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Notice given 4 March 2003

*363  Chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Senator Heffernan): To move—That the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 6 March 2003, from 4 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the provisions of the Wheat Marketing Amendment Bill 2002.

*364  Chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee (Senator Ridgeway): To move—That the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, 5 March 2003, from 6.30 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into forestry plantations.

*365  Senator Allison: To move—That there be laid on the table, no later than 4 pm on Thursday, 6 March 2003, the written advice provided by the Department of Defence to the Department of Education, Science and Training concerning the defence-related issues in connection with the National Radioactive Waste Repository in South Australia.

*366  Senator McLucas and the Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett): To move—That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 to provide for an extension of the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Region. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Protecting the Great Barrier Reef from Oil Drilling and Exploration) Amendment Bill 2003 [No. 2] .

*367  Senator Greig: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the commitment by the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) that the Government would look after the loved ones and families of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in or heading to the Gulf and into a potential war with Iraq,

(ii) that this undertaking includes grief counselling, death benefits compensation and surviving spouses’ pensions, in the event that ADF personnel are killed or injured,

(iii) that this social, more and financial support only applies to heterosexual, married, and de facto partners in the ADF, and does not apply to the loved ones and families of same-sex partners in the ADF, and

(iv) that this discrimination against gay and lesbian service personnel is inconsistent with the 1992 lifting of the ban on homosexual people serving in the military and inconsistent with the ADF’s equity program aimed at redressing discrimination in the forces; and

(b) calls on the Government to end this unacceptable discrimination against gay and lesbian service personnel and their partners to ensure that all personnel and their partners, both heterosexual and homosexual, receive equal treatment, including access to grief counselling, death benefits compensation and surviving spouses’ pensions, in recognition of the fact that all ADF personnel are asked to put their lives on the line for their country.

*368  Senator Cook: To move—That the Senate notes that:

(a) 5 March 2003 is the 20th anniversary of the election of the Hawke Labor Government;

(b) Bob Hawke served the nation as Prime Minister from March 1983 to December 1991 and is the second longest serving Prime Minister since Federation;

(c) the Australian Labor Party under Bob Hawke’s leadership won elections in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990;

(d) the Hawke era saw the restructuring of the Australian economy with the floating of the dollar, the opening of the banking and financial sector, across the board cuts in tariffs and protection, the decentralisation of the wage fixing system, the introduction of superannuation for all workers, the reform of the public service, and formation of the Australian-led Cairns Group of free trading agricultural nations;

(e) significant social reforms during this period included the introduction of Medicare, reform of the social welfare system, establishment of the Office of the Status of Women, and commencement of Aboriginal reconciliation;

(f) major environmental achievements of the Hawke Government were the establishment of the national Landcare program, the formation of the Murray-Darling Ministerial Council, and World Heritage listings in Tasmania and Kakadu;

(g) in foreign relations, the Hawke Government forged closer ties between Australia, Asia and the Pacific, and led the formation of APEC; and

(h) many of these achievements have survived the change of government and are indicative of the Hawke Government’s vision and relevance to the future of Australia.

*369  Senator Brown: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the extraordinary meeting of the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to be held in Paris from 17 to 22 March 2003 to consider proposed changes to the operational guidelines of the World Heritage Convention;

(b) reaffirms its support for the World Heritage Convention, in particular:

(i) the power of the World Heritage Committee to inscribe a property on the World Heritage List in Danger without the consent of the state party,

(ii) the power of the World Heritage Committee to remove a property from the World Heritage List without the consent of the state party,

(iii) the current interpretation of the Convention, which recognises that sites have integrity and the management of World Heritage sites be directed at safeguarding both the World Heritage values and the property as a whole, and

(iv) the role of the advisory bodies to the Convention in making representations directly to the World Heritage Committee in relation to any World Heritage property; and

(c) condemns the Government for its efforts to undermine the integrity of the Convention by supporting changes to the operational guidelines which would undermine all the above mentioned powers, interpretations and responsibilities.

