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Order In The House -

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(generated from captions) and fine community leader. and he's a very significant the ability in this parliament I think that we still have on opinion. to express our differences by road construction at Gallipoli The damage done of our proud military history. is a blot on the page

Turkey's sovereignty does prevail, At the end of the day, and we have to respect that. John Howard and Kim Beazley over the impact began the week trading blows

industrial relations shake-up. of the Government's proposed

relations announcements Where in the Government's industrial is the Prime Minister's guarantee employee will be worse off that no individual Australian as a result of the changes? The Honourable the Prime Minister. Mr Speaker. I thank the Leader of the Opposition, to look at the last 9.5 years. If he wants a guarantee, I invite him

INTERJECTIONS of reminding the House This affords me an opportunity

that since March of 1996, has fallen Australia's unemployment rate from 8.2% per cent to 5%, which is a 30-year low. That over the same period as long-term unemployed the number of Australians classified

to just 89,000 today, has fallen from 198,000 that 1.7 million new jobs... will resume his seat. Order, the Prime Minister on a point of order. The Leader of the Opposition Mr Speaker, relevance. to the Prime Minister - It was a simple question will be worse off. guarantee that no Australian worker will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition I call the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is in order,

I continue the narrative under the general proposition anybody in my position can give that the best guarantee of fair treatment is to point to my record of the workers of Australia. Order! And, can I borrow from... (Labor interjections) Can I borrow from one...

Can I thank the ACTU. but I do thank the ACTU I don't often do this,

in the middle of the AFL grand final, for running an advertisement right saying that the Howard Government where they ran a grab from me workers of Australia have ever had. have been the best friend that the That is absolutely right. I refer to the Prime Minister's claim Australian employees is his record. that his guarantee for

Isn't it the case on the minimum wage that had the Government's submissions been accepted by the IRC, it has been in office, over the nine long years

on the minimum wage that the nearly 2 million employees or $2,600 a year worse off? would today be $50 a week That's your record! INTERJECTIONS

The Honourable the Prime Minister. I will get to the record in a minute. of the Leader of the Opposition the Leader of the Opposition But let me just remind under this Government. of what has happened I know he finds it painful, Leader of the Opposition is this - but the grim reality for the in Australia like never before. we now live in a workers' market

has been created, And that workers' market overwhelmingly, let me say, that workers' market, of the men and women of Australia. has been created by the energy of the men and women of Australia It's the commitment in this country. to an enterprise culture

We don't only have a workers' market, the 'enterprise worker' in Australia. we now have what I could call

of white and blue collar. We have moved on from the old divides

from the old class division. We have moved on where we now have in this country... We have moved to a situation

will resume his seat, Order, the Prime Minister on a point of order. the Leader of the Opposition

A point of order on relevance. specific question, I asked a very explicit, a general rant. not one that permitted if the Government had its way... It was simply the case that, The Leader will resume his seat. (Beazley continues) will resume his seat. The Leader of the Opposition

INTERJECTIONS the Prime Minister is in order. I call the Prime Minister, We now have in this country

the culture of the enterprise worker. may be somebody And that enterprise worker who owns his or her business. own their own business And there are now more people than belong to trade unions. not a criticism of the unions - And that is a measure - it's a measure, Mr Speaker, we now have in this country. of the entrepreneurial culture the owner of a business The enterprise worker might be

his or her future tied up or might be somebody who rightly sees of the enterprise that employs him. with the future prosperity built by enterprise workers, And this enterprise culture, is the culture of the future. currently in place at Tancred Fresh, Prime Minister, I refer to an AWA

in North Queensland, a fruit and vegetable retailer and I quote, which contains a clause that states, of leave loading, all allowances, "Your rate of pay, which is inclusive "penalties and public holiday pay". that under the Government's changes, Prime Minister, isn't it the case there will be no protection like those at Tancred Fresh, for employees they lose their public holidays, where with a single line,

penalties and loadings? LABOR BENCHES: Shame! The Honourable the Prime Minister. Order! Order! Order! Mr Speaker, the... The answer to the question is that particular agreement, that without seeing the extrapolation on it I am not going to accept from the Member for Perth. to the Member for Perth But I will point out the provisions of our policy, make it perfectly clear and our provisions of our policy an Australian Workplace Agreement, that somebody entering they must be paid and given the fair pay and conditions standard. of any express modification And in the absence as penalty rates and loadings, or elimination of such matters

of the policy applies, the default provision the award provision of pay. which means by the Member for Perth And the attempt is wrong and disgraceful. to misrepresent otherwise My question is to the Prime Minister. to the Tancred Fresh AWA, And I refer again and to the fact that under this AWA, public holidays... Order, the Member will resume her seat.

The Honourable Member for Mackellar. Thank you Mr Speaker, Standing Order 100 precludes members on the other side from asking questions - or any member for that matter - which contain citing of facts which are not substantiated. (Laughter on Labor benches) The question is out of order. GENERAL UPROAR SIMON CREAN: No, you wouldn't want any facts!

