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TELSTRA (TRANSITION TO FULL PRIVATE OWNERSHIP) BILL 2005E TELECOMMUNICATIONS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (COMPETITION AND CONSUMER ISSUES) BILL 2005E TELECOMMUNICATIONS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (FUTURE PROOFING AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2005E TELECOMMUNICATIONS (CARRIER LICENCE CHARGES) AMENDMENT (INDUSTRY PLANS AND CONSUMER CODES) BILL 2005E APPROPRIATION (REGIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES) BILL 2005-2006

Declaration of urgency: The Minister for Justice and Customs (Senator Ellison) declared the following bills to be urgent bills:

 Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Bill 2005

 Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Issues) Bill 2005

 Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Future Proofing and Other Measures) Bill 2005

 Telecommunications (Carrier Licence Charges) Amendment (Industry Plans and Consumer Codes) Bill 2005

 Appropriation (Regional Telecommunications Services) Bill 2005-2006

and moved—That these bills be considered urgent bills.

Proposed suspension of standing orders: Senator Ludwig, at the request of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Evans) and pursuant to contingent notice, moved—That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent debate taking place on the motion.

Debate ensued.

Closure: Senator Ellison moved—That the question be now put.

Question—That the question be now put—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,35


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPatterson
AdamsEgglestonJoycePayne
BarnettEllisonLightfootRonaldson
BoswellFergusonMacdonald, SandySantoro
BrandisFerris (Teller)MasonScullion
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMcGauranTroeth
Campbell, IanFifieldMinchinTrood
ChapmanHeffernanNashWatson
ColbeckHillParry

NOES, 32


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundyPolley
BishopFieldingMarshallSiewert
Brown, BobForshawMcEwenStephens
Brown, CarolHoggMilneSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HurleyMooreStott Despoja
CarrHutchinsMurrayWebber
CrossinKirkNettleWong
EvansLudwigO'BrienWortley

Question agreed to.

Question—That the motion to suspend standing orders be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,32


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundyPolley
BishopFieldingMarshallSiewert
Brown, BobForshawMcEwenStephens
Brown, CarolHoggMilneSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HurleyMooreStott Despoja
CarrHutchinsMurrayWebber
CrossinKirkNettleWong
EvansLudwigO'BrienWortley

NOES, 35


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPatterson
AdamsEgglestonJoycePayne
BarnettEllisonLightfootRonaldson
BoswellFergusonMacdonald, SandySantoro
BrandisFerris (Teller)MasonScullion
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMcGauranTroeth
Campbell, IanFifieldMinchinTrood
ChapmanHeffernanNashWatson
ColbeckHillParry

Question negatived.

Question—That these bills be considered urgent bills—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,35


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPatterson
AdamsEgglestonJoycePayne
BarnettEllisonLightfootRonaldson
BoswellFergusonMacdonald, SandySantoro
BrandisFerris (Teller)MasonScullion
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMcGauranTroeth
Campbell, IanFifieldMinchinTrood
ChapmanHeffernanNashWatson
ColbeckHillParry

NOES, 32



Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundyPolley
BishopFieldingMarshallSiewert
Brown, BobForshawMcEwenStephens
Brown, CarolHoggMilneSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HurleyMooreStott Despoja
CarrHutchinsMurrayWebber
CrossinKirkNettleWong
EvansLudwigO'BrienWortley

Question agreed to.

Allotment of time: Senator Ellison moved—That the time allotted for consideration of the remaining stages of the bills be as follows:

 Second reading till 11.30 am today

 Committee of the whole from 11.30 am till 12.45 pm, and from not later than 4.30 pm till 6.15 pm today

 All remaining stages from 6.15 pm till 6.30 pm today.

Closure: Senator Ellison moved—That the question be now put.

Proposed suspension of standing orders: The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Evans), pursuant to contingent notice, moved—That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent debate taking place on the motion without limitation of time.

Closure: Senator Ellison moved—That the question be now put.

