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NOTICES

Senator Tambling: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) congratulates the people of the Northern Territory on their new

Parliament House in Darwin, which was officially opened by the

Governor-General on 18 August 1994;

(b) notes that the historic opening was attended by 600 Territory

residents, school children, members of the Northern Territory

Legislative Assembly, Northern Territory federal parliamentary

representatives and dignitaries including former

Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowen, former Prime Ministers, Sir

John Gorton and the Honourable Gough Whitlam, the Deputy Prime

Minister (Mr Howe), the Treasurer (Mr Willis), the Minister for

Human Services and Health (Dr Lawrence), the Leader of the

National Party (Mr Fischer), former party leader, the Right

Honourable Ian Sinclair, State Premiers, the Australian Capital

Territory Chief Minister (Ms Follett) and members of the

diplomatic corps;

(c) recognises the significance of this building, which hosted a

Council of Australian Governments meeting on 19 August 1994, and

which, in future, will accommodate 200 to 300 people, house a

parliamentary chamber, offices for Ministers and Members, and

the State reference library and provide facilities for a State

crisis centre to co-ordinate relief operations; and

(d) commends local industry and tradesmen on the high quality design

and workmanship involved in the construction of the Northern

Territory's premier building.

Senator Sandy Macdonald: To move on the next day of sitting--That the

Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) the Government has now decided to abandon plans to sell

the Australian National Line (ANL),

(ii) ANL has lost more than $30 million per year over the

past 4 years, and

(iii) the Government has failed, over the past 4 years, to

take any remedial action on ANL and has allowed a once

saleable asset to erode to a state of which the

Minister for Transport (Mr Brereton) said "you couldn't

give it away'; and

(b) calls on the Minister to give an undertaking that:

(i) ANL will be operated for a trial period only before a

further assessment is made of its viability,

(ii) the Government will not pour any more of taxpayers'

funds into ANL, and

(iii) the Government will initiate its own investigation to

determine why the Australian taxpayers are left with a

Government business enterprise with a negative value of

$117 million.

Senator Spindler: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) all Australians are entitled to equality before the law

and that it is contrary to the basic principles of

justice in a democratic society to use the States'

rights argument in an attempt to deprive Australian

citizens of that basic right just because they live in

a particular geographical area,

(ii) the Australian Government's foreshadowed response to

the Tasmanian medieval "anti-gay' laws is inadequate in

that it fails to protect Australian citizens resident

in Tasmania against police harassment and prosecution,

(iii) it is disappointing that the Government has not had the

courage to introduce comprehensive legislation

prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexuality,

particularly in view of the United Nations Human Rights

Committee's published view that the protection under

the International Covenant on Civil and Political

Rights against discrimination on the grounds of sex

extends to sexuality; and

(b) calls on the Commonwealth Government to strengthen its proposed

legislation to ensure that the right to equality before the law

is enjoyed by all Australians.

Senator Alston: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) warmly congratulates the Australian Opera for being invited to

perform its widely acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night's

Dream at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival;

(b) acknowledges the enormous international interest and admiration

for the Australian Opera, given that its three performances at

the festival on 25, 26 and 27 August 1994 were all sold out a

month ago;

(c) recognises that it is the company's first tour beyond Australia

and New Zealand;

(d) acknowledges the hundreds of private and corporate sponsors who

have made it possible for the opera to make its debut at the

festival; and

(e) wishes the cast, including 24 children from Melbourne, crew and

management all the very best.

Senator Brownhill: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) nearly 60 per cent of New South Wales and a third of

Queensland are suffering from drought,

(ii) despite the dismissive remarks by the Prime Minister

(Mr Keating) that it is a mere climatic variability,

weather experts claim the current drought is of

historic and devastating proportions, and

(iii) even Labor Members of Parliament have suggested removal

of the assets test for income support and Austudy; and

(b) calls on the Government to recognise the severity and extent of

this national tragedy and provide more than stop-gap, ad hoc

handouts to a sector that contributes significantly to the

economic wealth of Australia.

Senator Tambling: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) condemns the Government for its fiscal irresponsibilitiesand

mismanagement resulting in the Reserve Bank of Australia's

decision to raise official interest rates higher and sooner than

would otherwise be necessary;

(b) notes the Government's disregard of evidence that Australia's

home finance market has continued its slowdown over recent

months;

(c) deplores the Government's approval of the Reserve Bank of

Australia's decision to increase the risk weighting for home

loans where equity is less than 20 per cent and its consequent

effect on low income earners; and

(d) expresses concern at the Government's lack of understanding and

compassion for the housing needs of Australian families.

