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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 14

Senator Ludwig to move on the next day of sitting:

That—

(a) the Select Committee on the Scrafton Evidence, appointed by resolution of the Senate on 30 August 2004, be reappointed with the same powers and provisions for membership, except as otherwise provided by this resolution;

(b) the committee have power to consider and use for its purposes the minutes of evidence and records of the select committee appointed on 30 August 2004; and

(c) the committee report by 2 December 2004.

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

That standing order 3(4) be suspended to enable the Senate to consider business other than that of a formal character before the address-in-reply to the Governor-General's opening speech has been adopted.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, and for other purposes. Administrative Appeals Tribunal Amendment Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend laws relating to aviation security, and for related purposes. Aviation Security Amendment Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Bankruptcy Act 1966, and for other purposes. Bankruptcy and Family Law Legislation Amendment Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and for related purposes. Disability Discrimination Amendment (Education Standards) Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Family Law Act 1975, and for related purposes. Family Law Amendment (Annuities) Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to provide certainty about the validity of certain plans of management under the Fisheries Management Act 1991, and for related purposes. Fisheries (Validation of Plans of Management) Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act relating to the protection of certain information from disclosure in federal criminal proceedings, and for related purposes. National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend certain Acts as a consequence of the enactment of the National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Act 2004, and for related purposes. National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings)(Consequential Amendments) Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Ombudsman Act 1976, and for related purposes. Postal Industry Ombudsman Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to set out the powers of Commonwealth law enforcement agencies with respect to surveillance devices, and for related purposes. Surveillance Devices Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979, and for other purposes. Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment (Stored Communications) Bill 2004.

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Workplace Relations Act 1996, and for related purposes. Workplace Relations Amendment (Agreement Validation) Bill 2004.

Senator Ridgeway to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 1), as contained in Statutory Rules 2004 No. 176 and made under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984, be disallowed.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 1570 of 28 October 2004, reaffirms its commitment to the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, and

(ii) the republic of South Africa extended full recognition and established diplomatic relations with the Saharawi Republic on 15 September 2004; and

(b) urges the Government to:

(i) recognise the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic which is a fully-fledged member of the African Union and recognised by over 70 countries worldwide,

(ii) extend full support to the organisation of a free, fair and transparent referendum of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara,

(iii) vote in favour of the resolution on Western Sahara in the UN General Assembly,

(iv) use its best efforts to persuade Morocco to accept the latest UN peace plan that is based on the organisation of a referendum of self-determination in Western Sahara, and

(v) provide humanitarian assistance to the Saharawi refugees who need food and medicine urgently.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the resolution on 28 October 2004 by the European Parliament which calls on its 25 member states to stop deploying high-intensity active naval sonar until more is known about the harm it inflicts on whales and other marine life,

(ii) the call for the establishment of a multinational task force for developing international agreements on sonar and other sources of intense ocean noise and to exclude and seek alternatives to the harmful sonars used today, and

(iii) the July 2004 report of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission which found compelling evidence that entire populations of whales and other marine mammals are potentially threatened by increasingly intense man-made underwater noise both regionally and ocean-wide; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) support the proposed multinational task force,

(ii) encourage the United States of America to do likewise, and

(iii) impose an immediate ban on high-intensity active naval sonar use in Australian waters pending the outcome of the work of the proposed multinational task force.

Senator Ridgeway to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Procedure unanimously recommended in August 2001 in its report, Balancingtraditionandprogress:ProceduresfortheopeningofParliament that `...representatives of the ACT indigenous community be consulted to advise on a suitable indigenous ritual to be included in the opening procedures [of the Australian Parliament]',

(ii) the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation recommended to the Parliament in its final report in December 2000 that, `All Parliaments, governments and organisations observe protocols and negotiate with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders or representative bodies to include appropriate Indigenous ceremony into official events',

(iii) in February 2002, the Senate agreed to a resolution noting these recommendations, acknowledging that they had not been implemented, and calling on the Government to respond to the standing committee's report to modernise the Parliament and open it up to participation by all Australians, and

(iv) the government response to the Council for Aboriginal Recon-ciliation's final report, dated September 2002 and some 22 months after the report was released, stated that the Government was not prepared to include Indigenous protocols into opening ceremonies for parliament;

(b) expresses its disappointment that the Government has again missed the opportunity to recognise and honour the unique cultures and identity of Indigenous Australians and include First Nation Peoples in the official national ceremony as a positive and inclusive gesture of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; and

(c) calls on the Government to take constructive action, in accordance with its own 2001 House of Representatives committee report, to ensure that the Australian Parliament is accessible to all Australians and representative of all Australians, by incorporating Indigenous protocols into the ceremony for the opening of Parliament.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

(1) That so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent this resolution having effect.