Question—That the question on the motion to suspend standing orders be now put—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,34


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPayne
AdamsEgglestonJoyceRonaldson
BarnettEllisonLightfootSantoro
BoswellFergusonMasonScullion
BrandisFerris (Teller)McGauranTroeth
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMinchinTrood
Campbell, IanFifieldNashWatson
ChapmanHeffernanParry
ColbeckHillPatterson

NOES, 31


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundySiewert
Brown, BobFieldingMarshallStephens
Brown, CarolForshawMcEwenSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HoggMilneStott Despoja
CarrHurleyMooreWebber
ConroyHutchinsMurrayWong
CrossinKirkNettleWortley
EvansLudwigPolley

Question agreed to.

Question—That the motion to suspend standing orders be agreed to—put.


The Senate divided—

AYES,31


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundySiewert
Brown, BobFieldingMarshallStephens
Brown, CarolForshawMcEwenSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HoggMilneStott Despoja
CarrHurleyMooreWebber
ConroyHutchinsMurrayWong
CrossinKirkNettleWortley
EvansLudwigPolley

NOES, 34


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPayne
AdamsEgglestonJoyceRonaldson
BarnettEllisonLightfootSantoro
BoswellFergusonMasonScullion
BrandisFerris (Teller)McGauranTroeth
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMinchinTrood
Campbell, IanFifieldNashWatson
ChapmanHeffernanParry
ColbeckHillPatterson

Question negatived.

Question—That the question on the motion for the allotment of time be now put—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,34


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPayne
AdamsEggleston (Teller)JoyceRonaldson
BarnettEllisonLightfootSantoro
BoswellFergusonMasonScullion
BrandisFerrisMcGauranTroeth
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMinchinTrood
Campbell, IanFifieldNashWatson
ChapmanHeffernanParry
ColbeckHillPatterson

NOES, 31


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundySiewert
Brown, BobFieldingMarshallStephens
Brown, CarolForshawMcEwenSterle
Campbell, GeorgeHoggMilneStott Despoja
CarrHurleyMooreWebber (Teller)
ConroyHutchinsMurrayWong
CrossinKirkNettleWortley
EvansLudwigPolley

Question agreed to.

Question—That the motion for the allotment of time be agreed to—put.


The Senate divided—

AYES,34


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPayne
AdamsEggleston (Teller)JoyceRonaldson
BarnettEllisonLightfootSantoro
BoswellFergusonMasonScullion
BrandisFerrisMcGauranTroeth
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMinchinTrood
Campbell, IanFifieldNashWatson
ChapmanHeffernanParry
ColbeckHillPatterson

NOES, 31


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundySiewert
Brown, BobFieldingMarshallStephens
Brown, CarolForshawMcEwenSterle
Campbell, GeorgeHoggMilneStott Despoja
CarrHurleyMooreWebber (Teller)
ConroyHutchinsMurrayWong
CrossinKirkNettleWortley
EvansLudwigPolley

Question agreed to.

Leave refused: Senator Conroy sought leave to make a statement relating to Senate procedures.

An objection was raised and leave was not granted.

Proposed suspension of standing orders: Senator Conroy, at the request of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Evans) and pursuant to contingent notice, moved—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Conroy making a statement.

Closure: Senator Ellison moved—That the question be now put.

Question—That the question be now put—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,34


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPayne
AdamsEggleston (Teller)JoyceRonaldson
BarnettEllisonLightfootSantoro
BoswellFergusonMasonScullion
BrandisFerrisMcGauranTroeth
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMinchinTrood
Campbell, IanFifieldNashWatson
ChapmanHeffernanParry
ColbeckHillPatterson

NOES, 32



Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundyPolley
BishopFieldingMarshallSiewert
Brown, BobForshawMcEwenStephens
Brown, CarolHoggMcLucasSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HurleyMilneStott Despoja
ConroyHutchinsMooreWebber
CrossinKirkMurrayWong
EvansLudwigNettleWortley

Question agreed to.

