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NOTICES

Notices of motion:

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations (Senator Evans): To move on the next day of sitting—That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to deal with consequential matters arising from the enactment of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011, and for related purposes. National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011.


The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations (Senator Evans): To move on the next day of sitting—That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Higher Education Support Act 2003, and for related purposes. Higher Education Support Amendment (No. 1) Bill 2011.

Senator Cormann: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the response by the Chairman of the Productivity Commission to an order of the Senate seeking a report by the Commission on the design of a process for the selection and ongoing review of the superannuation funds, which was agreed to by the Senate on 16 November 2010,

  (ii) that in a letter to the Clerk of the Senate the Chairman of the Productivity Commission expressed the view that in his understanding `such a report would need to be commissioned by the Assistant Treasurer',

  (iii) that, like the Australian Information Commissioner, the Chairman of the Productivity Commission appears to have confused a legitimate order of a House of the Australian Parliament for the production of a document, with a request to perform a specific function under his enabling statute, and

  (iv) with increasing concern this recently emerging trend of statutory agencies established by the Parliament failing to understand valid orders of the Senate and thereby threatening to interfere with the free exercise by the Senate of its authority and functions;

 (b) advises the Productivity Commissioner as follows:

  (i) that under section 49 of the Constitution the Senate has the undisputed power to order the production of documents necessary for its information, a power which encompasses documents already in existence and documents required to be created for the purpose of complying with the order,

  (ii) this power may be modified only by express statutory declaration, as required by section 49 of the Constitution,

  (iii) nothing in the Productivity Commission Act 1998 is expressed as a declaration for the purpose of section 49 that would have the effect of limiting the exercise of the power by the Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament in respect of the Productivity Commission,

  (iv) multiple resolutions of the Senate affirm the principle that information may be withheld from it only following consideration by the Senate of a properly founded claim of public interest immunity, and

  (v) the Senate has on numerous occasions exercised its power to require statutory agencies and officers to produce information in response to orders; and

 (c) again orders the Productivity Commission to provide the report requested by the Senate consistent with its order agreed to on 16 November 2010. (general business notice of motion no. 162)

Senator Moore: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) 8 December 2010 was the 35th anniversary of the first official broadcast of community radio station 4ZZZ-FM from studios at the University of Queensland,


  (ii) 4ZZZ was the first FM stereo radio station in Queensland, the first community broadcaster in Australia with journalists accredited by the then Australian Journalists Association and the first mass-audience format community broadcaster in Australia, and

  (iii) 4ZZZ has provided, and continues to provide, an important means of exposure for many Brisbane musicians and artists and an important independent local outlet for information and news;

 (b) congratulates all those involved in establishing and maintaining this pioneering community-based radio station now broadcasting from studios in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane; and

 (c) expresses support for the ongoing development of community broadcasting in Australia as an important component in ensuring the community has access to a diverse and adequate range of information and entertainment. (general business notice of motion no. 163)

Senator Colbeck: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) recognises:

  (i) the important, unique and successful service provided by Sisters of Charity Outreach to the Devonport community, and

  (ii) the strong desire of the Devonport and wider communities to retain this vital mental health service;

 (b) seeks that:

  (i) the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) meet her promise that a re-elected Labor Government would make mental health a priority, and

  (ii) the Government re-consider its decision not to extend funding for the Sisters of Charity Outreach service beyond the current 4-year period; and

 (c) calls on the Government to provide $1.25 million over 3 years for this vital northwest Tasmanian health service. (general business notice of motion no. 164)

Senator Xenophon: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) the Government has initiated a feasibility study into full account portability, due for completion by 30 June 2011, examining options that will make it easier for Australians to find a better banking deal, and

  (ii) the inquiry of the Economics References Committee into competition within the Australian banking sector has heard substantial evidence that Australians are frustrated by the difficulties of switching their transaction accounts to get a better banking deal;

 (b) recognises that simple steps making it easier for Australians to switch banks can be taken immediately, allowing consumers to save money through a better deal without delay; and

 (c) calls on the Government to support steps requiring banks to provide a simple, single-form, one-step process for customers to move their transaction accounts to the bank of their choice, including all debits and credits. (general business notice of motion no. 165)


Senators Xenophon, Colbeck and Milne: To move on the next day of sitting—That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 15 April 2011:

The impact on the Australian dairy industry supply chain of the recent decision by Coles supermarket (followed by Woolworths, Aldi and Franklins) to heavily discount the price of milk (to $1 per litre) and other dairy products on the Australian dairy industry, with particular reference to:

 (a) wholesale milk prices;

 (b) the decrease in Australian production of milk from 11 billion litres in 2004 to 9 billion litres in 2011, of which only 25 per cent is drinking milk;

 (c) whether such a price reduction is anti-competitive;

 (d) the suitability of the framework contained in the Horticulture Code of Conduct to the Australian dairy industry;

 (e) the recommendations of the 2010 Economics References Committee report, Milking it for all it's worth - competition and pricing in the Australian dairy industry and how these have progressed;

 (f) the need for any legislative amendments; and

 (g) any other related matters.

