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9       Notices

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

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   there is a political stalemate between the Federal Government and the Victorian State Government in relation to the East West Link,

                 (ii)   there is approximately $1.5 billion in unspent allocations to the East West Link,

                (iii)   evidence presented to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiry into aspects of road safety in Australia by the National Rural Health Alliance demonstrated that those who live outside the major cities make up 30 per cent of the population and 52 per cent of deaths due to land transport accidents,

                (iv)   rural roads play a vital role in putting food on city tables and bringing resources to urban areas,

                 (v)   the annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is enormous - estimated at $27 billion per annum - and the social impacts are devastating,

                (vi)   many rural roads are in dangerously poor condition and in desperate need of repair,

               (vii)   some local councils in Victoria do not have the necessary funding to fully maintain the extensive road networks in their electorate due to proposed rate caps and the federal freeze in financial assistance grants,

              (viii)   a life in rural and regional Australia is just as important as a life in urban Australia,

                (ix)   until there is a change of Victorian State Government or a change in Federal Government, a resolution to the East West Link is unlikely, and

                 (x)   there is a strong need in Victoria to invest in rail and road infrastructure in order to ease congestion and improve productivity into the future; and

    (b)   calls on the Government to withdraw the allocation of federal funding set aside for the East West Link and to reallocate this funding to projects to improve rural road infrastructure. ( general business notice of motion no. 914 )

Senator McEwen: To move on 23 November 2015—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes that regional and community:

                  (i)   newspapers service 36 per cent of, or over 8 million, Australians who do not live in a capital city,

                 (ii)   newspaper media continue to be a trusted source of local information in country communities, and

                (iii)   media is frequently overlooked for Federal Government advertising campaigns;

    (b)   calls on the Government to ensure that federal media advertising campaigns extend to regional Australia; and

     (c)   calls on the Government to ensure that regional and community media receive its fair share of campaign advertising from the Federal Government. ( general business notice of motion no. 915 )

The Minister for Communications (Senator Fifield): To move on the next day of sitting—That the days of meeting of the Senate for 2016 be as follows:

             Autumn sittings:

Tuesday, 2 February to Thursday, 4 February

Monday, 22 February to Thursday, 25 February

Monday, 29 February to Thursday, 3 March

Tuesday, 15 March to Thursday, 17 March

             Budget sittings:

Tuesday, 10 May to Thursday, 12 May

             Winter sittings:

Monday, 20 June to Thursday, 23 June

Monday, 27 June to Thursday, 30 June

             Spring sittings:

Tuesday, 23 August to Thursday, 25 August

Monday, 29 August to Thursday, 1 September

Monday, 19 September to Thursday, 22 September

Monday, 10 October to Thursday, 13 October

             Spring sittings (2):

Monday, 7 November to Thursday, 10 November

Monday, 21 November to Thursday, 24 November

Monday, 28 November to Thursday, 1 December.

The Minister for Communications (Senator Fifield): To move on the next day of sitting—

    (1)   That estimates hearings by legislation committees for 2016 be scheduled as follows:

             2015-16 additional estimates:

Monday, 8 February and Tuesday, 9 February ( Group A )

Wednesday, 10 February and Thursday, 11 February ( Group B ).

             2016-17 Budget estimates:

Monday, 23 May to Thursday, 26 May, and, if required, Friday, 27 May ( Group A )

Monday, 30 May to Thursday, 2 June, and, if required, Friday, 3 June ( Group B )

Monday, 17 October and Tuesday, 18 October ( supplementary hearings—Group A )

Wednesday, 19 October and Thursday, 20 October ( supplementary hearings—Group B ).

    (2)   That pursuant to the orders of the Senate of 26 August 2008 and 23 June 2015, cross portfolio estimates hearings on Indigenous matters be scheduled for Friday, 12 February, Friday, 27 May and Friday, 21 October, but not restricted to these days.

    (3)   That the committees consider the proposed expenditure in accordance with the allocation of departments and agencies to committees agreed to by the Senate.

    (4)   That committees meet in the following groups:

             Group A:

Environment and Communications

Finance and Public Administration

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

             Group B:

Community Affairs


Education and Employment

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

    (5)   That the committees report to the Senate on the following dates:

                 (a)   Tuesday, 1 March 2016 in respect of the 2015-16 additional estimates; and

                 (b)   Tuesday, 28 June 2016 in respect of the 2016-17 Budget estimates.

The Minister for Communications (Senator Fifield): To move on the next day of sitting—That on Wednesday, 11 November 2015:

    (a)   the sitting of the Senate shall be suspended at 10.15 am till 11.45 am to enable senators to attend Remembrance Day services; and

    (b)   any proposal pursuant to standing order 75 shall not be proceeded with.

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

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   2015 marks 40 years since the foundation of Women’s House in Brisbane by members of the community, and

                 (ii)   Women’s House is Queensland’s oldest women’s shelter, and is now Australia’s oldest independent women’s shelter; and

    (b)   commends the work of Women’s House over the past 40 years, and the work of women’s shelters across Australia who help thousands of women escaping domestic violence every year. ( general business notice of motion no. 916 )

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

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week is being held in Australia from 8 to 15 November 2015,

                 (ii)   the week is an initiative of the Australian Spinal Injury Alliance, which represents eight of the country’s largest spinal cord injury organisations, and is a national campaign to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries, to encourage injury prevention, and to create a more inclusive and accessible community for everyone,

                (iii)   approximately 350 to 400 people sustain a spinal cord injury each year in Australia, and that almost 12 000 Australians are living with a spinal cord injury, and

                (iv)   the campaign also raises awareness that people who have a spinal cord injury are involved in all aspects of life and are contributing to the community in many different ways, and asks all Australians to consider how they can make their community more inclusive; and

    (b)   calls on the Federal Government to work with organisations and stakeholders in the spinal injury sector to develop and deliver a National Spinal Cord Injury Strategy that will provide a foundation for better outcomes, both social and economic, for all Australians affected by a spinal cord injury. ( general business notice of motion no. 917 )

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

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   Shenhua Australia Holdings is seeking to develop a 35 square kilometre coal mine on the Liverpool Plains in north west New South Wales,

                 (ii)   the Liverpool Plains is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the nation, with productivity 40 per cent above the national average,

                (iii)   the proposed mine threatens the most significant underground water resources in the Murray-Darling Basin, and farmers are dependent on access to these water resources for their survival,

                (iv)   if the mine proceeds it would:

                  ( a )   comprise three open-cut pits, plus associated infrastructure, to mine up to 10 million tonnes of coal per year for 30 years, and rail infrastructure to take the coal to the Port of Newcastle for export, and

                  ( b )   destroy significant areas of local Indigenous heritage, including grinding grooves that were used by Gomeroi warriors to sharpen spears,

                 (v)   the proposal to relocate Indigenous artefacts does not acknowledge connections to land and country,

                (vi)   as the price of coal is in structural decline it is irresponsible to risk valuable farming land for a coal mine when renewable energy is commercially viable, and

               (vii)   more than 750 people attended the Harvest Festival to support the call for no mining on the Liverpool Plains; and

    (b)   calls on:

                  (i)   the Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull, to reverse the Federal Government’s approval of the Shenhua Watermark coal mine, and

                 (ii)   the New South Wales Government not to grant a mining licence for the Shenhua Watermark coal mine. ( general business notice of motion no. 918 )

Notice of motion withdrawn : Senator Rice withdrew business of the Senate notice of motion no. 1 standing in her name for the next day of sitting, proposing a reference to the Education and Employment References Committee.