Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 7 December 2004
Page: 50

Senator Ellison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the CustomsAct1901, and for related purposes. Customs 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 AustralianSportsCommissionAct1989, and for related purposes. Australian Sports Commission 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 CriminalCodeAct1995 to provide for offences relating to trafficking in persons, and for related purposes. Criminal Code Amendment (Trafficking in Persons Offences) Bill 2004.

Senator Ridgeway to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) congratulates Mr John Bulunbulun on winning the Australia Council's Red Ochre Award which honours an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who, throughout his or her lifetime, has made outstanding contributions to the recognition of Indigenous Australian art at both national and international levels;

(b) notes that Mr Bulunbulun is a practicing artist of more than 30 years and an important ceremonial leader and singer around his Arnhem Land community of Maningrida;

(c) also notes that Mr Bulunbulun was a pioneer for the protection of artist rights following a landmark court case he fought and won against a manufacturer who illegally reproduced his work, the celebrated `T shirt case' and that he continues to advise fellow artists on copyright, protocols and responsibilities, particularly about depictions of dreaming and totems in their work;

(d) further notes that:

(i) Indigenous cultural expression is a fundamental part of Indigenous heritage and identity, and unauthorised use of Indigenous art and cultural expression can be inappropriate, derogatory and culturally offensive,

(ii) individual Indigenous artists are custodians of the knowledge and wisdom their work incorporates and reflects, therefore Indigenous moral rights are collective rights that are inalienable from their community of origin, and

(iii) Indigenous artists are particularly vulnerable under Australian law, which offers virtually no protection for the moral rights owned collectively by Indigenous communities; and

(e) urges the Government to take immediate action to amend the CopyrightAct1968 to ensure the adequate recognition and protection of Indigenous communal moral rights.

Senator Sherry to move on Thursday, 9 December 2004:

That new Divisions 9.2A and 9.2B in item [10] of Schedule 1 to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Amendment Regulations 2004 (No. 2), as contained in Statutory Rules 2004 No. 84 and made under the SuperannuationIndustry(Supervision)Act1993, be disallowed.

Senator Cherry to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following matters be referred to the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee for inquiry and report by 10 March 2005:

(a) the provisions of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Bill 2004 and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2004 and related bills;

(b) whether the powers of the proposed Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be adequate to deal with emerging market and technical issues in the telecommunications, media and broadcasting sector;

(c) whether the powers of Australia's competition and communications regulators meet world best practice, with particular reference to the United Kingdom regulator Ofcom and regulators in the United States of America and Europe; and

(d) whether legislation is needed to prevent cross ownership between delivery of communications and media content.

Senator Greig to move on the next day of sitting:

That—

(a) the time for the presentation of the report of the Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee on the Disability Discrimination Amendment (Education Standards) Bill 2004 be extended to 8 February 2005; and

(b) that the terms of reference be varied to allow for the examination of whether the bill:

(i) provides full legislative support for the introduction of the Disability Standards for Education,

(ii) permits existing rights under the DisabilityDiscriminationAct1992 to be undermined, and

(iii) reflects the recommendations of the Productivity Commission's report, ReviewoftheDisabilityDiscriminationAct1992.

Senator ELLISON (Western Australia—Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (3.35 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 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 Bill

The bill prescribes commercial quantities for drugs in Schedule VI of the Customs Act 1901 for which a commercial quantity is not currently prescribed.

Reasons for Urgency

The Customs Act 1901 (Customs Act) includes serious drug offences, such as drug importation offences. The maximum penalties for those offences vary depending on the quantity of drug involved. Offences involving `trafficable quantities' of prescribed drugs carry penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment, whereas those involving commercial quantities of prescribed drugs carry penalties of up to life imprisonment. The different penalty levels reflect the relative seriousness of for example, importing a commercial quantity of a drug compared to importing a smaller trafficable quantity.

