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Orders of the Senate

Contents

 

 
 
 

Amendment to an order of continuing effect

1  Departmental and agency contracts—Order for production of documents

That paragraph (7) of the order be amended to read as follows:

(7) The Finance and Public Administration Committee consider the ongoing operation of the order and report on relevant developments from time to time.

( Agreed to 1 March 2007 upon adoption of recommendation 13 in the Finance and Public Administration Committee’s second report on the operation of the Senate order for the production of lists of departmental and agency contracts (2003-06) .)

Amendments to standing orders

2  Legislative and general purpose committees—Amendment to standing order 25(9)

That subparagraph (d) of standing order 25(9) be amended to read as follows:

(d) The deputy chair shall act as the chair of the committee when the member elected as chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

( Agreed to 18 September 2008 upon adoption of recommendation at page 3 in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2008 .)

3  Questions to chairs of committees and to other senators—Amendment to standing order 72—Temporary order

That standing order 72 be amended to read as follows and to operate as a temporary order during 2009:

72 Questions without notice

(1) At the time provided questions may be put to ministers relating to public affairs.

(2) (a) The asking of each question shall not exceed one minute and the answering of each question shall not exceed 4 minutes.

(b) The asking of each supplementary question shall not exceed one minute and the answering of each supplementary question shall not exceed one minute.

 

 (3) (a)  After question time motions may be moved without notice to take note of answers given that day to questions.

(b) A senator may speak for not more than 5 minutes on such a motion.

(c) The time for debate on all motions relating to answers to questions without notice on any day shall not exceed 30 minutes.

( Agreed to 15 October 2008 upon adoption of recommendation at page 3 in the Procedure Committee’s second report of 2008; continuation of temporary order agreed to 4 December 2008 .)

Committees

4  Amendment of committee names; Allocation of departments

(1)  That standing order 25(1) be amended as follows:

Omit: ‘Employment, Workplace Relations and Education’

Substitute: ‘Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’

Omit: ‘Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts’

Substitute: ‘Environment, Communications and the Arts’.

(2) That departments and agencies be allocated to legislative and general purpose standing committees as follows:

Community Affairs

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Health and Ageing

Economics

Treasury

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Resources, Energy and Tourism

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Environment, Communications and the Arts

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Finance and Public Administration

Parliame nt

Prime Minister and Cabinet (including Climate Change)

Finance and Deregulation

Human Services

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Defence (including Veterans’ Affairs)

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Attorney-Ge neral

Immigration and Citizenship

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

( Agreed to 13 February 2008 .)

 

 5  Migration—Joint Standing Committee—Authorisation to meet

That the Joint Standing Committee on Migration be authorised to hold private meetings otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1) during the sittings of the Senate.

( Agreed to 18 March 2008 .)

6  Privileges—Standing Committee—Adoption of 94th report recommendation

That the Senate authorise the President, if required, to engage counsel as amicus curiae if either the action for defamation against Mr David Armstrong or a similar action against Mr William O’Chee is set down for trial.

( Agreed to 4 September 2000 .)

7  Unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings

That the following order operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) The Senate confirms that any disclosure of evidence or documents submitted to a committee, of documents prepared by a committee, or of deliberations of a committee, without the approval of the committee or of the Senate, may be treated by the Senate as a contempt.

(2) The Senate reaffirms its resolution of 20 June 1996, relating to procedures to be followed by committees in cases of unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings.

(3) The Senate provides the following guidelines to be observed by committees in applying that resolution, and declares that the Senate will observe the guidelines in determining whether to refer a matter to the Committee of Privileges:

1. Unless there are particular circumstances involving actual or potential substantial interference with the work of a committee or of the Senate, the following kinds of unauthorised disclosure should not be raised as matters of privilege:

(a) disclosure of a committee report in the time between the substantial conclusion of the committee's deliberations on the report and its presentation to the Senate;

(b) disclosure of other documents prepared by a committee and not published by the committee, where the committee would have published them, or could appropriately have published them, in any event, or where they contain only research or publicly-available material, or where their disclosure is otherwise inconsequential;

(c) disclosure of documents and evidence submitted to a committee and not published by the committee, where the committee would have published them, or could appropriately have published them, in any event;

(d) disclosure of private deliberations of a committee where the freedom of the committee to deliberate is unlikely to be significantly affected.

