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URGENT RELIEF FOR SINGLE AGE PENSIONERS BILL 2008

Senator Ellison sought leave to move a motion to provide that general business notice of motion no. 200, for the introduction of the Urgent Relief for Single Age Pensioners Bill 2008, be called on immediately and that consideration of the bill have precedence over all government business today till determined.

Statements by leave: The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown), the Leader of the Family First Party (Senator Fielding), Senator Xenophon, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Senator Evans) and Senator Ellison, by leave, made statements relating to the matter.

Senator Ellison, by leave, moved—That general business notice of motion no. 200, for the introduction of the Urgent Relief for Single Age Pensioners Bill 2008, be called on immediately and that consideration of the bill have precedence over all government business today till the bill has been read a second time.

The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) moved the following amendment:

 Omit "immediately", substitute "immediately after the Senate has completed consideration of the orders of the day relating to the Tax Laws Amendment (Luxury Car Tax) Bill 2008 and three related bills, the Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy Surcharge Thresholds) Bill 2008 and the Excise Legislation Amendment (Condensate) Bill 2008 and related bill".

Debate ensued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES,5


Senators—
Brown, BobLudlamMilneSiewert (Teller)
Hanson-Young

NOES, 60



Senators—
AbetzCollinsForshawMinchin
AdamsConroyFurnerMoore
ArbibCoonanHoggParry (Teller)
BarnettCormannHumphriesPolley
BernardiCrossinHurleyPratt
BilykEgglestonHutchinsRonaldson
BirminghamEllisonKrogerRyan
BishopEvansLudwigSherry
BoswellFarrellLundyStephens
BoyceFeeneyMacdonaldSterle
BrandisFergusonMarshallTroeth
BushbyFieldingMasonTrood
CameronFierravanti-WellsMcEwenWilliams
CashFifieldMcGauranWortley
ColbeckFisherMcLucasXenophon

Question negatived.

Senator Bob Brown, by leave, moved the following amendment:

 Omit "the bill has been read a second time", substitute "determined".

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and passed.

Main question, as amended, put and passed.

Senator Coonan, pursuant to notice, moved general business notice of motion no. 200—That the following bill be introduced:

 A Bill for an Act to amend the Social Security Act 1991 and the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 to increase payments to single age pensioners by $30 per week, and for related purposes.

Question put and passed.

Senator Coonan presented the bill and moved—That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question put and passed.

Bill read a first time.

Senator Coonan moved—That this bill be now read a second time.

Explanatory memorandum: Senator Coonan, by leave, tabled an explanatory memorandum relating to the bill.

Debate ensued.

Senator Fielding moved the following amendment:

 At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate is of the opinion that the increase in the pension rate should extend to recipients of the:

  (a) disability support pension;

  (b) parenting payment;

  (c) carer payment;

  (d) wife pension;


  (e) service pension; and

  (f) income support supplement.

Debate ensued.

At 2 pm: Debate was interrupted while Senator Siewert was speaking.