The drugs to which the offences apply, and the corresponding quantities, are set out in Schedule VI to the Customs Act. However, that schedule does not prescribe commercial quantities for all of the listed drugs.

Recently, there have been instances where large quantities of drugs for which the Customs Act does not prescribe a commercial quantity have been imported into Australia. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has advised that, in the absence of a prescribed commercial quantity, it has not been possible for judges to consider imposing life imprisonment penalties and they have been limited to the maximum penalty for offences involving trafficable quantities, being 25 years imprisonment.

There has also been judicial criticism of the fact that there are no commercial quantities prescribed for some drugs listed in Schedule VI of the Customs Act. For example, in a recent case involving the importation of large quantities of `ice' (methylamphetamine), the judge commented that he would have imposed a larger sentence if the legislation provided for it.

It is proposed to prescribe commercial quantities for drugs in Schedule VI of the Customs Act 1901 for which a commercial quantity is not currently prescribed. This will ensure courts can impose appropriate sentences where large quantities of drugs are involved until the new serious drug offences commence, which is expected to be in the latter half of 2005.

Without these interim measures in place, it is possible that those who import large quantities of drugs may escape appropriate penalties. This scenario is not in line with the expectations of the Australian community.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) a meeting of former Ansett employees in Sydney on 27 November 2004 called on the Government to `cease making financial gains' whilst entitlements are still owed to former employees,

(ii) both Ansett workers and the general public were told by the Government at the time of the establishment of the Special Employee Entitlements Scheme for Ansett Group's Eligible Employees (SEESA) that the revenue from the Ansett ticket levy would be used to fund the payment of Ansett workers entitlements and that on 17 September 2001 the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Anderson) told journalists that the Government would not `double dip' in establishing SEESA,

(iii) after underwriting a $336 million loan to Ansett administrators, the Government has collected $286 million through the Ansett ticket levy and recouped $208 million through Ansett asset sales, has effectively double dipped, and has made a $150 million profit from the scheme,

(iv) $212 million is still owed in entitlements, and

(v) the administrators of Ansett, Mr Mentha and Mr Korda, are unable to pay entitlements to former Ansett employees until such time as they have repaid the full $336 million loaned by the Government; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) cease collecting repayments under SEESA from the administrators until Ansett workers are paid their entitlements in full, and

(ii) use the surplus of the Ansett passenger ticket levy to pay outstanding Ansett worker entitlements as was the stated purpose rather than redirecting these funds to aviation security initiatives.

Senator Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 11 May 2005:

(a) compensation arrangements for wheat growers after the writing-off of the Iraqi wheat debt, with particular reference to:

(i) how decisions were made, and

(ii) the impact on wheat growers individually and generally; and

(b) any related matters.

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the inaugural Dr Andrew McNaughtan memorial lecture was delivered on 7 December 2004, which also marks the 29th anniversary of the Indonesian invasion of East Timor,

(ii) Dr McNaughtan's major contribution to the struggle of the East Timorese people, including his work to achieve economic justice in relation to the Timorese claim to oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea,

(iii) the remarks of Timorese Foreign Minister, Mr Jose Ramos Horta, who said last week that Australia's reduced compensation offer to Timor Leste `amounted to an unacceptable blackmail', and

(iv) the patronising and inaccurate comments by the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Downer) in response to East Timorese dissatisfaction with the Australian Government's compensation offer when he said `East Timor wouldn't be an independent country if it wasn't for Australia'; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) negotiate a fair and equitable maritime boundary with Timor Leste according to current international law and the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,

(ii) respond to the request by Timor Leste for more regular meetings to settle the maritime boundary dispute between the two countries within a more reasonable timeframe,

(iii) return Australia to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the United National Convention on the Law of the Sea for the adjudication of maritime boundaries, and

(iv) commit to hold in trust revenues from disputed areas immediately outside the Joint Petroleum Development Area of the 20 May 2002 Timor Sea Treaty for further apportionment between Australia and Timor Leste after the maritime boundary dispute between the two countries has been settled.