*370  Senator Nettle: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the comments of the British Prime Minister (Mr Blair) regarding the detention of British nationals in Camp X-Ray, Guantanemo Bay, Cuba, that, ‘it is an irregular situation and certainly we would want to try to bring it to an end as swiftly as possible’;

(b) notes that Australian citizens Mr David Hicks and Mr Mamdouh Habib remain incarcerated in Camp X-Ray without having been charged or brought before the courts for trial;

(c) expresses ongoing concern at the shameful lack of action from the Government regarding this situation; and

(d) reiterates its call on the Australian Government as a matter or urgency to take whatever steps are required to return both Mr Hicks and Mr Habib to Australia to determine whether they should be freed or face trial, as is their right.

*371  Senator Nettle: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) that bulk-billing was never intended to be a universal scheme and that the Government could not afford to provide universal free coverage for all Australians;

(b) condemns the Prime Minister for seeking to return Australia to an age of charity for the ‘less fortunate’, in place of guaranteeing good quality health care for all Australians irrespective of their ability to pay; and

(c) calls on the Government to examine ways to fund a universal scheme, starting with abolishing the private health insurance rebate.

Orders of the Day relating to Government Documents

* 1  Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade—Policy white paper—Advancing the national interest

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Mackay—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Mackay, in continuation, 4 March 2003 ).

*2  Bilateral treaty—Text, together with national interest analysis, agreed text of third person notes and regulation impact statement—Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement, done at Singapore on 17 February 2003, and associated exchanges of notes

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Mackay—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Mackay, in continuation, 4 March 2003 ).

*3  Multilateral treaty—Text of the proposed treaty action together with the national interest analysis—Amendment, done at Santiago, in November 2002, to Appendices I And II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, of 3 March 1973

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Bartlett—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Bartlett, in continuation, 4 March 2003 ).

*4  Multilateral treaty—Text, together with national interest analysis and regulation impact statement—International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships done at London on 18 October 2001

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Bartlett—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Bartlett, in continuation, 4 March 2003 ).

*5  Multilateral treaty—Text, together with national interest analysis and regulation impact statement—Annex IV: Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships (revised) of the Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as Amended (MARPOL 73/78), done at London, 17 February 1978, revised text adopted at London, 13 March 2000

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Mackay—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Mackay, in continuation, 4 March 2003 ).

* 6  Regional Forest Agreement between the Commonwealth and the State of Tasmania—Reports—

Tasmanian Government implementation report for 2001

Inquiry on the progress with implementation of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (1997)—Final recommendations report, December 2002

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Murphy—That the Senate take note of the documents ( Senator Murphy, in continuation, 4 March 2003 ).

Orders of the Day

ABC Amendment (Online and Multichannelling Services) Bill 2001 [2002]—( Senate bill )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 3 April 2001 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Air Navigation Amendment (Extension of Curfew and Limitation of Aircraft Movements) Bill 1995 [2002]—( Senate bill )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 27 March 1995 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Anti-Genocide Bill 1999 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Greig )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 5 April 2001 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment Bill 1999 [2002]—( Senate bill )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 25 March 1999 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Electoral Amendment (Political Honesty) Bill 2000 [2002]

Charter of Political Honesty Bill 2000 [2002]—( Senate bills )— ( Senator Murray )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 10 October 2000 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Constitution Alteration (Appropriations for the Ordinary Annual Services of the Government) 2001 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senators Murray and Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 26 June 2001 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Constitution Alteration (Electors’ Initiative, Fixed Term Parliaments and Qualification of Members) 2000 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Murray )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 4 April 2000 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Corporate Code of Conduct Bill 2000 [2002]—( Senate bill )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 6 September 2000 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

Freedom of Information Amendment (Open Government) Bill 2000 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Murray )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 5 September 2000 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

10  Parliamentary Approval of Treaties Bill 1995 [2002]—( Senate bill )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 31 May 1995 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

12  Reconciliation Bill 2001 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Ridgeway )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 5 April 2001 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

13  State Elections (One Vote, One Value) Bill 2001 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Murray )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 7 August 2001 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 13 February 2002 ).

14  Public liability insurance premiums

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Conroy—That the Senate—

(a) expresses its concern about the significant increase in public liability insurance premiums and the effect it is having on the viability of many small businesses and community and sporting organisations;

(b) condemns the Government for its inaction; and

(c) urges the Minister to propose a solution to this pressing issue, as quickly as possible, not just look at the problem ( Senator Ferguson, in continuation, 14 February 2002 ).

