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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7646


Senators Carr and Marshall to move:

That the Senate—

(a) respectfully commemorates the 45th anniversary of the collapse of the West Gate Bridge which occurred at 11.50 am on 15 October 1970;

(b) acknowledges the sacrifice of the 35 workers who lost their lives in Australia’s worst ever industrial accident;

(c) celebrates the heroic actions of the many people who risked their own lives to assist the rescue efforts and help the injured and other survivors on that day;

(d) extends its sympathy to the families of those affected by the tragedy;

(e) recognises the sacrifice of the many workers who have been injured or killed in workplace accidents before and since the collapse of the bridge on that day; and

(f) praises the efforts of those within the union movement and others who toil to ensure that workers are able to return home safely to their loved ones at the end of each working day.

Senators Ludlam and Singh to move:

That the Senate—

(a) offers deepest condolences to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for the deadly bombing of its hospital by United States (US) forces in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which killed 22 people, including 12 MSF staff and 10 patients;

(b) notes:

(i) the MSF hospital was the only facility of its kind in north-eastern Afghanistan providing free high level life- and limb-saving trauma care, and, due to the attacks, is no longer operational and cannot provide care,

(ii) the secretariat of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) has been activated to investigate this incident subject to consent of the US and Afghan governments, and

(iii) NATO Supreme Commander, General Philip Breedlove, has publicly supported the call for the IHFFC investigation;

(c) strongly supports the need to establish the facts of this tragedy through an independent inquiry such as the IHFFC investigation; and

(d) affirms the status of health facilities as neutral, protected spaces under international law.

Senator Brandis and Senator Xenophon to move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Code Act 1995, and for related purposes. Crimes Legislation Amendment (Harming Australians) Bill 2015.

Senator Moore to move:

That the Senate notes the 20 per cent fall in public sector infrastructure spending under the Coalition Federal Government, and the Turnbull Government’s need to catch-up on 2 lost years of support for public transport projects.

Senator Fifield to move:

That the government business order of the day relating to the Migration Amendment (Regaining Control Over Australia’s Protection Obligations) Bill 2013 be discharged from the Notice Paper.

Senators Madigan and Xenophon to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in March 2016:

The regulatory framework governing the financing of electoral activities undertaken by political parties and other participants in the political process, with particular reference to:

(a) how many of the recommendations made by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in its 2011 report (the report) on its inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns were accepted by government, and how many have been implemented;

(b) what factors, if any, are contributing to any delays in implementing the accepted recommendations of the report;

(c) how much was spent on the last election in 2013 by:

(i) political parties or associated entities,

(ii) third parties,

(iii) candidates, and

(iv) Senate groups;

(d) what proportion of the expenditure at the last election in 2013 was provided by private sources, including:

(i) what amounts were acquired from each source,

(ii) the circumstances of the donation or contribution,

(iii) whether third parties were involved in the donations or contributions, and

(iv) what influence those sources had on the political process;

(e) what is the current level of public funding provided to:

(i) political parties or associated entities,

(ii) third parties,

(iii) candidates, and

(iv) Senate groups;

(f) how public funds are allocated to electoral activities, and whether the current levels of such funds should be increased or decreased or allocated differently;

(g) whether the status of the political donations as tax deductions should be maintained;

(h) whether any comparable democracies:

(i) regulate electoral contributions from private donors, or particular classes of private donors, or

(ii) have absolute limits on private funding on electoral activities, and, if so, what policy objectives underlie the regulation and whether those objectives are achieved;

(i) how the regulation of electoral funding is achieved in comparative democracies, and whether it is applicable in the Commonwealth sphere; and

(j) any other related matter.

Senators Simms and Xenophon to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the intention of British Petroleum (BP) to perform high-risk exploratory drilling in the Great Australian Bight,

(ii) that the current environmental and safety evaluation being performed by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) for exploration lease approval requires BP to release sufficient information so stakeholders can make informed assessment of the project and its possible consequences,

(iii) that BP has not released critical information such as its:

(A) Environmental Plan,

(B) oil spill modelling, or

(C) oil spill emergency plan,

(iv) that given:

(A) the natural beauty of the Great Australian Bight,

(B) the ecological uniqueness of the Great Australian Bight and its critical importance for marine life, including blue, southern right, sperm, killer and humpback whales,

(C) that an oil spill of this nature could devastate the $442 million South Australian fishing industry, as well as the state’s $1 billion coastal tourism industries,

(D) that 90 per cent of oil spills take place during exploratory drilling,

(E) that the Great Australian Bight contains some of the roughest and most remote open waters on the planet, and

(F) that in the event of an oil spill, it may take up to 157 days to cap an oil well,

that this lack of environmental transparency does not meet the sufficient information criteria for NOPSEMA’s 28 day approval process; and

(b) calls on BP to release their Environmental Plan, and, failing that, NOPSEMA to reject BP’s exploration lease application.

