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Monday, 13 October 2008
Page: 5773

Senator McEwen to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of reports of the Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee be extended as follows:

(a)   effectiveness of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and other programs in protecting threatened species and ecological communities—to the last sitting day in February 2009; and

(b)   Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management (Repeal and Consequential Amendment) Bill 2008—to 4 December 2008.

Senator McEwen to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 16 October 2008, from 4.30 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Feed-in-Tariff) Bill 2008.

Senator Marshall to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 16 October 2008, from 10 am, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into academic freedom in school and higher education.

Senator Marshall to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of the report of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee on academic freedom in school and higher education be extended to 27 November 2008.

Senator Xenophon to move on the next day of sitting:

   That there be laid on the table by 1 November 2009 a report by the Productivity Commission on:

(a)   the total number and proportion of privately insured patients, in the latest 6-month period for which data is available prior to the report being issued, who were fully informed of the cost of hospital and specialist services before providing consent for treatment, in both public and private hospitals;

(b)   the comparative hospital, and medical, costs for each defined group of clinically similar procedures, as per the classification of Australian Refined Diagnostic Related Groups, as performed by the public and private hospital sectors separately in the latest 6-month period for which data is available prior to the report being issued; and

(c)   the rate (i.e. the number and proportion of all admissions) of hospital-acquired infections, by type, reported by individual public and private hospitals in the latest 6-month period for which data is available prior to the report being issued.

Senator Xenophon to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate calls on the Prime Minister (Mr Rudd) and the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Mr Albanese) to take immediate action:

(a)   to secure from the Executive Council approval for Australia to enter into the 1999 Montreal Convention to ensure just compensation for Australian passengers injured on international flights; and

(b)   to lodge Australia’s formal instrument of accession to the convention with the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Senator Siewert to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   the week beginning 12 October 2008 is Anti-Poverty Week,

(ii)   Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are over represented amongst those living in poverty in Australia,

(iii)   people living on income support payments including single parents, disability support pension and the age pension are over represented amongst those living in poverty in Australia, and

(iv)   Australia currently gives foreign aid to the value of 0.32 per cent of gross national income; and

(b)   calls on the Government to:

(i)   support the development of effective benchmarks to measure poverty,

(ii)   institute policies that seek to eradicate poverty and strengthen social inclusion,

(iii)   increase the base pension rate by $30 per week which would have the added benefit of directly increasing cash flows during this time of economic crisis, and

(iv)   increase the amount of foreign aid to 0.7 per cent in line with the recommendations of the United Nations.

Senator Siewert to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   that 9 October 2008 was World Sight Day, the theme for 2008 is vision and ageing, and

(ii)   the importance of preventive measures and early detection of eye conditions in maintaining vision in later years of life; and

(b)   calls on the Government to ensure that Australians have access to good eye care services regardless of their age, geographical location and income.

Senator Cormann to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes:

(i)   that in September 2007, the Howard Government provided $502 700 in funding towards the establishment of a much-needed paediatric ward at the Peel Health Campus under the Regional Partnerships Program,

(ii)   the significant efforts made by the local community in raising $2.4 million in funding through raffles, fund raising and other community events to raise the total project cost of $3.8 million (including building and capital equipment),

(iii)   that the Western Australian Government committed to providing $750 000 in funding towards this project,

(iv)   the Rudd Labor Government’s shambolic approach to this very meritorious Regional Partnerships Project, having:

(a)   initially halted funding for the Peel Health Campus paediatric ward as part of its blanket decision to end all funding under the Regional Partnerships Program,

(b)   then, in the face of a major public outcry, agreed to re-examine projects that had already been approved,

(c)   then, on 29 May 2008 reinstated funding to the Peel Health Campus subject to the project meeting certain conditions, and

(d)   then, by letter dated 1 August, cruelly cancelled funding for the paediatric ward at Peel Health Campus again, claiming that the local project proponents had not complied with all the bureaucratic requirements, even though those had not been properly communicated,

(v)   that communications between the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government and the Peel Health Campus at no point revealed any obstacles that would stop the contracts being signed before the cut-off date of 31 July 2008,

(vi)   that as of 31 July 2008 the contracts were not signed and the Peel Health Campus Trust was informed by letter, dated 1 August 2008, that their application had been rejected, and

(vii)   the Rudd Government’s attempts to hide behind cold bureaucratic stone walling claiming that its outrageous decision was based on:

(a)   concern over management of the building contract for the project, even though this issue had been resolved in early July, and

(b)   concern that a funding commitment of $330 000 from a third party (the Variety Club) was not finalised by 30 June 2008, even though the project had sufficient funding from other contributors and was never dependant on the Variety Club funding; and

(b)   calls on the Rudd Government immediately to reinstate its share of funding for the much needed paediatric ward at the Peel Health Campus to the agreed level of $502 700, so that the children of the rapidly growing Mandurah region will not have to continue to be treated in adult wards.