(2) That the following bills be restored to the Notice Paper and that consideration of each of the bills be resumed at the stage reached in the last session of the Parliament:

Anti-Genocide Bill 1999 [2002]

Charter of Political Honesty Bill 2000 [2002]

Constitution Alteration (Appropri-ations for the Ordinary Annual Services of the Government) 2001 [2002]

Constitution Alteration (Electors' Initiative, Fixed Term Parliaments and Qualification of Members) 2000 [2002]

Defence Amendment (Parliamentary approval for Australian involvement in overseas conflicts) Bill 2003

Electoral Amendment (Political Honesty) Bill 2003

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amend-ment (Invasive Species) Bill 2002

Euthanasia Laws (Repeal) Bill 2004

Financial Management and Accountability (Anti-Restrictive Soft-ware Practices) Amendment Bill 2003

Freedom of Information Amendment (Open Government) Bill 2003

Genetic Privacy and Non-discrimination Bill 1998 [2002]

Ministers of State (Post-Retirement Employment Restrictions) Bill 2002

National Animal Welfare Bill 2003

Patents Amendment Bill 1996 [2002]

Parliamentary Approval of Treaties Bill 1995 [2002]

Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistleblowers) Bill 2002

Reconciliation Bill 2001 [2002]

Republic (Consultation of the People) Bill 2001 [2002]

Sexuality Anti-Vilification Bill 2003

Sexuality and Gender Identity Discrimination Bill 2003

State Elections (One Vote, One Value) Bill 2001 [2002]

Textbook Subsidy Bill 2003

Uranium Mining in or near Australian World Heritage Properties (Prohibition) Bill 1998 [2002]

Workplace Relations Amendment (Paid Maternity Leave) Bill 2002.

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

That the days of meeting of the Senate for 2004 and 2005 be as follows:

Springsittings(2004):

Tuesday, 16 November to Thursday, 18 November

Monday, 29 November to Thursday, 2 December

Monday, 6 December to Thursday, 9 December

Summer sittings(2005):

Tuesday, 8 February to Thursday, 10 February

Autumnsittings(2005):

Monday, 7 March to Thursday, 10 March

Monday, 14 March to Thursday, 17 March

Budgetsittings(2005):

Tuesday, 10 May to Thursday, 12 May

Wintersittings(2005):

Tuesday, 14 June to Thursday, 16 June

Monday, 20 June to Thursday, 23 June

Springsittings(2005):

Tuesday, 9 August to Thursday, 11 August

Monday, 15 August to Thursday, 18 August

Monday, 5 September to Thursday, 8 September

Monday, 12 September to Thursday, 15 September

Tuesday, 4 October to Thursday, 6 October

Monday, 10 October to Thursday, 13 October

Spring sittings (2) (2005):

Monday, 7 November to Thursday, 10 November

Monday, 28 November to Thursday, 1 December.

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

That the continuing order relating to the allocation of departments and agencies to standing committees be amended to read as follows:

Departments and agencies are allocated to the legislative and general purpose standing committees as follows:

CommunityAffairs

Family and Community Services

Health and Ageing

Economics

Treasury

Industry, Tourism and Resources

Employment,WorkplaceRelationsandEducation

Employment and Workplace Relations

Education, Science and Training

Environment,Communications,InformationTechnologyandtheArts

Environment and Heritage

Communications, Information Tech-nology and the Arts

FinanceandPublicAdministration

Parliament

Prime Minister and Cabinet

Finance and Administration

Human Services

ForeignAffairs,DefenceandTrade

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Defence (including Veterans' Affairs)

LegalandConstitutional

Attorney-General

Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

RuralandRegionalAffairsandTransport

Transport and Regional Services

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the recent passing of the President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat;

(b) extends its condolences to the Palestinian community of Australia who are mourning the loss of their deeply respected leader;

(c) recognises the historic contribution Yasser Arafat has made to the goal of securing a just peace in the Middle East, and in particular the recognition of the need for a two-state solution; and

(d) calls on the Government to play a more positive role in the international efforts to achieve a just peace for the peoples of Palestine and Israel.

Senator Harris to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Tri-nations Rugby League series is currently being played in the United Kingdom,

(ii) one of the composite teams is made up of players from Australia and New Zealand, and

(iii) this team is being represented by Channel 9 and possibly others as `The ANZACS';

(b) further notes that the use of the term `ANZACS' is contrary to Commonwealth legislation unless there is approval given by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs;

(c) requests the Minister for Veterans' Affairs to advise the Senate whether an application for the use of the name `ANZACS' has been received from Channel 9 and, if so, whether the Minister granted such approval, or, if not, whether the Minister will ensure that such reference by Channel 9 ceases immediately; and

(d) if the name has been used without approval, calls on the Minister to request a public apology on air from Channel 9 for the misuse of the name `ANZACS'.

