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Notice given 15 September 2003

*585  Senator Ridgeway: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) a meeting of the World Trade Organization Ministerial Council is being held in Cancun, Mexico from 10 September to 14 September 2003, and

(ii) items on the agenda for this meeting include further liberalisation of trade in services (including public services), and proposals for future negotiations regarding trade and investment, competition policy and government procurement; and

(b) urges the Government to:

(i) refrain from committing to any agreement that will compromise the Government’s ability to provide essential public services or regulate in Australia’s own national interest,

(ii) refrain from providing its support for future negotiations relating to trade and investment and government procurement and liberalisation of competition policy,

(iii) commit to a policy of full public disclosure and consultation with the Australian public with respect to any offers or commitments made as part of trade negotiations,

(iv) to keep the Parliament informed of developments in trade negotiations, and

(v) bring any negotiated trade agreements to the Parliament for debate and ratification.

*586  Senator Ridgeway: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the World Trade Organization Ministerial Council meeting in Cancun, Mexico comprises an essential stage of the Doha round of trade negotiations, which is known as the ‘Development Round’,

(ii) developing countries have expressed concern at the manner in which meetings such as these are conducted, with negotiations carried on in secret and significant time pressures placed on member nations to achieve consensus, and

(iii) finding a real solution for the removal of subsidies in agricultural trade is a key means by which the world trade process can help the developing world and, as United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has stated, ‘no single change could make a greater contribution to eliminating poverty than fully opening up the markets of prosperous countries to the goods produced by poor ones’; and

(b) urges the Government to use its influence to:

(i) ensure the Ministerial Council meeting is conducted in a transparent and democratic manner, with the full participation and free consent of all members, and

(ii) maintain pressure on developed countries to achieve a meaningful solution on agricultural trade reform and removal of agricultural subsidies, to open key agricultural markets to producers in the developing world.

*587  Senator Cook: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes with dismay and deep sadness the brutal murder on Thursday, 11 September 2003, of Ms Anna Lindh, Foreign Minister for Sweden;

(b) notes the many accomplishments of Ms Lindh’s, including:

(i) as Foreign Secretary during the Swedish presidency of the European Union in 2001, she played a key role in uniting European foreign policy in order to avoid a conflict in Macedonia,

(ii) a distinguished record as a leader of the Social Democratic Youth Club and as a local councillor for the village of Enkoping before entering national politics,

(iii) Vice Chairwoman of the International Union of Socialist Youth,

(iv) city councillor for culture in Stockholm from 1991 to 1994,

(v) Secretary of State for the Environment from 1994 to 1998 before being appointed as Foreign Secretary,

(vi) leading the ‘Yes’ vote campaign for the Euro referendum in Sweden, and

(vii) being widely tipped as a future Prime Minister of Sweden; and

(c) offers its condolences to her husband Mr Bo Holmberg, her two sons, Filip and David, and the Government and people of Sweden.

*588  Chairman of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances (Senator Tchen): To move—That the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, 17 September 2003 from 3.30 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the provisions of the Legislative Instruments Bill 2003 and a related bill.

*589  Chairman of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances (Senator Tchen): To move—That the time for the presentation of the report of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances on the provisions of the Legislative Instruments Bill 2003 and a related bill be extended to 16 October 2003.

*590  Senator Lundy: To move—That the Senate—

(a) recognises that Lauren Jackson was awarded the United States Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) most valuable player (MVP) award for the 2003 season on 15 September 2003;

(b) notes the outstanding success of this achievement given that Ms Jackson:

(i) at 22 years of age, is the youngest player ever to be named MVP in the WNBA,

(ii) is the first international player ever to be named as MVP in the WNBA, and

(iii) is the first player from a team that did not make the WNBA finals play-offs to be honoured with the MVP award;

(c) notes the outstanding contribution Ms Jackson has made to Australian sport, including:

(i) 1997: at age 16 became the youngest player ever to make the Australian National Women’s Basketball team,

(ii) 1998: World Championship Bronze medallist,

(iii) 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2002-03 season Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) championships,

(iv) 1999-2000 and 2002-03 season WNBL most valuable player awards,

(v) 1999, 2000 and 2002: awarded the Maher Medal as the Australian International Basketball Player of the Year,

(vi) 1999-2000 and 2002-03: named Australian WNBL most valuable player,

(vii) 2000: Active Australia Day ambassador,

(viii) 2000 Sydney Olympics: silver medallist,

(ix) 2001: first pick in the WNBA draft, and first Australian ever to be picked first in any professional sporting draft,

(x) 2002: World Basketball Championship bronze medallist and championship leading points scorer,

(xi) 2003: became the youngest player ever to reach 1 000 points in the WNBA, and

(xii) 2003: named the WNBA most valuable player; and

(d) recognises the outstanding contribution Ms Jackson has made to sport in Australia through her personal sporting achievements, her work as a sporting ambassador, and her leadership as a role model for all females.

