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Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Page: 1548

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes the findings of the Court of Appeal in overturning a decision of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal which had granted approval to the Romsey Hotel to install gaming machines, stating:

   ‘... if the approval of gaming at particular premises is likely to cause unhappiness or discontent in that community (or any part or parts of it), that consequence is a “social impact of approval” which will be “detrimental to the well-being of the community”. It will be detrimental to well-being because it diminishes the citizens’ sense of happiness with, or contentment in, their community’, and

   ‘the fact that the … Act allows gaming to occur in approved premises does not mean that any Victorian community is obliged to accept gaming machines’;

   (b)   recognises that the interests of any community must precede the commercial interests of approved premises and that of governments that derive revenue from the operation of gambling machines; and

   (c)   calls on the Government to urge all state and territory governments to recognise the right of local communities, through their councils, to reject applications for poker machine venues in their municipalities.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   calls on the Government to work with state and territory governments to close the gap between school sectors on access to music education; and

   (b)   recognises that:

   (i)   playing music:

   (a)   builds or modifies neural pathways related to spatial reasoning tasks, which are crucial for higher brain functions like complex maths, chess and science,

   (b)   improves concentration, memory and self expression,

   (c)   increases reasoning capacity, time management and the ability to think in the abstract, and

   (d)   improves the ability to think,

   (ii)   learning music helps underperforming students improve, and

   (iii)   music students learn critical teamwork and social skills.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

   (i)   the Danish Parliament approved in February 2008 a pilot medical scheme to prescribe heroin to 500 of Denmark’s most seriously addicted and marginalised citizens,

   (ii)   heroin is to be prescribed in combination with methadone with the aim of rehabilitation and to reduce the criminal activity of addicts,

   (iii)   prescription heroin for treatment of severe cases of addiction exists as a therapeutic option in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Netherlands and is being established in Germany, and

   (iv)   trials of prescribing heroin for the treatment of opiate dependency in Spain and Canada also show favourable results; and

   (b)   encourages the Government to closely monitor this and other pilot programs and to consider conducting a similar project in Australia.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes the Government’s pre-election promise of a $75 million ‘Debt2Health’ swap with Indonesia which would allow Indonesia to benefit from additional funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; and

   (b)   urges the Government to significantly increase overseas aid funds for the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis.

Senator Murray to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the following matters be referred to the Finance and Public Administration Committee for inquiry and report by the first sitting Thursday of August 2008:

   (a)   the Lobbying Code of Conduct issued by the Government;

   (b)   whether the proposed code is adequate to achieve its aims and, in particular, whether:

   (i)   a consolidated code applying to members of both Houses of the Parliament and their staff, as well as to ministers and their staff, should be adopted by joint resolution of the two Houses,

   (ii)   the code should be confined to organisations representing clients, or should be extended to organisations which lobby on their own behalf, and

   (iii)   the proposed exemptions are justified; and

   (c)   any other relevant matters.

Senator Allison and Senator Murray to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes the report by CHOICE on charities, published online in March 2008, that highlights the wide variability and inconsistency in the way that charities disclose information to the public;

   (b)   acknowledges that the 27 recommendations from the inquiry into the definition of charities and related organisations, which reported in 2001, have not been implemented; and

   (c)   calls on the Government to:

   (i)   establish a single, appropriate regulator of the charity sector, and

   (ii)   work with the regulator to improve reporting and accountability standards in the charitable and not-for-profit sector.

Senator Allison to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes:

   (i)   the recent research done by the Cancer Council of New South Wales indicating that 70 per cent of top box office films contained depictions of smoking, including 75 per cent of the most popular PG-rated films,

   (ii)   the research by the American Lung Association showing that more than two-thirds of the top 50 United States of America box office films of 2004-05 classified for children’s viewing depicted smoking, some with as many as 14 depictions of smoking an hour,

   (iii)   that positive depictions of smoking in films normalise and promote smoking, particularly for young people, and that on-screen smoking influences children’s attitudes and behaviour to the extent that it can increase a child’s chance of becoming a smoker later in life, and

   (iv)   that evidence overseas shows that the tobacco industry has provided inducements for such positive depictions of smoking and that this is not consistent with the objectives of the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992; and

   (b)   urges the Government to heed the latest call by the Australian Medical Association and adopt strategies and regulatory measures to counter the influence of smoking in films, including:

   (i)   a film classification system that provides clear warnings about the extent and nature of smoking in films with films attracting an appropriate descriptor such as ‘pervasive smoking’ in the same way that descriptors warn of coarse language, sexual references, nudity and violence,

   (ii)   anti-smoking announcements before films that depict smoking, and

   (iii)   changes to guidelines to ensure that public funds are not used to support Australian films that glamorise or promote smoking.

Senator Siewert to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that the week beginning 12 May 2008 is National Volunteer Week, which celebrates the contribution of Australia’s 5.4 million volunteers who annually contribute an estimated 700 million hours of unpaid work;

   (b)   acknowledges the role of volunteers in supporting the Australian economy and enriching Australian society in their work as carers, counsellors, educators, sporting coaches, school canteen workers, and through their participation in a wide range of community organisations; and

   (c)   calls on Australian governments to:

   (i)   ensure that volunteers have legal status and are properly protected by workplace-related legislation, and

   (ii)   support volunteers by addressing the barriers to their participation in voluntary activities.

