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NOTICES

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

(a) notes:

(i) the depressed condition of Australia's housing market,

which has been exacerbated by the Labor Government's

economic mismanagement and political manipulation of

interest rates,

(ii) the continuing slump in the housing market is causing a

crisis in confidence about the direction of interest

rate movements and security of employment, and

(iii) the downturn in the housing industry has resulted in a

reported 20 000 job losses during the first 6 months of

1995; and

(b) condemns the Federal Government for its inability to arrest the

downturn in the housing sector or to make any progress in

controlling the current account deficit, and its failure to

deliver low real interest rates.

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

(a) notes that a delegation of small business retailers from the

Newcastle Hunter region held a meeting in Canberra on 23 August

1995 with the Coalition's Shadow Minister for Small Business (Ms

Moylan);

(b) views, with grave concern, the news that another 17 small shops

in one Newcastle suburb alone, Mayfield, have closed in the last

month, losing the battle to trade profitably against the market

power of a large chain-store newly established in the area;

(c) confirms that the Hunter delegation expressed scathing criticism

and frustration at the lack of action by the Minister for Small

Business, Customs and Construction (Senator Schacht) to fulfil

his undertakings to amend sections of the Trade Practices Act to

allow small retailers to compete fairly with large chain-stores;

(d) questions the predatory pricing tactics of a chain-store at

Nelson Bay in the Paterson electorate, where prices for lines of

vegetables are quoted in newspaper advertisements at half the

price on a given day compared with the same chain in a nearby

region;

(e) condemns this drastic and selective price cutting by the

chain-store as an undisguised attempt to force small independent

retailers out of business; and

(f) condemns the Minister for his inaction when small business

organisations have drawn his attention to the problems of

unconscionable conduct and predatory pricing faced by smaller

retailers for some years.

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

(a) urges the Government to note:

(i) that 12 Tibetan women from India planning to attend the

United Nations 4th World Conference on Women have been

refused visas to enter China, notwithstanding the fact

that they have received Non-Government Organisations

Forum registration and hotel confirmation letters, and

(ii) that the 12 names were on the list of confirmed

participants supplied by the Chinese Organizing

Committee to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi;

(b) recognises that the identity certificates carried by the 12

women issued by the Government of India are valid for travel to

countries worldwide; and

(c) calls on the Government:

(i) to make representations to the Government of China to

issue visas to the Tibetan women, and

(ii) to urge the Chinese Government to stop such blatant

discrimination.

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

Senate--

(a) condemns the continued maltreatment of Tibetan people in Tibet

by China;

(b) deplores the decision of the Chinese Government to refuse visas

for the President of the Tibetan Women's Association, Tsering

Norzom, and 11 other Tibetan women from India to attend the

Non-Government Organisations (NGO) Forum of the United Nations

(UN) 4th World Conference on Women;

(c) notes that this decision flies in the face of an agreement

arrived at in June 1995 between the UN and Chinese Organizing

Committee officials about the issuing of visas to participants

in the NGO Forum; and

(d) calls on the Australian Government to do all that it can to have

the Government of China reverse this decision.

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

(1) (a) In view of deepening public concern that no

adequate explanation, supported by

authoritative documents, has been given by

the Government for its decision to pay, from

public funds, the legal costs of Dr Carmen

Lawrence's attempts in the courts to stop the

Marks' Royal Commission;

(b) in view of the Government's refusal to respond to

orders of the Senate that it explain and account for

this expenditure of public money;

(c) given that current best estimates suggest these

expenses are running at $10 000 a day, and may now

exceed $100 000 excluding the additional legal costs to

be paid to the other parties in each of the failed

legal challenges to date; and

(d) given that there is a pressing and responsible need to

determine how and why this decision was made, whether

it is legal and what it is costing;

the Senate resolves as follows:

(2) A select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on

Payment of a Minister's Legal Costs, be appointed to inquire

into and report, on or before 19 September 1995, on the

following matters:

(a) what is the legal basis for the decision to pay Dr

Lawrence's legal costs in challenging the legality of

aspects of the Marks' Royal Commission;

(b) what was the sequence of events leading to the

Government's decision to pay such legal costs, in

particular:

(i) who initiated the process leading to that decision

and when and how was this done,

(ii) what official advice was sought and given about the

proposal or any possible proposal to pay such costs,

and

(iii) what advice or communications on the proposal or any

possible proposal did the Government receive from

what sources outside government, including private

lawyers or legal firms;

(c) what advice, from within or outside government, was

given, and what government decisions were taken, in

relation to the legal standing Dr Lawrence or any other

person might have in any proceedings challenging the

legality of the Marks' Royal Commission and what

bearing did this have on the decision to pay the legal

costs from public funds;

(d) what advice was given to government, and what

consideration was given by government, to the

following:

