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General business


A complete list of all general business notices of motion and orders of the day remaining on the Notice Paper is published at:


Notices of Motion

Notice given 2 July 2019

         2   Senator Patrick : To move—

(1)         That the Senate notes that—

(a)         on 12 October 2017, Mr Richard Boyle made a disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act) as a former employee of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), alleging the ATO:

                                                            (i)       had instructed employees to issue standard garnishee notices to seize funds from taxpayers’ bank accounts without notice or consideration of their personal and business circumstances, and

                                                           (ii)       in doing so, had required employees to engage in conduct that was unethical, unprofessional and against the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct;

(b)         on 27 October 2017, the ATO decided not to further investigate Mr Boyle’s disclosure on the basis that the information did not concern serious disclosable conduct as defined in the PID Act; and

(c)         subsequent media inquiries found anomalies in the ATO’s debt collection practices that appeared consistent with Mr Boyle’s disclosure.

(2)         That the Senate is of the opinion that—

(a)         whistleblowers must be protected to ensure integrity and deter misconduct within the government and the public sector; and

(b)         examining the ATO’s actions in relation to Mr Boyle’s disclosure is consistent with the Senate’s role in providing oversight of government administration.

(3)         That the Senate orders the Commissioner of Taxation to provide all documents relating to the disclosure generated or received by Mr Boyle’s supervisor, authorised officer and principal officer (as defined in the PID Act) to the Economics Legislation Committee (the committee) by no later than 5 pm on 10 July 2019.

(4)         That the committee, when it has considered the documents, report to the Senate as to whether the ATO’s handling of disclosures by whistleblowers warrants further inquiry.

Notice given 4 July 2019

    *31   Senator Hanson-Young : To move—That the following bill be introduced: A Bill to protect the Great Australian Bight from environmental damage resulting from mining activities and begin the process of World Heritage Listing the Great Australian Bight. Great Australian Bight Environment Protection Bill 2019 .


    *32   Senators McKim and Hanson-Young: To move—

(1)         That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee into the Public’s Right to Know and Press Freedom, be established to inquire into and report on the appropriate balance between the public’s right to know, the freedom of the press and Australia’s national security, with particular reference to:

(a)         disclosure and public reporting of sensitive and classified information, including the appropriate regime for warrants regarding journalists and media organisations and adequacy of existing legislation;

(b)         the whistleblower protection regime and protections for public sector employees;

(c)         the adequacy of referral practices of the Australian Government in relation to leaks of sensitive and classified information;

(d)         appropriate culture, practice and leadership for government and senior public employees;

(e)         mechanisms to ensure that the Australian Federal Police have sufficient independence to effectively and impartially carry out their investigatory and law enforcement responsibilities in relation to politically sensitive matters; and

(f)          any related matters.

(2)         That the committee should provide an interim report by 19 September 2019 and a final report by 28 November 2019.

(3)         That the committee consist of 8 senators, as follows:

(a)         3 senators nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;

(b)         3 senators nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;

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

(d)         1 senator from Centre Alliance.

(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; and

(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.

(5)         That 3 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee, provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include 1 Government member and 1 non-Government member.

(6)         That every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the President of the Senate.

(7)         That the members of the committee hold office as a select committee until the 46th Parliament is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time.

(8)         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.

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

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

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

(12)     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.

(13)     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, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(14)     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 of the Senate.

(15)     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.

(16)     That the committee have power to adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the Senate.

    *33   Senator Roberts : To move—That the Senate calls on the Federal Government to approve urgently needed nation-building projects that will lower the costs of energy generation and deliver water security to the people of Australia.