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Wednesday, 8 December 2004
Page: 82

Senator Heffernan to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee be authorised to hold a private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1) during the sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, 9 February 2005, from 4 pm to 6 pm, in relation to its inquiry on the administration of Biosecurity Australia concerning the revised draft import risk analysis for apples from New Zealand.

Senator Marshall to move on the next day of sitting:

That the provisions of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Small Business Employment Protection) Bill 2004 be referred to the Employment, Workplace Relations and Education Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 14 March 2005.

Senator Stott Despoja to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) in the recent United Nations (UN) debate on a ban on human cloning, the Australian Government co-sponsored a proposal from Costa Rica that it had previously stated it would oppose,

(ii) the change in the Government's position on this issue was made without consultation with the states or the biotechnology industry, and

(iii) a review of the ResearchInvolvingHumanEmbryosAct2002 and the ProhibitionofHumanCloningAct2002 is due to commence shortly and the independence of such an important review should not be compromised by government commitments in the international arena;

(b) calls on the Government to consult with the states and the biotechnology industry before stating its position on human cloning at the UN in February 2005, when debate on this issue is due to recommence; and

(c) congratulates the Australian Stem Cell Centre, Australia's only Biotechnology Centre of Excellence, for holding its second successful Annual Scientific Conference.

Senator Stott Despoja to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the review of the cost adjustment factor indexation mechanism for Commonwealth funding of universities provided for under the HigherEducationSupportAct2003 will not be an independent review,

(ii) a review of such importance should not be conducted within the confines of the Department of Education, Science and Training and the Government,

(iii) the university sector has no confidence in the review of indexation delivering an appropriate outcome, and

(iv) without improved indexation, universities will have few alternatives to meet funding shortfalls other than increases in student fees when they approach the end of the Government's `Our Universities: Backing Australia's Future' package in 2008;

(b) condemns the Government for under-funding universities for the past 8 years, partly through inadequate indexation, to such an extent that universities are now turning to students to provide a short-term increase in funding; and

(c) calls on the Government to:

(i) make all paperwork pertaining to the review public, in time for the sector to make informed comment before the review is completed in February 2005, and

(ii) rule out any further higher education contribution scheme increases.

Senator Stott Despoja to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes reports of violence within the Puncak Jaya district of West Papua, including reports that:

(i) between 5 000 and 20 000 Papuans have fled into the mountains after raids by the Indonesian military, whose officers allegedly fired automatic weapons at villagers from helicopters,

(ii) humanitarian access is being denied to these displaced persons and many of them are now starving, and

(iii) at least 18 people have died, including a number of children; and

(b) calls on the Government to express concern to the Indonesian Government regarding these reports and encourage the Indonesian Government to:

(i) immediately institute an investigation into the allegations,

(ii) ensure the safe return of the displaced Papuans to their homes,

(iii) enable humanitarian and human rights organisations, as well as journalists, to gain access to the affected area,

(iv) work to bring an end to the violence within West Papua, and

(v) bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice.

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that 10 December is International Human Rights Day and join with the many thousands around the world, who are participating in events on this day, to:

(i) condemn the ongoing abuse of human rights worldwide,

(ii) recognise the need for concerted international action to address human rights abuses, and

(iii) call for urgent efforts to address the growing inequity between rich and poor which impinge on rights to life, liberty and freedom from oppression for so many millions around the globe; and

(b) condemns the Government's appalling record in the field of human rights, and in particular the Government's:

(i) failure to endorse the United Nations (UN) Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

(ii) contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in relation to some asylum seeker detainees,

(iii) tacit support of United States of America tactics in the ongoing occupation of Iraq including the use of depleted uranium, napalm and cluster bombs,

(iv) unwillingness to act in defence of Mr David Hicks and Mr Mamdouh Habib illegally detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,

(v) failure to pursue the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and

(vi) failure to reach UN agreed targets for international aid for poverty alleviation overseas.

Senator Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate noting that 10 December is International Human Rights Day, congratulates Mr Brian Summerfield who is celebrating the day in Melbourne by completing a bike ride around Australia during which he raised hundreds of dollars for Tibetan refugees and promoted the cause of a free Tibet.

Senator Marshall 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 Flags Amendment (Eureka Flag) Bill 2004 be restored to the Notice Paper and that consideration of the bill be resumed at the stage reached in the last session of the Parliament.

Senator Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the CommonwealthElectoralAct1918 to enable voters at Senate elections to determine the order of their party preferences in above the line voting, and for related purposes. Senate Voters' Choice (Preference Allocation) Bill 2004.