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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5948


Mr BRADBURY: to present a bill for an act to amend the law relating to competition and consumers, and for related purposes.

Ms PARKE: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes:

(a) that 20 June each year is World Refugee Day, celebrating the courageous spirit and resilience of more than 10 million refugees around the world;

(b) that the global theme for World Refugee Day 2011, occurring in the year of the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations Refugee Convention, is '1 refugee without hope is too many.';

(c) Australia's history of support for the United Nations Refugee Convention and its objectives, being the sixth signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention which brought the convention into force in 1954, and having since welcomed 750 000 refugees who have made an enormous contribution to the culture, economy and social fabric of Australian society;

(d) that much of the political, media and public commentary in Australia regarding asylum-seekers and refugees misses or ignores the following facts:

(i) of the more than 10 million refugees identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), just over 100 000 or 1 per cent are resettled under orderly programs each year, which means that if someone puts their name on a list today they could wait more than 100 years for processing;

(ii) in many countries wracked by conflict, like Iraq or Afghanistan, there is no list or queue to join;

(iii) Australia's 8250 asylum seekers in 2010 is a minimal number compared with the 358 000 people who sought asylum in the 44 major industrialised counties in 2010, and compared with the millions of people from Iraq and Afghanistan who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries like Jordan, Iran and Pakistan.

(iv) only two per cent of the world's asylum claims are made in Australia;

(v) persons fleeing from persecution are not 'illegals', they have a legal right under international law to seek asylum, and under the Menzies Government, Australia agreed to this by signing up to the United Nations Refugee Convention; and

(vi) while Essential Research has reported that 25 per cent of Australians believe that 75 per cent of our migrant intake is made up of asylum-seekers, in fact only 1 per cent of Australia's annual migrant intake comes from them and even less from asylum-seekers who arrive by boat;

(2) notes the UNHCR report of April 2011 entitled Back to Basics: The Right to Liberty and Security of Person and 'Alternatives to Detention' of Refugees, Asylum-Seekers, Stateless Persons and Other Migrants and welcomes the forthcoming parliamentary inquiry into mandatory detention;

(3) recognises that it is possible to protect Australia's borders while also treating asylum-seekers fairly, humanely and in accordance with international law; and

(4) calls for:

(a) a return to bipartisanship in support of a reasoned, principled and facts-based approach to the issue of asylum-seekers and refugees; and

(b) Australia to continue to work with other nations and the United Nations to address the complex global and regional challenges associated with increased numbers of asylum-seekers and other people movements that cannot be addressed by countries acting on their own.

Mr PYNE: to move:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges the Government's failure to deliver on its promise to provide a computer for every secondary school student between years 9 to12 within the original budget commitment of $1 billion;

(2) condemns the Government for promising to families that they would not have to pay for charges associated with using the laptop computers, and then for breaking that promise by authorising schools to charge fees and levies to parents to use the laptops; and

(3) calls on the Government to explain to families why it has broken its promise and why parents should be the ones to pay up to hundreds of dollars to make up the funding shortfall associated with the program, at a time when cost of living pressures are increasing.

Mr PYNE: to move:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges the importance of the role that non-government schools play in reflecting the diversity of Australian society and serving a broad range of students, including those from a variety of religions, social backgrounds, regions, and socio-economic circumstances;

(2) supports the continuation of a funding model into the future that distributes funds according to socio-economic need and which recognises that every non-government school student is entitled to a basic level of government funding;

(3) calls on the Government to continue to support parents in their right to chose a school which they believe best reflects their values and beliefs, by not penalising parents who wish to make private contributions towards their child's education, nor discouraging schools in their efforts to fundraise or encourage private investment;

(4) notes the many submissions made to the Review of Funding for Schooling by non-government sector authorities requesting that changes to school funding arrangements not leave schools or students worse off in real terms;

(5) acknowledges that any reduction in government funding for non-government schools would need to be addressed by increasing the level of private income required to be raised by the school community (such as school fees), or through a reduction in the quality of the educational provision in affected schools; and

(6) calls on the Government to make a clear commitment to the continuation of current funding levels to all non-government schools, plus indexation, and for this to be the basic starting point of any new funding model resulting from the Review of Funding for Schooling process.

Mr RAMSEY: to move:

That this House:

(1) expresses:

(a) its greatest concern at the SA Government's decision to slash support for its Remote Areas Energy Scheme which subsidises off-grid generation for isolated communities; and

(b) great concern that the reduction in subsidy will lead to escalating power prices for businesses of up to 100 per cent, recognising users will pay as much as $0.60 per kilowatt hour; and

(2) names the affected communities as Coober Pedy, Andamooka, Yunta, Nundroo, Maria, Oodnadatta, Marree, Kingoonya, Glendambo, Parachilna, Blinman, Manna Hill and Cockburn;

(3) recognises that as Coober Pedy relies on a desalinated water supply and that the reduction in subsidy will lead to the price of water rising to $5.70 a kilolitre;

(4) brings to the SA Government's notice that every other State and Territory in Australia which has off-grid generation systems for isolated communities supports a state-wide pricing policy;

(5) expresses support for the affected communities and recognises the public outrage expressed at a public meeting in Coober Pedy on Sunday 15 May 2011 attended by Senator Nick Xenophon, SA Legislative Council Member the Hon. John Darley and Rowan Ramsey MP; and

(6) condemns the SA Government for its actions and calls on it to immediately re-instate the subsidies and consider bringing SA into line with the rest of Australia in supporting state-wide pricing.