(i) estimating the likely total financial liability of

the Commonwealth arising from the Government's

decision to pay legal costs,

(ii) whether any cap or limit should be placed on such

expenditure, and

(iii) procedures to monitor the nature and growth of the

Commonwealth's financial liability in the matter and

the efficiency and effectiveness of the expenditure;

(e) bearing in mind that government was funding the legal

challenges from public funds, what role did government

play in relation to any of the legal challenges to the

Marks' Royal Commission, including in relation to the

decisions to challenge, or to appeal against lost

challenges, and in relation to the nature of the

arguments to be put to the respective courts on behalf

of Dr Lawrence or any other person; and

(f) any other matter arising in the course of the inquiry

which is relevant to the foregoing terms of reference,

inquiry into which would facilitate reporting on those

terms of reference.

(3) The committee consist of seven senators:

(a) two nominated by the Leader of the Government in the

Senate;

(b) three nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the

Senate;

(c) one nominated by the Leader of the Australian

Democrats; and

(d) one nominated by the Greens (WA) or Senator Harradine.

(4) The committee may proceed to the dispatch of business

notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated

and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(5) (a) The chair of the committee be elected by the

members of the committee from the members of

the committee.

(b) In the absence of agreement on the selection of a

chair, duly notified to the President, the allocation

of the chair be determined by the Senate.

(c) The deputy chair of the committee be elected by the

committee from the members of the committee immediately

after the election of the chair.

(d) The deputy chair act as chair when there is no chair or

the chair is not present at a meeting.

(e) In the event of the votes on any question before the

committee being equally divided, the chair, or the

deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(6) The quorum of the committee be four members.

(7) The committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and

examine persons and documents, to move from place to place and

to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation

of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of

Representatives.

(8) The committee have power to appoint subcommitteesconsisting of

three or more of its members, and to refer to any such

subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered

to consider, and that the quorum of a subcommittee be a majority

of the senators appointed to the subcommittee.

(9) (a) The terms of reference of the inquiry be

appropriately advertised in the media.

(b) Written submissions be sought and examined by the

committee and oral evidence be heard.

(10) The committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities

and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with

specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee, with

the approval of the President.

(11) The committee be empowered to print from day to day such

documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily

Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in

public.

(12) The committee may report from time to time its proceedings and

evidence taken or any interim conclusions or recommendations

arising from its inquiry, and may make regular reports on the

progress of its proceedings.

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

Senate--

(a) notes:

(i) the report of the House of Representatives Standing

Committee on Banking, Finance and Public Administration

into the impact of Australia's taxation regime on the

tourism industry, and

(ii) the dissenting report relating to sales tax in the

tourism charter vessel business; and

(b) calls for:

(i) sales tax exemptions to be available to genuine

bareboat operators for the purchase of vessels and

parts for business use with unscheduled departure and

arrival times, and

(ii) the sales tax legislation to be urgently amended to

correct this anomaly.

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

(a) notes, with concern, that:

(i) landmines are a massive global problem, with between 80

and 110 million mines laid in some 65 countries and

more than 2 million or so added every year,

(ii) the United States State Department estimates that 26

000 people per year are killed or maimed worldwide by

landmines with mine clearance efforts only managing to

remove some 100 000 landmines each year,

(iii) the military usefulness of anti-personnel mines (APMs)

is outweighed by the indiscriminate and long-term

social and economic costs to affected people and

countries by mines which are often used to terrorise

and target the civilian population rather than to meet

defined military objectives,

(iv) the principal victims of landmines are civilians and,

as a consequence of vast areas of countries being

rendered uninhabitable, economic development is

impossible and refugees cannot return home, and

(v) the 1980 United Nations (UN) Convention on prohibitions

or restrictions on the use of Certain Conventional

Weapons (CCW) which may be deemed to be excessively

injurious or to have indiscriminate effects and its

Protocol II on prohibitions or restrictions on the use

of mines, booby-traps, and other devices (the Landmines

Protocol) has very largely failed to deal with the

problems of landmines, firstly because of lack of

adherence and observance and secondly because it

applies only to international conflicts, and not

non-international conflicts;

(b) welcomes the news that Belgium has recently passed a law

completely banning the production, transfer, sale, export or use

of APMs;

(c) declares its support for a total ban on anti-personnel landmines

to cover production, stockpiling, transfer, and use; and

(d) calls on the Government:

(i) to take action to ensure that the revision of the UN

CCW convention should aim for a total ban on the

production, stockpiling, transfer and use of

anti-personnel landmines and include:

(A) an extension to apply in all circumstances,

(B) provisions for effective verificationand compliance

to be introduced, and

(C) provision for regular automatic review conferences

covering the operation and provisions to be

introduced, and

(ii) to implement a ban on production of APMs on its

territory or by companies registered within its

territory, as well as the stockpiling, transfer, sale

and use of APMs, whatever the outcome of the UN Review

Conference.