INTERJECTIONS I thank the Member for Mackellar. So do we! Order. I thank the Member for Mackellar for her point of order. I will remind her that this is no longer part of the practice, that a member who quotes facts are taken as given. It's up to the person who answers

as to whether or not they accept them, but the Member for Capricornia is in order, and I call the Member for Capricornia.

Thank you. CREAN: Wake up, Bronnie!

I'll repeat the question, Mr Speaker.

ALP MALE: Move dissent and go and tend your flowers. Order! INTERJECTIONS The Member for Capricornia has the call. My question is to the Prime Minister.

I refer again to the Tancred Fresh AWA, and to the fact that under this AWA, public holidays are unpaid, as they have been incorporated into the hourly pay rate. I also refer... GOVERNMENT MEMBERS INTERJECT Order! Order! The Member for O'Connor. INTERJECTIONS Order! Order! The Member for Capricornia has the call. I also refer to the fact that employees have lost their leave loadings, all allowances, penalties and public holiday pay rate in exchange for a maximum of 16c an hour more than the relevant award rate. LAUGHTER FROM ALP BENCHES, GENERAL INTERJECTIONS Order! Order!

Members on both sides of the House. The Member for Capricornia will be heard. Prime Minister...

Prime Minister, isn't it the case that this is an example of the type of contract employees will face under the Government's industrial relations changes? ALP: Hear, hear! The Honourable the Prime Minister. As I said in answer to the Member for Perth,

I have no intention of commenting on a particular AWA which I haven't seen and I haven't received advice of. But I can inform the Member for Capricornia - and I am very happy to do so - to carefully take the Member for Capricornia - as I am ready to take the member for Perth - through the provisions of the policy.

The policy provides very clearly that if somebody enters into an AWA, then the AWA must observe the new fair pay and conditions standard. It also provides that in relation to some specified matters - and the Member for Capricornia drew attention to them -

that unless there is

a specific modification in relation to those, Mr Speaker, then the existing provisions of the relevant award will apply. Now, I don't know, without seeing this particular agreement, I don't know about its other provisions, I don't know any of the background. I'm not going to...automatically, and I know the Member for Capricornia would never,

of her own volition, seek to mislead the House - although I mightn't be so charitable about some of the members of the tactics committee on the other side. Prime Minister, doesn't common sense, in the example of the Tancred Fresh AWA, show that there is no real choice for employees. Isn't it the case that these employees either sign an AWA, and sign away their public holidays, penalty rates and allowances,

or not have a job? The Honourable the Prime Minister. Mr Speaker, the answer is no. The Prime Minister up there saying, "Look, there's a default clause here." If there is no mention in the individual contract of things like the penalty rates, or the holiday rates or whatever, then you default to the awards. Suffice to say that under this regime, the awards are certainly not going to be kept up-to-date - and the IRC is not going to have a capacity to do that - but the awards as they exist now, a default clause to that. But we saw what that meant in the Tancred Fresh AWA under the regime now. We saw what that meant. A single sentence moves out the entire default clause, gone!

One sentence in an AWA, gone! And the full force of the elimination of all those penalties comes into play. Well, we're not going to have a bar of this, Mr Speaker. We're going to oppose this right down the line. What we want now is for this legislation to be here.

You have been chatting about it since last May, but it's still not here.

You are spending the taxpayers' dollars, but it's still not here. The taxpayers who, as I said, ought to be able to see those dollars spent on something useful to them,

not in order to propagandise them so you can pick their pockets and encourage others to do so too. Let me just take the House and those who are listening to this debate through what happened yesterday.

We had the Member for Perth in question time yesterday put a question to the Prime Minister which said, in part, "I refer to an AWA "currently in place at Tancred Fresh." And then later on we had another question coming from the Member for Capricornia, who said that, "I refer to the fact that employees have lost their leave loadings, "all allowances, penalties and public holiday pay rate

"in exchange for a maximum of 16c an hour more than the relevant award rate. Now, in saying that this was an AWA that was currently in place was quite clearly wrong. And it was misleading because this AWA was not currently in place. And the terms and conditions, the amounts in the AWA which was approved and is therefore in place for these employees is different to that which the Member for Perth had pointed out in the proposal yesterday. Now, why this is compounded, Mr Speaker, is because we know that the Labor Party was then hawking around the press gallery a letter from the relevant union, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which says,

in the first line of that which has not been whited out, this - "Recently the union came across an Australian Workplace Agreement "which is proposed to apply to employees" and goes on. Now, this was the letter which was being hawked around the press gallery yesterday, in which quite clearly the union says, "This is an AWA which is proposed to apply."

It wasn't the AWA which applied. The AWA which was being referred to had not been approved and, indeed, even if the AWA which was referred to had been approved, then the reality is it amounted to some $86 a week increase for full-time employees, over and above the award rate for employees in that particular business. The reality is that, contrary to what the Member for Perth says, that the current, the current AWA would not have been approved by the Employment Advocate. The AWA which they are referring to actually cashes out all annual leave, and under the proposals which the Government is putting to the Parliament, we are saying that, as part of the minimum conditions, the wages and conditions, that a person has to have as part of the agreement -

whether it is a collective agreement or an individual agreement - four weeks annual leave. And we go further and replicate what is in existence apparently acceptable to a Labor Government in Western Australia - and to say that two weeks of that annual leave can be cashed out on a case-by-case basis, up to two weeks, at the request of the employee.

