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NOTICES

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance and Public

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

(1) That the standing reference of the Standing Committee on Finance

and Public Administration on the central administration of the

Australian Government be discharged.

(2) That the following matters, referred to the Standing Committee

on Finance and Public Administration on 22 March 1994, be

transferred on 10 October 1994 to the Economics References

Committee:

(a) Taxation of financial arrangements--consultative

document issued by the Treasurer; and

(b) Taxation, regulation and international competitiveness;

and

that, in considering these matters, the Economics References

Committee may consider the evidence and records of the former

Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration relating

to these matters.

(3) That, from 10 October 1994, the current standing references on

statutory authorities, non-statutory bodies and companies and

associations, be the responsibility of the Finance and Public

AdministrationLegislation Committee.

Senator Coates, by leave, made a statement relating to the notice of

motion.

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

(a) notes the worthwhile construction of the wetland project at New

Norfolk, Tasmania, to be officially opened on 3 October 1994;

(b) acknowledges the pro-active role of the mayor and council of the

municipality of New Norfolk in their acceptance of the challenge

to undertake this project;

(c) notes:

(i) the aims of the project were to treat wastewater and

create a wetland, a wetland that is already attracting

water birds and platypuses, and

(ii) notes community support for the project and the lack of

vandalism associated with the project;

(d) recognises the achievement of objectives in creating an

artificial wetland, including:

(i) reduced discharges of suspended solids, nutrients

levels and biological oxygen demand in the Derwent

River,

(ii) establishment of a southern Tasmanian wetland tourism

attraction,

(iii) an improved environmental link between Tynwald Park and

the Esplanade,

(iv) an increased experimental database on growing wetland

plant species, and

(v) reduced maintenance costs of utilised land in the

control of the council; and

(e) congratulates the people of New Norfolk on this excellent

combination of environmentally friendly treatment of wastewater

and extended recreation areas.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and

Trade (Senator Jones): To move on the next day of sitting--That the time

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

Affairs, Defence and Trade on Australia's relations with the People's

Republic of China be extended to 29 June 1995.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs

(Senator Burns): To move on the next day of sitting--That the time for

the presentation of the report of the Standing Committee on Rural and

Regional Affairs on the adequacy of the Rural Adjustment Scheme, the

extent of rural debt and mechanisms for the management of rural

reconstruction be extended to the first sitting day in December 1994.

Senator Burns, by leave, made a statement relating to the notice of

motion.

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

(a) notes that:

(i) the National Transmission Agency has failed to provide

adequate television reception to many Tasmanians

because UHF line-of-sight transmission is not suited to

Tasmania's rugged terrain,

(ii) the Government acknowledges that even after existing

equipment is upgraded in 1995 and new transmitters are

installed during the next 2 years, areas of poor

reception will remain,

(iii) in 1989, the Labor Government assured Parliament that

all existing services would remain on VHF and that

first-class television reception would be delivered to

all residents of Tasmania, and

(iv) existing national and commercial services in the flat

Riverland area of South Australia are to stay on VHF,

but hilly Tasmania has been forced to relocate to the

unsuitable UHF band;

(b) condemns the Government for ignoring the true extent of the

problem and not honouring its previous commitments; and

(c) calls on the Government to urgently investigate all areas of

poor reception and provide additional transmitters so that all

Tasmanians receive first-class television reception as

previously promised.

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

(a) notes that:

(i) a Victorian Government audit of the forest industry

code of practice found that in 30 per cent of instances

studied the code was breached by the timber industry,

and

(ii) the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories

(Senator Faulkner) is considering the formation of a

federal monitoring capability to oversee woodchipping

operations; and

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

monitoring arm within the environment portfolio before the next

round of woodchip licence renewals.

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

(a) notes that Triple J Radio is the only national radio station for

young people in Australia, with around one million listeners;

(b) congratulates Triple J Radio on its expansion into regional

Australia from 1995;

(c) notes that Triple J Radio provides exposure and promotion for

Australian artists;

(d) expresses concern that Triple J Radio's current affairs and news

programs are not monitored by the Media Information, Current

Awareness and Hansard group (MICAH) in Parliament House; and

(e) calls on the presiding officers to investigate the means by

which MICAH could monitor Triple J Radio for the benefit of

those members of Parliament who need to be properly informed.

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

(a) notes that as a result of the tax simplification project team's

proposals, Australia will have its current Income Tax Assessment

Act together with a new Act running in tandem with the result

that taxpayers and practitioners will have to examine both the

old and a new parallel Act in order to work out their

obligations; and

(b) alerts the Government to the dangers involved in not taking the

utmost care in simplifying the income tax legislation as

exemplified by the streamlined sales tax legislation which,

whilst consolidatingthe sales tax laws, created many anomalous

situations which have become increasingly apparent as time

passes.

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

Senate--

(a) applauds the results of the community survey of the people of

Mandurah where 64 per cent voted against the proposed canal

development on the Creery wetlands;

(b) welcomes the quick and positive move by the Minister for the

Environment, Sport and Territories (Senator Faulkner) to discuss

with the Western Australian Government the need to protect this

valuable Ramsar site; and

(c) calls on the Western Australian Minister for the Environment (Mr

Minson) to respond equally positively and work with both the

Federal Government and the local council to ensure once and for

all that this valuable breeding ground for migratory birds will

be preserved.

