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Thursday, 9 December 2004
Page: 89


Senator HILL (Leader of the Government in the Senate) (3:35 PM) —I present the government's response to the President's report of 24 June 2004 on outstanding government responses to parliamentary committee reports and seek leave to incorporate the document in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows—

A CERTAIN MARITIME INCIDENT (Select)

A Certain maritime incident

The response is under consideration.

ASIO, ASIS AND DSD (Joint, Statutory)

Private review of agency security arrangements

The government is finalising its response to the report.

Intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction

A response is not required.

Review of the listing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad

Although there were no recommendations to be considered, measures have been taken to address the committee's concerns.

AUSTRALIAN CRIME COMMISSION (Joint, Statutory)

Cybercrime

The government is currently considering the recommendations of the report, with a view to tabling a response in early 2005.

Inquiry into the trafficking of women for sexual servitude

The response to the report is nearing completion and a response will be tabled as soon as possible.

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REFERENCES

The patient profession: time for actionReport on nursing

The draft response is currently being reviewed to include initiatives from the 2004-05 budget and election commitments. A final response is expected to be tabled in early 2005.

A hand up not a hand out: Renewing the fight against povertyReport on poverty and financial hardship

The government has yet to respond to the report because of the time required to consider the large number of recommendations in both the majority and minority reports, as well as delays associated with the recent federal election. It is the government's intention to respond to the report in early 2005.

Hepatitis C and the blood supply in Australia

The response is currently in the clearance process and is expected to be tabled by the end of the year.

CORPORATIONS AND SECURITIES (Joint Statutory)

Report on aspects of the regulation of proprietary companies

The government is considering the recommendations and a response will be tabled as soon as possible.

CORPORATIONS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES (Joint Statutory)

Report on the regulations and ASIC policy statements made under the Financial Services Reform Act 2001

The government is restructuring its response to this report to take into account responses for two other related reports. The comprehensive combined response will be tabled shortly.

Review of the Managed Investments Act 1998

The government is considering its response, which is affected by recent corporate governance law reforms, and will be tabled in due course.

Inquiry into Regulation 7.1.29 in Corporations Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 3), Statutory Rules 2003 No. 85

The government is restructuring its response to this report to take into account responses for two other related reports. The comprehensive combined response will be tabled shortly.

Money matters in the bush: Inquiry into the level of banking and financial services in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia

The response is currently being updated to reflect election commitments and is expected to be tabled shortly.

Report on the ATM fee structure

The response is currently being updated to reflect election commitments and is expected to be tabled shortly.

Corporations Amendment Regulations 2003 (Batch 6); Draft Regulations: Corporations Amendment Regulations 2003/04 (Batch 7); and Draft Regulations: Corporations amendment Regulations 2004 (Batch 8)

The response is being prepared and is expected to be tabled in due course.

Corporations Amendment Regulations 7.1.29A, 7.1.35A and 7.1.40(h)

The government is restructuring its response to this report to take into account responses for two other related reports. The comprehensive combined response will be tabled shortly.

CLERP (Audit Reform and Corporate Disclosure) Bill 2003: Part 1: Enforcement, executive remuneration, continuous disclosure, shareholder participation and related matters

The report is being considered and a response will be tabled in due course.

CLERP (Audit Reform and Corporate Disclosure) Bill 2003: Part 2: Financial reporting and audit reform

The report is being considered and a response will be tabled in due course.

ECONOMICS LEGISLATION

Tax Laws Amendment (2004 Measures No. 1) Bill 2004

The recommendation was addressed by government amendments to the bill which deferred the commencement of the measure regarding endorsement of charities until 1 July 2005.

ECONOMICS REFERENCES

Report on the operation of the Australian Taxation Office

It is expected that a response will be tabled shortly.

Inquiry into mass marketed tax effective schemes and investor protectionInterim report

It is expected that a response will be tabled shortly.

Inquiry into mass marketed tax effective schemes and investor protectionSecond report: A recommended resolution and settlement

It is expected that a response will be tabled shortly.

Inquiry into mass marketed tax effective schemes and investor protectionFinal report

It is expected that a response will be tabled shortly.

A review of public liability and professional indemnity insurance

The response is in the process of being cleared and is expected that a response will be tabled shortly.

