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Notice given 19 August 2003

544  Senator Ridgeway: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that

(i) the United States (US) Under Secretary of Commerce, Mr Grant Aldonan, has stated publicly that the US wishes to challenge reference pricing as part of the free trade agreement negotiations with Australia, saying, according to the Australian Financial Review of 13 August 2003, ‘there is a sense of unfairness in the US’ because US consumers paid high prices under a free market while consumers in Australia and elsewhere benefited from low ‘reference prices’ under schemes like the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS),

(ii) the price of pharmaceuticals and the PBS would increase significantly in Australia if our PBS ‘reference pricing scheme’ was diminished or abandoned, and

(iii) any free trade agreement with Australia must pass the US Congress; and

(b) calls on the Australian Government to:

(i) advise the US that it will not agree to change Australia’s ‘reference pricing’ on the PBS and remove the matter from US free trade agreement negotiations, and

(ii) bring any free trade agreement to the Parliament for ratification.

On 18 September 2003

Business of the Senate—Orders of the Day

Finance and Public Administration References Committee

Report to be presented on recruitment and training in the Australian Public Service.

Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee

Report to be presented on the provisions of the Age Discrimination Bill 2003. ( Referred pursuant to Selection of Bills Committee report .)

Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee

Report to be presented on the provisions of the Migration Legislation Amendment (Identification and Authentication) Bill 2003. ( Referred pursuant to Selection of Bills Committee report .)

On 3 October 2003

Business of the Senate—Order of the Day

Regulations and Ordinances—Standing Committee

Report to be presented on the provisions of the Legislative Instruments Bill 2003 and the Legislative Instruments (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003.

Government Business—Order of the Day

Legislative Instruments Bill 2003

Legislative Instruments (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2003— ( Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( adjourned, Senator Mackay, 9 September 2003 ).

On 7 October 2003

Business of the Senate—Orders of the Day

Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee

Report to be presented on the Plastic Bag Levy (Assessment and Collection) Bill 2002 [No. 2] and the Plastic Bag (Minimisation of Usage) Education Fund Bill 2002 [No. 2]. ( Referred pursuant to Selection of Bills Committee report .)

Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee

Report to be presented on the Australian Protective Service Amendment Bill 2003. ( Referred pursuant to Selection of Bills Committee report .)

Government Business—Order of the Day

Australian Protective Service Amendment Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 26 June 2003 ).

General Business—Orders of the Day

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 ).

Four sitting days after today (7 October 2003)

Business of the Senate—Notice of Motion