 

 2. The following kinds of unauthorised disclosure are those for which the contempt jurisdiction of the Senate should primarily be reserved, and which should therefore be raised as matters of privilege:

(a) disclosure of documents or evidence submitted to a committee where the committee has deliberately decided to treat the documents or evidence as in camera material, for the protection of witnesses or others, or because disclosure would otherwise be harmful to the public interest;

(b) disclosure of documents prepared by a committee where that involves disclosure of material of the kind specified in paragraph (a);

(c) disclosure of private deliberations of a committee where that involves disclosure of that kind of material, or significantly impedes the committee's freedom to deliberate.

3. An unauthorised disclosure not falling into the categories in guidelines 1 and 2 should not be raised as a matter of privilege unless it involves actual or potential substantial interference with the work of a committee or of the Senate.

4. When considering any unauthorised disclosure of material in the possession of a committee, the committee should consider whether there was any substantive reason for not publishing that material.

(4) Before deciding to raise a matter of privilege involving possible unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings, any committee may seek the guidance of the Committee of Privileges as to whether a matter should be pursued. If the committee decides that such a matter should be raised, it must consult with the Committee of Privileges before taking the matter further.

(5) When applying this resolution a committee shall have regard to the matters set out in paragraphs 3.43 to 3.59 of the 122nd Report of the Committee of Privileges, June 2005.

( Sessional order agreed to on 6 October 2005 adopted as an order of continuing effect on 17 September 2007 .)

8  Substitute members of committees—Temporary order

That the following operate as a temporary order from the first sitting day in 2009 until the conclusion of the 2009 sittings:

If a member of a committee appointed under standing order 25 is unable to attend a meeting of the committee, that member may in writing to the chair of the committee appoint a participating member to act as a substitute member of the committee at that meeting. If the member is incapacitated or unavailable, a letter to the chair of a committee appointing a participating member to act as a substitute member of the committee may be signed on behalf of the member by the leader of the party or group on whose nomination the member was appointed to the committee.

( Agreed to 14 August 2006 upon adoption of recommendations in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2006; continuation of temporary order agreed to 7 February 2007; 13 February 2008; 3 December 2008 )

 

Estimates

9  2008-09 Additional estimates—2009-10 Budget estimates—Hearings

(1) That estimates hearings by standing committees for 2009 be scheduled as follows:

2008-09 additional estimates:

Monday, 9 February and Tuesday, 10 February 2009, and, if required, Fri day, 13 February 2009 ( Group A )

Wednesday, 11 February and Thursday, 12 February 2009, and, if required, Friday, 13 February 2009 ( Group B ).

2009-10 Budget estimates:

Monday, 25 May to Thursday, 28 May 2009, and, if required, Friday, 29 May 2009 ( Group A )

Monday, 1 June to Thursday, 4 June 2009, and, if required, Friday, 5 June 2009 ( Group B )

Monday, 19 October and Tuesday, 20 October 2009 ( supplementary hearings—Group A )

Wednesday, 21 October and Thursday, 22 October 2009 ( supplementary hearings—Group B ).

(2) That the committees consider the proposed expenditure in accordance with the allocation of departments and agencies to committees agreed to by the Senate.

(3) That committees meet in the following groups:

Group A:

Environment, Communications and the Arts

Finance and Public Administration

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Group B:

Community Affairs

Econ omics

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

(4) That the committees report to the Senate on the following dates:

(a) Tuesday, 17 March 2009 in respect of the 2008-09 additional estimates; and

(b) Tuesday, 23 June 2009 in respect of the 2009-10 Budget estimates.

( Agreed to 12 November 2008 .)

10  Community Affairs—Standing Committee—Estimates hearings—Consideration of Indigenous matters

That the Senate endorse the recommendation contained in paragraph 1.10 of the Community Affairs Committee report on the 2008-09 Budget estimates that:

Future estimates hearing programs include a separate time to conduct an estimates hearing on Indigenous matters that would include all the portfolios with budget expenditure or responsibility for Indigenous issues.

( Agreed to 26 August 2008 .)

 

 11  2007-08 Additional estimates—Answers to questions

The dates set by standing committees for answering questions taken on notice during the 2007-08 additional estimates are as follows:

Group A:

Environment, Communications, and the Arts Thursday, 10 April 2008

Finance and Public Administration Friday, 4 April 2008

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Group B:

Community Affairs Friday, 11 April 2008

Economics Friday, 11 April 2008

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Friday, 11 April 2008

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Thursday, 10 April 2008

Standing order 74(5) takes effect 30 days after these dates.