Senator Bell: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) congratulates the National Registration Authority for

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals for:

(i) responding positively to community concerns by

scheduling a meeting in Launceston as part of its

review of the existing chemicals program to discuss the

program with community groups, and

(ii) announcing its intention to investigate the presence of

chemicals in groundwater in Tasmania; and

(b) calls on the Government to ensure, as a matter of urgency, that

the Authority has the capacity to effectively control the use of

the chemicals it registers.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public

Administration (Senator Coates): To move on the next day of

sitting--That, in relation to paragraph 3 of the resolution of the

Senate of 28 June 1994 concerning indexed lists of departmental files,

the time for the presentation of the report of the Standing Committee on

Finance and Public Administration be extended to 20 September 1994.

Senator Margetts: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) on 29 May 1994, 20 000 anti-nuclear activists marched

through Taipei in Taipei's largest protest against the

construction of a fourth nuclear power plant, and

(ii) in Thailand, community dissent is likely to succeed in

stopping the construction of Thailand's first nuclear

power plant;

(b) congratulates the thousands of anti-nuclear activists and

environmentalists in Taiwan and Thailand for their hard work in

successfullygiving a voice to community dissent; and

(c) stands in solidarity with the people of Thailand and Taiwan in

stopping the proliferation of nuclear power because it is

synonymous with human and environmental damage and the spread of

nuclear weapons around the world.

Senator Tambling: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) condemns the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Housing and

Regional Development (Mr Howe) for his failure to participate in

debate on the Reserve Bank of Australia's moves to raise

official interest rates; and

(b) calls on the Minister to establish a special taskforce within

his department as a matter of priority to address the problems

of housing access and costs, the management of mortgage and

rental arrears, and the consequences for those in crisis.

Senator Jones: To move on the next day of sitting--That the Human Rights

Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs,

Defence and Trade be authorised to hold a public hearing during the

sittings of the Senate on 25 August 1994 from 6 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (Senator Collins), at the

request of the Minister for Defence (Senator Ray): To move motions to

make the following changes to standing and other orders to carry out the

recommendations of the Procedure Committee in its First Report of 1994

relating to the committee system:

STANDING COMMITTEES

1. Standing order 25

Leave out paragraphs (1) to (11) inclusive, substitute the following

paragraphs:

(1) At the commencement of each Parliament, Legislative and General

Purpose Standing Committees shall be appointed, as follows:

Community Affairs

References Committee

Legislation Committee

Economics

References Committee

Legislation Committee

Employment, Education and Training

References Committee

Legislation Committee

Environment, Recreation, Communications and the Arts

References Committee

Legislation Committee

Finance and Public Administration

References Committee

Legislation Committee

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

References Committee

Legislation Committee

Legal and Constitutional

References Committee

Legislation Committee

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

References Committee

Legislation Committee.

(2) (a) The References Committees shall inquire into and report upon

matters referred to them by the Senate, other than the

matters to be referred to the Legislation Committees.

(b) The Legislation Committees shall inquire into and report upon

estimates of expenditure referred to them in accordance with

standing order 26, any bills or draft bills referred to them,

annual reports in accordance with a reference of such reports to

them, and the performance of departments and agencies allocated

to them.

(3) References concerning departments and agencies shall be allocated

to the committees in accordance with a resolution of the Senate

allocating departments and agencies to the committees.

(4) The committees shall inquire into and report upon matters referred

to their predecessor committees appointed under this standing order and

not disposed of by those committees, in accordance with the allocation

of matters in paragraph (2), and in considering those matters may

consider the evidence and records of those committees relating to those

matters.

(5) (a) The References Committees shall consist of 8 senators, 3

nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 4

nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and

one nominated by minority groups and independent senators.

(b) The Legislation Committees shall consist of 6 senators, 3

nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2

nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and one

nominated by minority groups and independent senators.

(6) (a) The committees to which minority groups and independent

senators make nominations shall be determined by agreement

between the minority groups and independent senators, and,

in the absence of agreement duly notified to the President,

any question of the representation on a committee shall be

determined by the Senate.

(b) The allocation of places on the committees amongst minority

groups and independent senators shall be as nearly as

practicable proportional to the numbers of those minority groups

and independent senators in the Senate.

(7) (a) Senators may be appointed to the committees as

substitutesfor members of the committees in respect of

particular matters before the committees.

(b) On the nominations of the Leader of the Government in the

Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and minority

groups and independent senators, participating members may be

appointed to the committees.

(c) Participating members may participate in hearings of evidence

and deliberations of the committees, and have all the rights of

members of committees, but may not vote on any questions before

the committees.

