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Notice given 16 September 2003

*598  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 Wednesday, 17 September 2003, from 5 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the application and expenditure of funds by Australian Wool Innovation Ltd.

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

(a) notes that, on 19 September 2003, the Committee on the Rights of the Child decided to devote its 2003 day of general discussion to the rights of Indigenous children;

(b) recognises that Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child obliges states to prevent discrimination against Indigenous children and Article 30 requires states to provide them with special protection in order to exercise all their rights and allow them to enjoy their own culture, language and religion;

(c) notes that, of the 410 000 Indigenous people in Australia, approximately 40 per cent are under the age of 15 and that 44 per cent of all Indigenous teenagers are likely to be at risk of entering into poverty, compared to 15 per cent of non-Indigenous teenagers; and

(d) calls on the Government to meet its obligations to Indigenous children under the Convention through negotiation with Indigenous peoples to establish an appropriate framework for setting benchmarks and targets.

*600  Senator Stott Despoja: To move—That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges the Australian Government’s commitment to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific region, including a financial commitment of $200 million over 6 years;

(b) notes:

(i) that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly will review the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS at a meeting in New York on 22 September 2003,

(ii) that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (‘Global Fund’) was unanimously endorsed by the UN General Assembly at its Special Session on HIV/AIDS in June 2001, and came into operation in January 2002,

(iii) evidence suggesting that the Asia-Pacific region is benefiting substantially from the Global Fund, which, in its first two rounds of grants, committed AUD$494 million (US$315 million) over 2 years to program proposals within South-East Asia and the Pacific,

(iv) that the Global Fund is facing a significant shortfall in funding, which is jeopardizing its ability to disburse funds to countries which have had program proposals approved, and to fund new rounds of grants,

(v) that Australia is one of only a few among the world’s wealthier nations which has not yet made any contribution to the Global Fund; and

(c) urges the Australian Government to support the Global Fund as a key global initiative that is enabling countries to strengthen their own national response to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and to make an equitable contribution to the Global Fund by the end of 2004.

*601  Senator Hutchins: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the British Health Secretary’s recent decision to provide compensation to all Britons who contracted Hepatitis C as a result of receiving contaminated blood products from the National Health Service, and

(ii) that individuals are expected to receive between £20 000 and £45 000;

(b) commends the decision of the British Labour Government to provide payments to people who contracted Hepatitis C through no fault of their own;

(c) notes that many Australians who have contracted Hepatitis C in the same manner are yet to be compensated; and

(d) encourages the Australian Government to take similar action and compensate Australians who have had the misfortune of suffering the health problems associated with Hepatitis C.

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

(a) notes that:

(i) like anti-personnel landmines, anti-vehicle mines kill and maim long after conflicts have ended,

(ii) like anti-personnel landmines, anti-vehicle mines are indiscriminate and kill both civilians and military personnel in violation of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1) of 8 June 1977,

(iii) anti-vehicle mines can increase the cost and slow the delivery of humanitarian aid,

(iv) there is no publicly available evidence that the Australian Defence Forces have gained any direct military advantage from the use of anti-vehicle mines since the Korean War,

(v) the only Australian soldier killed in the 2001 to 2002 deployment to Afghanistan, SAS Sergeant Andrew Russell, was the victim of an anti-vehicle mine, and

(vi) of the four Australian peace-keepers killed since 1966 by weapons, two have been killed by landmines while driving in vehicles; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) recognise anti-vehicle mines that can be set off by contact with a person as anti-personnel landmines, and therefore banned under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction (Mine Ban Treaty),

(ii) support a ban on anti-vehicle mines with anti-handling devices, which can be set off if a mine is disturbed, and

(iii) work with like-minded countries towards a global ban on the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of anti-vehicle mines.

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

(a) notes that:

(i) there are currently more than 250 Iranians in immigration detention in Australia,

(ii) the Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Iranian Government that creates a bilateral response to Iranian asylum seekers that fail to be granted refugee status in Australia,

(iii) a number of these detainees were, in August 2003, offered $1 000 to return to Iran voluntarily, or face forced deportation,

(iv) Amnesty International has described ongoing concerns about human rights abuses in Iran, including its 2003 report on Iran which states:

Scores of political prisoners including prisoners of conscience were arrested. Others continued to be held in prolonged detention without trial or were serving prison sentences imposed after unfair trials. Some had no access to lawyers or family. Freedom of expression and association continued to be restricted by the judiciary and scores of students, journalists and intellectuals were detained. At least 113 people, including long-term political prisoners were executed, frequently in public and some by stoning, and 84 were flogged, many in public,

(v) at least 4 Iranian asylum seekers who were returned to Iran by Australia have reportedly ‘disappeared’, and one of them was reportedly killed, and

(vi) these disappearances add to a tragic list of deaths and disappearances which have occurred following deportations and repatriations triggered by the failure of Australian authorities to correctly identify genuine refugees; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) suspend forced deportations of Iranian asylum seekers,

(ii) release the details of the MOU with the Iranian Government, and

(iii) establish a judicial commission of inquiry into migration law to consider measures to prevent the systematic failure of the Australian Government to correctly identify genuine refugee applicants.

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

(a) notes reports in the British press that the United States of America and Britain have decided to delay indefinitely the publication of a full report into Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) because the efforts of the Iraq survey group, an Anglo-American team of 1 400 scientists, have so far failed in its task to locate WMDs; and

(b) calls on the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) to apologise to the Australian people for misleading them on the reasons for going to war with Iraq.

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 ).

*5  Therapeutic Goods Administration—Report—Information and advertising associated with products tested, created or manufactured using human embryos or human embryonic stem cells, 16 September 2003

Consideration ( 16 September 2003 ) .

*6  Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal—Report for 2002-03

Adjourned debate on the motion of Senator Crossin—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Crossin, in continuation, 16 September 2003 ).

*7  Housing Assistance Act 1996 —Report for 2001-02 on the operation of the 1999 Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement

Adjourned debate on the motion of the Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Bartlett)—That the Senate take note of the document ( Senator Bartlett, in continuation, 16 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 ).

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 ).