Senators Crossin and Ridgeway to move on the next day of sitting:

That—

(a) the Select Committee on the Administration of Indigenous Affairs, appointed by resolution of the Senate on 16 June 2004, be reappointed with the same terms of reference, powers and provisions for membership, except as otherwise provided by this resolution;

(b) the committee have power to consider and use for its purposes the minutes of evidence and records of the select committee appointed on 16 June 2004; and

(c) the committee report by 8 March 2005.

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Western Australia—Minister for the Environment and Heritage) (5.07 p.m.)—I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the Customs Amendment (Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2004 and the Customs Tariff Amendment (Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2004.

I also table a statement of reasons justifying the need for these bills to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Purpose of the Bills

The bills amend the Customs Act 1901 (the Customs Act) and the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Tariff Act) to give effect to the Government's decision to enter into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Thailand by:

providing rules for determining whether goods originate in Thailand for the purposes of the FTA (new Division 1D of Part VIII of the Customs Act);

providing verification measures to ensure that preferential entry is limited to those goods meeting the rules of origin;

providing duty-free access for certain goods and preferential rates of customs duty for other goods that are Thai originating goods in accordance with new Division 1D of Part VIII of the Customs Act;

phasing the above preferential rates of customs duty for certain goods to Free by 2015;

creating a new Schedule 6 to the Tariff Act to accommodate those phasing rates of duty; and

providing the mechanism to initiate safeguard measures on sensitive products including canned tuna, processed pineapple and pineapple juice, if necessary.

Reasons for Urgency

The Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement is to be implemented by 1 January 2005 as provisionally agreed to with the Government of Thailand.

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Western Australia—Minister for the Environment and Heritage) (5.08 p.m.)—I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the following bills:

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2004

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2004

Aviation Security Amendment Bill 2004

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2004

Health Insurance Legislation Amendment (100% Medicare Rebate and Other Measures) Bill 2004

Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment Bill 2004

National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill 2004 and National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2004

Schools Assistance (Learning Together--Achievement through Choice and Opportunity) Bill 2004 and States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Legislation Amendment Bill 2004

Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 2004

Surveillance Devices Bill 2004

Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment (Stored Communications) Bill 2004

Textile, Clothing and Footwear Strategic Investment Program Amendment (Post-2005 Scheme) Bill 2004 and Customs Tariff Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Post-2005 Arrangements) Bill 2004

Vocational Education and Training Funding Amendment Bill 2004

Workplace Relations Amendment (Agreement Validation) Bill 2004.

I table statements of reasons justifying the need for these bills to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statements incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statements read as follows—

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2)

Purpose of the Bill

The government's response to the Keniry Report of 2003 into the live animal export industry included a number of measures that have already been enacted in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment (Export Control) Act 2004. Those amendments introduced tighter regulation across all aspects of the livestock export trade.

This bill is intended to implement the second part of recommendation 2 of the Keniry Report, namely—

“Industry should be responsible for research and development and management of quality assurance systems to support its members translate best practice standards into outcomes consistent with best practice:

its activities should be funded by compulsory levies.”

The bill amends the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 (the AMLI Act) to empower the Minister to declare a body to be the live-stock export marketing body and the live-stock export research body for the purpose of receiving amounts equal to certain customs charges imposed under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charge Act 1999.

Currently, the AMLI Act empowers the Minister to declare only one industry marketing body and one industry research body. This limitation precludes the compulsory funding of a body that represents the live animal export industry to undertake research activities to improve animal health and welfare outcomes.

The bill also amends the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999 and Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999 to recognise, for the purposes of raising revenue, the distinction that the bill makes between the live-stock export sector and the rest of the industry in the AMLI Act.

Reasons for Urgency

Passage of the bill is necessary before compulsory funding can flow to LiveCorp as envisaged by the Keniry Report recommendation as agreed to by the government. Under the Keniry Report recommendation, LiveCorp will play a significant role in assisting its members with quality assurance improvements in the live-stock export industry. Passage of the bill in 2004 is needed to ensure LiveCorp has sufficient funding to undertake these functions. In the absence of the bill being passed, there is a risk that LiveCorp could cease to function due to an ongoing difficulty in the live export industry and consequent drop-off in voluntary levy contributions by company members.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry)

AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill expands and clarifies the circumstances in which the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) can furnish security assessments.

Reasons for Urgency

On 25 June 2004 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed on a national approach to ban access to ammonium nitrate for other than specifically authorised users. The agreement will result in the establishment in each jurisdiction of a licensing regime for the use, manufacture, storage, transport, supply, import and export of ammonium nitrate. The licensing regime requires ASIO to furnish security assessments for the States and Territories.

COAG agreed that the States and Territories would use their best endeavours to have their legislative arrangements for the ammonium nitrate licensing scheme in place by 1 November 2004. ASIO is therefore likely to receive requests for security assessments from this date.

