Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document


Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

Notice given 14 October 2003

*2  Senator Bolkus: To move—That the following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional References Committee for inquiry and report by 1 September 2004:

(a) the extent of the Australian disapora;

(b) the variety of factors driving more Australians to live overseas;

(c) the costs, benefits and opportunities presented by the phenomenon;

(d) the needs and concerns of overseas Australians;

(e) the measures taken by other comparable countries to respond to the needs of their expatriates; and

(f) ways in which Australia could better use its expatriates to promote our economic, social and cultural interests.

*3  Senator Murray: To move—

(1) That the Senate notes the Government’s release of the draft Building and Construction Industry Improvement Bill 2003, the recommendations and findings from the Cole Royal Commission into the building and construction industry in Australia, and other relevant and related matters pertinent to equity, effectiveness, efficiency and productivity in the building and construction industry.

(2) That the following matters be referred to the Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee for inquiry and report by the second sitting week of 2004 :

(a) the provisions of the draft Building and Construction Industry Improvement Bill 2003;

(b) whether the draft bill is consistent with Australia’s obligations under international labour law;

(c) the findings and recommendations of the Cole Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Commission, including an assessment of:

(i) whether the building and construction industry is so unique that it requires industry-specific legislation, processes and procedures,

(ii) the adequacy of the Government’s response to the Cole Royal Commission, particularly with respect to occupational health and safety and the National Industry Building Code of Practice, and

(iii) other relevant and related matters, including measures that would address:

( a ) the use of sham corporate structures to avoid legal obligations,

( b ) underpayment or non-payment of workers’ entitlements, including superannuation,

( c ) security of payments issues, particularly for sub-contractors,

( d ) evasion or underpayment of workers’ compensation premiums, and

( e ) the evasion or underpayment of taxation;

(d) regulatory needs in workplace relations in Australia, including:

(i) whether there is regulatory failure and is therefore a need for a new regulatory body, either industry-specific such as the proposed Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, or covering all industries,

(ii) whether the function of any regulator could be added as a division to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), or should be a separate independent regulator along the lines of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and

(iii) whether workplace relations regulatory needs should be supported by additional AIRC conciliation and arbitration powers;

(e) the potential consequences and influence of political donations from registered organisations, corporations and individuals within the building and construction industry;

(f) mechanisms to address any organised or individual lawlessness or criminality in the building and construction industry, including any need for public disclosure (whistle blowing) provisions and enhanced criminal conspiracy provisions; and

(g) employment-related matters in the building and construction industry, including:

(i) skill shortages and the adequacy of support for the apprenticeship system,

(ii) the relevance, if any, of differences between wages and conditions of awards, individual agreements, and enterprise bargaining agreements and their impact on labour practices, bargaining, and labour relations in the industry, and

(iii) the nature of independent contractors and labour hire in the industry and whether the definition of employee in workplace relations legislation is adequate to address reported illegal labour practices.

Order of the Day

Employment, Workplace Relations and Education References Committee

Report to be presented on the refusal of the Government to respond to the order of the Senate of 21 August 2002 for the production of documents relating to financial information concerning higher education institutions.