EMPLOYMENT, WORKPLACE RELA-TIONS AND EDUCATION REFERENCES

Bridging the skills divide

The response is under consideration and will be tabled in due course.

Beyond Cole: The future of the construction industry: confrontation or co-operation?

The response is being considered and will be tabled as soon as possible.

ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE ARTS REFERENCES

The value of water: Inquiry into Australia's urban water management

A response has been drafted and will be tabled in due course.

Regulating the Range, Jabiluka, Beverley and Honeymoon uranium mines

An extensive consultation process has commenced. It is unlikely that a draft response will be ready before the second half of 2005.

Libraries in the online environment

The response was presented out of sitting on 2 July 2004 and tabled on 3 August 2004.

FINANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINIST-RATION REFERENCES

Recruitment and training in the Australian Public Service

The response is being considered and will be tabled shortly.

Staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984

The response is under consideration and will be tabled in due course.

Administrative review of veteran and military compensation and income support

The response to this report is being finalised and will be tabled as soon as possible.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE (Joint, Standing)

Report of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Solomon Islands, 17-18 December 2003

A response is not required.

Near neighboursgood neighbours: An inquiry into Australia's relationship with Indonesia

The response will be finalised shortly.

Inquiry into Australia's Maritime Strategy

The interdepartmental consultation process is being finalised and a response will be tabled in due course.

Review of the Defence annual report 2002-3

The response is being finalised and will be tabled shortly.

Report of the Parliamentary Delegation to the Gulf States, 10-23 April 2004

The government does not propose to respond to the report of the visit but will respond to the recommendations in the final report of the Inquiry into Expanding Australia's Trade and Investment Relationship with the Economies of the Gulf States.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE LEGISLATION

Aspects of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 and the Military Compensation Scheme

The response was tabled on 12 August 2004.

Report Provisions of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Bill 2003 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2003

The response will be tabled shortly.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE REFERENCES

A Pacific engaged: Australia's relations with Papua New Guinea and the island states of the south-west Pacific

The response is expected to be finalised shortly.

Voting on trade: The General Agreement on Trade in Services and an Australia-US Free Trade Agreement

The response is under consideration and will be tabled as soon as possible.

The (not quite) White Paper: Australia's foreign affairs and trade policy, Advancing the National Interest

The response was presented out of sitting on 20 July 2004 and tabled on 3 August 2004.

Inquiry into current health preparation arrangements for the deployment of Australian Defence Forces overseas

The response is under consideration.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES (Select)

In the public interest: Monitoring Australia's media

The government is preparing a response which will consider the report in the context of a number of subsequent reports that raise similar or related issues.

LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL LEGISLATION

Provisions of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Teaching Profession) Bill 2004

The government had regard to the Committee's recommendations, but decided to proceed with the Bill in the form in which it was introduced into the Parliament.

LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENCES

Reconciliation: Off track

The government is considering the response and it will be tabled in due course.

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

The State Elections (One Vote, One Value) Bill 2001 [2002] lapsed upon the prorogation of the Parliament on 31 August 2004 and was discharged from the Notice Paper on 15 November 2004. The legislation was restored to the Senate Notice Paper on 17 November 2004. The Government will consider a response to the Committee's report when the legislation is debated in the Senate.

Legal aid and access to justice

The government is considering the recommendations of the report and a response will be tabled in due course.

MEDICARE (Senate Select)

Medicarehealthcare or welfare? and Second report: Medicare Plus: the future for Medicare?

A combined response to both of these reports is being finalised and is expected to be tabled in due course.

MIGRATION (Joint, Standing)

2003 To make a contribution: Review of skilled labour migration programs 2004

The response is being finalised and will be tabled shortly.

MINISTERIAL DISCRETION IN MIGRA-TION MATTERS (Senate Select)

Report

The report is being considered and will be tabled in due course.

NATIONAL CAPITAL AND EXTERNAL TERRITORIES (Joint, Standing)

In the pink or in the red? Health services on Norfolk Island

Since this report was tabled the Committee has tabled the first part of its Inquiry into Governance on Norfolk Island (December 2003) and proposes to finalise the second part of that inquiry, considering the financial sustainability of the Island, in 2005. As many of the issues raised in `In the Pink or in the Red?' will be considered under the Governance Inquiry's two reports, it is not intended to respond further to this report.

Norfolk Island electoral matters

Consultation on the response is in train and a response is expected to be tabled in the near future.