12  2008-09 Budget estimates—Answers to questions

The dates set by standing committees for answering questions taken on notice during the 2008-09 Budget estimates are as follows:

Group A:

Environment, Communications, and the Arts Thursday, 31 July 2008

Finance and Public Administration Friday, 11 July 2008

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Thursday, 10 July 2008

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Friday, 18 July 2008

Group B:

Community Affairs Friday, 1 August 2008

Economics Friday, 1 August 2008

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Friday, 1 August 2008

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Thursday, 31 July 2008

Standing order 74(5) takes effect 30 days after these dates.

13  2008-09 Supplementary Budget estimates—Answers to questions

The dates set by standing committees for answering questions taken on notice during the 2008-09 Supplementary Budget estimates are as follows:

Group A:

Environment, Communications, and the Arts Thursday, 4 December 2008

Finance and Public Administration Friday, 5 December 2008

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Friday, 28 November 2008

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Group B:

Community Affairs Friday, 12 December 2008

Economics Friday, 12 December 2008

Education, Employment and Workplace

Relations Friday, 28 November 2008

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Thursday, 4 December 2008

Standing order 74(5) takes effect 30 days after these dates.

 

Meeting of Senate

14  Meeting of Senate

That the days of meeting of the Senate for 2009 be as follows:

Autumn sittings:

Tuesday, 3 February to Thursday, 5 February

Monday, 23 February to Thursday, 26 February

Tuesday, 10 March to Thursday, 12 March

Monday, 16 March to Thursday, 19 March

Budget sittings:

Tuesday, 12 May to Thursday, 14 May

Winter sittings:

Monday, 15 June to Thursday, 18 June

Monday, 22 June to Thursday, 25 June

Spring sittings:

Tuesday, 11 August to Thursday, 13 August

Monday, 1 7 August to Thursday, 20 August

Monday, 7 September to Thursday, 10 September

Monday, 14 September to Thursday, 17 September

Spring sittings (2):

Monday, 26 October to Thursday, 29 October

Monday, 16 November to Thursday, 19 November

Monday, 23 November to Thursday, 26 November.

( Agreed to 12 November 2008 .)

15  Adjournment debate on Tuesday—Temporary order

That the following operate as a temporary order from the first sitting day in 2009 until the conclusion of the 2009 sittings:

On the question for the adjournment of the Senate on Tuesday, a senator who has spoken once subject to the time limit of 10 minutes may speak again for not more than 10 minutes if no other senator who has not already spoken once wishes to speak, provided that a senator may by leave speak for not more than 20 minutes on one occasion.

( Agreed to 19 November 2002 upon adoption of recommendations in the Procedure Committee’s second report of 2002; continuation of temporary order agreed to 10 February 2004; 9 February 2005; 7 February 2006; 6 February 2007; 13 February 2008; 3 December 2008 )

16  Divisions on Thursday—Temporary order

That the following operate as a temporary order from the first sitting day in 2009 until the conclusion of the 2009 sittings:

If a division is called for on Thursday after 4.30 pm, the matter before the Senate shall be adjourned until the next day of sitting at a time fixed by the Senate.

( Agreed to 11 May 2004 upon adoption of recommendations in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2004; continuation of temporary order agreed to 4 August 2004; 9 February 2005; 27 February 2006; 10 August 2006; 21 June 2007; 13 February 2008; 3 December 2008 )

 

Orders for production of documents

17  Family and Community Services—Housing Assistance agreements—Order for production of documents

(1) That the Senate:

(a) notes that the Housing Assistance (Form of Agreement) Determination 2003 in Schedule 1, subsections 4(33) to 4(36) requires states to report on expenditure and progress towards their respective bilateral agreements to the Commonwealth within 6 months after the end of each grant year;

(b) orders that there be laid on the table, no later than 3.30 pm on 12 May 2005, all reports provided by the states and territories to the Commonwealth under those provisions for the financial year 2003-04; and

(c) orders that all reports provided by the states and territories to the Commonwealth under those provisions be tabled in the Senate within 5 sittings days, or one calendar month, after receipt (whichever is the later), and that the Senate be notified in writing by the Minister for Family and Community Services within 5 sitting days of the expiration of the 6 months if reports have not been provided within the required 6 months.

(2) That this order is of continuing effect.

( Motion of Senator Bartlett agreed to 12 May 2005 .)

18  Defence—Procurement projects—Order for production of document

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, no later than 4 pm on Thursday, 19 June 2008, the red folder brandished by the Minister which he claims contains details of ‘problematic’ defence procurement projects.