Something which has worked successfully for many people who want to make use of that in Western Australia. The intervention of church leaders into the workplace relations debate provided the Opposition with more reliable ammunition. I refer to comments made last night by Dr Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, about the impact of the Government's industrial relations changes on children, families and relationships,

expressing concern about the, and I now quote, "Need for preserving shared time for children, "families, relationships for all Australians... "That's what life is about... "Without shared time we may as well be robots." Given that community leaders such as Archbishop Jensen view your extreme proposals in this way, why doesn't the Prime Minister just back off,

back off now, shred the bills? The Honourable the Prime Minister. I have heard and read the remarks made by Archbishop Jensen. Let me say that I agree with him that relationships are far more important than money. I think Archbishop Jensen is a very fine Archbishop

of the Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney, and he is a very significant and fine community leader. I take the view, Mr Speaker,

that Archbishop Jensen's concern for a right balance between family and work considerations is justified. In the view of the Government, and in the view of many people,

greater flexibility will provide greater opportunities to balance work and family responsibilities. Whilst relationships

and the close relationships within families are far more important than economic considerations, it is also the case that job security is very important to family security.

is built on a strong economy, Job security

depends crucially and a strong economy industrial relations policy, on the right this Government is about. and that is what Pope John Paul II's statement, I refer to the late with factory workers in Parramatta, following his meeting industrial relations system has that Australia's workers and promote their wellbeing, "helped to defend the rights of

taking into account "while at the same time of the whole community". "the needs and future to Cardinal George Pell's comments I also refer on 6 August, in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' that the test of the fairness industrial relations changes of the Government's civilised conditions and family time. would be the preservation of is your only response to these views Prime Minister, on 7 August, that the one that you expressed as a Catholic view on anything"? "There's no such thing Order. Order. Before I call the Prime Minister,

could I remind the Member for Lowe in the question is not necessary. that the use of the word 'you'

The Honourable the Prime Minister. what I said on that occasion. I'll check precisely As we were shown yesterday, you don't want to believe everything in question time. the Opposition tells you Let me say this - INTERJECTIONS very seriously, as I should. I treat the Member's question and he is a conscientious member. He's a serious member And, you know, I'm working on him. win him over eventually I think I might to our industrial relations policies. INTERJECTIONS the point I was making Can I just very seriously say, in that program, Mr Speaker, in that program,

in that program was simply this - the point I was making that on any issue debate in our community, which is the subject of political who will take one view, there will be conscientious Catholics who will take the opposite view. and conscientious Catholics you presumed in your question And in fact, to refer to Cardinal Pell. some years ago making the point I seem to recall Cardinal Pell as a Catholic position that there was no such thing on a particular aspect of taxation. And he was right, Mr Speaker. in the context of the 1998 election. He made that point, I think, So, I don't draw on my own authority relating to the Catholic Church. to talk on matters the authority of a person - I in fact invoke I have an immense personal regard, for whom like Dr Peter Jensen, and who I think, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. is a great leader of the My view simply is this, Mr Speaker. of this debate is improved I don't think the quality that the totality of a Catholic view by somebody trying to claim the Government's policy. is either for or against I don't argue that. of any of the Christian churches I don't invoke the authority in this country for our policies. and I stand by what I said. I will argue it on its own merits, agree with us and disagree with us. There will be Catholics who will who will agree and disagree. There will be Anglicans And that is what should be, in a nation such as this, that is how it should be for the respective roles that has a proper regard

of the government and the church. on 11 July, I refer to the Treasurer's remarks in particular, Archbishop Aspinall, criticising church leaders - for expressing concern about industrial relations changes the Government's extreme "having a theological degree on the basis that "doesn't mean you're an IR expert." still stand by that view? Does the Treasurer The Honourable the Treasurer.

and I will say it again - Well, Mr Speaker, what I said -

have every right to speak is that church leaders on every issue. as freely as they wish And Mr Speaker, in fact, I made that point at the time. I made that point at the time, and I'll make it again - that church leaders - have every freedom, Mr Speaker, have every freedom... to speak on every issue.

of Australian society, They are members freedom of speech in this country they are voters, we practise they have complete freedom of speech. and like any other Australian, And like any other Australian, for the content. their views should be assessed should be assessed, Mr Speaker. Like a politician's views

should be assessed. Like a journalist's views

should be assessed on their content. So, too, a church leader's

it should be assessed And, Mr Speaker, promote in industrial relations, on the content of whether it would promote economic benefit. whether it would promote economic benefit. whether it would promote productivity. Whether it would Whether it would promote jobs. Whether it would promote, Mr Speaker, in Australian society the opportunity for people to share in that. who are currently out of work whether it's a politician, Now, Mr Speaker, whether it's a church leader, whether it's a journalist, to freedom of speech every person has the right on the merit and the right to be judged and the content of their views. may I add to an answer I gave? Mr Speaker, The Honourable the Prime Minister. Mr Speaker, I was asked a question by the Member for Lowe to the answer I gave and I would like to add by informing the house, Mr Speaker, by a source on our side, that I've been advised in these matters... which I regard as impeccable SPEAKER: Order! (Members interject) No. As impeccable in these matters,