The Government has undertaken consultation with the States and Territories about the form of the legislation through which they intend to implement the licensing scheme. Through this consultation it has recently become apparent that amendments to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 are required to expand the circumstances in which ASIO can furnish security assessments for the States and Territories.

If the bill is not introduced and passed in this sitting period then the circumstances in which ASIO can furnish security assessments for the States and Territories will be limited, and the full implementation of the regime will be delayed.

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General)

AVIATION SECURITY AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill amends the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to allow background checking to be conducted on existing and prospective pilots, and to enable the transition of certain security programmes approved under the Air Navigation Act 1920 as transport security programmes under the Aviation Transport Security Act 2004.

Reasons for Urgency

Intelligence assessments have identified that aircraft still present a significant threat to the community if used by terrorists.

Recently, there was a comprehensive review of aviation security following a revised threat assessment issued by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in July 2003. That review found that ensuring that pilots and trainee pilots are subject to security checking will reduce the likelihood of persons who might pose a threat to aviation gaining access to aircraft through legitimate means, such as undergoing training and progressing through other licensing requirements. Background checking of pilots is therefore an essential part of Australia's response to the terrorist threat. While many pilots are already background checked as part of the Australian Security Identification Card (ASIC) process, currently there are legislative impediments to the background checking of those pilots who are not required to hold ASICs, most notably in the Civil Aviation Act. These impediments need to be removed to allow background checking to go ahead.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has been moving towards the development of a new pilot licensing system which is due to commence on 1 April 2005. It is appropriate to synthesise the commencement of the system of full background checking for pilots with the commencement of the new licensing system being developed by CASA.

The transitional provision in Item 3 of Schedule 2 of the bill ensures that advice provided by ASIO for the purposes of the Air Navigation (Aviation Security Status Checking) Regulations 2004 will be taken to be security assessments under the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979. Given that the Regulations commenced on 9 July 2004, it is important that this bill is passed to address the flaw in the Regulations from the earliest time possible.

Schedule 2 of the bill also enables airport, ASIC and international cargo security programmes approved under the old Air Navigation Act 1920 to continue for a transitional period as transport security programmes under the new Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 when those parts of the old Act dealing with aviation security are repealed on 10 March 2005.

If the bill is not dealt with in the Spring Sittings, there is a significant chance that the legislation will not be in place by 1 April 2005. This will cause considerable inconvenience for pilots and may lead to significant cost implications for CASA. In addition, it will mean that the security outcome which is sought, namely that all pilots be subject to background checking, is delayed, therefore increasing the level of risk.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Transport and Regional Services)

CLASSIFICATION (PUBLICATIONS, FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES) AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2)

Purpose of the Bill

The bill amends the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 to remove any doubt as to the validity of classification decisions made in response to deficient or defective applications by enforcement agencies and authorities in the past and the future.

This bill is pre-emptive and designed to ensure there is no scope for important prosecutions, including prosecutions for `child pornography' related offences such as those currently being pursued as part of `Operation Auxin' to fail on technical grounds related to the requirements for applications for classification. The bill removes the scope for technical challenges both to past and future decisions, given that the substantive outcome of the classification process (ie a correct classification of material as refused classification, as one element of some child pornography prosecutions) is not in doubt.

Reasons for Urgency

The possibility of technical challenges has only recently been identified, after a review of procedures requested by the Attorney-General, arising from recent child pornography investigations. The urgent passage of the amendments will help to prevent the possibility of technical challenges to convictions or prosecutions of serious offences and consequent delays in the criminal justice process.

Passage of the bill is required to expedite prosecutions under Commonwealth, State and Territory laws.

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General)

HEALTH INSURANCE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (100% MEDICARE REBATE AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill increases the Medicare rebate for general practitioners (GPs) from 85% to 100% of the Medicare schedule fee. This amendment increases GPs' Medicare rebate income and provides additional support to GPs to bulk bill their patients. The bill also enables families that defer instalment payments of Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB(A)) to access the extended Medicare safety net at the $300 threshold level.

Reasons for Urgency

The Medicare rebate increase has been announced to commence on 1 January 2005. Changes to the Health Insurance Commission's administrative arrangements, amendments to Regulations and a communication strategy will need to take place prior to implementation.

In 2004 families who have deferred their FTB(A) instalment payments have not been able to access the $300 Medicare safety net threshold and may have missed out on some safety net benefits.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Health and Ageing)

INDIGENOUS EDUCATION (TARGETED ASSISTANCE) AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill provides funding for the Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Programme (IESIP), the Indigenous Education Direct Assistance (IEDA) programme, the Away From Base element of ABSTUDY transferred to IESIP in 1999 and strengthened accountability, performance and reporting requirements for the 2005-2008 funding quadrennium. The bill also implements the Government's election commitments to introduce an Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme and an Indigenous Youth Mobility Programme.

