibits discrimination in all areas of public life and removes arbitrary and blanket exemptions.

Senators Rhiannon and Moore to move:

That the Senate—

   (a) notes that:

      (i) the impact of the lack of affordable housing is felt disproportionately by women due to the high number of women in low-paid jobs, women heading single parent families and higher rates of poverty among older women living alone,

       (ii ) research indicates that, in coming years, there will be a significant increase in older women facing homelessness, and

       (iii ) a key priority of the Australian Social Inclusion Board for 2012-13 is to provide advice to government on the best responses to the growing issue of older women and homelessness; and

   (b ) calls on the Government to:

       (i ) support continued efforts to include a gendered perspective in the development of affordable housing measures, and

      (ii) publish information on how women are impacted by the affordable housing shortage, such as gender disaggregated data on the outcomes of the National Affordable Housing Agreement, National Partnership Agreements, National Rental Affordability Scheme and Social Housing Initiative.

Senator Milne and Senator Xenophon to move:

That there be laid on the table, no later than 17 September 2012:

   (a) any documents or information from Securency International Ltd and Note Printing Australia to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) pertaining to allegations of corruption and bribery at these subsidiaries, prior to the exposure of the allegations in the media in May 2009;

   (b) any internal RBA documents discussing the receipt of any documents or information pertaining to such allegations;

   (c) any written advice or information provided to the Government by the RBA pertaining to these allegations;

   (d) the Freehills report into Note Printing Australia's agency arrangements, including the terms of reference for this report and any information provided to Freehills; and

   (e) the Note Printing Australia audit report into these allegations.

Senator Madigan to move:

That the Senate—

   (a) notes that:

      (i) development of the Bald Hills wind farm in South Gippsland has been approved and will include construction of 52 wind turbines of up to 135 metres in height in the middle of a significant wetlands and flora conservation area on the South Gippsland coast,

      (ii) some 296 recorded bird species live around the area of the wind farm, of which:

   (a) 21 are threatened species in the Cape Liptrap area,

   (b) 31 are listed species under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988,

   (c) 97 are listed as migratory under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 of which 2 are listed as endangered, including one critically endangered,

   (d) 40 are listed under the Chinese-Australian Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA),

   (e) 45 are listed under the Japanese-Australian Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA), and

   (f) 3 are listed under the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species,

      (iii) government approval of the Bald Hills wind farm is causing Australia to breach the international obligations to protect migratory species listed under JAMBA, CAMBA and the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species,

      (iv) objectors to the development of the Bald Hills wind farm include hundreds of individuals, as well as over a dozen organisations, including the National Trust of Australia, Victorian National Parks Association, Parks Victoria West Gippsland District, South Gippsland Conservation Society and the South Gippsland Shire Council; and

   (b) calls on the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities to remove Commonwealth approval for the construction of the Bald Hills wind farm and bring Australia into compliance with our international obligations.

Senator Cormann to move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, no later than noon on 10 September 2012, detail of how many Australian export businesses:

   (a) have received free carbon permits since 1 July 2012; and

   (b) are expected to receive free carbon permits in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Senator Wong to move:

(1) That a Select Committee on Electricity Prices be appointed to inquire into and report by 1 November 2012 on:

   (a) the key causes of electricity price increases over recent years and in future projections;

   (b) legislative and regulatory arrangements and drivers in relation to network transmission and distribution investment decision-making and the consequent impacts on electricity bills, and on the long-term interests of consumers;

   (c) options to reduce peak demand and improve the productivity of the national electricity system;

   (d) independent energy market reviews currently underway to improve outcomes for consumers, mechanisms that could assist households and business to reduce (or substantially mitigate increases in) their energy costs, including:

      (i) the identification of practical low cost energy efficiency opportunities to assist low income earners reduce their electricity costs,

      (ii) the opportunities for improved customer advocacy and representation arrangements bringing together current diffuse consumer representation around the country,

      (iii) investigation of the opportunities and possible mechanisms for the wider adoption of technologies to provide consumers with greater information to assist in managing their energy use,

      (iv) the adequacy of current consumer information, choice and protection measures, including the benefits to consumers and industry of uniform adoption of the National Energy Customer Framework,

      (v) arrangements to support and assist low income and vulnerable consumers with electricity pricing, in particular relating to the role and extent of dividend redistribution from electricity infrastructure,

      (vi) arrangements for network businesses to assist their customers to save energy and reduce peak demand as a more cost effective alternative to network infrastructure spending, and

      (vii) improved reporting by electricity businesses of their performance in assisting customers to save energy and reduce bills; and

   (e) opportunities and barriers to the wider deployment of new and innovative technologies, including:

      (i) direct load control and pricing incentives,

      (ii) storage technology,

      (iii) energy efficiency, and

      (iv) distributed clean and renewable energy generation.

(2) That the committee consist of 8 senators, 4 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.

( 3 ) 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 senators;

   (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; and

   (c ) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

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

(5) That the committee elect a Government member as its chair.

( 6 ) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair has a casting vote.

( 7 ) 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 and 1 non - Government member.

( 8 ) That the committee have power to call for witnesses to attend and for documents to be produced.

( 9 ) That the committee may conduct proceedings at any place it sees fit.

( 10 ) 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.

Senator Pratt to move:

That the Senate—

   (a) notes that:

      (i) 28 July was World Hepatitis Day,

      (ii) the event is one of only 4 official world disease awareness days endorsed by the World Health Organization,

      (iii) chronic hepatitis C is a large and growing health problem in Australia with more than 200 000 people living with the disease,

      (iv) left untreated, hepatitis C can possibly lead to liver damage, cancer and death,

      (v) hepatitis C has now eclipsed HIV/AIDS as the number one viral killer in Australia,

      (vi) hepatitis C can be cured with the appropriate treatment,

      (vii) needle and syringe programs have proven effective in relation to preventing transmission of hepatitis B and hepatitis C as well as HIV, and

      (viii) hepatitis C disproportionately impacts on the Indigenous community with Indigenous people representing less than 3 per cent of the total Australian population but more than 8 per cent of the Australian population infected with hepatitis C; and

   (b) welcomes scientific and treatment advances that greatly increase the chance of curing patients with the most common and hardest to treat strain of hepatitis C.