( Motion of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Minchin) agreed to 15 May 2008; document tabled 19 June 2008 .)

19  Sport—Sports and recreation facilities—Grants—Order for production of document

That there be laid on the table, no later than 5 pm on 23 June 2008, a list of the commitments made by the Government during the election period to provide grants for sports and recreation facilities, which are being administered by the Department of Health and Ageing and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, showing the recipients, locations and amounts of the grants.

( Motion of Senator Bernardi agreed to 17 June 2008; document tabled 23 June 2008 .)

20  Administration—Departmental and agency appointments—Order for production of documents

That—

(1) There be laid on the table, by each minister in the Senate, in respect of each department or agency administered by that minister, or by a minister in the House of Representatives represented by that minister, by not later than 7 days before the commencement of the budget estimates, supplementary budget estimates and additional estimates hearings:

 

 (a) a list of all appointments made by the Government (through Executive Council, Cabinet and ministers) to statutory authorities, executive agencies, advisory boards, government business enterprises and all other Commonwealth bodies including the term of the appointment and remuneration for the position; and

(b) a list of existing vacancies to be filled by government appointment to statutory authorities, executive agencies, advisory boards, government business enterprises and all other Commonwealth bodies.

(2) If the Senate is not sitting when a statement is ready for presentation, the statement is to be presented to the President under standing order 166.

(3) This order is of continuing effect.

( Motion of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Minchin) agreed to 24 June 2008 .)

21  Administration—Departmental and agency grants—Order for production of documents

That—

(1) There be laid on the table, by each minister in the Senate, in respect of each department or agency administered by that minister, or by a minister in the House of Representatives represented by that minister, by not later than 7 days before the commencement of the budget estimates, supplementary budget estimates and additional estimates hearings:

A list of all grants approved in each portfolio or agency, including the value of the grant, recipient of the grant and the program from which the grant was made.

(2) If the Senate is not sitting when a statement is ready for presentation, the statement is to be presented to the President under standing order 166.

(3) This order is of continuing effect.

( Motion of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Minchin) agreed to 24 June 2008 .)

22  Environment—Coorong and Lower Lakes—Order for production of documents

That there be laid on the table, no later than noon on Thursday, 28 August 2008, the ‘urgent advice’ prepared for the Minister for Climate Change and Water by her department as requested on 18 June 2008 on ‘what we can do in the short-term’ to address the dire situation confronting the Coorong and Lower Lakes in South Australia.

( Motion of Senators Bernardi, Birmingham, Ferguson and Fisher and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Minchin) agreed to 27 August 2008 .)

23  Environment—Strategic Review of Climate Change Policies—Order for production of documents

That there be laid on the table, no later than 4 pm on 4 September 2008, the report of the Strategic Review of Climate Change Policies recently completed by Mr Roger Wilkins, AO, with the support by a secretariat located in the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

( Motion of Senator Milne agreed to 3 September 2008 .)

 

 24   Water Act 2007 —Critical human water needs—Definitions and criteria—Order for production of document

That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Climate Change and Water, by 10 March 2009, in relation to section 86A of the Water Act 2007 , a document containing the following:

(a) a comprehensive, practical definition of the term, ‘critical human water needs’ which identifies categories of users of such water and allowable purposes for the use of such water;

(b) a definition of the core human consumption requirements which would satisfy paragraph 86A(2)(a);

(c) a definition of the non-human consumption requirements which would satisfy paragraph 86A(2)(b); and

(d) clear, transparent and equitable criteria the Murray-Darling Basin Authority will apply:

(i) in determining whether the definition in paragraph 86A(2)(a) is met,

(ii) in determining whether the definition in paragraph 86A(2)(b) is met,

(iii) in determining the volume of conveyance water required to deliver water to meet critical human water needs, and

(iv) to monitor the use of such water to ensure it is used for the allowable purposes referred to in paragraph (a) of this resolution.

( Motion of Senator Fisher agreed to 3 December 2008 .)

Question time

25  Restructuring question time—Temporary order

That the following operate as a temporary order during 2009:

No notice to be given of questions, as at present.

Primary questions to be limited to one minute and the answers to them to two minutes.

Two supplementary questions to be allowed to the questioner.

Supplementary questions and the answers to them to be limited to one minute each.

Answers to be required to be directly relevant to each question, as in the original proposal.

( Agreed to 13 November 2008; continuation of temporary order agreed to 4 December 2008 .)