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Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Page: 8770


Senators Singh and Xenophon to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that 23 November to 27 November 2015 is Asbestos Awareness Week,

(ii) the success of the Second International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management hosted by the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency in Brisbane from 22 November to 24 November 2015,

(iii) mesothelioma is a cancer generally caused by exposure to asbestos fibres,

(iv) Australia has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world,

(v) as many as 40 000 Australians will be diagnosed with asbestos-related injuries in the next 20 years, and

(vi) that recently Australians have been exposed to a wide range of imported goods and materials containing asbestos that have not been detected by our customs services, including fibre cement sheets and children's crayons;

(b) supports the Asbestos Awareness Month 2015 national campaign which aims to inform homeowners, renovators, tradespeople and handymen about the dangers of asbestos in and around homes and how to manage it safely; and

(c) urges Australians with questions to visit

Senator Day to move:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges the Turnbull Government's renewed focus on innovation and improved commercialisation of research;

(b) welcomes the recent Australian delegations to Israel, including a delegation with the Assistant Minister for Innovation (Mr Roy), to support innovation-related trade with Israel;

(c) notes that the 2015 Bloomberg Global Innovation index:

(i) ranked Israel 5th overall ahead of the United States of America (US) in 6th and Australia in 13th place, and

(ii) shows Australia now has free trade agreements with the 1st (Japan), 2nd (South Korea), 6th (US) and 8th (Singapore) ranked nations;

(d) recognises that the European Union, the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Turkey have direct free trade agreements with Israel; and

(e) calls on the Australian Government to initiate negotiations with Israel towards a free trade agreement.

Attorney-General (Senator Brandis) to move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend family law, and for related purposes. Family Law Amendment (Financial Agreements and Other Measures) Bill 2015.

Senator Whish-Wilson to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 27 July 2016:

The inconsistencies and inadequacies of current criminal, civil and administrative penalties for corporate and financial misconduct or white-collar crime, with particular reference to:

(a) evidentiary standards across various acts and instruments;

(b) the use and duration of custodial sentences;

(c) the use and duration of banning orders;

(d) the value of fine and other monetary penalties, particularly in proportion to the amount of wrongful gains;

(e) the availability and use of mechanisms to recover wrongful gains;

(f) penalties used in other countries, particularly members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]; and

(g) any other relevant matters.

Senator s Moore and Waters to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that 8 December 2015 is the 40th anniversary of the first official broadcast of community radio station 4ZZZ-FM from studios at the University of Queensland,

(ii) that 4ZZZ was the first FM stereo radio station in Queensland, the first community broadcaster in Australia with journalists accredited by the then Australian Journalists Association, and the first mass-audience format community broadcaster in Australia,

(iii) that 4ZZZ has provided, and continues to provide, an important means of exposure for many Brisbane musicians and artists and an important independent local outlet for information and news, and

(iv) the opinion of the hugely influential and prolific Brisbane musician, Mr Ed Keupper, that 'the importance of 4ZZZ in the development of an independent music and arts scene in Brisbane cannot be overstated';

(b) congratulates all those involved in establishing and maintaining this pioneering community-based radio station now broadcasting from studios in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane; and

(c) expresses support for the ongoing development of community broadcasting in Australia as an important component in ensuring the community has access to a diverse and adequate range of information and entertainment.

Senator Rhiannon to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report:

The contamination issues on and around RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales, and government responses to that contamination, with particular reference to:

(a) the contamination of water, soil and any other natural or human made structures at RAAF Base Williamtown and the surrounding environs;

(b) responses by both the Department of Defence, RAAF Base Williamtown management and the relevant New South Wales authorities to the contamination, including when base employees, local residents and businesses, Port Stephens and Newcastle City Councils, and the New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were informed of the contamination;

(c) the adequacy of legislation and regulations to deal with this contamination in regard to human health and environmental damage;

(d) compensation for loss of income due to impact on business and property values, impact on property values regardless of any associated income loss, impact on health and wellbeing, and any other matters associated with living in the Red Zone;

(e) adequacy of public disclosure of information about the contamination;

(f) broader issues including the Department of Defence and Port Stephens City Council's willingness to address long-standing surface water issues exacerbated by RAAF Base Williamtown;

(g) a comprehensive historical study of pollution, contamination and unsafe activities at RAAF Base Williamtown;

(h) a study of the health impacts of pollution linked to RAAF Base Williamtown on employees, residents and visitors;

(i) the adequacy of current legislation to enable the New South Wales EPA to respond to and regulate lands controlled and/or owned by a federal entity which would otherwise have the full jurisdiction of the New South Wales EPA if that same pollution event occurred on non-federally owned and controlled land; and

(j) any other related matters.