Pope John Paul II, that the late in 1981, writing in 'Laborem Exercens'

of government said, "The primary responsibility "is to create the conditions who wants a job can get one." "under which everyone MEMBERS: Here, here! when the Opposition said NARRATOR: The debate got personal

a now-pulped colour brochure to every Australian household the Government planned to send and business revealed the real industrial agenda. Can the Prime Minister confirm that as part of the Government's taxpayer-funded spin and propaganda campaign, that it is preparing 16-page colour promotional brochures for Australian households and business. Prime Minister... (Members interject) ..Prime Minister, isn't it the case that in addition to the cost to taxpayers of this propaganda, that 60,000 copies of this booklet were pulped, at further waste and cost to the taxpayer? SPEAKER: The Honourable the Prime Minister.

Well, Mr Speaker, I'll see if there's some further information I can get for the member. But, Mr Speaker, I am not attempting in any way

to disguise the fact that the Government is embarking on a public information campaign to explain the rationales for these changes. We regard it as utterly defensible, Mr Speaker. It was challenged before the High Court of Australia by the Labor Party and the Unions. And when I last checked,

that challenge was unsuccessful. Isn't it the case that the 16-page colour promotional brochures

were pulped to allow for a more effective spin and propaganda campaign as advised by Colmar Brunton? Prime Minister, isn't it the case that the new cover now reads, "A simpler, FAIRER national workplace relations system for Australia" instead of just, "A simpler national workplace relations system for Australia"?

SPEAKER: The Honourable the Prime Minister. (Members interject) SPEAKER: Order! SPEAKER: Members on my right! Mr Speaker, if I'm able... ..if I am able to further help the Leader of the Opposition, I'll try to do so. Isn't it the case that under that cover of the spin and propaganda campaign to sell the Government's extreme industrial relations changes,

details in the new, amended brochure have been changed to reveal the further erosion of conditions, entitlements and protections of employees? Including the dropping in the new document - that's this one, which has got the word 'fairer' added, the expression from the old document - and I quote -

"Terms and conditions and existing agreements will be protected." in the pulped document. That's contained (Members gasp) the Prime Minister. SPEAKER: The Honourable Well, Mr...Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition all I can say to is what I said earlier. a public information campaign That we are, of course, embarking on we've put out is accurate. and all of the information

My question is to the Prime Minister. doesn't the whole sorry process Prime Minister, that the Prime Minister's with these documents demonstrate

standards of Australian families whole approach to the living twisted underneath? is soft-soap on the cover of a knife MEMBERS: Here, here! the Prime Minister. SPEAKER: The Honourable Not even those who sit behind you little, little rhetorical flourish. were impressed with that little, It's a, it's a... SPEAKER: Order! (Members interject) SPEAKER: The Member for Blair. for a moment Let me take on face value the allegation made. The 'soft-soap' is the appearance

is the reality. and the 'twisted knife' Let's go through it, Mr Speaker. Which is the soft-soap?

of the Australian Labor Party The words the Coalition. or the reality delivered by Mr Speaker, Let's take wages at 14.9% increase, Mr Speaker. versus - over nine and a half years, Who's delivering? the Coalition or the Labor Party? Who's delivering, Mr Speaker. Let's look at interest rates, what, $500 or $600 a month The interest rate -

than under Labor, Mr Speaker. better off under the Coalition Mr Speaker. Let's look at unemployment, 1.7 million new jobs, in 30 years. the lowest unemployment level The soft-soap, Mr Speaker, represents the alternative policies the last nine and a half years. of the Labor Party over it is now the fourth day And, Mr Speaker, that this parliament has sat

Mr Speaker. since the release of this document, And the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, and he's had four question times has had four days against this government. to try and build a case But he's failed again over the last nine and a half years. for the same reason that he's failed greatest problem The Leader of the Opposition's stand for anything, Mr Speaker. is that he doesn't (Members interject) The Leader of the Opposition's greatest problem is that he will grab hold of any opportunistic argument. He will never go out with the Australian community and argue a consistent proposition. I ask the members of this parliament who stretch back over nine and a half years,

can you think of one thing

that the Leader of the Opposition... (Stutters) ..put forward

nine and a half years ago when he became the leader - oh, 'weak', he says, he says 'weak'.

He says, 'weak', Mr Speaker. That's the thing that you think about, politically speaking, when you hear the Leader of the Opposition. He's had nine and a half years

to define a persona. He's had nine and half years to tell the Australian people what he stands for, Mr Speaker.