Senator Siewert to move on 15 May 2008:


   (1)   The Senate:

   (a)   notes:

   (i)   the inclusion in 2006 of Part 3.18A - Private financial provision for certain people with disabilities - to the Social Security Act 1991 to enable the establishment of special disability trusts, and

   (ii)   that since the introduction of Part 3.18A and to 31 December 2007 only 22 trusts have been established; and

   (b)   recognises the potential benefits that special disability trusts can deliver for those living with a disability, but is concerned that there remain barriers to the establishment of special disability trusts that are limiting their wider beneficial application.

   (2)   The following matters relating to special disability trusts be referred to the Community Affairs Committee for inquiry and report by 18 September 2008:

   (a)   why more families of dependents with disabilities are not making use of the current provisions to establish Special Disability Trusts;

   (b)   the effectiveness of Part 3.18A of the Social Security Act 1991;

   (c)   barriers in the relevant legislation to the establishment of Special Disability Trusts; and

   (d)   possible amendments to the relevant legislation.

Senator Hutchins and Senator Forshaw to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes with great sadness the passing of ‘supercoach’ Mr Jack Gibson, OAM, one of Australia’s greatest rugby league coaches, on 9 May 2008;

   (b)   recognises and applauds the tremendous contribution that he made to Australian sport and his achievements as a rugby league player, coach and commentator;

   (c)   notes his success in winning five premierships as a first grade coach - back to back victories with Eastern Suburbs in 1974 and 1975 and three in a row with Parramatta between 1981 and 1983;

   (d)   notes his significant and commendable work with charitable organisations; and

   (e)   expresses its deep and sincere condolences to his family and the rugby league community.

Senator Siewert to move on 15 May 2008:


   (1)   The Senate notes the continuing decline and extinction of a significant proportion of Australia’s unique plants and animals, and the likelihood that accelerating climate change will exacerbate challenges faced by Australian species.

   (2)   The following matter be referred to the Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee for inquiry and report by 27 November 2008:

   The operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), with particular reference to:

   (a)   the need for legislative reform as a result of the findings of the Australian National Audit Office, Audit report no. 38 of 2002-03, Referrals, Assessments and Approvals under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;

   (b)   the effectiveness of the EPBC Act to protect critical habitats of threatened species and ecological communities, and the potential for measures to improve their recovery;

   (c)   the cumulative impacts of EPBC Act approvals on threatened species and ecological communities, for example on Cumberland Plain Woodland, Cassowary habitat and Grassy White Box Woodlands;

   (d)   the effectiveness of past government responses to key threats identified within the EPBC Act, including land-clearing, climate change and invasive species, and potential for future measures to build environmental resilience and facilitate adaptation within a changing climate;

   (e)   lessons learnt from the first 10 years of operation of the EPBC Act; and

   (f)   the effectiveness of Regional Forest Agreements, in protecting forest species and forest habitats where the EPBC Act does not directly apply.

Senator Minchin to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that 12 May to 6 June 2008 is the 40th anniversary of the battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral in South Vietnam in 1968;

   (b)   notes the 1st Australian Task Force played a key role in the success of Operation Toan Thang but the battles resulted in heavy casualties including the death of 26 Australian soldiers and 99 wounded; and

   (c)   remembers and acknowledges the valuable contribution of Australian service personnel during these battles.

Senator Hutchins to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Crime Commission be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Tuesday, 17 June 2008, from 3.30 pm to 7 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the Australian Crime Commission Amendment Act 2007.

Senator Mark Bishop to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the time for the presentation of the report of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on Australia’s involvement in peacekeeping operations be extended to 26 June 2008.

Senator Nettle to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Senate—

   (a)   acknowledges and sympathises with the Palestinian families whose homes were destroyed or seized, and family members killed or injured, 60 years ago at the inception of the State of Israel which the Palestinians call ‘Al Nakba’, the catastrophe;

   (b)   remembers with shame the failure of the international community to prevent the bloody events that followed the unilateral declaration of independent statehood by the Israeli leaders and the many millions of victims who continue to suffer to this day;

   (c)   acknowledges the unique relationship which exists between Australia and Palestine, a bond highlighted by our commitment to the rights and liberties of our citizens and encouragement of cultural diversity;

   (d)   commends the Palestinian authority’s commitment to democracy, the rule of law and pluralism;

   (e)   reiterates Australia’s commitment to:

   (i)   Palestine’s right to exist and our on-going support to the peaceful establishment of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and

   (ii)   the pursuit of peace and stability throughout the Middle East; and

   (f)   on this, the 60th anniversary of Al Nakba, pledges our friendship, commitment and enduring support to the people of Palestine as we remember this dark chapter in history together.

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

   That the Commonwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008 be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters as a particular part of its inquiry into all aspects of the 2007 Federal Election.

Senator Moore to move on the next day of sitting:

   That the Community Affairs Committee be authorised to hold a public meeting during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 15 May 2008, from 3.30 pm to 7.15 pm, to take evidence for the committee’s inquiry into the Alcohol Toll Reduction Bill 2007 [2008].