Senator Bilyk to move:

That the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity be authorised to hold private meetings otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1), during the sittings of the Senate, from 10 am, as follows:

(a) Thursday, 4 February 2016, followed by a public hearing;

(b) Thursday, 25 February 2016; and

(c) Thursday, 17 March 2016.

Senators Madigan, Day, Lazarus, Wang and Leyonhjelm to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that

(i) over one million Australian tertiary students are forced to pay up to $286 per year as a Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF),

(ii) students at the moment have very little say in how the SSAF monies are spent by their universities and student associations, and

(iii) SSAF is levied regardless of students' need, willingness and ability to access the services and activities they are paying for; and

(b) calls on the Government to amend the Higher Education Support Act so that the SSAF can only be levied with the support of the majority of students at each university campus in a mandatory ballot conducted once an academic year.

Senator Ludlam to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes, with deep concern, recent political developments in Cambodia, including:

(i) the issuing of an arrest warrant based on seven-year-old defamation charges against the Opposition Leader, Mr Sam Rainsy, and his subsequent removal from Parliament and the stripping of his parliamentary immunity,

(ii) violent attacks against opposition parliamentarians, and

(iii) the removal of the Opposition Party Deputy Leader, Mr Kem Sokha, from his post as Vice-President of the National Assembly; and

(b) calls on the Cambodian Government to:

(i) revoke the arrest warrant issued against Mr Rainsy, and to allow him and other opposition parliamentarians to return to Cambodia without fear of arrest or persecution,

(ii) protect and uphold the tenets of multi-party democracy, and to take concrete steps to guarantee a free and safe political space, and

(iii) engage with the Opposition in open dialogue on actions to strengthen Cambodia's democracy.

Minister for Finance (Senator Cormann), and Senators Smith, Back, Johnston and Reynolds to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes the devastating bushfires that swept through the Salmon Gums, Scadden, Grass Patch, Merivale and Norsemen areas north of Esperance, Western Australia, in the week beginning 15 November 2015, were the State's worst bushfires in more than 50 years;

(b) acknowledges the determined efforts of the more than 200 volunteer firefighters, Fire and Emergency Services Authority personnel, State Emergency Services volunteers, and pastoralists and farmers who sought to save as many properties as possible;

(c) expresses its sincere regret at:

(i) the tragic death of Scadden farmer, Mr Kym Curnow, who lost his life after bravely making sure homes were being evacuated and turning back vehicles, and

(ii) the tragic deaths of European workers, Ms Anna Winther (29) from Norway, Ms Julia Kohrs-Lichte (19) from Germany, and Mr Thomas Butcher (31) from England, who died trying to flee the fire; and

(d) extends its sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.

Senators Xenophon, Whish-Wilson, Lambie and Lazarus to move:

That the following matters be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 3 March 2016:

(a) an examination of the powers and processes of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in relation to key strategic assets being subject to a take-over by foreign-owned interests, and whether there ought to be any legislative or regulatory changes to that framework to ensure that Australia's national interest is being adequately considered;

(b) the current exemption of purchases of state- and territory-owned assets from review by the FIRB;

(c) the recent decision by the Northern Territory Government to grant a 99-year lease over the Port of Darwin to the Chinese-owned company Landbridge Group in exchange for $506 million, with particular reference to:

(i) the extent, type (written or oral) and duration (timeframe) of consultation between the Northern Territory Government, the Federal Government, the Australian Defence Force, the Department of Defence, businesses and other interested stakeholders in relation to the lease,

(ii) the strategic importance of the Port of Darwin in terms of our national security, defence and trade capabilities and consultation in relation to same,

(iii) the impact this lease will have on industry, businesses and jobs in the Port of Darwin and surrounding areas,

(iv) the pricing regime to be applied to the use of port services under the lease,

(v) the environmental impact resulting from any expansion of activities in the Port of Darwin, particularly to nearby Aboriginal cultural sites and World War II historic sites, and

(vi) any other direct or consequential impacts and/or risks associated with the leasing of the Port of Darwin; and

(d) any other related matters.

