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6           Notices

The Chair of the Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation (Senator Fierravanti-Wells) Chair of the Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation : To move 15 sitting days after today—That the Defence Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2020, made under the Defence Act 1903 , be disallowed [F2020L00120].

Senator Steele-John: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that:

(i)                    the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was ratified by Australia in 2008, and states that governments have an obligation to ensure that disabled people are fully included in all aspects of social, economic, and political life,

(ii)                  the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is underpinned by the rights in the CRPD and designed to provide access to supports that are deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ to ensure disabled people are fully supported to have everything they need to live a full and equal life, and participate in the community,

(iii)                the desexualisation of disabled people is a social belief that has denied disabled people full bodily autonomy and has been a key factor in a lot of the abuse situations,

(iv)                the NDIS has perpetuated this social belief by failing to develop a comprehensive sexuality policy for NDIS participants that encompasses and supports individual sexual needs and goals at all life and development stages,

(v)                  over 50 disability organisations have called for the National Disability Insurance Agency to develop a comprehensive sexuality policy to continue reasonable and necessary support for sexual expression through NDIS funding,

(vi)                disabled people, like the rest of our community, want to enjoy consensual intimate experiences, as part of exploring sexual expression, and

(vii)              giving disabled people the right to exercise choice and control over the supports they need to achieve the goals they have identified is the primary objective the community expects the NDIS to deliver on;

(b)              acknowledges that the Federal Court of Australia ruled in favour of supporting a disabled person’s access to sex-related supports within their NDIS plans (see National Disability Insurance Agency v WRMF [2020] FCAFC 79); and

(c)              calls on the Federal Government to:

(i)                    uphold the Federal Court ruling in support of disabled people on the NDIS using their plans to access sex-based supports consistent with their goals and what is ‘reasonable and necessary’, and

(ii)                  work with disabled people and their organisations, and the community, to develop a comprehensive sexuality policy for the NDIS. ( general business notice of motion no. 710 )

Senator Steele-John: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that:

(i)                    motions are an important democratic function of the Senate that allow members of the cross bench to:

(A)                 formally request documents,

(B)                 ask a Minister or other member of the Government to make a formal statement,

(C)                 raise matters that are important to the community, and

(D)                refer legislation to committees for further scrutiny, and

(ii)                  limiting the number of motions that can be put by the cross bench on any given day is undemocratic; and 

(b)              calls on the Government to immediately repeal the changes to standing order 66 in the name of democracy. ( general business notice of motion no. 711 )

Senator Steele-John: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that:

(i)                    decades of accelerating militarism from the United States of America (USA) and increasingly unstable rhetoric from President Trump has:

(A)                 led to the breakdown of a number of global trade relationships (notably the US-China relationship),

(B)                 inflamed tensions in the Middle East (notably with Iran),

(C)                 diminished the effectiveness of international treaties (notably JCPOA),

(D)                defunded critical organisations during a global pandemic (notably the World Health Organization), and

(E)                 undermined international justice systems (notably by approving sanctions on the ICC),

(ii)                  the values held by President Trump and the accelerating militarism of the USA has led the alliance to become increasingly dangerous for Australia, 

(iii)                the ongoing rotation of US Troops in the Top End during a global pandemic has reignited a domestic conversation about the benefits of our military cooperation with the USA, and

(iv)                President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of a public health disaster for the USA and ongoing civil unrest over police brutality, and the treatment of African Americans at the hands of police, has ignited a larger conversation about the use of domestic force - a conversation that President Trump has deliberately inflamed, mainly over Twitter; and

(b)              calls on the Government to:

(i)                    rethink the alliance with the USA, and

(ii)                  develop an independent foreign policy for Australia that best serves our interests. ( general business notice of motion no. 712 )

Senator Steele-John: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that:

(i)                    lethal autonomous weapons are causing much concern in the international community,

(ii)                  the Group of Governmental Experts meeting periodically at the United Nations have held discussions centred around human control and compliance to international humanitarian law with many states (countries) citing these as real concerns,

(iii)                at a Group of Governmental Experts’ meeting in March 2019, the statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross asserted: ‘In the view of the ICRC, a weapon system beyond human control would be unlawful by its very nature’, and

(iv)                removing human control from the decision-making loop of lethal weapons systems can cause catastrophic harm; and

(b)              calls on the Federal Government to:

(i)                    rule out developing weapons which remove human control from the decision-making loop of lethal weapons systems, and

(ii)                  support progress towards developing international legal instruments (binding or non-binding) at the inter-governmental level, in particular at talks of the Group of Governmental Experts, on autonomous weapons systems. ( general business notice of motion no. 713 )

Senators Faruqi and Steele-John: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that the Government is leaving young people behind in the jobs and economic crisis due to COVID-19 and that:

(i)                    23% of all employed young people worked fewer hours in April 2020, compared to 4% in February 2020 and 6% in March 2020,

(ii)                  the youth unemployment rate rose to 13.8% in April which is more than double that of the general population,

(iii)                young people account for 46% of short term casuals, who are excluded from the JobKeeper Payment, and

(iv)                reducing the JobKeeper Payment for low income earners will hit young people the hardest; and

(b)              calls on the Federal Government to:

(i)                    maintain the JobKeeper Payment at $1,500 per fortnight, including for low income earners,

(ii)                  expand the JobKeeper Payment to all workers, including casuals and temporary visa holders, and

(iii)                extend the JobKeeper Payment beyond September. ( general business notice of motion no. 714 )

Senator McCarthy: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that the Government:

(i)                    has taken up to $1.5 billion from Australians through the Prime Minister’s illegal robodebt scheme,

