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Notice given 11 March 2008

29  Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Allison): To move—That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Education, no later than 4.30 pm on Thursday, 20 March 2008, a copy of the Department of Education, Science and Training review of private school funding report.

37  Leader of the Australian Democrats (Senator Allison): To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that Amnesty International, CARE International UK, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Medecins du Monde UK, Oxfam, Save the Children UK and Trocaire, in the week beginning 2 March 2008 said that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is now worse than it was at any time since Israel occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967,

(ii) that those organisations in the week beginning 9 March 2008 described Israel’s blockade of Gaza as a collective punishment of the entire Gazan population of 1.5 million and said it was unacceptable and illegal,

(iii) that the situation has worsened since Israel imposed the severe restrictions over the Gaza Strip and hindered the movement of residents and goods,

(iv) that poverty levels in the Gaza Strip are rising and that hospitals are suffering 12 hour power cuts each day while water and sewage systems are close to collapse,


 (v) that the United Nations (UN) emergency relief coordinator in Gaza says medical services are deteriorating, private industry has more or less collapsed, hospitals lack sufficient beds, drugs, resuscitation devices, needles and blood to meet the demand and more than 80 per cent of the population are receiving emergency rations from UN agencies as their main source of food,

(vi) that 40 per cent of the Gaza population has access to water for only a few hours a day and that municipal authorities lack the fuel and spare parts needed to maintain water delivery infrastructure which could collapse at any time and that 40 million litres of raw or partially-treated sewage is being pumped into the Mediterranean Sea every day with long-term risks to the environment, and

(vii) that the International Save the Children Alliance advised that hundreds of thousands of children are among those most at risk in the crisis in Gaza with increased levels of chronic disease, anaemia, diarrhoea and malnutrition in children under 5 years of age;

(b) urges the Government to work with the international community and parties to the conflict to, as a matter of urgency:

(i) establish procedures to manage the crossings and re-establish full humanitarian and commercial access to Gaza,

(ii) enforce the full implementation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, which was announced by the United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, in Jerusalem on 15 November 2005,

(iii) develop a strategy that ensures the protection of children and other civilians in Gaza, while negotiations continue for an end to the violence and a comprehensive settlement of the conflict, and

(iv) increase the levels of humanitarian aid in Gaza to reflect the severity of need; and

(c) considers that celebrating the 60th anniversary of Israel’s statehood should not be interpreted as endorsement of action that gave rise to such crises or approval of the failure to deliver peace and a separate state for Palestinians, an objective that appears less likely now than at any time in the past 60 years.

41  Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown): To move—That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to repeal provisions relating to group voting tickets and provide for preferential above-the-line voting, and for related purposes. Commonwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008 .