Senator Waters to move:

That the following matters be referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by 24 August 2016:

(a) the role of gender inequality in all spheres of life in contributing to the prevalence of domestic violence;

(b) the role of gender stereotypes in contributing to cultural conditions which support domestic violence, including, but not limited to, messages conveyed to children and young people in:

(i) the marketing of toys and other products,

(ii) education, and

(iii) entertainment;

(c) the role of government initiatives at every level in addressing the underlying causes of domestic violence, including the commitments under, or related to, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children; and

(d) any other related matters.

Senator Siewert to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the suggestions by the Treasurer (Mr Morrison) that cuts may have to be made in the welfare system to pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and

(ii) those on income support have disproportionally borne the burden of two cruel budgets; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) keep their pre-election commitment to 'deliver the NDIS' but not at the expense of people on income support, and

(ii) cease their relentless attack on our social security safety net.

Senator s Cash, Lines, Moore and Waters to move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that 25 November:

(i) is the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, which is also White Ribbon Day, and

(ii) marks the start of the United Nations, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world, leading to 10 December, Human Rights Day;

(b) recognises that the White Ribbon campaign is a national male-led campaign to end men's violence against women and is now active in over 60 countries around the world;

(c) acknowledges that:

(i) one in three women in Australia have been physically attacked in their lifetimes, and these attacks are most likely to have been in the women's own home,

(ii) across the world, violence against women and girls remains one of the most serious and the most tolerated human rights violations, both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality and discrimination,

(iii) prevention strategies have a proven effect on levels of violence and if we engage the whole community in prevention and give them skills for respectful relationships, we will reduce the costs associated with violence, and

(iv) social policy initiatives and law reform addressing gender inequality are central to reducing attitudes that support violence against women; and

(d) reinforces the need for cross party support at all levels of government in the response to end the scourge of family violence.

Senator Conroy to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 4 February 2016:

Contamination of Australian Defence Force (ADF) facilities with perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), with particular reference to:

(a) how effective the investigation and assessment of all ADF sites and surrounding areas for contamination with PFOS and PFOA has been;

(b) what defence facilities have been identified as having PFOS or PFOA contamination, and what facilities may still be identified as being contaminated, including the facilities at the Army Aviation Centre Oakey and RAAF Base Williamtown;

(c) the adequacy of consultation and coordination between the Federal Government, state governments, local governments, the Department of Defence and the ADF, affected local communities and businesses, and other interested stakeholders;

(d) whether appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the health, wellbeing and safety of Australian military and civilian personnel at affected ADF facilities;

(e) the adequacy of health advice and testing of defence and civilian personnel and members of the public exposed, or potentially exposed, to the contamination;

(f) what progress has been made on remediation works at affected sites, and the adequacy of measures to control further contamination at affected sites;

(g) what compensation arrangements have been established for affected businesses and individuals; and

(h) any other related matters.

Senator Conroy to move:

That the following matter be referred to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 4 February 2016:

An examination of the foreign investment review framework, including powers and processes of the Foreign Investment Review Board, in relation to Australian assets of strategic or national significance being subject to lease or purchase by foreign owned interests, and whether there ought to be any legislative or regulatory changes to that framework to ensure Australia's national interest is being adequately considered, with particular reference to:

(a) the decision by the Northern Territory Government to grant a 99-year-lease over the Port of Darwin to Landbridge Group;

(b) the planned lease by the New South Wales Government of TransGrid;

(c) the decision by the Treasurer to block the sale of S Kidman and Co on national interest grounds; and

(d) any other related matters.