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Thursday, 20 May 1993
Page: 972


Senator GARETH EVANS (Leader of the Government in the Senate) —I table the Government's response to the President's report on outstanding government responses to parliamentary committee reports and seek leave to incorporate that document in Hansard and to move a motion in relation to it.

  Leave granted.

  The document read as follows—

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE REPORTS

RESPONSE TO THE LIST TABLED IN THE SENATE BY THE PRESIDENT ON 17 DECEMBER 1992

PRIVILEGES

Possible improper interference with a witness and possible misleading evidence before the National Crime Authority Committee (recommendation 2)

Recommendation 2 by the Committee was that appropriate steps be taken to clarify matters of concern in relation to sections 51 and 55 of the National Crime Authority Act 1984.

As the Government had foreshadowed in its response to the PJC report "Who is to Guard the Guards?", the National Crime Authority Amendment Bill (No.2) 1992 was introduced in November 1992. The Bill was amended in the Senate in a manner unacceptable to the Government, and was subsequently not pursued in the House of Representatives in December. The Government is now considering what further action it might take.

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS—STANDING

Alleged intimidation of witnesses—implementation of pharmaceutical restructuring measures inquiry

The Government has noted the Committee's Report. The Committee recommended the matter be referred by the Senate to the Committee of Privileges. As there were no other recommendations in the report no further Government response is necessary.

Employment of people with disabilities

Presented to the President of the Senate on 4 February 1993.

LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS—STANDING

Feasibility of a National ID Scheme: The Tax File Number

The response is still under consideration and will be provided in due course.

RURAL AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS—STANDING

A National Drought Policy—First Report

No response required.

A National Drought Policy—Final Report

The Government is working to implement the recommendations of the report and will provide a full response to the Senate in the Autumn 1993 sitting.

ANIMAL WELFARE—SELECT

Kangaroos

Final response tabled 6 May 1993.

COMMUNITY STANDARDS RELEVANT TO THE SUPPLY OF SERVICES UTILISING TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES—SELECT

Final Report

The Government intends to respond to this report during the 1993 Budget sitting.

SUBSCRIPTION TELEVISION BROADCASTING SERVICES—SELECT

Final Report

The Government response to this report was reflected in the Second Reading Speech for the Broadcasting Services (Subscription Television Broadcasting) Amendment Bill 1992 delivered by the Minister for Transport and Communications, Senator the Hon. Bob Collins, on 4 November 1992.

ELECTORAL MATTERS—JOINT

The Conduct of Elections: new boundaries for cooperation

The response is to be tabled during the 1993 Budget sitting.

MIGRATION REGULATIONS—JOINT

Australia's refugee and humanitarian system: Achieving a balance between refuge and control.

The Government's response has been delayed due to the need to consider the important issues raised by the report relating to the humanitarian claims of PRC nationals in Australia within the overall context of refugee determination. These are policy issues which are presently being addressed by the Government.

The former Minister Mr Hand wrote to the Chairman of the Committee on 5 February 1993 advising that the report had raised a number of complex issues which required further investigation and that a response would not be available within the normal time frame of three months.

A formal response to the report will be prepared and available at the earliest date possible following the conclusion of Government deliberations on the related policy issues.

NATIONAL CAPITAL—JOINT

Gungahlin's Transport Links

The Government's response was tabled on 13 May 1993.

NATIONAL CRIME AUTHORITY—JOINT

Legal casinos and organised criminal activities

The Government notes that, at this stage, the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) has decided not to pursue its inquiry into legal casinos and organised criminal activity, and that the PJC will review its decision early in these sittings.


Senator GARETH EVANS —by leave—I move:

  That the Senate take note of the document.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.