15  Ministers of State (Post-Retirement Employment Restrictions) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Stott Despoja, in continuation, 13 March 2002 ).

16  Lucas Heights reactor—Order for production of documents—Statement by Minister

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Carr—That the Senate take note of the statement ( Senator Carr, in continuation, 19 March 2002 ).

17  Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Boundary Extension) Amendment Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Bartlett )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Calvert, in continuation, 16 May 2002 ).

18  Genetic Privacy and Non-discrimination Bill 1998 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 5 October 2000 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 14 May 2002 ).

19  Patents Amendment Bill 1996 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 27 June 1996 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 14 May 2002 ).

20  Republic (Consultation of the People) Bill 2001 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 26 September 2001 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 14 May 2002 ).

21  Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Scrutiny of Board Appointments) Amendment Bill 2002—( Senate bill )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 15 May 2002 ).

22  Workplace Relations Amendment (Paid Maternity Leave) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Stott Despoja, in continuation, 16 May 2002 ).

23  Constitution Alteration (Right to Stand for Parliament—Qualification of Members and Candidates) 1998 (No. 2) [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 3 December 1998 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 16 May 2002 ).

24  Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Forest Practices) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Brown, in continuation, 20 June 2002 ).

25  Family Law Amendment (Joint Residency) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Harris )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Harris, in continuation, 20 June 2002 ).

26  ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO)—Report of the Australian parliamentary delegation to the 22nd AIPO General Assembly, Thailand, 2 to 5 September 2001; Visits and briefings, Bangkok, 6 to 8 September 2001; and Bi-lateral visit to Singapore, 9 to 13 September 2001

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Calvert—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Calvert, in continuation, 27 June 2002 ).

27  Family and Community Services—Family tax benefits

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Ludwig—That the Senate—

(a) condemns the Howard Government’s decision to strip, without warning, the tax returns of Australian families who have been overpaid family payments as callous and unfair to parents trying to survive under increasing financial pressures;

(b) notes that this is not consistent with the statement of the Minister for Family and Community Services (Senator Vanstone) in July 2001 in which she assured families that, ‘The Government has also decided that it would be easier for any family who still had an excess payment to have it recovered by adjusting their future payments, rather than taking it from their tax refund. This is because people may have earmarked their refund for use for specific things’;

(c) considers that the Government’s 2-year-old family payments system is deeply flawed, given that it delivered average debts of $850 to 650 000 Australian families in the 2001-02 financial year and continues to punish families who play by the rules; and

(d) condemns the Howard Government and its contemptible attack on Australian families ( Senator Tierney, in continuation, 22 August 2002 ).

28  Health—Medicare—Bulk billing

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Evans—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) since the election of the Howard Government, the rate of bulk billing by general practitioners (GPs) has dropped from 80.6 per cent to 74.5 per cent, and that the average patient cost to see a GP who does not bulk bill has gone up 41.8 per cent to nearly $12, and

(ii) in every year from the commencement of Medicare in 1984 through to 1996, bulk billing rates for GPs increased, but that, in every year since the election of the Howard Government, bulk billing rates have decreased;

(b) recognises that the unavailability of bulk billing hurts those Australians who are least able to afford the rising costs of health care and those who are at greatest risk of preventable illness and disease;

(c) condemns the Howard Government’s failure to take responsibility for declining rates of bulk billing; and

(d) calls on the Minister for Health and Ageing (Senator Patterson) to release publicly the June 2002 quarter bulk billing figures so that the true extent of the problem is made known ( Senator Moore, in continuation, 29 August 2002 ).

29  Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (Licence Charges) Amendment Bill 2002—Document

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Ludwig—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Ludwig, in continuation, 16 September 2002 ).

30  Kyoto Protocol (Ratification) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Brown, in continuation, 19 September 2002 ).

31  Communications—Regional telecommunication services—Inquiry

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Mackay—That the Senate—

(a) condemns the Howard Government for establishing an inquiry into regional telecommunications services, the Estens inquiry, which is chaired by a member of the National Party and friend of the Deputy Prime Minister, and has a former National Party MP as one of its members;

(b) condemns the Government’s decisions that the inquiry will hold no public hearings and must report within little more then 2 months of its commencement; and

(c) calls on the Government to address all issues associated with Telstra’s performance, including rising prices, deteriorating service standards and inadequate broadband provision ( Senator Tierney in continuation, 19 September 2002 ).

