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Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Page: 2291


Senator Bob Brown to move:

That the Senate endorse the payment of the legal expenses of Senator Bob Brown and Senator Milne in the matter of the referral by Senator Kroger to the Committee of Privileges after receipt of and accreditation of those expenses by the President.

Senator Humphries to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes the findings by Andrew Kirkham AM, RFD, QC into the 'ADFA Skype affair', in particular his finding that the Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy, Commodore Bruce Kafer AM, CSC, RAN, made no error of judgement in his decisions to commence and conclude the disciplinary proceedings against the female officer cadet;

   (b)   expresses confidence in Commodore Kafer's performance in his duties as Commandant of ADFA; and

   (c)   calls on the Minister representing the Minister for Defence (Senator Evans) to explain why the government took 85 days to release the findings of the Kirkham Inquiry.

Senators Boyce, Carol Brown, Siewert and Fifield to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that 21 March 2012, marks the 7th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and the first time that day has been acknowledged under the auspices of the United Nations (UN);

   (b)   congratulates Down Syndrome International, Down Syndrome associations in Australia and the hundreds of thousands of people who campaigned for World Down Syndrome Day to be officially recognised by the UN;

   (c)   notes that the UN resolution to recognise World Down Syndrome Day was proposed by Brazil and co-sponsored by 78 UN member states, including Australia;

   (d)   recognises that Down Syndrome is the most prevalent genetic cause of intellectual disability and that the characteristics of Down Syndrome have been known for centuries;

   (e)   acknowledges:

      (i)   that barriers faced by people with Down Syndrome can be overcome through the shared vision for an inclusive Australia society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens, and

      (ii)   the multi-partisan support for a national disability insurance scheme and encourages the Australian Government to continue to push forward with the implementation of such a scheme to give Australians with Down Syndrome and other disabilities the opportunity to live fulfilling lives; and

   (f)   supports the celebration of UN World Down Syndrome Day by people with Down Syndrome, their families, friends and carers, and the wider community.

Senator Rhiannon to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

      (i)   on 13 February 2012 the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Rudd, issued a media release in response to the Sri Lankan Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) final report, stating 'The LLRC report contains constructive proposals for advancing reconciliation and reconstruction, including through reducing the presence of security forces in the North, care of internally displaced persons and media freedoms',

      (ii)   the Australian Government has consistently urged Sri Lanka to investigate all allegations of crimes committed by both sides of the conflict, including those raised in the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka report, and

      (iii)   in light of the report's failure to comprehensively address such allegations, the Government continues to call on Sri Lanka for all such allegations to be investigated in a transparent and independent manner; and

   (b)   calls on the Australian Government to, as a minimum, support efforts to secure a United States initiated resolution on Sri Lanka at the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council through the Australian permanent representative in Geneva.

Senator Waters to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes a current report by The Australia Institute, which finds:

      (i)   the mining boom in Queensland is likely to destroy one non-mining job for every two mining jobs it creates, with the loss of at least 20 000 jobs should all 39 resource projects analysed proceed, and

      (ii)   the reality of the mining boom for the 99 per cent of Queenslanders who do not work in the mining industry is higher housing costs, higher mortgage interest rates and fewer jobs in tourism, manufacturing and agriculture,

   (b)   further notes the statements of the National Secretary of the CFMEU [Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union] on 19 March 2012 to the effect that:

      (i)   the strength of the mining industry is driving up the Australian dollar to unprecedented levels and across the country Australia's manufacturing sector is under too much strain, and thousands of jobs are being lost in the finance sector too, and

      (ii)   Australians outside the mining industry are doing it tough because of the impact of the mining industry on the economy, causing a lot of unhappiness; and

   (c)   calls on the Government to:

      (i)   assess the real impacts of the mining boom on Queensland communities and the state's economy, and

      (ii)   reassess its decision to use proceeds of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax to fund infrastructure which will benefit the mining industry instead of benefiting Queenslanders through investment in initiatives such as national dental care, education funding, national disability insurance scheme, high speed rail and a sovereign wealth fund.

Senator Di Natale to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes that:

      (i)   Medicare has completed audits of 89 dentists who accessed the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme,

      (ii)   a further 540 audits are still underway,

      (iii)   of the completed audits, only 12 were found to be for the non-provision of claimed services,

      (iv)   of the remaining audits found to be non-compliant, non-compliance is in most cases of a technical and administrative nature, whereby the practitioner failed to provide a written quote to the patient or a treatment summary to the referring doctor in a timely fashion, and

      (v)   claims for full repayment of services delivered under Medicare to the community may result in undue hardship to dental practitioners who acted in good faith; and

   (b)   calls on the Government to waive its right to the repayment of debts incurred by dental practitioners as a result of a Medicare audit where:

      (i)   all services claimed were rendered properly and in good faith to eligible patients, and

      (ii)   the nature of the non-compliance was purely administrative in nature.

Senator Ludlam to move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, no later than noon on Thursday, 22 March 2012, information relating to the most recent meeting convened by the Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department, Mr Roger Wilkins, with Internet service providers and representatives of the film, television and music industries, including but not limited to:

   (a)   a list of invitees;

   (b)   a list of attendees;

   (c)   notes arising from the meeting;

   (d)   minutes arising from the meeting;

   (e)   any documentation issued to attendees;

   (f)   any internal departmental correspondence regarding the meeting; and

   (g)   any documents relating to future meetings.

Senator Abetz to move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   expresses confidence in the President's handling of the recent privileges issue for which Senator Kroger sought precedence; and

   (b)   notes with dismay the criticisms by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) of the President, both in the Senate chamber on 19 March 2012 and at the Senate doors on 20 March 2012.

Senator Cormann to move:

That the Corporations Amendment (Phoenixing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 be referred to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 May 2012.

Senator Bob Brown to move:

That the chair of the Committee of Privileges report to the Senate on why the letter to the committee requesting the recusal of Senator Brandis SC, dated 22 December 2011, was not circulated to committee members before February 2012.

Senator Bob Brown to move:

That recognising the Indigenous people of Australia be the first matter for the Senate each day, as it is in the House of Representatives.

Senator Boswell to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 9 June 2012:

The effect of the implementation of the Marine Bio-regional Parks policy on recreational and commercial fishing trawling, and associated industries, including:

   (a)   the scientific basis on which the marine bio-regions have been developed, including the location of closures, and the development of a management policy for these parks;

   (b)   the policy underpinning the restrictions on fishing trawlers in the green, multiple-use, general purpose and special purpose zones, and the subsequent impact on fishing licences;

   (c)   the cost of buying out existing fishing licences, as a result of the Marine Bio-regional Parks policy, and the development of a compensation framework for fishermen, allied seafood businesses (such as processors, wholesalers and retailers) and tourism operators who have been adversely affected by the Marine Bio-regional Parks policy; and

   (d)   any other related matter.