Not a town centre. The proposal for pay parking in the Parliamentary Zone

The response was presented out of sitting on 23 November 2004 and tabled on 29 November 2004.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Inquiry into governance on Norfolk Island

A draft response to the first part of the report has been prepared in consultation with the Norfolk Island Government. It is expected to be tabled shortly.

NATIVE TITLE AND THE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER LAND FUND (Joint Statutory)

Second interim report for the s.206 inquiry: Indigenous land use agreements

The response is in the final approval stage and is expected to be tabled shortly

Effectiveness of the National Native Title Tribunal in fulfilment of the Committee's duties pursuant to subparagraph 206(d)(i) of the Native Title Act 1998

The response is being finalised and will be tabled as soon as possible.

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT (Joint Statutory)

Corporate governance and accountability arrangements for Commonwealth Government business enterprises, December 1999 (Report No.372)

The government is considering its response to outstanding recommendations and a response will be tabled in due course.

Review of independent auditing by registered company auditors (Report No.391)

The response is being considered in light of the government's position on the CLERP 9 Act which passed through parliament in June 2004. A response to the report will be tabled as soon as possible.

Inquiry into the draft Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (Report No.395)

The response was presented out of sitting on 26 June 2004 and tabled on 3 August 2004.

Review Auditor-General's Reports 2002-2003: Fourth Quarter (Report No. 398)

The response to recommendations 2 and 3 was sent to the Committee on 23 November 2004.

Inquiry into the management and integrity of electronic information in the Commonwealth (Report No. 399)

The response to the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit is an administrative response and fell due during the election period. The response is a whole of government response, coordinated by the Department of Finance (Australian Government Information Management Office) and accordingly was held over until the incoming government was operational. The response is expected to be tabled shortly.

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS AND TRANSPORT LEGISLATION

An appropriate level of protection? The importation of salmon products: A case study of the administration of Australian quarantine and the impact of international trade arrangements

A response will be tabled during the next sitting.

Biosecurity Australia's

The pig meat policy determination went before the Federal Court on 8-11 November 2004. It is not considered appropriate to provide a response until the decision from the Court is known.

Provisions of the Civil Aviation Legislation Amendment (Mutual Recognition with New Zealand and Other Matters) Bill 2003

The bill lapsed upon the prorogation of the Parliament on 31 August 2004. The government will respond if the bill is re-introduced and does not propose to respond further at this stage.

SCRUTINY OF BILLS (Senate Standing)

Third report of 2004: The quality of explanatory memoranda accompanying bills

The response is under consideration and will be tabled in due course.

SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES (Senate Select)

Report on early access to superannuation benefits

The government is considering the recommendations.

SUPERANNUATION (Senate Select)

Superannuation and standards of living in retirementReport on the adequacy of tax arrangements for superannuation and related policy

The calling of the election intervened in the process of the government finalising its response to the recommendations of this report.

Planning for retirement

The government is considering the recommendations.

Draft Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Amendment Regulations 2003 and draft Retirement Savings Account Amendment Regulations 2003

The regulations considered by the Senate Select Committee on Superannuation were disallowed by the Senate on 18 September 2003, chiefly on the basis of issues raised during the Committee's investigation of the draft regulations.

In response, the government prepared revised regulations that addressed some of the concerns raised by the Committee in its report. The revised regulations were gazetted on 10 October 2003.

The government considers, and in supporting the revised regulations the Senate agreed, that other issues raised did not require government intervention in the context of the portability debate. No further response is anticipated.

TREATIES (Joint, Standing)

Treaties tabled May and June 2003 (53rd Report)

The response was tabled on 2 December 2004.

Treaties tabled 9 September 2003 (55th Report)

The response was tabled on 2 December 2004.

Treaties tabled on 8 October 2003 (56th Report)

The response was tabled on 12 August 2004.

Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 and the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code (57th Report)

The response is being finalised and will be tabled in due course.

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (58th Report)

The government does not propose to respond to this report as the recommendations are in accordance with government policy.

Treaties tabled in December 2003 (59th Report)

In each case the Committee supports and recommends that binding treaty action be taken and a response from the government is not required.

Treaties tabled on 2 March 2003 (60th Report)

The response was tabled on 2 December 2004.

The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (61st Report)

The report is being considered and a response will be tabled as soon as possible.