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Tuesday, 10 December 2002
Page: 7559

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (3:33 PM) —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (7) of standing order 111 not apply to the Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (Special Benefit Activity Test) Bill 2002, allowing it to be considered during this period of sittings.

I also table a statement of reasons justifying the need for this bill to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows


Purpose of the Bill

This Bill will give effect to the measure agreed to as part of the 2000-2001 Budget to introduce activity testing arrangements for special benefit recipients who hold a temporary protection visa and who are of work-force age.

Reasons for urgency

The initiative contained in this Bill is to commence on 1 January 2003. It is critical that the Bill is passed in the 2002 Spring Sittings ahead of the commencement date so as to have sufficient time to finalise supporting administration.

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Family and Community Services)

Senator Brown to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate calls on the Australian Government to urgently pursue alternatives with the Chinese Government to the death sentence handed down on Tibetan activists Trulku Tenzin Delek and Lobsang Dhondup in Karze, Sichuan province.

Senator O'Brien to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 16 October 2002 it agreed to a motion seeking documents relating to the Government's consideration of an ethanol excise and production subsidy,

(ii) on 21 October 2002 the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer (Senator Campbell) advised the Senate that `the government intends to comply with the order as soon as possible and fully expects to be in a position to do so shortly',

(iii) 50 days have passed since Senator Campbell gave the Senate a commitment the Government would respond to the order of the Senate in a timely fashion; and

(b) calls on the Government to comply with the order of the Senate no later than 5 pm on 11 December 2002.

Senator Collins on behalf of all opposition senators, Senator Bartlett on behalf of all Australian Democrats senators, and Senators Brown, Nettle, Lees, Harradine and Murphy to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the evidence presented to the Select Committee on a Certain Maritime Incident regarding the central role played by the person known as Abu Quessai in organising people smuggling operations in Indonesia;

(b) welcomes the statement by the Australian Federal Police that they have issued a further warrant for the arrest of Quessai, in relation to his involvement in people smuggling specifically in relation to the vessel known as SIEV X;

(c) further notes that the issue of this warrant indicates the strength of evidence linking Quessai with the people smuggling aspects of SIEV X, including the procurement of the vessel, the recruiting of crew, the provision of passage on the vessel in return for payment, the loading of the vessel (including the gross overloading), and the departure of the vessel bound for Australia;

(d) further notes that Abu Quessai is currently in prison in Indonesia for unrelated immigration offences, and is due to be released on 1 January 2003, with a high risk of him remaining out of reach of Australian legal authorities after that time; and therefore

(e) calls on the Australian and Indonesian Governments to undertake all actions necessary prior to 1 January 2003 to ensure that Abu Quessai is immediately brought to justice:

(i) on all matters relating to the outstanding warrants relating to people smuggling, and

(ii) in relation to his involvement with the vessel known as SIEV X, including the foundering and sinking of that vessel with the resultant tragic loss of 353 lives.