(ii)                  refuses to answer questions about the amount of interest that will be payable on the funds illegally taken by the Government,

(iii)                ignored between 200 and 500 decisions and multiple settlements by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal advising the Government that the Prime Minister’s robodebt scheme was illegal, and

(iv)                continues to cover up the details of the Prime Minister’s illegal robodebt scheme, including by defying Senate orders for the production of documents; and

(b)              calls on the Government to:

(i)                    immediately pay back the money taken from the victims of the Prime Minister’s illegal robodebt scheme, with interest,

(ii)                  acknowledge that it owes the victims of the Prime Minister’s illegal robodebt scheme a duty of care to behave lawfully,

(iii)                comply with Senate orders for the production of documents and provide all available information relating to the scheme, and

(iv)                take full responsibility for the harm caused to victims of the Prime Minister’s illegal robodebt scheme, and the significant erosion of public trust that has resulted from this abuse of executive power. ( general business notice of motion no. 715 )

Senator McAllister: To move on the next day of sitting—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that: 

(i)                    the Prime Minister asserted in a speech at the Lowy Institute in October 2019 that: ‘We should avoid any reflex towards a negative globalism that coercively seeks to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community’,

(ii)                  on 16 April 2020, Home Affairs Minister Dutton said: ‘There are other bodies within the UN that I would argue aren’t acting in the global interest, aren’t acting certainly in the interests of countries like Australia’, and

(iii)                in her speech on 16 June 2020, Foreign Minister Payne said: ‘the pandemic has brought into stark relief the major role of international institutions in addressing and coordinating a global response to a global problem, across multiple lines of effort’ and that multilateral organisations ‘promote universal values and play critical roles in responding to emerging global challenges, from the regulation of cyber security and maintaining a peaceful outer space, to outbreaks of Ebola and COVID-19’; and

(b)              commends Senator Payne for affirming that effective multilateralism is a key Australian national interest. ( general business notice of motion no. 716 )

Senator Steele-John, pursuant to standing order 76(6), gave a notice of motion in general terms, as follows: To move on the next day of sitting—That a bill to repeal matters relating to the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement be introduced.   ( general business notice of motion no. 717 )

Senators Waters and Rice: To move on the next day of sitting—

(1)               That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Allocation of Government Grants, be established to inquire into and report on the administration of government grant programs during and after election campaigns, including but not limited to the Community Development Grants, Urban Congestion - Commuter Car Park Fund, Environmental Restoration Grants, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs and Drought Communities Fund, with particular reference to:

(a)                  program design and guidelines, including eligibility criteria;

(b)                  management and assessment processes;

(c)                  the use of closed grant programs which are not open to public applications, but require nomination by a Minister;

(d)                 adherence to published assessment processes and program criteria, including the  Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines;

(e)                  the relationship between election commitments and grant allocations;

(f)                   demonstration of value for money;

(g)                  efforts to influence votes through grant allocation;

(h)                 the role of Ministers in determining awards of grants;

(i)                    measures to manage the risk of politicisation of funding outcomes and announcements; and

(j)                    any related programs or matters.

(2)              That the committee present its final report on or before 30 August 2021.

(3)              That the committee consist of 6 senators, as follows:

(a)                  2 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;

(b)                  2 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;

(c)                  1 nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate; and

(d)                 1 nominated by a minority party or independent Senator.

(4)             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 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 a committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

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

(6)             That the committee elect as chair the member nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate and as deputy chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

(7)              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.

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

(9)             That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider.

(10)          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 and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(11)            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.

(12)           That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public. ( general business notice of motion no. 718 )

Contingent notices of motion : Senator Lambie gave contingent notices of motion, as follows:

No. 1—To move (contingent on the Senate on any day concluding its consideration of any item of business and prior to the Senate proceeding to the consideration of another item of business)—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the conduct of the business of the Senate or to provide for the consideration of any matter.

No. 2—To move (contingent on any senator objecting to a motion being taken as formal)—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the motion being moved immediately and determined without amendment or debate.

No. 3—To move (contingent on any senator being refused leave to move an amendment to a motion discovered during formal business )—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent that senator moving the amendment to the motion.

No. 4—To move (contingent on a minister moving a motion that a bill be considered an urgent bill)—That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent debate taking place on the motion.

No. 5—To move (contingent on a minister moving a motion to specify time to be allotted to the consideration of a bill, or any stage of a bill)—That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent the motion being debated without limitation of time and each senator speaking for the time allotted by standing orders.

No. 6—To move (contingent on the chair declaring that the time allotted for the consideration of a bill, or any stage of a bill, has expired)—That so much of standing order 142 be suspended as would prevent further consideration of the bill, or the stage of the bill, without limitation of time or for a specified period.

No. 7—To move (contingent on the moving of a motion to debate a matter of urgency under standing order 75)—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving an amendment to the motion.

No. 8—To move (contingent on the Senate on any day concluding its consideration of any item of business and prior to the Senate proceeding to the consideration of another item of business)—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion relating to the order of business on the Notice Paper .

No. 9—To move (contingent on a minister at question time on any day asking that further questions be placed on notice)—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving a motion that, at question time on any day, questions may be put to ministers until 30 questions, including supplementary questions, have been asked and answered.

No. 10—To move (contingent on any senator being refused leave to make a statement to the Senate )—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent that senator making that statement.

No. 11—To move (contingent on any senator being refused leave to table a document in the Senate)—That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the senator moving that the document be tabled.

Notice of motion withdrawn : Senator Lambie withdrew general business notice of motion no. 693 standing in her name for today, proposing a reference to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.