Reasons for Urgency

Funding is required by 1 January 2005 for the start of the 2005 school year. Funding for IESIP under the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000 ceases at the end of 2004. IEDA funding under the annual appropriations was for July to December 2004. Introduction and passage is required during this sittings so that over 200 funding agreements for the period 2005-2008 can be negotiated with preschool, school and vocational education and training providers so they can be paid supplementary recurrent assistance from January 2005.

Further, passage of the legislation as soon as possible will allow sufficient time to establish administrative arrangements for the 2005-2008 quadrennium. These arrangements include the significant restructuring of the IEDA programme. The new programmes are scheduled to commence in 2004-05.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training)

NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION (CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS) BILL

NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION (CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS) (CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS) BILL

Purpose of the Bills

The National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) Bill (NSI Bill) puts in place measures to safeguard security sensitive information that is tendered as evidence in the course of a criminal proceeding.

The existing rules of evidence and procedure do not provide adequate protection for information that relates to or may affect national security, which may be adduced or otherwise disclosed during the course of criminal proceedings.

When applied to prosecutions for espionage, treason, terrorism and other security related crimes, they may require the disclosure of such information to persons who are not security cleared, such as members of the jury. As a consequence, the Commonwealth may be faced with a choice between accepting the damage resulting from disclosure of information or protecting that information by abandoning the prosecution.

The NSI Bill provides a procedure in cases where information that relates to or may affect national security may be introduced during a federal criminal proceeding. The aim of the NSI Bill is to allow such information to be introduced in an edited or summarised form so as to facilitate the prosecution of an offence without prejudicing national security and the rights of the defendant to a fair trial.

The National Security Information (Criminal Proceedings) (Consequential Amendments) Bill (NSI Consequentials Bill) amends the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 and the Judiciary Act 1903 in regards to a court's jurisdiction to hear or determine an application by a defendant in a federal criminal proceeding, where the application relates to a decision of the Attorney-General to issue a certificate under the NSI Bill.

The amendments to the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 mean that a certificate decision of the Attorney-General is included at Schedule 2. The effect of this amendment is that in relation to a decision to issue a certificate, a person cannot request the Attorney-General to furnish a written statement setting out the findings on material questions of fact, the evidence or other material on which those findings were based and the reasons for the certificate decision.

The NSI Consequentials Bill amends section 39B(3) of the Judiciary Act 1903 to include decisions of the Attorney-General under the NSI Bill regarding the issue of a certificate or the disclosure of information as “a related criminal justice process”.

Reasons for Urgency

The bills are necessary to ensure that information that relates to or may affect national security that is tendered as evidence in a criminal proceeding is given maximum protection as soon as practicable. The Government's national security policy identified as a priority the reintroduction of these bills.

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General)

SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE (LEARNING TOGETHERACHEIVEMENT THROUGH CHOICE AND OPPORTUNITY) BILL

STATES GRANTS (PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION ASSISTANCE) LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bills

The Schools Assistance (Learning Together—Achievement Through Choice and Opportunity) Bill (the Schools Bill) provides Australian Government funding for school education over the period 2005-2008 (inclusive) and includes a number of new measures including strengthened accountability and reporting arrangements, and reform of the programmes for literacy, numeracy and special learning needs.

The States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Legislation Amendment Bill (the States Grants Bill) provides additional funding to extend the Tutorial Credits Initiative to all States and Territories who report to parents their child's 2003 Year 3 reading performance against the national benchmark. The States Grants Bill also corrects a technical defect in the socioeconomic (SES) funding phasing in arrangements for non-government schools so that schools will receive their correct general recurrent grant entitlements for 2004.

Reasons for Urgency

The Schools Bill must be enacted by 1 January 2005 to replace the existing States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 (the Act). If legislation is not passed before 1 January 2005 there is no Australian Government funding for schools for the start of the school year. The Australian Government makes approximately $2 billion worth of payments in January, with the majority to non-government schools. There are no other sources for this funding. Before payments can be made new agreements with States, Territories and non-government education authorities must be entered once the Bill receives Royal assent.

The Minister for Education, Science and Training announced on 19 May 2004 that tutorial credits would be provided to parents during Terms 3 and 4 of 2004. The States Grants Bill was not passed before the calling of the election which meant that the open tender process to secure brokers, who will manage the pilot scheme, could not be completed. Brokers can not be appointed until funding is made available. All tenders received under the Brokerage Services for the Pilot Tutorial Credit Initiative Request for Tender remain open until 24 December 2004. February 2005 (Term 1 2005) is now the earliest date for delivery of the pilot scheme. There is a high level of expectation among parents and further delay in the pilot could result in negative publicity. If funding is not secured before December 2004 then all tenders would lapse and a new tender process will be required further delaying implementation of the pilot by up to 6 months or more.