The only thing that can be said of the Leader of the Opposition is that if the Coalition is in favour of it, the Leader of the Opposition is against it. He once believed, Mr Speaker, that you should roll back the GST. He is now, Mr Speaker, so far in retreat from that when the word 'roll-backs' came out of his lips

in relation to industrial relations, he said, "Oh, no, rub that out, airbrush that out.

"I didn't really say it," Mr Speaker. The Leader of the Opposition used to, in my opinion, Mr Speaker - I thought at one stage he did represent an alternative leader of the Labor movement in this country. But I've watched him over nine and a half years. He does not, Mr Speaker, have the ticker to articulate, Mr Speaker,

articulate an alternative policy to the Australian people. All he ever does is oppose for opposition's sake. The Prime Minister loves the opportunity for reply in question time to sit in coward's castle and abuse us - and all of you do - on this side of the house. But when the moment comes for you to face the music and there's a fair, even-handed debate in the place, cut and run.

MEMBER: He runs away! Cut and run. That is the form of the Government and we're seeing that form here again.

The unfortunate thing is

that the people being cut and run on in this case is not us. The people that are being run over are the ordinary Australians who will be shattered by the passage, ultimately, of this legislation. Now, the reason why we have to discuss this here in this place,

why this suspension motion ought to be carried is these documents bear some very close examination indeed. Clearly, these documents were put out and printed

with one set of intentions in mind. And then they were got together to do two things. Firstly, soft-soap the cover of it. And secondly, start to manoeuvre for the Government a position where their words have enough wriggle in them,

enough wriggle in them to cover what their real intentions were. So we have, all of a sudden, dumped into the middle of the title the word 'fairer'. That's the soft line. The more interesting thing is what then happened to other sets of words afterwards? Now, in the old document - the document that the public will never see -

one particular chapter - in fact, the most important of the chapters - and it begins, "Your existing award conditions protected by law." "Your existing award conditions protected by law." Out of that document... ..out of that document are those words and inside, instead, is "work choices and awards". Out goes "your existing award conditions protected by law" in comes "working choices and awards". In the old document, one of the subheadings in this chapter is "Preserving key award conditions". In the document to be released, "Protecting award conditions". The word softened immediately. In the old document - and with its lovely little 'protected by law' stamp over it - "Terms and conditions and existing agreements will be protected." Nice little stamp, 'protected by law' over it. Old document. In the to be released document, nothing. MEMBER: Nothing? MEMBER: Gone! Nothing at all. Nothing at all, gone! The 'protected by law' - gone.

And then again, you have... ..a document, in the old document, the heading, "Protected award conditions". In the document to be released, "Protecting award conditions in bargaining". (Members laugh) Two totally different concepts. You see, what this government has determined to do is to rip those awards from underneath Australian workers. Nothing grates on our nerves more on this side of the house - and it's one of the reasons why we want an open debate

and a censure motion on this - is to see some of the wealthiest people in this country standing before the dispatch box and mocking the conditions of some of the poorest, ordinary Australians. The people who are shop assistants - not terribly powerful. Rural workers desperately trying to get the resources together... ..resources together to support their families. People whose livelihood is less than

the expense claims of the average Australian cabinet minister. And because for their pitiful bike, horse or whatever, they're entitled to a $5 payment, they get mocked in this place. NARRATOR: Maverick Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce

caught the Government on the hop when he decided to cross the floor

and vote against changes to the trade practices laws. Senator Joyce was concerned

the changes would hurt small business by reducing the competition watchdog's power

to stop company mergers. Currently, we have 77% of the retail market controlled by two organisations. And just think of all the dollars you spend, every day, the dollars you spend on retail trade. To have so much of that controlled by two organisations is not a healthy thing. In my state, we made a contract with Queensland

that when we came here that we'd represent them on those four issues. And I intend to do that. Because they believe in us, they gave us this seat and that seat is now used as...to gain the majority in both houses. One of many seats, I acknowledge, but one of the seats nonetheless. So, we have a special, contractual relationship because we had to campaign in our own right in Queensland and they were the promises we made.

In my maiden speech, to follow that issue up, I talked about strengthening the power of the ACCC and strengthening Section 46 of the Trade Practices Act. I mentioned that if there was a clash between small business and big business, that I'd be on the side of small business. And this frames the current issue and the current problems that I'm having with Schedule 1 of this legislation. I'd like to encourage that freedom and encourage that freedom on both sides of the house to be able to state what you truly believe. So that not only can we talk about freedom in business but we can talk about freedom within this house. Freedom to say what you truly believe. Freedom for the Australian people to see this debate in its entirety in this chamber, on the public record, rather than hidden behind - in other vehicles,

which don't truly report to the Australian people. It's disappointing and it's always humorous to hear

the Labor members on the other side who rail against the National Party, calling them doormats and this and that and everything else, yet when you look at their actual record, they're...not they don't have the courage -

but they're terrified to ever step out of their box and to exercise that freedom that this nation gave them.