Senator Xenophon: To move on the next day of sitting—That the following matter be referred to the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 15 April 2011:

The impact of the decision by the South Australian Government to forward-sell the state's $2.8 billion timber assets on the state's economy, timber industry and on jobs and any other broader impacts, with particular reference to:

 (a) the likelihood of regional job losses;

 (b) the flow-on effects to communities in timber-reliant regions;

 (c) the potential for the private buyer not to consider local impacts;

 (d) the potential for reduced value-adding locally and increased off-shoring; and

 (e) any other related matters.

Senator Hanson-Young: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the increase in incitement and acts of homophobic violence in Uganda in recent months, and

  (ii) in particular, the murder of leading gay rights activist, Mr David Kato;

 (b) recognises:

  (i) the Ugandan Government's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, introduced on 14 October 2009, seeks to criminalise homosexuality and impose the death penalty on HIV positive people who have sex, and

  (ii) that some media outlets in Uganda are actively encouraging the killing of homosexuals; and

 (c) calls on the Federal Government to condemn homophobic violence in Uganda and moves to criminalise homosexuality. (general business notice of motion no. 166)


Senator Milne: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) the Cooper Review into superannuation in 2010 recommended that private investment in art no longer be an eligible investment for do-it-yourself (DIY) superannuation schemes,

  (ii) after a strong campaign by artists concerned that the local art market would be seriously damaged by this move, the Government promised during the 2010 election campaign to reject this recommendation, and

  (iii) the Government is now proposing to go back on that election commitment by strictly limiting the conditions under which private art purchases are eligible investments for DIY superannuation schemes; and

 (b) calls on the Government to:

  (i) abide by its election promise, and

  (ii) ensure that any conditions do not act as a disincentive for DIY superannuation schemes to invest in Australian art. (general business notice of motion no. 167)

Senator Milne: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) the move by Coles and Woolworths to significantly discount the price of home brand milk, and

  (ii) the difficulties faced by the dairy industry across the country in part because of the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths over a long period of time;

 (b) recalls the tripartite recommendations from the relevant 2010 Senate committee reports to seriously examine marketplace activities which impact adversely on the dairy industry;

 (c) notes that section 49 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 pertaining to anti-price discrimination measures was removed; and

 (d) calls on the Government to reinstate an anti-price discrimination provision in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. (general business notice of motion no. 168)

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown): To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) promotes the increased representation of women in national parliaments in the interest of gender equality and women's empowerment, as reflected in the Millennium Development Goals;

 (b) agrees that women are under-represented in almost all national parliaments around the world;

 (c) accepts that the advancement of women raises the status and value of women in society and their work;

 (d) supports the participation of women in democratic institutions to improve political and policy outcomes;

 (e) backs efforts to improve women's access to parliamentary life; and

 (f) congratulates the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) for championing efforts to increase the number of women elected to the PNG Parliament. (general business notice of motion no. 169)


Senator Scullion: To move on the next day of sitting—That Senator Scullion shall introduce the following bill: Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2011. (general business notice of motion no. 170)

The Chair of the Community Affairs References Committee (Senator Siewert): To move on the next day of sitting—That the time for the presentation of the report of the Community Affairs References Committee on the Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies be extended to 30 June 2011. (general business notice of motion no. 171)

Notices of motion withdrawn:

Senator Parry, at the request of Senators Heffernan, Coonan, Xenophon and Siewert, withdrew business of the Senate notice of motion no. 3 standing in the names of Senators Heffernan, Coonan, Xenophon and Siewert for today, proposing a reference to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.

Senator Siewert, at the request of the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown), withdrew general business notice of motion no. 94 standing in the name of Senator Bob Brown for today, relating to the Papua New Guinean Parliament.

Senator Siewert, at the request of the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown), withdrew general business notice of motion no. 144 standing in the name of Senator Bob Brown for today, relating to Christmas Day penalty rates.

Senator Fifield withdrew general business notice of motion no. 145 standing in his name for today, relating to Government commitments.