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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Page: 9673

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (15:47): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator SIEWERT: I asked to be joined to this motion because it is so important. People may remember that the Community Affairs References Committee did a report on hearing services in Australia. We had a whole chapter on hearing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We know very clearly the links with the issue that we have just been talking about. I have another motion on the links between hearing and incarceration. For example, the last information that became available on the hearing of Aboriginal prisoners in incarceration in the Northern Territory and in the Darwin Correctional Centre was that around 90 per cent of Aboriginal prisoners had some form of hearing impairment. The link is really clear, which is why we are so passionate about making sure we are addressing hearing, particularly of Aboriginal children. We know the life impacts that it has if we do not address these issues.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Peris, you can seek leave. It is up to the Senate, but there has been a strong recommendation that there be only one speaker per party during this time. In fact, the Procedure Committee some time ago indicated that this is normally for the discovery of formal business and no debate or speeches should be made, but there has been this tolerance for some time. You can seek leave of the chamber if you wish to. I just wish to let you know what the convention has been.

Question agreed to.