The freedom to vote on certain issues,

probably at a difference to their party. And that's a...it's a shame

that in the thing that protects the freedom of our nation, you're not actually free.

You're not actually free. So my intention is to... ..is to support Schedules 2 to 12 but not to support Schedule 1. I think that - and I've given my reasons for it. And I thank that we still have the ability in this parliament to express our differences on opinion and to show the Australian people that just because you have majority in both houses doesn't mean that you're not going to have a review on legislation. PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator Fielding be agreed to.

Those of that opinion say 'aye'. Those against say 'no'. I think the 'ayes'... I think the 'no's have it. The 'ayes' have it? Is a division required? A division is required. Ring the bells. PRESIDENT: The question is the motion moved by...Senator Fielding be agreed to.

The 'aye's are past the right of the chair, the 'no's to the left of the chair. I appoint Senator Webber teller for the 'ayes', Senator McGauran teller for the 'no's. PRESIDENT: Order, the result of the division there being 32 'aye's, 32 'no's. Matter is resolved in the negative. The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader

offered condolences to the victims of the South Asia earthquake. Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Parliament and the people of Australia, I do offer our deepest condolences to the victims of these earthquakes. The casualties are now calculated to be between 18,000 and 30,000. The country most dramatically affected has been Pakistan but the consequences have been felt in India and also in Afghanistan. And I am conveying on behalf of the people of Australia, directly, our condolences to the leaders of these two countries. The Government has already announced a contribution of $5.5 million to the earthquake relief effort. I inform the house, Mr Speaker, that that amount may well rise as we continue to re-excess... ..re-assess the extent of this terrible calamity. It is a dreadful act of nature, Mr Speaker, which has brought horrendous consequences for the people of Pakistan. A poor country, the people affected

not only suffer severely from poor housing and poor infrastructure but also from the onset in the weeks and months ahead of a very severe winter.

The funding that the Government has provided will support UN agencies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent. It will mainly be used for medical, food and shelter assistance

for the communities in the disaster zone. Mr Speaker, I express particular sympathy at this time to members of the North Asian and subcontinent community here in Australia, particularly those with relatives and connections in Pakistan. I encourage Australians in their individual capacity to contribute to relief efforts, Mr Speaker. We have not, at this stage, received any reports of Australian casualties but the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade consulate staff are continuing to be in touch with Australians understood to be in the region. Mr Speaker, as I said a moment ago, we'll continue to monitor reports of this terrible calamity and if further assistance from Australia, either in cash or in kind is required, it will be made available. Our hearts go out too to, in particular, those parents who have lost their children. Terrible sights and terrible stories. In one town alone, 60 students were buried alive in a classroom.

These are such heartbreaking things, such terrible things to happen. We support the Government's announcement of $5 million in assistance, and welcome the Prime Minister's statement that that is not, from his point of view, the last thing to be said on the matter. And we support also the purposes to which that is put, given what I have just said, to putting it towards tents, blankets,

transport, helicopters, medicines and through the Red Cross, Red Crescent and the UN is obviously exactly the way to go in the circumstances that the people of Pakistan in particular but the other affected areas now confront. We should give every support to the call of Pakistani President Musharraf

for overseas Pakistani communities to provide assistance

to their relatives, to their confreres, to their fellow countrymen back in Pakistan. There is a huge Pakistani diaspora of very hardworking people. The diaspora extends to this country - some of them are now Pakistani Australians, and some of them of course are Pakistanis

who are here on work permits or study permits and the like. They will be heartbroken by what they see on television. Australians should give them every bit of support. There were also condolences for victims of the Bali bombings, with heartfelt messages from two Hunter Valley MPs.

It's true that the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us. The bombings that took place on Saturday, 1 October at approximately 7:30 Bali time in Kuta and Jimbaran Bay again shook Newcastle and, again, have tested the resolve and the spirit of Hunter communities. Whilst the loss and suffering goes on for the sons and daughters of the Hunter, this senseless act has served to unite the people of the Hunter like never before. Our community is grieving that,

of the four Australians killed in those attacks, three are sons and daughters from the Hunter. Jennifer Williamson, who leaves behind Bruce, who is recovering in a Singapore hospital, and Adam, Duncan and Megan. Colin and Fiona Zwolinski, who leave behind Isaac and Ben. And I wouldn't like to forget the loss of such a young life, young Brendan Fitzgerald from Busselton in Western Australia. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all of the families. In the ceremonies held in Newcastle, and in the comments made by many people who knew Jenny Williamson, the words that shine through are that she was a beautiful person in every way, a loving wife to Bruce, a devoted mother to Adam, Megan and Duncan and a generous woman who always gave her support to others. Jenny left a radiance wherever she went. Her courage and that of Bruce, her husband,

stand as a tribute to them both. The family of Colin Zwolinski want everyone here to know that Australia had done Colin proud. He had emigrated from the UK after his father died when he was 15, determined to make his fortune. Colin achieved the Australian dream. He became a successful entrepreneur, devoted to his mine-tunnelling business, constantly travelling and providing employment for many people.