(8) A committee may appoint subcommittees consisting of three or more

of its members, and refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters

which the committee is empowered to consider.

(9) The References Committee and the Legislation Committee for each

subject area may meet together by decision of each committee to confer

on any matter referred to either committee and to coordinate their work

where necessary.

(10) (a) Each of 6 References Committees shall elect as its chair a

member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the

Senate, and each of 2 References Committees shall elect as

its chair a member of the largest minority group in the

Senate.

(b) The chairs to which members nominated by the Leader of the

Opposition in the Senate and members of the largest minority

group are elected shall be determined by agreement between the

Opposition and the largest minority group, and, in the absence

of agreement duly notified to the President, any question of the

allocation of chairs shall be determined by the Senate.

(c) Each Legislation Committee shall elect as its chair a member

nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

(d) Each committee shall elect one of its members as its deputy

chair, and the member so elected shall act as the chair of the

committee when the member elected as chair is absent from a

meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily

vacant.

(e) Where the chair of a committee is a member nominated by the

Leader of the Government in the Senate, the deputy chair shall

be a member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the

Senate or minority groups and independent senators, and where

the chair is a member nominated by the Leader of the Opposition

in the Senate or minority groups and independent senators, the

deputy chair shall be a member nominated by the Leader of the

Government in the Senate.

(f) When votes on a question before a committee are equally divided,

the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, shall have

a casting vote.

(11) The chairs of the committees, together with the chairs of any

select committees appointed by the Senate, shall constitute the Chairs'

Committee, which may meet with the Deputy President in the chair, and

may consider and report to the Senate on any matter relating to the

operations of the committees.

2. Standing order 26

Leave out the standing order, substitute the following standing order:

26. (1) Annual and additional estimates, contained in the documents

presenting the particulars of proposed expenditure and additional

expenditure, shall be referred to the Legislation Committees for

examination and report.

(2) In respect of their examination of the estimates, the committees

shall not have power to send for persons and documents.

(3) The committees shall hear evidence on the estimates in public

session.

(4) Not more than four committees shall hear evidence on the estimates

simultaneously.

(5) When a committee hears evidence on the estimates, the chair shall,

without motion, call on items of expenditure in the order decided upon

and declare the proposed expenditure open for examination.

(6) The committees may ask for explanations from ministers in the

Senate, or officers, relating to the items of proposed expenditure.

(7) The report of a committee on the estimates may propose the further

consideration of any items.

(8) A Hansard report of the committees' hearings of evidence on the

estimates shall be circulated, in a manner similar to the daily Senate

Hansards, as soon as practicable after each day's proceedings.

3. Allocation of departments and annual reports

That the following resolution be substituted for the resolutions of 14

December 1989 and 13 May 1993:

(1) That departments and agencies be allocated to the Legislative and

General Purpose Standing Committees as follows:

Committee Departments and agencies

in the portfolio

Community Affairs Human Services and Health

Social Security

Economics Treasurer

Industry, Science and Technology

Industrial Relations

Employment, Education and Employment, Education and

Training Training

Environment, Recreation, Environment, Sport and Territories

Communications and the Arts Tourism

Communications and the Arts

Finance and Public Administration Parliament

Prime Minister

Finance including Administrative

Services

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Foreign Affairs and Trade

Defence including Veterans' Affairs

Legal and Constitutional Attorney-General

Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Rural and Regional Affairs Primary Industries and Energy

and Transport Housing and Regional Development

Transport

(2) That annual reports of departments and agencies stand referred to

the Legislation Committees in accordance with the allocation of

departments and agencies in paragraph (1).

(3) That each committee examine each annual report referred to it and

report to the Senate whether the report is apparently satisfactory.

(4) That each committee consider in more detail, and report to the

Senate on, each annual report which is not apparently satisfactory, and

on the other annual reports which it selects for more detailed

consideration.

(5) That each committee investigate and report to the Senate on any

lateness in the presentation of annual reports.

(6) That, in considering an annual report, a committee take into

account any relevant remarks about the report made in debate in the

Senate.

(7) That annual reports of departments and budget-related agencies may

be considered by committees in conjunction with their examination of

estimates.

(8) That the committees report on annual reports tabled by 31 October

each year by the tenth sitting day of the following year, and on annual

reports tabled by 30 April each year by the tenth sitting day after 30

June of that year.

(9) That the reports of the committees draw to the attention of the

Senate any significant matters relating to the operations and

performanceof the bodies furnishing the annual reports.

(10) That each committee report to the Senate each year whether there

are any bodies which do not present annual reports to the Senate and

which should present such reports.

