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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 1036

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Senator Cormann to move:

That the provisions of the Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Obligations and Prudential Standards) Bill 2012 be referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services for inquiry and report by 13 March 2012.

Senator Cash, Senator Kroger and Senator Boyce to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that 8 March is International Women's Day (IWD) and that the theme for IWD 2012 is 'Empower Rural Women - End Hunger and Poverty';

   (b)   acknowledges the work that UN Women, the United Nations (UN) organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, undertakes to improve the conditions of women, both domestically and internationally;

   (c)   notes the statement made by Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General on International Women's Day 2005 that 'study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health - including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation';

   (d)   acknowledges:

      (i)   that despite the many rights and privileges Australian women enjoy, there remain challenges that we must strive to overcome, and

      (ii)   that rural women with disabilities are particularly at risk;

   (e)   notes, with concern, that in Australia, violence against women is still far too common, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data continuing to show that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15; and

   (f)   recognises that Australians have a fundamental obligation to speak out and protect the human rights of women, both in Australia and overseas.

Senator McK enzie to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes the presence of the Women for a Living Basin delegation in Canberra on Wednesday, 29 February 2012, representing women and families from Murray Darling Basin (MDB) communities in southern New South Wales;

   (b)   recognises:

      (i)   the widespread concern that the draft Basin Plan is having on MDB communities, and

      (ii)   that these concerns include mental stress, job and business uncertainty, loss of skills, bank pressure, impact on land prices and equity, families relocating and pressure on schools;

   (c)   supports:

      (i)   the call for more comprehensive consultation in all MDB communities by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) than allowed for by the number of meetings held so far,

      (ii)   the call for the MDBA to publicly release details of planned consultation meetings weeks in advance to allow communities to plan ahead so that they can attend,

      (iii)   deeply held community concerns at the MDBA's decision to hold consultation meetings during various harvests making it difficult for farmers to attend,

      (iv)   the call on the Parliament by communities, such as those represented by the Women for a Living Basin, to recognise the importance of MDB communities and their long-term survival, sustainability and certainty,

      (v)   the call to ensure the final plan does not lead to significant economic impact in terms of loss of jobs, skills and the impact on families,

      (vi)   the call by MDB communities to ensure a final basin plan balances the needs of communities with those of the environment, and

      (vii)   the call on the Government to listen to, not ignore, community and farmer concerns about non-strategic water buybacks, with preference for irrigation infrastructure upgrades instead to achieve water savings; and

   (d)   condemns the Government for breaking its promise to freeze buybacks in the southern MDB until 2013.

Senator Ludlam to move:

That the Senate notes that Australian citizen Julian Assange has been recognised as a journalist by the:

   (a)   Queen's Bench Division of the British High Court ruling of 2 November 2011;

   (b)   Australian Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism 2011;

   (c)   Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism 2011;

   (d)   Italian International Piero Passetti Journalism Prize of the National Union of Italian Journalists 2011;

   (e)   Spanish José Couso Press Freedom Award 2011;

   (f)   Spanish Voice of the West Freedom of Expression Award 2011; and

   (g)   Amnesty International UK Media Award 2009.

Senator Abetz to move:

That the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2012, as passed by the House of Representatives on 16 February 2012, be referred to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 May 2012.

Senator Bob Brown to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes:

      (i)   the public protests in Malaysia against the establishment of a rare earth processing plant by the Australian company Lynas Corporation Ltd,

      (ii)   the protests are supported by the Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, and

      (iii)   the concerns of the protestors include the radioactive by-product that will be produced by the plant and disposed of in Malaysia, the lack of benefit to the local communities particularly given the 12 year tax break granted to the project and the threat from the plant to the local environment, including the Balok River; and

   (b)   calls on the Australian Government to report to the Senate by Thursday, 1 March 2012 on what assistance has been provided to Lynas Corporation Ltd and what due diligence has or will be done on Lynas Corporation Ltd.