He was supported by a loving wife, Fiona, a Merewether girl who he had met at the Beaches Hotel. They had fallen in love, married, and raised two wonderful sons, Ben and Isaac. Fiona was a nurse and a successful athlete. The footpaths of Merewether will seem very empty today. In all, they were three people who lived their lives fully, with love and dedication to their families, and generous commitment to their careers and their community.

They were each regarded with great affection and respect and will be sorely missed. The Newcastle families have worked as one in many ways throughout this ordeal. They want this condolence motion to register their appreciation for the efforts of others, too numerous to all be named.

But out of every tragedy emerges a hero, and this is no different. The toll would have been much higher if it were not for the efforts of Hunter GP Dr Adam Frost, in helping the Bali bombing victims, and also his assistance in coordinating the evacuation of the seriously injured. Dr Frost was alerted to the blasts by Kim and Vicki Griffiths, when they managed to drag their way back to the hotel where Dr Frost and his wife had volunteered to chaperone the children who couldn't go out to the cafe for dinner that night. But, Mr Speaker, Dr Adam Frost has a lot to be proud of. My colleague the member for Newcastle and I listened to his son, Joseph,

address the 1,200 gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Memorial Service last Thursday night, where he outlined in a heartfelt address how he had been at the blast site. In typical Aussie humour, his friends had tormented and joked with him as he stood there in his undies

because his board shorts had been blown off. But that did not stop him from helping those around him.

I will long remember the passionate words of Joseph Frost when he begged an answer to the question - why this senseless crime had happened to those whose only crime was to be out enjoying a meal with friends. The answer to that question is that the extremists hate us for what we are, not who we are. They hate everything we stand for, everything we believe in as a free nation. There are many unsung heroes in this event,

and I personally thank the Australian personnel

who liaised constantly with my office, providing the assurance that every effort was being made and ensuring that every request was responded to. I also express my appreciation to the Newcastle community for its continued support to the victims, their families and loved ones. They are an example of everything that is great about this country. In talking with our affected families, they made some pertinent comments that should be shared here. In spite of their painful experience, they are proud to be Novocastrians, they are proud to be Australians. They will be forever grateful for the public infrastructure

that mobilised so quickly to assist them, even when they were in Bali, in another country. They now fully appreciate how fortunate we are to belong to this country. They value more highly than ever their own personal relationships,

as well as the relationships that strengthen our community, our nation and our region. Bickering over the preservation of Anzac Cove and Gallipoli was reignited after a Senate inquiry found significant sites had been permanently damaged. The damage done by road construction at Gallipoli

is a blot on the page of our proud military history. It is a blot which should not have happened, It is a blot which should not have happened, and it is a blot which can't ever be erased. It is a result of the sheer negligence of the Howard Government,

an open and shut case of strict liability. The Government knew what was going on, and did nothing until it was too late. No reinterpretation of the evidence, and no protestations of innocence can alter those facts.

The Howard Government, through its sheer inattention and failure to act, is culpable for the damage done.

That is the central finding of the committee, based upon the evidence. Indeed, the entire behaviour of the Government following this calamity is evidence enough of a guilt-ridden conscience.

Damage control and denial quickly became the sole modus operandi. The committee in this report makes a number of recommendations.

The first is a most obvious one - and we would have expected by now that it would have been done. Accepting that the damage was done, regardless of culpability, the key task was to remediate the environment. It is evident to all who saw the site at the time that the cliff face at Ari Burnu has been shaved off. Further, the new road platform has seen many tonnes of spoil pushed onto the beach and into the sea. Despite vain attempts to deny it, the photographs are plain and clear. Many of us saw it with our own eyes. The damage needed to be urgently fixed by whatever means necessary. Further erosion needed to be prevented before the winter storms, which are now about to hit. As we know, Gallipoli is in fact one very large cemetery, with constant exposure of skeletal remains.

Thus, the risks of bones being unearthed was never attended to, except in the most perfunctory way. For all concerned, it was more important that the work be completed by Anzac Day - a ceremony of political relevance to the forthcoming prime ministerial attendance. From the evidence, it is abundantly clear there are no real guidelines and procedures in the event of bones being uncovered. Until there are, the problems will continue. Again, this is a self-evident recommendation.

Consistent with that, recommendation three seeks a full military heritage audit of the entire Anzac area. In fact, it should also be done for the entire battlefield. As interest continues to grow in Gallipoli, we can only expect increasing tourist pressure. The recording and logging of that heritage needs to be undertaken as a matter of top priority. Already we know of other planned road works, including those sought by Australia, in places where many fell and were never recovered. We are also advised that plans are also in place for the construction of new viewing lookouts in the most sensitive places, such as the Nek. So, the need should be provided for immediately. The committee also thought it important that the veteran community be consulted more fully on the management of Australia's interests at Gallipoli. After all, they are the custodians of our military heritage, hence recommendation four. One of the more unsavoury aspects of this controversy was the somewhat ironic embarrassment caused for the Government, given its blatant politicisation of commemorative activity. Flowing from the need to better consult with the veterans community, the committee considered that the apolitical nature of commemorations ought to be restored. To that end, the committee recommends that the Parliament convene a commemorative joint standing committee. This would bring bipartisan oversight to all commemorative activity, and form an appropriate bridge with the veterans community.