Passage of the States Grants Bill before the end of 2004 is also required to ensure that almost 700 non-government schools receive their correct General Recurrent Grant funding entitlement for 2004. These schools expected that full SES funding would be provided in 2004 and school budgets would have been prepared on this basis. Some schools could suffer financial hardship. The Act only provides funding until 31 December 2004. While it may be possible to amend the Act after December 2004 and make retrospective payments, this would cause a number of difficulties.

If correct 2004 payments are not made until 2005, schools will have difficulty in reporting correct data in financial questionnaires, grant acquittal and audit reports submitted by education authorities in respect of the 2004 calendar year. Schools would incur additional costs to re-engage external auditors. Delays in reporting by almost 700 schools could lead to a delay in the tabling in Parliament of the “Report on financial assistance grants to each State in respect of 2004” required under the Act.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training)

SUPERANNUATION LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill amends the Superannuation Act 1976 and the rules for the administration of the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme (PSS) established by deed under the Superannuation Act 1990 to:

restore the intended superannuation salary of current and some former secretaries of departments and certain other office holders who are members of the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS) or the PSS; and

provide that where a Determination can be made under an Act, including the Public Service Act 1999, the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 and the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973, to set the remuneration and terms and conditions of appointment for a secretary or a holder of an Australian Government office, that Determination may also set the superannuation salary for those office holders who are CSS or PSS members.

Reasons for Urgency

The bill is required to provide authority to set superannuation salary in Determinations in relation to secretaries and certain office holders, to give certainty in their CSS and PSS entitlements and to ensure superannuation arrangements operate as intended.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Finance and Administration)

SURVEILLANCE DEVICES BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The Surveillance Devices Bill adds to and strengthens a legislative regime which has consisted of a piecemeal combination of State and Commonwealth legislation and common law principles. Legislation at a federal level, namely the Customs Act 1901 and the Australian Federal Police Act 1979, is outdated and inadequate in the face of progressively complex and covert criminal activity, including terrorist activities.

Surveillance devices include data surveillance devices, listening devices, optical surveillance devices and tracking devices. Surveillance devices may be used by the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and State and Territory police for the investigation of Commonwealth offences which carry a maximum penalty of at least three years imprisonment or to assist in the safe recovery of a child where a court has issued a recovery order. The AFP and the ACC may also use them to investigate a State offence which has a federal aspect which meets the three year threshold.

Data surveillance devices and listening devices may only be used with a warrant issued by a judge or an Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) member unless special circumstances of urgency exist, involving a serious risk to a person or property, urgent circumstances relating to the recovery of a child or where there is a risk of loss of evidence for certain listed offences such as drug offences, terrorism, espionage, sexual servitude and aggravated people smuggling offences. In such cases, a member of the agency of at least Senior Executive Service level may issue an emergency authorisation. The use of a surveillance device under such an authorisation must be retrospectively approved by a judge or AAT member within two business days. Unless the authorisation is retrospectively approved, any information obtained under the authorisation is treated as having been illegally obtained.

The Surveillance Devices Bill takes into account the recommendations of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee's Report on the provisions of the bill which was tabled on 27 May 2004.

Reasons for Urgency

The amendments should be in place as soon as possible because existing listening device provisions are outdated, limited in scope and do not apply to a range of serious offences including terrorism offences.

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General and the Minister for Justice and Customs)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS (INTERCEPTION) AMENDMENT (STORED COMMUNICATIONS) BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill amends the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979 (the Act) to change the way in which the Act applies to electronic communications that are stored while in transit over a telecommunications system. The measures in the bill limit the prohibition against interception to the “live” or “real time” interception of communications transiting a telecommunications system.

The practical effect of the measures is that it will no longer be necessary for law enforcement and security agencies to obtain a telecommunications interception warrant to access electronic communications that are held as stored data. Rather, it will be necessary to rely on another form of lawful access to the equipment on which the communications are stored. The Act will continue to prohibit the “live” or “real-time” interception of communications without a warrant. Law enforcement and security agencies will still require a warrant under the Act in order to intercept telephone calls and other communications that are in transit, or literally passing over a line or wireless service, at the point of interception.

Reasons for Urgency

The Act is currently built around the core concept of a communication “passing over” a telecommunications system. This is because, when the Act was drafted some 25 years ago, the Australian telecommunications system consisted largely of what are now commonly referred to as “landline” services carrying live telephone conversations. Other services in use at that time, such as telex or telegram services, did not involve the carriage of voice communications but shared the live or real-time character of voice telephony.

The concept of a communication “passing over” a telecommunications system has proven to be difficult to apply to modern telecommunications services in widespread use in the community, such as e-mail, voice mail and short message services (SMS). This is because communications made using these services may be held as stored data at various points in transmission for varying periods of time. It is frequently difficult or impossible to determine whether such a communication has ceased to pass over the telecommunications system, in which case it is no longer subject to the existing prohibition against interception in the Act, or whether it is temporarily stored in transit, in which case the prohibition continues to apply.

