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NOTICES

Senator Waters: To move on 24 August 2011—That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to provide Australian landholders the right to refuse the undertaking of coal seam gas mining activities on their land without prior written authorisation, and for related purposes. Landholders' Right to Refuse (Coal Seam Gas) Bill 2011. (general business notice of motion no. 356)

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

 (a) notes that the Government has refused to provide an answer to question on notice no. 671 regarding act of grace payments without properly raising a claim of public interest immunity; and

 (b) orders that there be laid on the table by noon on Tuesday, 23 August 2011, all information about:

  (i) the number of act of grace payments approved by the Minister since 24 November 2007 where the department recommended against approval, and

  (ii) the reason for approval, the date of approval and value of each of the above act of grace payments. (general business notice of motion no. 357)

Senators Carol Brown and Milne: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) deplores the actions of WIN Television in Tasmania, which has cut its weekend statewide news service, leading to:

  (i) some 10 Tasmanians losing their jobs in the state's media industry, jobs which would have become future jobs for young Tasmanians, and

  (ii) a marked cutting of media diversity in the state on weekends, with only ABC TV and Southern Cross Television providing local news and nightly bulletins; and

 (b) notes that:

  (i) WIN Television in 2010 celebrated 50 years of television history in the state, but in its 51st year WIN has cut the `guts' out of its local coverage with no weekend news services, resulting in a loss of 28 per cent of the weekly news coverage, local news, local sport and local politics,

  (ii) Tasmanian viewers, some of whom have been loyal to WIN Television for the full 50 years of its existence, are now being served up an irrelevant news service, broadcasting Victorian news on Saturdays and Sundays, and

  (iii) this makes Tasmania the only state in the WIN Television network without a home-state-based weekend news service. (general business notice of motion no. 358)


Senator Siewert: To move on the next day of sitting—That the following matter be referred to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee for inquiry and report by 22 November 2011:

The administration and purchasing of Disability Employment Services (DES) in Australia, with particular reference to the Government's 2011-12 budget announcement to undertake a competitive tender of the Disability Employment Services - Employment Support Services program for contracts with a performance rating of 3 stars and below under the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations' DES Performance Framework, including:

 (a) the impact of tendering more than 80 per cent of the current DES on the clients with disability and employers they support under the current contracts;

 (b) the potential impact of losing experienced staff;

 (c) whether competitive tendering of more than 80 per cent of the market delivers the best value for money and is the most effective way in which to meet the stated objectives of:

  (i) testing the market,

  (ii) allowing new `players' into the market, and

  (iii) removing poor performers from the market;

 (d) whether the DES Performance Framework provides the best means of assessing a provider's ability to deliver services which meet the stated objectives of the Disability Services Act 1986 such as enabling services that are flexible and responsive to the needs and aspirations of people with disabilities, and encourage innovation in the provision of such services;

 (e) the congruency of 3-year contracting periods with the long-term relationship based nature of the Disability Employment Services - Employment Support Services program, and the impact of moving to 5-year contract periods as recommended in the 2009 Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee report, DEEWR tender process to award employment services contracts; and

 (f) the timing of the tender process given the role of DES providers in implementing the Government's changes to the disability support pension.

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

 (a) ongoing attacks on the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Tasmania; and

 (b) failure to provide a constructive alternative for scores of contractors facing business ruin, closures of three export woodchip mills and regional areas of Tasmania welcoming the development opportunities the package will provide. (general business notice of motion no. 359)

Senators Siewert, Fifield and McLucas: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

 (a) notes:

  (i) that the week beginning 21 August 2011 is national Hearing Awareness Week and the theme for 2011 is `I'm ready for anything! Is anything ready for me?',

  (ii) that the theme recognises that, for approximately 4 million Australians with hearing impairment, technology is providing more possibilities than ever before for inclusion,


  (iii) that improvements in technology have minimised the barriers to communication,

  (iv) that technology is also making huge inroads into improving the quality of educational access and employers have more support than ever to make their workplace inclusive and accessible for Australians with a hearing impairment,

  (v) the incredible innovations that have been made by Australian organisations into assistive technologies,

  (vi) the `Hear Us' inquiry undertaken by the Community Affairs References Committee in 2010,

  (vii) the ongoing work that is required to improve hearing health in Australia as well as ensuring that Australians with a hearing impairment are not excluded,

  (viii) the funding commitments to the Better Start for Children with Disability program which provides flexible funding for early intervention services to parents of children with hearing impairment, and

  (ix) the additional funding provided to the Hearing Services Program which provides increased access to hearing aids and cochlear speech processors for more children and young people, and additional hearing services and aids for Indigenous adults and people with complex hearing problems; and

 (b) seeks the Australian Government to:

  (i) continue raising awareness of hearing impairment and chronic ear disorders in order to:

   (A) reduce the incidence of hearing loss or chronic ear disorders,

   (B) increase the public awareness of the needs and aspirations of hearing impaired Australians, and

   (C) promote inclusion and understanding of hearing impaired Australians,

  (ii) provide access to technologies, organisations and communities that can improve engagement in education, employment and community,

  (iii) continue to support organisations that provide assistance to hearing impaired individuals, their families, communities, employers and schools,

  (iv) continue to support and fund Australian hearing health research and innovation, and

  (v) continue to implement the recommendations of the Hear Us: Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia report with an emphasis on inclusion. (general business notice of motion no. 360)