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Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26660


Senator TCHEN (3:37 PM) —I give notice that at the giving of notices on the next day of sitting I shall withdraw business of the Senate notice of motion No. 1 standing in my name for 13 sitting days after today for the disallowance of the Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice (No. 1) 2004 made under subsection 115(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the committee's correspondence concerning this instrument.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows—

Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice (No. 1) 2004 made under subsection 115(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992

17 June 2004

The Hon Daryl Williams AM QC MP

Minister for Communications,

Information Technology and the Arts

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

I refer to Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice (No. 1) 2004, made under subsection 115(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. The Committee notes two matters of concern with this notice.

First, the list in Schedule 1 (which applies until 31 December 2005) does not refer to the 2004 Olympic Games. The Committee notes that future Olympic Games do appear in the second list in Schedule 2. Secondly, the Explanatory Statement indicates that the list in Schedule 2 (which applies from 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2010) removes Australian Football League State of Origin matches from the anti-siphoning list. In fact, these matches are included in the list. The item which appears to have been removed from the list of Rugby League Football events is “Any other match involving the senior Australian representative team selected by the Australian Rugby League, whether played in Australia or overseas”.

The Committee would appreciate your advice on these issues as soon as possible, but before 6 August 2004, to enable it to finalise its consideration of this instrument. Correspondence should be directed to the Chairman, Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances, Room SG49, Parliament House, Canberra.

Yours sincerely

Tsebin Tchen

Chairman

—————

11 August 2004

Senator Tsebin Tchen

Chairman

Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances

Room SG49

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Senator Tchen

Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice (No 1) 2004

Thank you for your letter of 17 June 2004 to the previous Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the Hon Daryl Williams AM QC MP, concerning the Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice (No. 1) 2004 (the Notice).

As you are aware, the previous Minister made the Notice on 11 May 2004 under section 115(1) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. The Notice revokes and re-makes the Broadcasting Services (Events) Notice No. 1 of 1994. The new instrument continues to prevent pay TV licensees from acquiring a right to a listed event until it has first been acquired by a commercial free-to-air broadcaster reaching more than 50 per cent of the Australian population, by a national broadcaster, or the right has not been purchased by a free-to-air broadcaster and is de-listed.

The new instrument separates protected events into two separate anti-siphoning lists. Schedule 1 re-makes and clarifies the original anti-siphoning instrument and therefore protects sporting events taking place up to 31 December 2005. Schedule 2 protects a revised list of events which will take place between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2010.

The Explanatory Statement for the new instrument notes that “in substance, the events listed in Schedule 1 are the same as the events listed in the previous anti-siphoning list. The previous list has been updated to include correct names for certain sporting bodies and competitions, and to remove out-of-date references.”

As part of the reforms to the anti-siphoning list announced on 7 April 2004, the Government decided to include on the anti-siphoning list the Olympic and Commonwealth Games to ensure that these important events continue to be available to viewers on free-to-air television. The Committee has noted that the list at Schedule 1 does not include the 2004 Olympic Games. This event has not been added to Schedule 1 because, as noted above, no events that take place before 31 December 2005 have been added to the original list which is now replicated in Schedule 1. In addition, as the rights to the 2004 Olympic Games have already been acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster, there would be no practical purpose served by their addition to Schedule 1.

The Committee has also noted that the Explanatory Statement for the new anti-siphoning instrument indicates that Schedule 2 of the list does not include Australian Football League (AFL) State of Origin matches, whereas you suggest that these matches are in fact included on the list.

In fact AFL State of Origin matches are only included in Schedule 1 (at sub-item 2.2 of that Schedule) because they were included in the original instrument. Item 4 of Schedule 2, which relates to Australian Rules Football, does not mention AFL State of Origin matches. Events of this kind that take place before 31 December 2005 are therefore protected by the anti-siphoning scheme, while events that take place after that point are not. (I note that AFL State of Origin matches have not taken place for a number of years.)

You also note that an item relating to Rugby League matches that appears in the list at Schedule 1 does not appear in the list at Schedule 2, ie “Any other match involving the senior Australian representative team selected by the Australian Rugby League, whether played in Australia or overseas”, (sub-item 3.4). The Explanatory Statement fails to note that these Rugby League matches have not been included on the list at Schedule 2 of the new instrument. While this is an oversight in the Explanatory Statement, the non-inclusion of this item is a direct decision by the Government which is unrelated to the issue of AFL State of Origin matches.

I hope that this information is of assistance.

Yours sincerely

HELEN COONAN

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on the weekend of 28 and 29 August 2004, as many as 400 000 people marched in New York, protesting the neo-conservative agenda of George W Bush and the Republican Party,

(ii) opposition to the war and occupation in Iraq is growing in the United States of America and around the world, and

(iii) opposing the agenda of the present White House is not anti-American but rather a view shared by a majority of Americans and the world's people;

(b) congratulates the hundreds of thousands of Americans who marched on the weekend in New York and across the United States of America; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to immediately withdraw Australian troops from Iraq and repudiate the agenda of George Bush's policy of endless war.

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) media reports that the Australian Special Air Services (SAS) personnel are operating in Iraq as part of a United States of America (US)-led program that includes kidnapping, counter-insurgency and assassinations,

(ii) concerns of Australian personnel about aspects of the program, including the firing by US soldiers into an Iraqi crowd, and

(iii) concerns that, once again, the Howard Government has misled the Australian people about Australia's involvement in the Iraq conflict; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to inform the Parliament and the Australian people of the truth regarding the deployment of Australian SAS personnel in Iraq.

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Stockholm Convention, an international convention to eliminate 12 of the most toxic chemicals ever produced, entered into force on 17 May 2004,

(ii) Australia is a signatory to the Stockholm Convention and ratified it on 20 May 2004,

(iii) currently, there are plans to clean up toxins at the Meriton site at Homebush Bay in Sydney and at Orica's chemical factory at Botany using incineration-based technology, and

(iv) this incineration process will result in the formation of dioxins, which breaches Australia's international obligations under the Stockholm Convention; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to recognise its international obligations and immediately intervene to prevent this incineration-based technology being used at these two sites.

Senator Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate calls on the Government to respect international maritime boundary arbitration and to move to such arbitration for the current dispute over oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.

Senator Ridgeway to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following matters be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in June 2005:

(a) the extent to which the Australian small business community is unduly burdened by local, state and Federal Government red tape;

(b) options for reducing the red tape compliance burden on Australian small business;

(c) whether the duplicity of state and federal industrial relations regimes has negative effects for small business; and

(d) options for reducing the compliance burden imposed by Australia's various industrial relations regimes on small business.