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Notice given 19 September 2001

1042  Senator Tierney: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the disgraceful behaviour of unions during a rally concerning Ansett at Parliament House, where the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business (Mr Abbott) and other government members and senators were not given a chance to talk with Ansett employees who are concerned about entitlements and future employment;

(b) further notes that government members and senators attended the rally with the intent to show support for workers and transport routes that have been affected by the demise of Ansett, particularly in rural and regional areas;

(c) welcomes the efforts by staff at Aeropelican in the Hunter Valley, who want the local air service to continue and who are currently devising a plan to maintain that service in the future; and

(d) calls on unions, which claim to represent workers, to support Aeropelican’s efforts, instead of trying to make the issue a political one and sabotaging attempts to find solutions to the transport and worker entitlement problems at hand.

1043  Senator Tierney: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the release of photographs by Newcastle police showing people involved in the attacks of 13 July 2001 on a Commonwealth vehicle directed towards the Minister for Defence (Mr Reith) and the union’s failure to identify those involved;

(b) condemns the violence by union members during the ministerial visit, when business leaders and local companies were showcasing the Hunter’s potential for defence investment; and

(c) calls on those people involved in the violent demonstration to come forward to police and for unions to cooperate in the identification of anyone who caused damaged to the Commonwealth vehicle.

1044  Senator Allison: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) approval has been given to AES Golden Plains to build a peak-load power station at Stonehaven, 8km from Geelong, Victoria,

(ii) under Victorian EPA pollution controls, this old technology power station will potentially increase existing nitrous oxide levels over the Geelong region by 50 per cent when operating at full capacity, and

(iii) the United States EPA attributes 20 per cent of hospital admissions in summer to asthma-related emergencies and names the production of low-level ozone from nitrous oxide as the main culprit;

(b) encourages the local community and the Batesford and Geelong Action Group to continue their efforts to pursue a better outcome for the people of the Geelong region; and

(c) calls on the Federal Government to work with the states to, as a matter of urgency, develop nationally consistent, world’s best practice, energy efficiency and low pollution standards for all newly-commissioned power stations.

1046  Senator Brown: To move—That the Senate—

(a) recognises that failure to invest in public education is undermining Australia’s capacity to meet its economic and social needs into this century and calls upon the next government to increase public education spending to meet the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average by 2004;

(b) recommends that this additional funding be distributed between all sectors of education including universities, TAFE, adult learning and schools;

(c) is deeply concerned that the distribution of schools funds under the States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Act 2000 is unfair, unjust and damaging, as evidenced by:

(i) the continued decline in public education’s share of the total Commonwealth schools budget, and

(ii) the excessive and extravagant increases in annual per capita Commonwealth funding of many of the wealthiest private schools; and

(d) calls for the next government, as a matter of urgency, to repeal this Act and replace it with legislation that:

(i) ensures that public education’s share of Commonwealth schools funding is restored to at least 50 per cent by 2004 and to 70 per cent by 2007 by measures including increasing public education expenditure, curtailing the growth in total funding of private schools and decreasing the funding of the wealthier private schools, and

(ii) ensures that the distribution and quantity of federal funding of private schools neither exacerbates socio-economic inequality nor endangers the local, regional or national viability of the nation’s government school systems as the dominant provider of primary and secondary education.