LEGISLATIVE SCRUTINY COMMITTEES

4. Standing order 24: Scrutiny of Bills Committee: chair

Paragraph (5), leave out "Leader of the Government", substitute: "Leader

of the Opposition in the Senate".

DOMESTIC COMMITTEES: CHAIRS

5. Standing order 17: Procedure Committee

At the end of the standing order add the following paragraph:

(4) The Deputy President shall be the chair of the Committee.

6. Standing order 18: Privileges Committee

At the end of the standing order add the following paragraphs:

(3) The Committee shall consist of 7 senators, 4 nominated by the

Leader of the Government in the Senate and 3 nominated by the Leader of

the Opposition in the Senate.

(4) The Committee shall elect as its chair a member nominated by the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

7. Standing order 20: Library Committee

At the end of the standing order add the following paragraph:

(3) The President shall be the chair of the Committee.

8. Standing order 21: House Committee

Paragraph (1), leave out "President", substitute "Deputy President".

At the end of the standing order, add the following paragraph:

(3) The Deputy President shall be the chair of the Committee.

9. Standing order 22: Publications Committee

At the end of the standing order, add the following paragraph:

(4) The Committee shall elect as its chair a member nominated by the

Leader of the Government in the Senate.

10. Standing order 22A: Senators' Interests Committee

Leave out paragraph (3), substitute the following paragraph:

(3) The Committee shall elect as its chair one of its members

nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

MATTERS AFFECTING COMMITTEES GENERALLY

11. Quorums of all committees and subcommittees

Standing order 29: Leave out paragraph (1), substitute the following

paragraph:

(1) In each committee and subcommittee, unless otherwise provided, a

quorum shall be:

(a) a majority of the members of the committee or subcommittee; or

(b) two members, where one member present was appointed to the

committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in

the Senate and one member present was appointed to the committee

on the nomination of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

Standing order 19: Leave out paragraph (5) and the second sentence of

paragraph (6).

Standing order 23: Leave out paragraph (6).

Standing order 24: Leave out paragraph (3) and the second sentence of

paragraph (4).

12. Standing order 33: Meetings during sittings

Leave out the standing order, substitute the following standing order:

33. (1) A committee of the Senate and a joint committee of both

Houses of the Parliament may meet during sittings of the Senate for the

purpose of deliberating in private session, but shall not make a

decision at such a meeting unless:

(a) all members of the committee are present; or

(b) a member appointed to the committee on the nomination of the

Leader of the Government in the Senate and a member appointed to

the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Opposition

in the Senate are present, and the decision is agreed to

unanimously by the members present.

(2) A committee shall not otherwise meet during sittings of the Senate

except by order of the Senate.

(3) Proceedings of a committee at a meeting contrary to this standing

order shall be void.

13. Standing order 38: Minority reports etc

Leave out paragraph (2), substitute the following paragraph:

(2) After a draft report has been considered and agreed to by a

committee, with or without amendment, a minority or dissenting report

may be added to the report by any member or group of members, and any

member or participating member may attach to the report relevant

conclusions and recommendations of that member.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

14. Powers of estimates committees: order of 6 May 1993

Heading, leave out "estimates committees", substitute "legislation

committees when considering estimates".

Paragraph (1), leave out "an Estimates Committee", substitute "a

legislation committee".

15. Consideration of appropriation bills in committee of the whole:

order of 6 May 1993

Paragraph (1), leave out "an Estimates Committee", substitute "a

legislation committee".

16. Estimates committees on the next day of sitting--written answers

prior to hearings: order of 23 August 1990

Heading, leave out "Estimates committees", substitute "Legislation

committees considering estimates".

17. Broadcasting of estimates committee proceedings: order of 5 May

1993

Heading, leave out "estimates committee proceedings", substitute

"proceedings of legislation committees when considering estimates".

Paragraph (1), leave out "estimates committees", substitute

"legislationcommittees when considering estimates".

Paragraph (1), leave out "an estimates committee", substitute "a

committee".

18. Powers of parliamentary secretaries: order of 6 May 1993

Paragraph (1), leave out, "Senate estimates committee", substitute

"legislation committee considering estimates".

The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (Senator Collins), at the

request of the Minister for Defence (Senator Ray): To move on the next

day of sitting--That the days of meeting of the Senate after Thursday,

25 August 1994, for the remainder of the Spring sittings, be as follows:

Monday 29 August to Thursday 1 September

Monday 19 September to Thursday 22 September

Monday 10 October to Thursday 13 October

Monday 17 October to Thursday 20 October

Monday 7 November to Thursday 10 November

Monday 14 November to Thursday 17 November

Monday 28 November to Thursday 1 December

Monday 5 December to Thursday 8 December.