The Act now requires urgent amendment in the next sittings of Parliament because law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, are experiencing serious practical difficulties gaining expeditious access to stored communications to assist in progressing criminal investigations.

(Circulated by authority of the Attorney-General)

TEXTILE, CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR STRATEGIC INVESTMENT PROGRAM AMENDMENT (POST-2005 SCHEME) BILL

CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT (TEXTILE, CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR POST-2005 ARRANGEMENTS) BILL

Purpose of the Bills

On 27 November 2003 the government announced a long-term assistance package of $747 million, including two five year pauses in relation to the rate of scheduled tariff reductions, for Australia's textile, clothing and footwear industry. The policy objective of this package is to foster the development of Australian TCF manufacturing activity so that it is viable and internationally competitive without continued special assistance.

The package includes:

$575 million for extending the TCF Strategic Investment Program;

$25 million for establishing a ten year small TCF business grants-based program;

$50 million for a ten year TCF structural adjustment program;

$50 million for a product diversification scheme;

$20 million for a supply chain efficiency program from 2010 to 2015; and

$27 million for an extension of the Expanded Overseas Assembly Provisions scheme.

The Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Strategic Investment Program Amendment (Post-2005 Scheme) Bill establishes the framework for the extension of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Strategic Investment Program, through the formulation of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Post-2005 Strategic Investment Program Scheme (known as the TCF Post-2005 (SIP) Scheme) and the establishment of the Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Small Business Program.

The Customs Tariff Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Post-2005 Arrangements) Bill amends the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Tariff Act) to:

reduce the general rate of customs duty applicable to a range of textile yarns, fabrics, certain finished textile goods and footwear parts which will be dutiable at 7.5% from 1 January 2005 to 5% from 1 January 2010;

reduce the general rate of customs duty applicable to a range of footwear, cotton sheeting and woven and knitted fabrics of various textile materials which will be dutiable at 10% from 1 January 2005 to 5% from 1 January 2010;

reduce the general rate of customs duty applicable to most articles of apparel and certain finished textiles which will be dutiable at 17.5% from 1 January 2005 to 10% from 1 January 2010 and to 5% from 1 January 2015; and

create a new concessional item in Schedule 4 to the Tariff to enable the operation of a Product Diversification Scheme for certain clothing and finished textiles.

Reasons for Urgency

The introduction and passage of the bills is required to give authority to formulate the TCF Post-2005 (SIP) Scheme. The Scheme will pay grants annually and in arrears.

Passage of the bills before the end of 2004 will ensure that:

the TCF Post-2005 (SIP) Scheme can be formulated;

the TCF firms with non-standard financial years, with their first income year commencing on 1 January 2005, are eligible to participate in the Scheme;

the attendant administrative processes that are associated with the Scheme are finalised and in place as soon as practicable; and

the industry, that is lobbying extensively for introduction and passage of the bill, is provided with certainty in relation to future investment strategies.

It is for these reasons that introduction and passage in the Spring 2004 sittings is being sought.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources and the Minister for Justice and Customs)

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING FUNDING AMENDMENT BILL

Purpose of the Bill

This bill allows appropriation for payment of funds to the States and Territories under the ANTA Agreement for 2005. The first payment is due in February 2005. While details will be worked out during the transition period, at this stage the funds for the first half of 2005 will be determined and paid through the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) under a rollover agreement, and that payments for the remainder of the year will be made by the Department once the transition is completed.

Reasons for Urgency

To ensure that there is no disruption to vocational education and training activity throughout Australia. Funding must be available to the Australian Government in order for payment to be made to ANTA by mid-February 2005, for disbursement to the States and Territories.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training)

WORKPLACE RELATIONS AMENDMENT (AGREEMENT VALIDATION) BILL

Purpose of the Bill

The bill validates the certification, approval or variation of certified agreements and Australian Workplace Agreements, purportedly certified, approved or varied before the High Court's decision in Electrolux Home Products Pty Ltd v Australian Workers' Union. The bill only operates to validate those matters in agreements which pertain to the employment relationship or are incidental to it.

