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Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Page: 1458


Senator Brandis to move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to apply the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014 to various Commonwealth Acts, and for related purposes. Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2016.

Senator Brandis to move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Privacy Act 1988, and for related purposes. Privacy Amendment (Re-identification Offence) Bill 2016.

Senator Lambie to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses in trade agreements restrict Australia's sovereignty and ability to fairly regulate and legislate in the public interest,

   (ii) ISDS clauses in trade agreements empower multi-national corporations to sue Governments for decisions which impede company profits,

   (iii) approximately 52 per cent of ISDS claims were partly or fully successful in the multi-national corporations' favour, and 60 per cent of the cases decided on merits were won by investors,

   (iv) ISDS clauses are a drain on the taxpayer and government resources,

   (v) in 2009, Swedish energy company Vattenfall brought a successful ISDS claim against the German Government, for imposing quality controls for waste waters released from their power plant which supposedly made their investment project "unviable", and

   (vi) in 2015, United States company Bilcon, brought a successful ISDS claim against the Canadian Government, for not allowing it to build a quarry and marine terminal in an ecologically sensitive coastal area in eastern Canada; and

(b) calls on the Government to ban Investor-State Dispute Settlement for all trade agreements.

Senator Lambie to move:


(1) With regard to Indigenous recognition in Tasmania, the Senate notes that the Premier of Tasmania made an historic Australia Day speech on the 21 January 2016 where he disclosed that something was very wrong with Indigenous policy because:

(a) the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that, from 2014, there were 25,845 Indigenous people in Tasmania while yet the Tasmanian Government estimated that there were only 6,000 Indigenous Tasmanians;

(b) there are Tasmanian families who identify as Tasmanian Aboriginals, yet the official statistics indicate that, potentially, only one in three members are actually recognised as such by this state;

(c) Federal Government funding represents the greatest proportion of support received by Tasmanian Aboriginals, contributing almost half a billion dollars in funding to Aboriginal Tasmanians, compared to about $8 million from the state government; and

(d) Tasmania's existing Indigenous policy is a long way from aligning with the Commonwealth's process; this means Tasmanians can be recognised as an Aboriginal in a national context, but not in their own home state.

(2) That the Commonwealth funding of Indigenous Tasmanians be referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by 28 November 2016, with particular reference to whether hundreds of millions of dollars in Commonwealth funds over the last decade were unfairly, unjustly, or illegally allocated to, and spent on, only 6,000 Indigenous Tasmanians, rather than almost 26,000.

Senator Fifield to move:

That consideration of the business before the Senate on Thursday, 13 October 2016, be interrupted at approximately 4 pm, but not so as to interrupt a senator speaking, to enable Senator Griff to make his first speech without any question before the chair.

Senator Rhiannon to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the National Bank of Australia has announced a voluntary ban on all political donations to avoid perceptions of impropriety or graft; and

(b) calls on all parties and members of Parliament to refuse political donations from all banks and financial institutions to avoid perceptions of impropriety or graft.

Senators Kakoschke-Moore, Xenophon, Griff and Hinch to move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Code Act 1995, and for related purposes. Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2016.

Senators Waters and Dastyari to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and interim report by 28 November 2016 and final report by 1 February 2017:

(a) the experience of unplanned mass closures of electricity generators and other large industrial assets on workers and communities, both in Australia and overseas;

(b) whether regulated planned closures can alleviate and minimise the economic, social and community costs of large electricity generation and other industrial asset closures, drawing on experiences in Australia and overseas;

(c) policy mechanisms for the planned and regulated retirement of coal-fired power stations from the National Electricity Market, having regard to:

   (i) the 'Paris Agreement' to keep global warming below 2 degrees celsius, and ideally below 1.5 degrees celsius,

   (ii) the state and expected life span of Australia's coal-fired power plants,

   (iii) the increasing amount of electricity generated by renewable energy and likely future electricity demand,

   (iv) maintenance of electricity supply, affordability and security, and

   (v) any other relevant matters;

(d) policy mechanisms to give effect to a just transition for affected workers and communities likely impacted by generator closures, as agreed in the 'Paris Agreement', including:

   (i) mechanisms to ensure minimal community and individual impact from closures, and

   (ii) mechanisms to attract new investment and jobs in affected regions and communities;

(e) the appropriate role for the Federal Government in respect of the above; and

(f) any other relevant matters.

Senator Siewert to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recently called for Geraldton man, Mr Marlon Noble, to have the conditions of his release lifted after serving more than ten years in prison without a conviction;

(b) acknowledges that people with cognitive impairment or intellectual disability are being incarcerated for an indefinite period without conviction; and

(c) calls on the Western Australian Government to commit to implementing the CRPD recommendation to lift the conditions on Mr Marlon Noble's release.

