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Thursday, 20 November 1986
Page: 2566


Senator GRIMES (Manager of Government Business) —On behalf of Senator Button I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, he will move:

That the Senate adopt the following resolution relating to the registration and declaration of Senators' interests, such resolution to continue in force unless amended or repealed by the Senate in this or a subsequent Parliament:

1 Declaration of Senators' interests

(1) That, within 28 days of making and subscribing an oath or affirmation as a Senator, each Senator shall provide to the Registrar of Senators' Interests a statement of-

(a) the Senator's registrable interests; and

(b) the registrable interests of which the Senator is aware (i) of the Senator's spouse; and (ii) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Senator for support, in accordance with the resolution adopted by the Senate and in a form determined by the Committee of Senators' Interests from time to time, and shall also notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar within 28 days of that alteration occurring.

(2) Any Senator who:

(a) knowingly fails to provide a statement of registrable interests to the Registrar of Senators' Interests by the due date;

(b) knowingly fails to notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar of Senators' Interests within 28 days of the change occurring; or

(c) knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Senators' Interests,

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the Senate and shall be dealt with by the Senate accordingly.

2 Registrable interests

That the statement of a Senator's registrable interests to be provided by a Senator shall include the registrable interests of which the Senator is aware (a) of the Senator's spouse; and (b) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Senator for support, and shall cover the following matters:

(i) shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies;

(ii) family and business trusts and nominee companies-

(a) in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and beneficial interest, and

(b) in which the Senator, the Senator's spouse, or a child who is wholly or mainly dependent on the Senator for support, is a trustee (but not including a trustee of an estate where no beneficial interest is held by the Senator, the Senator's spouse or dependent children), indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiary of the trust;

(iii) real estate, including the location (suburb or area only) and the purpose for which it is owned;

(iv) registered directorships of companies;

(v) partnerships, indicating the nature of the interests and the activities of the partnership;

(vi) liabilities, indicating the nature of the liability and the creditor concerned;

(vii) the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments;

(viii) saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned;

(ix) the nature of any other assets (excluding household and personal effects) each valued at over $5,000;

(x) the nature of any other substantial sources of income;

(xi) gifts valued at more than $250 received from official sources, or at more than $100 where received from other than official sources provided that a gift received by a Senator, the Senator's spouse or dependent children from family members or personal friends in purely personal capacity need not be registered unless the Senator judges that an appearance of conflict of interest may be seen to exist;

(xii) any sponsored travel or hospitality received;

(xiii) membership of any organisations; and

(xiv) any other interests where a conflict of interest with a Senator's public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise.

3 Register and Registrar of Senators' Interests

That-

(a) at the commencement of each Parliament, and at other times as necessary, the President shall appoint an officer of the Department of the Senate as the Registrar of Senators' Interests and that officer shall also be Clerk to the Committee of Senators' Interests;

(b) the Registrar of Senators' Interests shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the Committee of Senators' Interests, maintain a Register of Senators' Interests in a form to be determined by that Committee from time to time;

(c) as soon as possible after the commencement of each Parliament, the Chairman of the Committee of Senators' Interests shall table in the Senate a copy of the completed Register of Senators' Interests and shall also table from time to time as required any notification by a Senator of alteration of those interests; and

(d) the Register of Senators' Interests shall be available for inspection by any person under conditions to be laid down by the Committee of Senators' Interests from time to time.

4 Declaration of interest in debate and other proceedings

That, notwithstanding the lodgment by a Senator of a statement of the Senator's registrable interests and the registrable interests of which the Senator is aware (a) of the Senator's spouse; and (b) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Senator for support, and the incorporation of that statement in a Register of Senators' Interests, a Senator shall declare any relevant interest-

(i) at the beginning of his or her speech if the Senator should participate in debate in the Senate, Committee of the whole Senate, or a Committee of the Senate (or of the Senate and the House), and

(ii) as soon as practicable after a Division is called for in the Senate, Committee of the whole Senate, or a Committee of the Senate (or of the Senate and the House) if the Senator proposes to vote in that division, and

the declaration shall be recorded and indexed in the Journals of the Senate or Minutes of Proceedings (as applicable) and in any Hansard report of those proceedings or that Division:

Provided that it shall not be necessary for a Senator to declare an interest when directing a question seeking information in accordance with Standing Order 98 or 98a.

That the following new Standing Order be adopted-

36ac (1) A Committee of Senators' Interests shall be appointed at the commencement of each Parliament to:

(a) inquire into and report upon the arrangements made for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of a Register of Senators' Interests;

(b) consider any proposals made by Senators and others as to the form and content of the Register;

(c) consider any specific complaints made in relation to the registering or declaring of interests;

(d) consider what changes to any code of conduct adopted by the Senate are necessary or desirable;

(e) consider what classes of person (if any) other than Senators ought to be required to register and declare their interests; and

(f) make recommendations upon these and any other matters which are relevant.

(2) Unless otherwise ordered, the Committee shall consist of 6 Senators, 3 being members of the Government to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and 3 being Senators who are not members of the Government to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or by any minority group or groups or Independent Senator or Independent Senators.

(3) Three members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum.

(4) The Committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(5) The Committee shall elect a Government member as Chairman who may from time to time appoint another member of the Committee to be Deputy-Chairman, and the member so appointed shall act as Chairman at any time when there is no Chairman or the Chairman is not present at a meeting of the Committee.

(6) In the event of an equality of voting, the Chairman, or the Deputy-Chairman, when acting as Chairman, has a casting vote.

(7) The Committee shall have power to send for and examine persons, papers and records, to move from place to place and to transact business in public or private session, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives. The Committee shall not exercise these powers, nor undertake investigations of the private interests of any person unless approved by not less than 3 members of the Committee not including the Chairman.

(8) The Committee shall have power to confer with a similar Committee of the House of Representatives.

(9) The Committee shall, as soon as practicable after 31 December each year, report to the Senate on its operations during that year and shall also have leave to report from time to time.

(10) The Committee shall be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources.

That, notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders-

(1) The Committee of Senators' Interests determine a form for registration of Senators' Interests by 31 March 1987.

(2) Each Senator provide to the Registrar of Senators' Interests by 30 June 1987 a statement of (a) the Senator's registrable interests; and (b) the registrable interests of which the Senator is aware (i) of the Senator's spouse; and (ii) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Senator for support.

In accordance with the resolution adopted by the Senate and in the form determined by the Committee of Senators' Interests, and shall also notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar within 28 days of that alteration occurring.

(3) Any Senator who-

(a) knowingly fails to provide a statement of registrable interests to the Registrar of Senators' Interests by the due date;

(b) knowingly fails to notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar of Senators' Interests within 28 days of the change occurring; or

(c) knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Senators' Interests,

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the Senate and shall be dealt with by the Senate accordingly.