Reasons for Urgency

For a substantial period, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission certified agreements containing non-pertaining matters. While a court has not ruled on the question, an implication of the Electrolux decision is that such agreements are invalid. There has been considerable public discussion and concern expressed about this possibility. Allowing the status of agreements to remain uncertain and in risk of invalidation could result in substantial uncertainty and possible disruption to industry. The Government considers that this would be an unfair position in which to place employers and employees who have operated under these agreements in good faith.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations)

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the US-led assault on Fallujah has, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, created a `humanitarian crisis',

(ii) despite claims by the United States (US) appointed Prime Minister Allawi that `there have been no civilian casualties', large numbers of civilians have been killed and injured in the attack,

(iii) at least one clinic has been bombed and a hospital looted and that Red Cross ambulances and a relief convoy have been refused access to Fallujah by the US-led Multinational Forces in breach of the Geneva Conventions,

(iv) destroying this ancient city will not bring peace and will increase support for the resistance, as shown by the shift of control of large areas of Ramadi, Samarra, Haditha, Baquba, and other cities in the Sunni triangle to insurgent forces, and

(v) the recent study by US medical researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Colombia University which estimated that as many as 100 000 civilians may have died as a result of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq;

(b) is concerned that elections in Iraq will be further delayed as a result of the actions of the Multinational Forces and the US-appointed Iraqi Government;

(c) calls on the Australian Government to:

(i) clarify the role of Australian Defence Force members in the planning of, and participation in, the assault on Fallujah,

(ii) reverse its policy of support for the US-led occupation of Iraq, and

(iii) bring the Australian troops home from Iraq.

Senator Bartlett to move 2 sitting days after today:

That the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Amendment Regulation 2004 (No. 3), as contained in Statutory Rules 2004 No. 121 and made under the Customs Act 1901, be disallowed.

Senator Harradine to move on the next day of sitting:

That Budget estimates supplementary hearings by legislation committees for the 2004-05 estimates meet, where senators give notice of matters in accordance with standing order 26(10), as follows:

GroupA:

Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Finance and Public Administration

Legal and Constitutional

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Tuesday, 30 November, from 8 pm till 11 pm; and

Group B:

Community Affairs

Economics

Employment, Workplace Relations and Education

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Wednesday, 1 December, from 8 pm till 11 pm.

Senator Hill to move, contingent on the Senate on any day concluding its consideration of any item of business and prior to the Senate proceeding to the consideration of another item of business:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent a minister moving a motion to provide for the consideration of any matter.

Senator Hill to move, contingent on the moving of a motion to debate a matter of urgency under standing order 75:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent a minister moving an amendment to the motion.

Senator Boswell to move, contingent on the Senate on any day concluding its consideration of any item of business and prior to the Senate proceeding to the consideration of another item of business:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the conduct of the business of the Senate or to provide for the consideration of any matter.

Senator Boswell to move, contingent on the Senate proceeding to the consideration of government documents:

That so much of the standing orders relating to the consideration of government documents be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the order in which the documents are called on by the President.

Senator Boswell to move, contingent on the moving of a motion to debate a matter of urgency under standing order 75:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving an amendment to the motion.

Senator Boswell to move, contingent on the President proceeding to the placing of business on any day:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the order of business on the Notice Paper.

Senator Boswell to move, contingent on any senator being refused leave to make a statement to the Senate:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent that senator making that statement.

Senator Boswell to move, contingent on a minister at question time on any day asking that further questions be placed on notice:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion that, at question time on any day, questions may be put to ministers until 28 questions, including supplementary questions, have been asked and answered.

Senator Boswell to move, contingent on any senator being refused leave to table a document in the Senate:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving that the document be tabled.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on the President presenting a report of the Auditor-General on any day or notifying the Senate that such a report had been presented under standing order 166:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion to take note of the report and any senator speaking to it for not more than 10 minutes, with the total time for the debate not to exceed 60 minutes.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on the Senate on any day concluding its consideration of any item of business and prior to the Senate proceeding to the consideration of another item of business:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the conduct of the business of the Senate or to provide for the consideration of any matter.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on the Senate proceeding to the consideration of government documents:

That so much of the standing orders relating to the consideration of government documents be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the order in which the documents are called on by the President.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on a minister moving a motion that a bill be considered an urgent bill:

That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent debate taking place on the motion.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on a minister moving a motion to specify time to be allotted to the consideration of a bill, or any stage of a bill:

That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent the motion being debated without limitation of time and each senator speaking for the time allotted by standing orders.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on the chair declaring that the time allotted for the consideration of a bill, or any stage of a bill, has expired:

That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent further consideration of the bill, or the stage of the bill, without limitation of time or for a specified period.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on the moving of a motion to debate a matter of urgency under standing order 75:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving an amendment to the motion.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on the President proceeding to the placing of business on any day:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the order of business on the NoticePaper.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on any senator being refused leave to make a statement to the Senate:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent that senator making that statement.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on a minister at question time on any day asking that further questions be placed on notice:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion that, at question time on any day, questions may be put to ministers until 28 questions, including supplementary questions, have been asked and answered.

Senators Chris Evans, Bartlett, Brown, Harradine, Harris and Nettle to move, contingent on any senator being refused leave to table a document in the Senate:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving that the document be tabled.