Mr FLETCHER: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) many home owners have reported incidents of suspected fraudulent insulation claims under the Government's Home Insulation Program to the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency;

(b) the Department has indicated to complainants that they may never be provided with advice about the outcome of investigations in each case; and

(c) the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and his Department, have failed to provide information concerning the number of claims of fraud that have been made or of instances of fraud which have been detected;

(2) condemns the Government for failing to:

(a) provide specific information to home owners about the outcome of investigations into alleged fraud at their homes; and

(b) report to Parliament, and to Australian taxpayers who have funded the Home Insulation Program, the details on the number of claims of fraud that have been made or of instances of fraud which have been detected; and

(3) calls on the Minister to:

(a) direct his Department to provide information to home owners on an ongoing basis concerning the progress of investigations into incidents of suspected fraud reported by those home owners;

(b) immediately authorise an additional 50 000 random home inspections from within allocated funds; and

(c) provide regular reports to the Australian public concerning investigations into fraud under the Home Insulation Program, that include the number of:

(i) claims of alleged fraud that have been received, identified in the Government-commissioned forensic audit, and investigated;

(ii) cases investigated that have been completed, and those that resulted in prosecutions, along with the outcomes of each;

(iii) prosecutions that are in train; and

(iv) cases where steps have been taken to seek restitution from fraudulent claimants, and the outcomes of such cases.

Mr JOHN COBB: to move:

That this House:

(1) deplores the inhumane treatment of cattle at some abattoirs in Indonesia;

(2) notes that this is unacceptable to all Australians, especially our farmers, who take great pride in breeding and raising healthy and well cared for animals;

(3) supports the suspension of trade of Australian live cattle to facilities that fail to comply with acceptable practices;

(4) notes with concern the impact of a total live exports suspension to Indonesia on:

(a) the economic, social and environmental fabric of northern Australia;

(b) Indigenous employment in northern Australia;

(c) Indonesian abattoirs already operating at acceptable standards; and

(d) the entire cattle Industry including producers in the south who are already seeing reduced saleyard prices; and

(5) calls on the Government to:

(a) immediately establish a register of Indonesian abattoirs, to be known as the Approved Indonesian Abattoir Register, that have adopted and implemented acceptable animal welfare standards;

(b) require that Australian sourced cattle be processed only at abattoirs that are listed on the register;

(c) revoke the legislative instrument Export Control (Export of Live-stock to the Republic of Indonesia) Order 2011 upon one or more Indonesian abattoirs being included on the register;

(d) provide support to Indonesia to bring more abattoirs up to acceptable standards; and

(e) provide assistance to the cattle industry to deal with the consequences of this suspension.

Ms HALL: to move:

That this House:

(1) expresses concern at the impact that beauty pageants have on children;

(2) calls for an investigation into the impact of these pageants on young girls; and

(3) notes that:

(a) obsessive preoccupation with grooming, body image and superficial beauty has the potential to create major psychological disorder in adolescence and adulthood;

(b) such pageants are common in the United States and that serious concerns have been expressed in relation to the impact they are having on these young girls who strive for an unrealistic and unobtainable image; and

(c) these pageants have the potential to add significantly to Australia's health costs.

Dr LEIGH: to move:

That this House:

(1) commends the efforts of successive Australian governments, working with multilateral, non-government organisations such as Rotary International and other national governments, in wiping out polio in the Pacific and reducing the total number of polio cases worldwide by 99 per cent since 1988;

(2) notes that polio remains endemic in four countries—Afghanistan, Nigeria, India and Pakistan—three of which are Commonwealth nations;

(3) recognises that in 2010, there were only 1290 cases of polio worldwide, down from 350 000 cases in 1998, indicating the unprecedented opportunity the world has to eradicate polio once and for all;

(4) notes that the Global Polio Eradication Initiative currently faces a funding shortfall of US$665 million for the full implementation of its 2010-12 Polio Eradication Strategic Plan; and

(5) calls upon the Government to support efforts to deliver a polio-free world and to advocate for the inclusion of a strong statement urging Commonwealth countries to strengthen immunisation systems, including for polio, in the Final Communique of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Mr BANDT: to move:

That this House:

(1) endorses the meetings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Coalition leaders Messers Tony Abbott and Warren Truss, and Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown;

(2) expresses disappointment that neither the Prime Minister nor Minister for Foreign Affairs were available to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama;

(3) notes that the last Prime Minister to meet His Holiness was Mr John Howard in 2007; and

(4) wishes the people of Tibet well in their aspiration to have His Holiness return home to Tibet's capital, Lhasa.