Senator Hanson-Young to move:

That the Senate—

(a) welcomes the decision by BP to withdraw its application to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight; and

(b) calls on the Turnbull Government to permanently ban all oil exploration and drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

Senator Burston to move:

That the Senate—

(a) supports the efforts of the Department of Defence to deal with health issues arising out of the firefighting foam contamination at Williamtown Air Base in New South Wales and Oakey Army Aviation Centre in Queensland, including engaging the University of Newcastle Family Action Centre (UNFAC) to develop and deliver mental health awareness and stress management activities in the Williamtown area;

(b) notes that:

(i) landholders in the immediate vicinity of Williamtown Air Base and Oakey Army Aviation Centre are facing uncertainty due to the adverse impact on land values of the firefighting foam contamination,

(ii) landholders have lost equity in their properties to the point where they cannot borrow against reduced property valuations to undertake soil remediation and they cannot sell the land at reduced values in order to purchase new properties,

(iii) the Department of Defence has met with a number of lending institutions and the Australian Property Institute to discuss property lending policies and practices and how valuations are conducted in the Williamtown area, and

(iv) the Department of Defence has committed to review the issue of property acquisition once detailed environmental investigations at the RAAF Base Williamtown and the Army Aviation Centre at Oakey have been concluded; and

(c) calls on the Government to expedite environmental investigations of the impact of firefighting foam contamination at Williamtown and Oakey to enable landholders to address the dilemma of land remediation or relocation, and move on with their lives and deal with issues of mental health and stress management.

Senator Lambie to move:


(a) the Senate notes various media and other reports which indicate:

(i) China claims almost all of the South China Sea and has sought to bolster its case by building a series of artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities,

(ii) a United Nations-backed tribunal ruled in July, in a case brought by the Philippines, that any extensive claims to the sea had no legal basis and that China's construction of artificial islands in disputed waters was illegal,

(iii) Beijing has reacted furiously, with foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, implicitly threatening military action and a "decisive response" if anyone took "any provocative action against China's security interests based on the award",

(iv) China and Russia have recently staged war games in the South China Sea, in a show of force after an international tribunal invalidated the Chinese Communist Government's extensive claims in the area,

(v) Australian warships, planes and soldiers have begun annual joint military exercises with four strategic allies in the sensitive South China Sea region involving around 400 Australia ADF personnel,

(vi) those 400 Australian Defence and thousands of our allies military personnels' lives are now at serious risk from a hostile Communist Government threatening military action, while we exercise a right of freedom of navigation in international waters, and

(vii) according to research undertaken by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, the same Communist Government have been allowed to spend tens of billions of dollars and buy into major Australian infrastructure critical to our national security, including Port Melbourne, Darwin Port and Hydro Tasmania; and

(b) taking into the above facts, a resolution be placed before the next joint sitting of Parliament which calls on the Australian Government to ban all sales of major Australian infrastructure to the Chinese Communist Government and its various associated investment companies while ever a military threat exists to Australian Defence Personnel who abide by international laws and United Nations Tribunals' rulings.

Senators Cameron, Xenophon, Rhiannon and Lambie to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 November 2016:

The impact of the Government's Workplace Bargaining Policy and approach to Commonwealth public sector bargaining, with particular reference to:

(a) the failure of the Abbott and Turnbull Governments to conclude workplace bargaining across the Australian Public Service almost three years after the process began - a process that has impacted on more than 150,000 staff nationally and 115 agencies in this time;

(b) the impact of the protracted dispute on service provision, particularly in regional Australia, and for vulnerable and elderly people;

(c) the impact on Australia's tourism industry and international reputation as a result of ongoing international port and airport strikes;

(d) the impact on agency productivity and staff morale of the delay in resolving enterprise agreements across the Australian Public Service;

(e) the effect of the implementation of the Workplace Bargaining Policy on workplace relations in the Commonwealth public sector;

(f) the effect of the implementation of the Workplace Bargaining Policy on the working conditions and industrial rights of Commonwealth public sector employees;

(g) the extent to which the implementation of the Workplace Bargaining Policy impacts on employee access to workplace flexibility, and with particular regard to flexibility for employees with family or caring responsibilities;

(h) whether the Workplace Bargaining Policy and changes or reductions in employees' working conditions and industrial rights, including access to enforceable domestic and family violence leave, are a factor in the protracted delay in resolving enterprise agreements;

(i) the failure of Ministers Abetz and Cash, as Ministers Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, to assume their responsibility and discharge their obligations as an employing authority in the Public Service; and

(j) any other related matter.

Senator Hanson-Young to move:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World, be established to inquire into and report on, by 10 February 2017, the following matters:

(a) the role of storage technologies and localised, distributed generation to provide Australia's electricity networks with the resilience to withstand the increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events driven by global warming;

(b) recommend measures that should be taken by federal, state and local governments to hasten the rollout of such technologies in order to:

   (i) create jobs in installation, manufacture and research of storage and distribution technologies,

   (ii) stimulate household and business demand for storage technologies,

   (iii) anticipate the rapid deployment of localised distributed generation through changes to market rules,

   (iv) drive the reduction in technology costs through economies of scale, and

   (v) seize on the opportunities to be a global leader in deploying storage technologies because of Australia's high fixed electricity tariffs and significant penetration of rooftop solar; and

(c) any other relevant matters.

(2) That the committee consist of 7 senators, 2 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 3 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 1 nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens and 1 nominated by minority groups and independent senators.

(3) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, the Leader of the Australian Greens or any minority party or independent senator;

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and

(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

(4) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(5) That the committee elect as chair a member nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens and, as deputy chair, a member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

(6) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(7) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.

(8) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(9) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(10) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(11) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of proceedings take place in public.