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

(a) notes:

(i) the report of 24 August 1995 of the sale overseas of

the remaining Australian-owned half of the former

piggery group of the Prime Minister (Mr Keating) to

Pacific Century Global Holdings Pte Ltd, a

Singapore-based company, for an undisclosed

consideration, and

(ii) that this follows the controversial disposal of Mr

Keating's half-ownership of the piggery group through

an intermediary to Indonesian interests requiring the

approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board; and

(b) calls on Mr Keating to reveal whether he still retains access to

an option to repurchase a one-third interest in the piggery

group, which he has not revealed in any declaration of interest

as a member of Parliament.

The Chair of the Employment, Education and Training References Committee

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

the presentation of the reports of the Employment, Education and

Training References Committee on the following inquiries be extended as

follows:

(a) past, present and likely future trends in long-term

unemployment, to 28 September 1995; and

(b) national strategy for vocational education and training, to 30

November 1995.

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

(a) notes:

(i) the declining house values around Australia,

(ii) the significant increase in the number of home buyers

who now hold negative equity in their most important

asset,

(iii) the dramatic increase in defaults on home loans which

were up 37 per cent in the 4 months to July 1995 while

repossessions were up by 20 per cent over the same

period, and

(iv) the stress experienced by Australians with mortgages

about the future direction of interest rates; and

(b) condemns the Federal Government for its dismissive attitude

towards the plight of Australia's home buyers.

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

Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) in a recent Australian Tourist Commission report,

senior Japanese travel agents have called for Cairns to

be scrapped as an Australian hub for international

flights, as Japanese tourists are disappointed with

Cairns,

(ii) as a result, the Far North Queensland Promotions Bureau

is undertaking a major marketing campaign in Japan

during the months of September to November 1995 to

address this matter,

(iii) the Federal Government has allocated $5.2 million over

the 1995-96 financial year under the Regional Tourism

Development Program to promote regional areas and make

them more appealing to international and domestic

tourists,

(iv) three types of projects are eligible under the program,

namely integrated regional tourism planning, tourism

infrastructure projects and the co-ordination of

tourism information, and

(v) applications for the program close on 28 August 1995;

(b) calls on the Federal Government to assist the Far North

Queensland Promotions Bureau to apply for funding under the

program to support its marketing campaign in Japan; and

(c) urges the Federal Government to look favourably on its

application.

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

Senate--

(a) welcomes the formation of the new Democratic Government of Burma

at Bommersvik in Sweden in July 1995;

(b) extends its congratulations to the new government for holding

the first-ever convention of elected representatives from the

liberated areas of Burma, and congratulates the Prime Minister

(Dr Sein Win) and his cabinet on their election;

(c) joins the new government in calling on the State Law and Order

Restoration Council to:

(i) respond officially to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's offer of a

dialogue,

(ii) declare a nationwide cease-fire,

(iii) cease all human rights violations, including the use of

forced labour and portering,

(iv) abolish the current National Convention,

(v) lift all laws restricting the fundamentalrights of the

people,

(vi) immediately and unconditionally release all other

political prisoners,

(vii) officially establish a political dialogue with Daw Aung

San Suu Kyi, and

(viii) allow international agencies free access to monitor the

situation; and

(d) calls on the Australian Government to continue to withhold

official development assistance until such time as the above

benchmarks are met.

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

(a) notes that:

(i) like DASFLEET, the Government is planning to sell Asset

Services, despite the fact that in States like Western

Australia this would mean a loss in long-term

Government revenue opportunities, and

(ii) despite recent Government rhetoric, the Australian

military contract for base management of both HMAS

Cresswell and HMAS Penguin has been awarded to a French

company, SHRM, over Asset Services; and

(b) calls on the Government to place a moratorium on public sector

sell-offs until the full long-term implications of such asset

sales on employment, revenue and economic policy have been

considered fully, in consultation with stake-holders in the

relevant sectors.

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

Senate--

(a) applauds the Flying Fruit Fly Circus for providing a

professional forum for the talent of children and young people

and for performing to nearly 1.3 million people in the past 5

years;

(b) notes that the Flying Fruit Fly Circus has been:

(i) funded as a Project of National Significance by the

Department of Employment, Education and Training since

1987 and, despite three reports into the organisation's

future, a further report is currently being prepared

for presentation to the Minister for Communications and

the Arts (Mr Lee) in late September 1995, and

(ii) lobbying for a secure funding base for 9 years and can

no longer operate at its current levels beyond early

1996; and

(c) calls on the Government to immediately commit itself to

structuring an ongoing funding program for this wonderful

organisation.