32  Trade Practices Amendment (Public Liability Insurance) Bill 2002 [No. 2]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Conroy )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Conroy, in continuation, 23 September 2002 ).

33  Corporations Amendment (Improving Corporate Governance) Bill 2002 [No. 2]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Conroy )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Conroy, in continuation, 23 September 2002 ).

34  Trade Practices Amendment (Credit Card Reform) Bill 2002 [No. 2]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Conroy )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Conroy, in continuation, 23 September 2002 ).

35  Superannuation

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Sherry—That the Senate notes the Howard Government’s third term failures on superannuation, including:

(a) the failure to provide for a contributions tax cut for all Australians who pay it, rather than a tax cut only to those earning more than $90 500 a year;

(b) the failure to adequately compensate victims of superannuation theft or fraud;

(c) the failure to accurately assess the administrative burden on small business of the Government’s third attempt at superannuation choice and deregulation;

(d) the failure to support strong consumer protections for superannuation fund members through capping ongoing fees and banning entry and exit fees;

(e) the failure to provide consumers with a meaningful, comprehensive and comprehensible regime for fee disclosure; and

(f) the failure to cover unpaid superannuation contributions in the case of corporate collapse as part of a workers’ entitlements scheme ( Senator Ferguson, in continuation, 26 September 2002 ).

36  Plastic Bag (Minimisation of Usage) Education Fund Bill 2002 [No. 2]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Brown, in continuation, 21 October 2002 ).

37  Plastic Bag Levy (Assessment and Collection) Bill 2002 [No. 2]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Brown, in continuation, 21 October 2002 ).

38  Parliament House security—Statement by President

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Ray—That the Senate take note of the statement ( Senator Ray, in continuation, 11 November 2002 ).

39  Convention on Climate Change (Implementation) Bill 1999 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 2 September 1999 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 12 November 2002 ).

40  Customs Amendment (Anti-Radioactive Waste Storage Dump) Bill 1999 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 20 October 1999 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 12 November 2002 ).

41  Human Rights (Mandatory Sentencing for Property Offences) Bill 2000 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 6 September 2000 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 12 November 2002 ).

42  Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Invasive Species) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Bartlett )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Bartlett, in continuation, 19 November 2002 ).

43  Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (Bali Bombings) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Brown )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Brown, in continuation, 4 December 2002 ).

44  Health—Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme—Order for Production of Documents—Statement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer (Senator Ian Campbell)

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Nettle—That the Senate take note of the statement ( Senator Nettle, in continuation, 4 December 2002 ).

45  Trade—Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme—Order for Production of Documents—Statement by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer (Senator Ian Campbell)

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Nettle—That the Senate take note of the statement ( Senator Nettle, in continuation, 4 December 2002 ).

46  Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistleblowers) Bill 2002—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Murray )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Murray, in continuation, 11 December 2002 ).

47  Uranium Mining in or near Australian World Heritage Properties (Prohibition) Bill 1998 [2002]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Allison )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 28 May 1998 )—( restored pursuant to resolution of 11 December 2002 ).

48  Environment—National radioactive waste repository

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Carr—That the Senate condemns the Government for:

(a) its failure to respect the rights of the people of South Australia in its consultation process over the location of the planned low-level radioactive waste repository;

(b) its decision to replace effective and meaningful consultation and discussion with a $300 000 propaganda campaign, designed to sway the opinions of South Australians towards locating the repository in that state, in the absence of genuine efforts to provide accurate and exhaustive information on the suitability of the selected site, close to Woomera; and

(c) its lack of a thorough examination of the environmental impact of this plan, in particular the possible dangers caused by the site’s proximity to the Woomera rocket range, and the serious concerns of both the Department of Defence and private contractors on this issue ( Senator Buckland, in continuation, 6 February 2003 ).

49  Immigration—East Timorese asylum seekers—Document

Adjourned debate on the motion of the Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett)—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Crossin, in continuation, 3 March 2003 ).