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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 3597


Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (12:32): I move:

That—

(1)   On Tuesday, 19 June, Thursday, 21 June, and Tuesday, 26 June 2012, any proposal pursuant to standing order 75 shall not be proceeded with.

(2)   On Wednesday, 20 June and 27 June 2012, consideration of government documents shall not be proceeded with, and instead the routine of business shall be government business only.

(3)   Divisions may take place on:

   (a)   Thursday, 21 June and 28 June 2012, after 4.30 pm; and

   (b)   Monday, 25 June 2012, before 12.30 pm.

(4)   On Tuesday, 19 June and 26 June 2012:

   (a)   the hours of meeting shall be 12.30 pm to 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 10.40 pm;

   (b)   the routine of business from not later than 7.30 pm shall be government business only; and

   (c)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall be proposed at 10 pm.

(5)   On Thursday, 21 June 2012:

   (a)   the hours of meeting shall be 9.30 am to 6 pm and 7 pm to 10.40 pm;

   (b)   the routine of business from not later than 7 pm shall be government business only; and

   (c)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall be proposed at 10 pm.

(6)   The Senate shall sit on Friday, 22 June 2012, and that:

   (a)   the hours of meeting shall be 9.30 am to 3.40 pm;

   (b)   the routine of business shall be:

      (i)   notices of motion, and

      (ii)   government business only; and

   (c)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall be proposed at 3 pm.

(7)   On Wednesday, 27 June 2012, consideration of the business before the Senate be interrupted at approximately 5 pm, but not so as to interrupt a senator speaking, to enable Senator Whish-Wilson to make his first speech without any question before the chair.

(8)   The following government business orders of the day shall have precedence over all government business, be called on in the following order and be considered under a limitation of time, and that the time allotted for all remaining stages be as follows:

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Bill 2011 and a related bill

commencing from not later than 4.10 pm until 8 pm on 19 June 2012

Skills Australia Amendment (Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 9 pm on 19 June 2012

Corporations Amendment (Future of Financial Advice) Bill 2012 and a related bill

commencing immediately after the preceding item until noon on 20 June 2012

Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 12.40 pm on 20 June 2012

National Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill 2010

commencing immediately after the preceding item, or not later than 5.30 pm, whichever is the earlier, until 6.20 pm on 20 June 2012

National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 7 pm on 20 June 2012

Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011 and a related bill

commencing from not later than 7 pm until 9.30 pm on 21 June 2012

Social Security Amendment (Supporting Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas) Bill 2011

commencing not later than 9.40 am until 10.30 am on 22 June 2012

Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2011-2012 and a related bill

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 11.20 am on 22 June 2012

Parliamentary Counsel and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 12.20 pm on 22 June 2012

National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Charges) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 1 pm on 22 June 2012

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Digital Television) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 1.50 pm on 22 June 2012

Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 2.50 pm on 22 June 2012

Australian Human Rights Commission Amendment (National Children's Commissioner) Bill 2012

commencing from not later than 10.10 am until 11 am on 25 June 2012

Broadcasting Services Amendment (Improved Access to Television Services) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 11.50 am on 25 June 2012

Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item, or not later than 5.30 pm, whichever is the earlier, until 8.20 pm on 25 June 2012

Clean Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 and 2 related bills

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 8.40 pm on 25 June 2012

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2012-2013 and 2 related bills

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 9.30 pm on 25 June 2012

Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Stronger Super) Bill 2012 and a related bill

commencing immediately after the preceding item, or not later than 12.30 pm, whichever is the earlier, until 1.20 pm on 26 June 2012

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item, or not later than 5 pm, whichever is the earlier, until 8 pm on 26 June 2012

Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (2012 Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 9 pm on 26 June 2012

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Amendment (Scheme Enhancements) Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 9.50 pm on 26 June 2012

Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012

commencing at 9.30 am until 10.15 am on 27 June 2012

Passenger Movement Charge Amendment Bill 2012

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 11 am on 27 June 2012

Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No.2) Bill 2012 and two related bills

commencing immediately after the preceding item until 12.40 pm on 27 June 2012

   (9)   Paragraph (8) of this order operate as an allocation of time under standing order 142.

This motion aims to structure Senate debate on legislation over the next week so that the budget and other critical bills can be passed in these sittings while still providing opportunity for debating private senators' business, general business and several MPIs. The Senate was scheduled to sit only three weeks in these winter sittings. This is a relatively short period for the major pieces of legislation that arise from the budget—

Senator Cormann: Who put the program together?

Senator JACINTA COLLINS: and the government's reform agenda. As Senator Cormann knows, the winter session is generally a reasonably short period.

I recognise that the Senate has made very good progress in considering legislation in the days that we have sat for the winter sittings. In particular, I take the opportunity to thank all senators for a very productive day yesterday. The passage of 19 bills, or 12 packages of legislation, was outstanding. Many of these bills were noncontroversial, and that reduces debate time. If we could guarantee this level of productivity in terms of legislation considered by the Senate on more sitting days then time management motions would be redundant. Time management motions by a government in the last weeks of sitting are, as the opposition knows, not unusual. Governments of all persuasions are faced with the same options in managing their legislation program. Inevitably, they make the same decision.

When they can, governments use time management motions to structure debate. The only differences are in how generous these motions are and how much time they allow for the scrutiny of sometimes contentious matters arising from legislation. Without a doubt, the Senate plays a central role in the scrutiny of legislation, and this role should not be overly constrained. However, scrutiny is not always the same as open-ended consideration of legislation. The aim is to ensure sufficient consideration for thorough scrutiny by Senate committees and through debate in the chamber.

This motion aims to provide relatively lengthy periods for debate of bills of major significance, with less time provided for less contentious bills. It has also accounted for referrals to committees so that committee consideration can be given to bills to inform debate and policy implementation. This government will aim to avoid situations where major policy reforms are subject to very limited committee inquiries. Generous committee time has been provided for the most significant bills in this motion.

I do not apologise for the use of a time management motion when the alternative is extended weeks and hours of sitting to grind through sometimes repetitious debates. It is true that without a time management motion senators' contributions to debates on legislation and other matters are not constrained. Perhaps this is ideal. I say 'perhaps' because sometimes there is a very important role for focused debate for concentrating on the chamber's role as a house to consider legislation in a measured and productive way. Sometimes this is only achieved through the majority of this chamber supporting the use of time management. I recommend the motion to the chamber.