*591  Chair of the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee (Senator Cherry): To move—That the time for the presentation of reports of the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee be extended as follows:

(a) the role of libraries as providers of public information in the online environment—to 16 October 2003;

(b) environmental performance at the Ranger, Jabiluka, Beverley and Honeymoon uranium operations—to 16 October 2003; and

(c) Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Invasive Species) Bill 2002—to the last sitting day in March 2004.

*592  Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee (Senator Cook): To move—That the time for the presentation of the report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee on the Government’s foreign and trade policy strategy be extended to 15 October 2003.

*593  Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (Senator Chapman): To move—That the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, 17 September 2003, from 4.30 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into Australia’s insolvency laws.

*594  Chair of the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee (Senator Eggleston): To move—That the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, 17 September 2003, from noon to 2 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the provisions of the Telstra (Transition to Full Private Ownership) Bill 2003.

*595  Chair of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Senator Heffernan): To move—That the time for the presentation of the report of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee on the provisions of the Aviation Transport Security Bill 2003 and a related bill be extended to 7 October 2003.

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

(a) remembers that a welcome was extended to the Presidents of the United States in 1991 and 1996 to address the Australian Parliament;

(b) notes that these addresses were unprecedented; and

(c) favours this welcome being extended to heads of other states where a special relationship is recognised or a special occasion is to be honoured.

Orders of the Day relating to Government Documents

1  Roads to Recovery Programme—Report for 2002-03

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Murphy—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Murphy, in continuation, 9 September 2003 ).

2  Defence Housing Authority—Statement of corporate intent, 2003-04

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Murphy—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Murphy, in continuation, 9 September 2003 ).

3  APEC—Australia’s individual action plan 2003

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Cook—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Cook, in continuation, 9 September 2003 ).

4  Natural Heritage Trust—Report for 2001-02

Adjourned debate on the motion of the Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett)—That the Senate take note of the document ( Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation (Senator Ian Macdonald), in continuation, 10 September 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 ).

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 ).

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 ).

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 ).

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 ).

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 ).

50  Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Protecting the Great Barrier Reef from Oil Drilling and Exploration) Amendment Bill 2003 [No. 2]—( Senate bill )— ( Senator McLucas and the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Bartlett )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( 6 March 2003 ).

52  Isalmic Republic of Iran and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon—Report of the Australian parliamentary delegation, October to November 2002

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Ferris—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Ferris, in continuation, 6 March 2003 ).

53  Taxation—Small business

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

(a) calls on the Government to take action to crack down on late payments by big business and government customers to their small business suppliers; and

(b) notes that:

(i) late payments by big businesses are a major issue for small businesses as they create cash flow problems,

(ii) this comes on top of the cumbersome administrative arrangements of the new tax system, and

(iii) the problems faced by small business are being ignored by the Howard Government ( adjourned, 20 March 2003 ).

54  Environment—Rehabilitation of former nuclear test sites at Emu and Maralinga (Australia)—Ministerial statement

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Carr—That the Senate take note of the statement ( Senator Chapman, in continuation, 25 March 2003 ).

55  Building and Construction Industry—Royal Commission—Ministerial statement and documents

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Sherry—That the Senate take note of the documents ( Senator Santoro, in continuation, 26 March 2003 ).

56  Defence Amendment (Parliamentary approval for Australian involvement in overseas conflicts) Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Bartlett, and Senator Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Bartlett, in continuation, 27 March 2003 ).

57  Electoral Amendment (Political Honesty) Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Murray )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Murray, in continuation, 27 March 2003 ).

58  Sexuality Anti-Vilification Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Greig )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Greig, in continuation, 27 March 2003 ).

59  Governor-General

Adjourned debate on the motion of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Faulkner)—That the Senate—

(a) notes with concern that:

(i) the Government has failed to respond to evidence of sexual abuse of children in our society and within our public institutions,

(ii) the independent report of the Diocesan Board of Inquiry found that Dr Peter Hollingworth, while occupying a position of public trust as Archbishop of Brisbane, allowed a priest to remain in the ministry after an admission of sexual abuse, and the Board of Inquiry found this decision to be ‘untenable’,

(iii) the Governor-General has admitted that he made a serious error in doing so,

(iv) Dr Peter Hollingworth, through his actions while in the Office of Governor-General, in particular his interview on ‘Australian Story’ and his apparent ‘reconstruction’ of evidence before the Diocesan Board of Inquiry, has shown himself not to be a person suitable to hold the Office of Governor-General,

(v) members of the House of Representatives, senators, and premiers and members of state parliaments have called upon the Governor-General to resign, or failing that, to be dismissed by the Prime Minister,

(vi) the Governor-General is now no longer able to fulfil his symbolic role as a figure of unity for the Australian people,

(vii) the Governor-General is now no longer able to exercise the constitutional powers of the Office in a manner that will be seen as impartial and non-partisan,

(viii) the Governor-General’s action in standing aside until the current Victorian Supreme Court action is resolved, does not address any of the issues surrounding his behaviour as Archbishop of Brisbane, and is therefore inadequate,

(ix) the Governor-General has failed to resign and the Prime Minister has failed to advise the Queen of Australia to dismiss him, and

(x) the Australian Constitution fails to set out any criteria for the dismissal of a Governor-General or a fair process by which this can be achieved; and

(b) urges:

(i) the Prime Minister to establish a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in Australia, and

(ii) the Governor-General to immediately resign or, if he does not do so, the Prime Minister to advise the Queen of Australia to terminate the Commission of the Governor-General—( Senator Ludwig, in continuation, 13 May 2003 ).

