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Tuesday, 22 October 2002
Page: 5598

Senator George Campbell to move on the next day of sitting:

That the time for the presentation of reports of the Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee be extended as follows:

(a) education of students with disabilities— to 5 December 2002; and

(b) small business employment—to 12 December 2002.

Senator Mason to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters be authorised to hold public meetings during the sittings of the Senate on Monday, 11 November 2002, from 7.15 pm, and on Monday, 2 December 2002, from 7.15 pm, to take evidence for the committee's inquiry into the conduct of the 2001 federal election.

Senator George Campbell to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following matters be referred to the Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in June 2003:

(a) areas of skills shortage and labour demand in different areas and locations, with particular emphasis on projecting future skills requirements;

(b) the effectiveness of current Commonwealth, state and territory education, training and employment policies, and programs and mechanisms for meeting current and future skills needs, and any recommended improvements;

(c) the effectiveness of industry strategies to meet current and emerging skill needs;

(d) the performance and capacity of Job Network to match skills availability with labour-market needs on a regional basis and the need for improvements;

(e) strategies to anticipate the vocational education and training needs flowing from industry restructuring and redundancies, and any recommended improvements; and

(f) consultation arrangements with industry, unions and the community on labour-market trends and skills demand in particular, and any recommended appropriate changes.

Senator Ridgeway to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) Mrs Valarie Linow, an Aboriginal woman from New South Wales, was removed from her family at the age of 2 years and placed in children's homes in Bomaderry and then Cootamundra;

(ii) at the age of 14, Mrs Linow was placed on a rural property in New South Wales by the Aborigines Welfare Board and employed as a domestic worker,

(iii) Mrs Linow is the first member of the stolen generations to be awarded monetary compensation for the psychological trauma she suffered as a result of sexual assaults that occurred when she was employed as a domestic worker, and

(iv) by awarding Mrs Linow compensation of $35 000, the New South Wales Victims Compensation Tribunal is distinguished as the first judicial body in Australia's history to award compensation to a member of the stolen generations for harm that occurred while in state care;

(b) acknowledges that the success of Mrs Linow's case may give hope to other members of the stolen generations who suffered a similar fate and validate their conviction that the harm done to them does warrant and deserve compensation;

(c) regrets that the Government has provided members of the stolen generations no alternative to the adversarial, costly and protracted court system for the resolution of their claims, with the result that many claims will continue to be defeated because of the applicants' inability to produce the necessary documentation or the witnesses to substantiate their claims; and

(d) calls on the Government to:

(i) reconsider its opposition to the establishment of a more humane and compassionate response, particularly for those members of the stolen generations who have suffered harm as a consequence of the act of removal, and

(ii) establish a reparations tribunal for the stolen generations, as recommended in the Legal and Constitutional References Committee report on the stolen generations, Healing: A Legacy of Generations,the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the National Sorry Day Committee.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Gembrook Primary School has for the past 100 years had only two permanent classrooms, even when the school population has been around 300,

(ii) the Gembrook Primary School population has been around 170 children for the past 3 years and is increasing each year,

(iii) the Victorian State Government's school infrastructure policy for the ratio of permanent and portable classrooms is 80:20,

(iv) the Victorian State Government does not provide funding for the maintenance of portable classrooms, instead replacing them when the repair bill is more than 5 per cent of the cost of replacement, and

(v) as a result the Gembrook Primary School, receives no maintenance funding for most of its classrooms;

(b) calls on the Victorian State Government to provide Gembrook Primary School with four new permanent classrooms, bringing the capacity of its permanent classrooms to 150;

(c) recognises that there are many thousands of students housed in inadequate portable classrooms Australia-wide; and

(d) calls on the Federal Government to provide more funds for urgently needed, basic capital works in government schools.