Senator Hurley to move on the next day of sitting:

   That—

(a)   the reference of residential and community aged care in Australia, referred to the Economics Committee on 25 September 2008, be transferred to the Finance and Public Administration Committee; and

(b)   in considering this matter, the Finance and Public Administration Committee may consider the relevant evidence and records of the Economics Committee.

Senator Hurley to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of the report of the Economics Committee on Australia’s mandatory Last Resort Home Warranty Insurance scheme be extended to 13 November 2008.

Senator Hurley to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of reports of the Economics Committee be extended as follows:

(a)   disclosure regimes for charities and not-for-profit organisations--to 4 December 2008; and

(b)   Australia’s space science and industry sector--to 12 November 2008.

Senator Bob Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes the call by Griffith University Professor Angela Arthington, and by world fish expert Professor Gene Helfman of the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia, United States of America, for Australia to avoid the Traveston Crossing Dam in Queensland in order to protect the endangered Australian lungfish;

(b)   accepts that the Mary River is the single most vital remaining spawning ground and nursery for the lungfish, and for the Mary River cod and Mary River turtle; and

(c)   calls on the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts (Mr Garrett) to explain to the Senate how these spawning grounds and nurseries could be protected if the dam were built.

Senator Bob Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate congratulates the People’s Republic of China for its first spacewalk and this great contribution to the global community’s future adventure into the cosmos.

Senator Hutchins to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes and expresses its sadness at the recent assassination of the former Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia, retired Major General Janaka Perera and his wife, both dual Australian citizens;

(b)   notes the significant contribution that retired Major General Perera made to his country;

(c)   recognises retired Major General Perera’s commitment to finding a peace solution for Sri Lanka;

(d)   expresses its condolences to retired Major General Perera’s three children, all of whom are Australian residents; and

(e)   condemns the ongoing civil conflict in Sri Lanka and the use of terrorist tactics like suicide bombers and child soldiers.

Senator Fielding to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes with great sadness the death of young Melbourne backpacker Britt Lapthorne;

(b)   offers its sincere condolences to her parents Elke and Dale, brother Darren, family and friends; and

(c)   recognises the courage and tenacity of the Lapthorne family in their determination to find their missing daughter and bring her home from Croatia.

Senator Hanson-Young to move on 15 October 2008:

   That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   Friday, 31 October 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the annual ‘Reclaim the Night’ day of action in Australia,

(ii)   this day of action was established to highlight every woman’s basic human right to live in freedom from discrimination and fear of violence, and

(iii)   more than two-thirds of women experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lives;

(b)   recognises that:

(i)   Reclaim the Night represents a symbol of unity as well as an affirmation and celebration of women’s strength, and has international, multi-partisan political support, and

(ii)   these marches are an extremely powerful means by which women can raise the issue of sexual assault and sexual violence; and

(c)   calls on the Rudd Government, as part of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, to work constructively to further develop and support national anti-violence public awareness and education campaigns as part of Australia’s commitment as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Senator Ludwig to move on the next day of sitting:

   That, on Tuesday, 14 October 2008:

(a)   the hours of meeting shall be 12.30 pm to 6.30 pm and 7 pm to 11.10 pm;

(b)   that from 7 pm, any question in respect of which a senator requires a division, and any questions consequent on the outcome of that division, shall stand postponed until the next day of sitting at a time fixed by the Senate;

(c)   the routine of business from 7 pm shall be government business only; and

(d)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall be proposed at 10.30 pm.

Senator Bob Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate calls on the Government to:

(a)   ensure that, as a minimum, no financial institution executives’ pay will increase as a consequence of the Government purchasing residential mortgage-backed securities or guaranteeing deposits and wholesale term funding of Australian financial institutions; and

(b)   prohibit payment of severance benefits (‘golden parachutes’/‘golden handshakes’) to chief executive officers of such banks or institutions.