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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2467


Senator ROBERT RAY (Minister for Defence) —I table the government's response to the President's report on outstanding government responses to parliamentary committee reports and seek leave to have the document incorporated in Hansard and to move a motion in relation to the document.

  Leave granted.

  The document read as follows—

Circulated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate Senator the Hon Gareth Evans QC 30 June 1994

AUSTRALIAN LOAN COUNCIL (Senate Select)

Third Report

The Government's response to this report is expected to be provided shortly.

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS (Senate Standing)

Proposed treatment of unrealised capital gains and losses on listed securities under the income test for pensioners

The Government's response was presented to the President of the Senate on 15 April 1994 and tabled on 3 May 1994.

COMMUNITY STANDARDS RELEVANT TO THE SUPPLY OF SERVICES UTILISING ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGIES (Senate Select)

Video and computer games and classification issues

The Government's response is expected to be tabled in the Spring sittings 1994.

CORPORATIONS AND SECURITIES (Joint Statutory)

Close Corporations Act

Following its consideration of the recommendations of the Joint Statutory Committee report, the proposal by the Task Force on the Simplification of the Corporations Law to simplify proprietary companies was released in March 1994.

Under this proposal, the regulation of proprietary companies would be streamlined. Unlike the private company concept, this would have the advantage of extending the benefits of streamlining to existing as well as new companies. Public comments on the proposal are being taken into account in the preparation of draft legislation.

The Attorney-General has indicated that he anticipates releasing for public comment a draft Simplification Bill, including the proprietary company simplification measures, around July or August 1994.

Differential voting shares and the Australian Stock Exchange

On 20 March 1994 a report was released into the findings of the expert panel established in December last year to examine the desirability of Australian listed companies issuing super voting shares. The issue arose in Australia following the announcement at the annual general meeting of News Corporation Limited in October 1993 that it intended to seek approval from the Australian Stock Exchange ("ASX") for the issue of super voting shares carrying up to 25 votes each.

The report also recommended that a further examination of super voting shares be undertaken by the Companies and Securities Advisory Committee, with a view to identifying the very specific and limited circumstances in which super voting shares could be seen as an appropriate financing instrument and the safeguards that should be applied in such circumstances.

Finally, the report recommended that the ASX develop in consultation with the ASC and the Attorney-General's Department a set of formal guidelines for the exercise of its power to waive the listing rules.

ELECTORAL MATTERS (Joint Standing)

The conduct of elections: new boundaries for cooperation

The Government's response is expected to be tabled early in the Spring sittings 1994.

Counting the vote on election night

The Government response is expected to be tabled early in the Spring sittings 1994.

Ready or not—refining the process for Election `93

The Government response is expected to be tabled early in the Spring sittings 1994.

EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND TRAINING (Senate Standing)

Wanted: Our Future—implications of sustained high levels of unemployment among young people (15-24 years old)

The Government's response was presented to the President of the Senate on 27 April 1994 and tabled on 3 May 1994.

Organisation and Funding of Research in Higher Education

The Government's response is expected to be tabled by the end of the Winter sittings.

FINANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (Senate Standing)

Performance pay

The Government's response was presented to the President of the Senate on 26 May 1994 and tabled on 30 May 1994.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE (Joint)

Australia, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

The Government's response is expected to be provided shortly.

Australia's relations with Indonesia

The Government's response was tabled on 2 June 1994.

LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS (Senate Standing)

Feasibility of a National ID Scheme; the Tax File Number

The Government's response will provided in due course.

Proposed amendments to Part VA of the Trade Practices Act 1974—Product Liability—Where should the loss fall?

The Government's response was presented to the President of the Senate on 19 May 1994 and tabled on 30 May 1994.

The cost of justice—checks and imbalances

The Government now intends tabling its response to the recommendations contained in the Cost of Justice Second Report `Checks and Imbalances' during the course of the Spring sittings.

Checking the cash—the effectiveness of the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988

The Government response requires further liaison between and comment and advice from a number of Commonwealth Government departments and agencies. The Minister for Justice is expected to table a response in the Spring sittings 1994.

MIGRATION (Joint Standing)

Australia's refugee and humanitarian system: Achieving a balance between refuge and control

The Government's response is expected to be tabled by the end of the Winter sittings.

Conditional migrant entry: the health rules

The Government is finalising a response to the complex policy and related issues raised by this report and expects to table a response in the next few months.

Asylum, border control and detention

A comprehensive response has been prepared to the recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration in relation to Australian detention practices and will be tabled at the earliest possible date.

PARLIAMENTARY ZONE (Joint Statutory)

Future of old Parliament House

The Government response is expected to be tabled in the Spring sittings 1994.

PAY TELEVISION TENDERING PROCESSES, MATTERS ARISING FROM (Senate Select)

Terms of reference part (1) (b)

The Government's response is expected to be tabled during the spring sittings 1994.

PRIVILEGES (Senate Standing)

Possible improper interference with a witness and possible misleading evidence before the National Crime Authority Committee

Recommendation 1 does not require a response from the Government. Recommendation 4-6 are matters for the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, the Parliament and the Senate respectively.

In relation to Recommendation 2, the Government agreed in 1992 to amend sections 51 and 55 of the National Crime Authority Act 1984.

The National Crime Authority Amendment Bill 1992, which was intended to achieve this and other purposes, was amended in the Senate in a manner unacceptable to the government, and unacceptable to the States and Territories represented on the Inter-Governmental Committee on the National Crime Authority. The Bill was accordingly laid aside. The Government has not yet determined what further action it will take. The Government notes and accepts Recommendation 3.

Possible adverse treatment of a witness before the Corporations and Securities Committee (42nd Report)

The Government's response is expected to be tabled in the Spring sittings 1994.

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS (Senate Standing)

Employment of visitors to Australia in the shearing industry

A Government response to this report will be provided as soon as possible.

SUPERANNUATION (Senate Select)

Super Complaints Tribunal

The Government response is expected to be tabled in the 1994 Winter sittings.

  Motion (by Senator Robert Ray) agreed to:

  That the Senate take note of the document.