Question—That the motion to suspend standing orders be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,32


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundyPolley
BishopFieldingMarshallSiewert
Brown, BobForshawMcEwenStephens
Brown, CarolHoggMcLucasSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HurleyMilneStott Despoja
ConroyHutchinsMooreWebber
CrossinKirkMurrayWong
EvansLudwigNettleWortley

NOES, 34


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPayne
AdamsEggleston (Teller)JoyceRonaldson
BarnettEllisonLightfootSantoro
BoswellFergusonMasonScullion
BrandisFerrisMcGauranTroeth
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMinchinTrood
Campbell, IanFifieldNashWatson
ChapmanHeffernanParry
ColbeckHillPatterson

Question negatived.

Leave refused: Senator Bob Brown sought leave to make a statement.

An objection was raised and leave was not granted.

Proposed suspension of standing orders: Senator Bob Brown, pursuant to contingent notice, moved—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Bob Brown making a statement.

Ruling of President: The President ruled that he could not receive any further motions for the suspension of standing orders. The majority of the Senate had determined that the bills be considered as urgent bills and had also declined to suspend standing orders in its earlier votes. The majority of the Senate having determined that it should proceed with the bills as urgent bills and that standing orders should not be suspended at this time to allow other matters to be considered, he was obliged to call on the Clerk to read the order of the day for the consideration of the bills. This is in accordance with the rationale of the rulings made by President Sibraa between 1991 and 1993 and supported by the Procedure Committee, as recorded in Odgers' Australian Senate Practice, 11th ed, 2004, p. 169.


Dissent from ruling: Senator Bob Brown, having objected, in writing, to the ruling of the President, moved—That the Senate dissents from the ruling of the President.

Senator Bob Brown moved—That the question of dissent requires immediate determination.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,32


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerLundySherry
BishopFieldingMcEwenSiewert
Brown, BobForshawMcLucasStephens
Brown, CarolHoggMilneSterle
Campbell, G (Teller)HurleyMooreStott Despoja
ConroyHutchinsMurrayWebber
CrossinKirkNettleWong
EvansLudwigPolleyWortley

NOES, 34


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPayne
AdamsEgglestonJoyceRonaldson
BarnettEllisonLightfootSantoro
BoswellFergusonMasonScullion
BrandisFerris (Teller)McGauranTroeth
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMinchinTrood
Campbell, IanFifieldNashWatson
ChapmanHeffernanParry
ColbeckHillPatterson

Question negatived.

Debate was adjourned till the next day of sitting, pursuant to standing order 198.

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motions of the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (Senator Coonan) and the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (Senator Vanstone)—That these bills be now read a second time—and on the amendment moved by Senator Bob Brown—

 Omit all words after "That", substitute "further consideration of the bills be made an order of the day for 4 October 2005".

Debate resumed.

Leave refused: The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Evans) sought leave to move a motion relating to the time allotted for the second reading of the bills.

An objection was raised and leave was not granted.

Debate continued.

Limitation of debate: The time allotted for the second reading of the bills expired.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.


The Senate divided—

AYES,33


Senators—
BartlettForshawMcLucasStephens
BishopHoggMilneSterle
Brown, BobHurleyMooreStott Despoja
Brown, CarolHutchinsMurrayWebber
Campbell, G (Teller)KirkNettleWong
CarrLudwigO'BrienWortley
ConroyLundyPolley
CrossinMarshallSherry
FaulknerMcEwenSiewert

NOES, 36


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPatterson
AdamsEgglestonJoycePayne
BarnettEllisonLightfootRonaldson
BoswellFergusonMacdonald, SandySantoro
BrandisFerris (Teller)MasonScullion
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMcGauranTroeth
Campbell, IanHeffernanMinchinTrood
ChapmanHillNashVanstone
ColbeckHumphriesParryWatson

Question negatived.

The following amendment circulated by the Australian Greens was considered:

 Omit all words after "That", substitute "further consideration of the bills be postponed and made an order of the day for the next day of sitting after the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts tables in the Senate the family impact statement on the sale of Telstra, specifying the likely impact on Australian families including costs and service availability resulting from the sale of Telstra".