Senator Lazarus to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ReefBlitz is an important initiative providing an opportunity to discover, identify and record the plants and animals living in and around the Great Barrier Reef that will take place in Townsville, Queensland, on 16 October and 17 October 2015;

(b) acknowledges the valuable contribution of ReefBlitz in educating the community and promoting the unique marine environment in the Great Barrier Reef, and also in generating tourism in north Queensland;

(c) commends the sponsors, organisers, participants, and the numerous volunteers who enable ReefBlitz to take place each year; and

(d) calls on the Government to recognise the importance of ecological sustainability in and around the Great Barrier Reef and other protected marine areas in and around Australia.

Senator Lazarus to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the people of Queensland have no legal right to stop mining companies from entering their land to mine coal seam gas (CSG);

(b) further notes that rural and regional communities across Queensland are being devastated by the impact of CSG mining, including loss of underground water, contamination of underground and surface water, health impacts, mental health issues, reduced quality of life, reduced land values and other forms of stress, trauma and suffering;

(c) acknowledges that the impact of CSG mining and the behaviour of resource companies in harassing, bullying and intimidating landholders is splintering families, dividing communities and creating personal and financial hardship;

(d) understands that the people affected by CSG mining have no fair and equitable legal recourse to address their concerns given the significant power imbalance between those affected and the mining companies;

(e) calls on the Government to urgently consider the establishment of a Resources Ombudsman and a CSG Mining Commissioner to address the issues being experienced by the people of Queensland and elsewhere across the country affected by CSG mining; and

(f) urges the Government to consider undertaking an urgent audit of the human impacts of CSG mining, and to establish support services and other forms of assistance, including medical assistance, for those affected by CSG mining.

Senator Carr to move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Education and Training, by no later than 4.30 pm on Thursday, 15 October 2015, any reports resulting from the review of the Disability Support Program conducted by KPMG on behalf of the Department of Education and Training (contract no. CN2478741).

Senator Siewert to move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Health (Senator Nash) by 22 October 2015, a copy of the following in relation to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ):

(a) any advice FSANZ has received from the Attorney-General’s department, the Attorney-General’s office or the Solicitor-General relating to the right of FSANZ to give advice regarding the interpretation of the Food Standards Code;

(b) the terms of reference for the report it has commissioned from an ‘expert toxicologist’ on the safety of nano titanium dioxide and silica; and

(c) the contract for that report.

Senator Rhiannon to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Federal Government is contributing substantial funding to the WestConnex Motorway despite no business case being released,

(ii) the Environmental Impact Statement for the M4 East Tunnel shows it will be at capacity by 2031,

(iii) irreparable damage would be done to the Haberfield conservation area with hundreds of people forced from their homes and many heritage houses slated for demolition,

(iv) asbestos waste is being removed from the M5 interchange site in St Peters,

(v) removal of that asbestos waste is continuing without any environmental impact statement having been released, and

(vi) local residents have collected evidence that safety regulations are being breached in relation to the removal of the asbestos waste; and

(b) calls on the Government to hold current and future scheduled federal payments to the WestConnex project until the full business case is made public and proper community consultation and planning approvals are complete.

Senators Carr, Lambie, Lazarus and Siewert to move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Education and Training, no later than 3.30 pm on Thursday, 15 October 2015, the following:

(a) a redacted copy of any reports delivered under the Nous Group contract, ‘Assessment of Stakeholder Views—Higher Education’ listed on the Austender website (contract number CN3277481), omitting any reference to the views expressed by individual senators or their staff; and

(b) all other documentation related to the contract, including the contract itself and any correspondence between the Nous Group and the Minister or his department, omitting any reference to the views expressed by individual senators or their staff.