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Thursday, 13 September 2007
Page: 142

Senator FAULKNER (3:57 PM) —I have a very brief oral report to make to the Senate on behalf of the Senate Standing Committee of Privileges on the subject of unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings. A sessional order on this subject was agreed to by the Senate on 6 October 2005, following a recommendation of this committee in its 122nd report and also following appropriate scrutiny of the drafting by the Procedure Committee.

The Privileges Committee has kept a watching brief on the operation of the order and notes that, since the order came into effect, not one new case of unauthorised disclosure has been raised as a matter of privilege. The committee also notes a small number of reports on committees’ use of the procedure to investigate their own cases of unauthorised disclosure and to determine whether further action is warranted.

In the committee’s view, the order appears to be operating effectively in conjunction with the 1996 order of continuing effect on this subject and should therefore be placed on the same footing. I therefore seek leave to give notice of a motion for the Senate to adopt the terms of the sessional order agreed to on 6 October 2005 as an order of continuing effect.

Leave granted.

Senator FAULKNER —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the sessional order adopted on 6 October 2005 in relation to the unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings operate as an order of continuing effect.