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

(a) notes that communication towers have been erected on designated

land in the Australian Capital Territory contrary to

Commonwealth legislation;

(b) asks what steps the Government will take to have towers already

erected in breach of the National Capital Plan removed, in

particular that erected on Oakey Hill in contravention of the

"clear hills' policy of the National Capital Plan; and

(c) calls on the Government to further strengthen provisions in the

Telecommunications National Code to allow for adequate community

consultation on the construction of further towers, including

widespread notification by carriers of their intention, and

sufficient time to negotiate.

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

Senate notes that--

(a) the Government must accept responsibility for the Australian

National Line (ANL) debacle;

(b) the amount of NSW agricultural cargo tied up as a result of the

dispute included $28 million of wool, $35 million of meat, $16

million of wheat, $10 million of cotton and $1 million of sugar;

(c) in NSW, it will take another 3 weeks to clear the backlog of

cargo, imposing further costs on the State's businesses through

lost sales and delays in filling orders;

(d) this politically motivated dispute came at a time when more than

80 per cent of NSW is drought-declared;

(e) through its sweetheart deal with the unions, the Government has

set a dangerous precedent that will cost taxpayers dearly;

(f) primary producers would be delighted with a similar tax deal to

help them through the worst drought in 70 years; and

(g) by giving such gratuitous favouritism to a sectional group, the

Government has demonstrated that it is not serious about

continuing waterfront reform.

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

(a) notes that:

(i) Commonwealth public servants deemed as "stressed' and

on leave under the Safety, Rehabilitation and

Compensation Act 1988:

(A) cost $24 308 421 in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 financial

years,

(B) increased from 1 271 to 1 615, an increase of 344 or

27 per cent, in this period, and

(C) averaged 19 weeks leave in the 1993-94 financial

year, an increase of 4 weeks from the previous year,

and

(ii) 295 weeks, or almost 6 years, is the record length of

time a public servant has been on continuous stress

leave;

(b) recognises that self-employed business people such as farmers do

not enjoy similar access to stress leave pay-outs, and yet often

endure amounts of stress not imaginable within the walls of a

bureaucrat'soffice; and

(c) calls on the Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations and

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service Matters

(Mr Johns) to redefine:

(i) the eligibility for such payments under the Act in

light of the associated cost burden upon Australian

taxpayers, and

(ii) Comcare Australia's policy as outlined in the

supervisor's handbook for stressed employees, that:

(A) long cigarette breaks are a sign of stress,

(B) long coffee breaks are a sign of stress,

(C) too little work causes stress, and

(D) a supervisor must offer crying employees a tissue and

a glass of water.

Senator Gibson: To move on the next day of sitting--

(1) That the Senate notes that:

(a) there are now available, in the public domain or

otherwise, at least five official valuations of the

Australian National Line (ANL);

(b) these include:

(i) the Price Waterhouse/Salomon Brothers due diligence

report, which was commissioned by the Asset Sales B

Task Force and which valued ANL at between minus $75

million and minus $118 million,

(ii) the audited accounts of ANL itself, signed off by the

Auditor-General and by Ernst and Young, as contracted

auditors to the Australian National Audit Office

(ANAO), which valued ANL at between break even and

$33 million,

(iii) the joint ANL management/Arthur Andersen report on

ANL, delivered 3 days before the Minister for

Transport (Mr Brereton) said that ANL "could not be

given away', which valued ANL at between $56 million

and $90 million,

(iv) the 1992 report by Macquarie Corporate Finance, which

concluded that ANL had substantial net worth, and

which the Minister refused to permit ANL management

to have updated, and

(v) unreleased 6-monthly audits undertaken by Arthur

Andersen, as contracted auditors to the ANAO, of

which the latest would have been for the period

ending February 1994;

(c) these valuations are a source of confusion to the

Parliament, policy advisers and the public as to the

real commercial value of ANL, both as a going concern

or in liquidation; and

(d) without a single, authoritative valuation, the Senate

is unable to accurately assess the implications of the

policy decisions made with respect to ANL in recent

times.

(2) That, to enable a definitive clarification of ANL's financial

position to be made available to the Parliament and the public,

the Senate resolves that, as soon as practicable, a report by

the Auditor-General be laid on the table which, taking into

account as far as is necessary the valuations described in

paragraph (1)(b) and any other information which the

Auditor-General requires and is authorised or empowered to

obtain, answers the following questions:

(a) what is the best commercially acceptable valuation of

ANL:

(i) as a going concern, and

(ii) in the event that it were liquidated; and

(b) is it possible to reconcile the valuations available to

date, including those set out in paragraph (1)(b), and

if so, what is the most acceptable reconciliation.

Senator Bell, at the request of the Leader of the Australian Democrats

(Senator Kernot): To move on the next day of sitting--That the Senate--

(a) notes that 21 September 1994 marks the first anniversary of the

miscarriage of justice compensation claim by Mr Kelvin Ronald

Condren;

(b) acknowledges that Mr Condren spent nearly 7 years in prison

before the charge of murder against him was withdrawn;

(c) expresses concern that resolution of Mr Condren's claim is

taking so long; and

(d) notes that:

(i) this is despite the fact that the Government originally

promised an urgent response within 30 days of the

lodgment of the claim and the Queensland

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice (Mr Wells) is

quoted as saying that Mr Condren's case is a

miscarriage of justice, and

(ii) according to comments by the Aboriginal and Torres

Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Dodson,

payment of compensation to Mr Condren would be in line

with Australia's obligations under Article 14(6) of the

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.