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,33


Senators—
BartlettForshawMcLucasStephens
BishopHoggMilneSterle
Brown, BobHurleyMooreStott Despoja
Brown, CarolHutchinsMurrayWebber
Campbell, G (Teller)KirkNettleWong
CarrLudwigO'BrienWortley
ConroyLundyPolley
CrossinMarshallSherry
FaulknerMcEwenSiewert

NOES, 36



Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPatterson
AdamsEgglestonJoycePayne
BarnettEllisonLightfootRonaldson
BoswellFergusonMacdonald, SandySantoro
BrandisFerris (Teller)MasonScullion
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMcGauranTroeth
Campbell, IanHeffernanMinchinTrood
ChapmanHillNashVanstone
ColbeckHumphriesParryWatson

Question negatived.

The following amendment circulated by the Opposition was considered:

 At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate:

  (a) condemns the Government for failing to honour the Telstra election promise of the Prime Minister (Mr Howard), that `we won't sell another share until we're satisfied, completely satisfied that things in the bush are up to scratch'; and

  (b) notes that:

   (i) Telstra's secret briefing to the Government on 11 August 2005 confirms that one in seven lines are faulty,

   (ii) the Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that the worst performing exchanges in the country service rural, regional and remote communities,

   (iii) the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (Senator Coonan) has admitted that rural, regional and remote telephone services are less reliable than metropolitan services,

   (iv) the Government has overseen underinvestment of $2 to $3 billion in the Telstra network over the past 3 to 5 years,

   (v) the proposed Connect Australia program will not adequately address the existing service deficiencies in regional, rural and remote Australia,

   (vi) returns from the proposed Communications Fund will provide only a fraction of the existing ongoing Telstra dividend stream to government,

   (vii) necessary telecommunications infrastructure investment can be made from Telstra's existing dividend stream to government, and

   (viii) the sale of Telstra will consign regional, rural and remote Australians to second-rate telecommunications services in the future".

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.


The Senate divided—

AYES,33


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerMcEwenStephens
BishopForshawMcLucasSterle
Brown, BobHoggMilneStott Despoja
Brown, CarolHurleyMooreWebber
Campbell, G (Teller)HutchinsMurrayWong
CarrKirkNettleWortley
ConroyLudwigO'Brien
CrossinLundyPolley
EvansMarshallSiewert

NOES, 36


Senators—
AbetzCoonanJohnstonPatterson
AdamsEgglestonJoycePayne
BarnettEllisonLightfootRonaldson
BoswellFergusonMacdonald, SandySantoro
BrandisFerris (Teller)MasonScullion
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMcGauranTroeth
Campbell, IanHeffernanMinchinTrood
ChapmanHillNashVanstone
ColbeckHumphriesParryWatson

Question negatived.

Question—That these bills be now read a second time—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,35


Senators—
AbetzEgglestonJoycePayne
AdamsEllisonLightfootRonaldson
BoswellFergusonMacdonald, SandySantoro
BrandisFerris (Teller)MasonScullion
CalvertFierravanti-WellsMcGauranTroeth
Campbell, IanHeffernanMinchinTrood
ChapmanHillNashVanstone
ColbeckHumphriesParryWatson
CoonanJohnstonPatterson

NOES, 33


Senators—
BartlettFaulknerMarshallStephens
BishopFieldingMcEwenSterle
Brown, BobForshawMcLucasStott Despoja
Brown, CarolHoggMilneWebber
Campbell, G (Teller)HurleyMooreWong
CarrHutchinsNettleWortley
ConroyKirkO'Brien
CrossinLudwigPolley
EvansLundySiewert

Question agreed to.

Bills read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bills.


In the committee

Statement by Chair of Committees: The Chair of Committees (Senator Hogg) made a statement relating to provisions of the bills and section 53 of the Constitution.

TELSTRA (TRANSITION TO FULL PRIVATE OWNERSHIP) BILL 2005—

Bill, taken as a whole by leave, debated.

At 12.45 pm: The Acting Deputy President (Senator Hutchins) resumed the chair and the Temporary Chair of Committees reported progress.