And on the amendment moved by Senator Murphy —Omit all words after “That”, substitute “the Senate—

(a) notes with concern that:

(i) Dr Peter Hollingworth, while in the Office of Governor-General, gave in an interview on ‘Australian Story’, a version of events which have been found by the diocesan Board of Inquiry to be untrue, and

(ii) the same Board of Inquiry found that they could not accept Dr Hollingworth had a belief that the child sexual abuse was an isolated incident and that his handling of the matters was untenable;

(b) finds that:

(i) the circumstances that have developed around the Office of Governor-General are doing irreparable damage to the Office and must be resolved,

(ii) the conclusions of the report of the Anglican Church clearly demonstrates that Dr Hollingworth failed in his duty as Archbishop,

(iii) such failing in a position of significant public trust renders Dr Hollingworth an unsuitable person to fill the Office of Governor-General,

(iv) the Governor-General’s action in standing aside until the current Victorian Supreme Court action is resolved does not address any of the issues surrounding his behaviour as Archbishop of Brisbane, and is therefore inadequate,

(v) the Governor-General is now no longer able to fulfil his symbolic role as a figure of unity for the Australian people, and

(vi) the Governor-General is now no longer able to exercise the constitutional powers of the Office in a manner that will be seen as impartial and non-partisan; and, therefore, in light of these unacceptable circumstances

(c) urges:

(i) the Governor-General to immediately resign or, if he does not do so, the Prime Minister to advise the Queen of Australia to terminate the Commission of Governor-General, and

(ii) the Prime Minister to establish a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in Australia” ( Senator Collins, in continuation, 14 May 2003 ).

60  Textbook Subsidy Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Stott Despoja )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Stott Despoja, in continuation, 18 June 2003 ).

61  Health—Medicare—Bulk billing

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

(a) condemns the most damaging effects of the Government’s proposed reforms to Medicare, which will create a user-pays, two-tiered health system in Australia and dismantle the universality of Medicare;

(b) acknowledges that the first of the damaging effects of the Government’s reform package is to cause bulk-billing rates to decline further, and that these reforms do nothing to encourage doctors to bulk bill any Australians other than pensioners and concession cardholders but make it clear that the Government considers bulk billing to be a privilege that accrues only to a subset of Australians, not an entitlement that all Australians have as a result of the Medicare charge;

(c) notes that the second most damaging effect of the Government’s proposed changes to Medicare is the facilitation and encouragement of higher and higher co-payments to be charged by medical practitioners, and that a central plank of the Government’s package is the facilitation of co-payments to be charged by doctors who currently bulk bill Australian families, as well as to make it easier for doctors who currently charge a co-payment to increase the amount of this co-payment; and

(d) notes, with concern, that the Government seeks to allow private health funds to offer insurance for out-of-pocket expenses in excess of $1 000, a measure which, if implemented, would inflate health insurance premiums as well as be a real step towards a user-pays system in Australia where people who can afford co-payments and insurance premiums will be treated when they are sick, whereas those individuals and families on lower incomes will be forced to go without medical assistance ( Senator Eggleston, in continuation, 19 June 2003 )

62  Freedom of Information Amendment (Open Government) Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Murray )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Murray, in continuation, 25 June 2003 ).

63  Looking to the Future: A review of Commonwealth fisheries policy—Ministerial statement

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator O’Brien—That the Senate take note of the statement ( adjourned, Senator McGauran, 25 June 2002 ).

64  Social Security Amendment (Supporting Young Carers) Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Senator Lees )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Lees, in continuation, 26 June 2003 ).

65  National Animal Welfare Bill 2003—( Senate bill )— ( Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Bartlett )

Second reading—Adjourned debate ( Senator Bartlett, in continuation, 11 August 2003 ).

66  Transport—Ethanol—Manildra Group

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator O’Brien—That the Senate condemns the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) for his ongoing pattern of deceit in relation to his dealings with the chair of the Manildra Group, Mr Dick Honan, prior to a Cabinet decision that delivers direct financial benefits to that company ( Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation (Senator Ian Macdonald), in continuation, 14 August 2003 ).

67  Regional Australia

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator O’Brien—That the Senate—

(a) notes, with grave concern, the crisis enveloping rural and regional Australia;

(b) condemns the Howard Government for its neglect of rural and regional Australians, in particular, its failure to:

(i) adequately respond to the growing drought,

(ii) provide timely and appropriate assistance to the sugar industry, and

(iii) support essential services including health, banking, employment and telecommunications; and

(c) calls on the Howard Government to reverse its neglect of rural and regional communities ( Senator Colbeck, in continuation, 11 September 2003 ).