I know that many members and senators believe this would be a most appropriate role for the Parliament. Certainly it would remove the embarrassment veterans often feel

from engaging in partisan politics. The committee also recommended that this new committee develop links with the Turkish Government.

Finally, the committee recommended that the new committee also receive regular reports on discussions and negotiations on all matters concerning Gallipoli. I must say it is with some regret I have to observe that this inquiry was established as a purely cynical, point-scoring exercise against the Australian Government. Without regard to the potential damage to the close relationship between the people of Turkey and Australia.

Because attacks on roads of this nature are essentially attacks on roads constructed ahead of advice... ..to the extent of those changes of notification to Australia. So I say it is with some sadness because it has the potential

to open up a rift between our two great nations,

and I think that is indeed regrettable. So regrettable in fact that my colleague Senator Fierravanti-Wells and I

felt compelled to write this minority report showing that the Australian Government has at all times acted appropriately, correctly and in a timely fashion. Mr Acting Deputy President, the majority report fails to properly and correctly reflect the overwhelming bulk of the written and the oral evidence given to the committee. But it instead, what did it do? It relied on the conflicting advice, conflicting advice of one Mr Sellers. An advice that is beyond his area of expertise. And is often baseless and invariably at odds with the evidence which was given by the more expert persons. This Mr Sellers is a self-styled historian and a journalist who conceded that he has no formal qualifications in history or archaeology. He was the source of the media allegations relating to the discovery of the human remains and the bones during roadworks undertaken, I stress, by the Turkish authorities. In fact, this so-called knowledgeable man did not even act appropriately, if he discovered the bones, where he discovered the bones. And if he was that expert he would have known how to handle that issue.

He didn't even follow the protocols and the signs about bathing in the cove peninsula, which he said he did where he made some of his observations. Because it is banned in that area.

What an unreliable witness to rely on. But I must say that at all times over our long history, between these two governments,

over a very sensitive and important area to both Turkey and to Australia that the Australian Government has always appreciated the role of the Turkish authorities in maintaining the Anzac sites and enabling in the organisation of an annual commemoration service at Anzac Day on this Gallipoli Peninsula.

That was evidence that came from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I stress, Mr President, while it is always open to the Turkish Government to seek Australia's views in relation to the wider Gallipoli Peninsula,

this is a matter, at the end of the day, entirely for the Turkish authorities to either accept our views or to reject them. And so far there's been this happy, ah, support. The fundamental starting point, Mr Acting Deputy President, at all times, the Gallipoli Peninsula is situated in Turkey.

Yes, there's some protocols, the War Graves Commission, there's the Lucerne Convention and all these sorts of things,

but at the end of the day, Turkey's sovereignty does prevail and we have to respect that. And, so far, the two governments have acted in unison to recognise and honour the whole site because the whole site is really a battleground. It is a bit unfortunate that we have what might be seen to be a bit of an unseemly, ferocious squabble over what is, I think we all acknowledge, such a sacred place to Australia and indeed to Turkey.

But I think we have to acknowledge that it is because it is such a sacred and crucial place that people do get so emotional about it. And people do get so concerned

if they feel that its heritage values are being put at risk. And I'd have to say that the evidence before the committee, to my examination of it, clearly shows that actions have happened that have damaged, and risk further damage to, the very significant heritage values of this absolutely vital historical site to Australia and to Turkey. Now, the Government senators in their minority report have put up what I think is pretty much a straw man by suggesting that the majority senators ? the Democrat and Labor senators ? are somehow dismissing the notion that Turkey has sovereignty over this area and therefore we shouldn't be telling them what to do. I do not believe that's what we've done at all. We quite clearly acknowledge Turkey has sovereignty over this area. I don't think you can dismiss all the findings by just saying that Australia doesn't have sovereignty. Of course we don't, but we certainly have not been... Have been, I believe, remiss in fulfilling the obligations that we have from the Australian side of things in doing what we can to ensure the heritage values are protected. And there is always a concern. And it is a real one among the veterans community, that commemorative sites and functions are politicised,

are dominated by politicians from both sides over time to wrap themselves in the flag rather than frankly step to one side and ensure that the spotlight is on those people who really deserve it ?

which is of course the veterans.

I'd have to say if anyone has tried to wrap themselves with the flag on this issue it would be the Prime Minister, Mr Howard. Particularly when he announced back in December 2003 that Anzac Cove would be the very first site listed on our national heritage list, under the new national heritage laws that were passed. Even though, of course, as the Government senators like to point out quite regularly, it is Turkey that has sovereignty over that site. And for us to list a site under our laws that is actually under the control of another sovereign nation has some problems. That is why, of course, that the Prime Minister's suggestion of that time hasn't actually come into fruition and it hasn't been listed. Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd