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Tuesday, 30 August 1994
Page: 572


Senator BURNS —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the resolutions of the Senate of 30 June 1994 and 24 August 1994 be modified and combined to read as follows:

That the following matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs for inquiry and report on or before the last sitting day in December 1994:

  (a)the impact of assets tests on farming families' access to social security payments and Austudy;

(b)the implications for such families of exempting their property and plant, including land, buildings, stock and items essential to earning a living on the property, from assets testing; and

(c)the social and economic implications of the assets test exemption amendment moved in the committee of the whole stage of the Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1994.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to that notice of motion.

  Leave granted.


Senator BURNS —As Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs, I have given notice of a motion that seeks to combine two inquiries already referred to the committee. Honourable senators will recall that on 30 June 1994 the Senate agreed to refer to the committee an inquiry on assets tests for family payments and primary producers. On 24 August 1994 the Senate referred further matters relating to the impact of assets tests on farming families' access to social security payments and Austudy.

  I should indicate to the Senate that the committee's new terms of reference, contained in the motion, will maintain the focus of the original references moved by Senator Patterson and Senator Lees and agreed to by the Senate. The committee considers that by combining these references it will be able to inquire into and report on these matters in an efficient manner.