Tuesday, 22 November 2011
That the Senate—
(a) recognises that sport is integral to life for so many Australians;
(b) acknowledges that the Australian netball team, the Australian Diamonds, led by captain Ms Natalie von Bertouch and coach Ms Norma Plummer, in 2011 won the World Netball Championships in Singapore; and
(i) Australian Diamonds defender Ms Laura Geitz who won the Liz Ellis Diamond and ANZ Championship Player of the Year honours at the 2011 Australian Netball Awards on Saturday, 19 November 2011,
(ii) Ms Kimberlee Green who was named Holden Australian International Player of the Year recognising her outstanding performance during the Holden Netball Test Series and World Championships,
(iii) Australian Diamonds shooter Ms Catherine Cox who was named New Idea's Favourite Diamond by the publication's readers,
(iv) Ms Liz Ellis, Australia's most capped player, and South Australia's Ms Julie Francou who were inducted into the Australian Netball Hall of Fame for recognition of their outstanding contributions to the game, and
(v) all in the netball community, the players, coaches and umpires whose dedication and passion allowed them to reach the pinnacle of netball, being the World Champions.
That the Senate—
(b) notes that:
(i) in the 60 years since the ANZUS Treaty formalised Australia's alliance with the US, it has enhanced peace and security in our region and beyond, and
(ii) one survey found that 82 per cent of Australians say the alliance with the US is important for Australia's security;
(d) views the ANZUS Treaty as a cornerstone of Australia's future security arrangements; and
(e) rejects all attempts to undermine the ANZUS Treaty, including the policy of the Australian Greens of ending the treaty.
That the Senate—
(a) notes the Howard Government's 2007 decision to sell uranium to India subject to appropriate bilateral and international safeguards;
(b) calls on the Australian Labor Party National Conference to approve the sale of Australian uranium to India;
(c) looks forwards to the improved trade and security relations with India which will flow from this initiative;
(d) recognises the positive contribution nuclear energy makes to reducing greenhouse emissions; and
(e) rejects the view that alternative technologies can provide a comparable low-emissions baseload energy source for India.
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(ii) the Papuan people will celebrate this anniversary with gatherings and protests throughout the province as is their legal right; and
(b) calls on the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Rudd) to:
(i) pay close attention to the events that unfold in West Papua on this date, and
(ii) express to the Indonesian Government Australia's hopes that no human rights abuses will be committed on the West Papuan people on this anniversary.
That the Senate notes:
(a) that 17 December is the anniversary of the shooting of Polish workers in Gdynia in 1970, where soldiers fired into the crowd of defenceless workers emerging from their trains to return to work, killing and wounding hundreds,
(b) that, as the protest spread, the communist Government under Soviet rule then deployed special police squads and soldiers equipped with heavy tanks and machine guns, killing 40 people, wounding more than 1 000 people and arresting 3 000 people; and
(c) the failure of the pro-Warsaw Pact Socialist Party of Australia to condemn these crimes against humanity.
(a) the management and delivery of the Australia Network service;
(b) the 2010 decision to undertake an open tender process for the contract for the operation of the Australia Network service;
(c) the conduct of the tender process for the Australia Network service; and
(d) the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Amendment (International Broadcasting Services) Bill 2011; and
(e) any other related matter.
(2) That the committee consist of 6 senators, 3 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 2 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate and 1 nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens.
( 3) That:
(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator;
(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and
(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.
( 4) That 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) That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and, as deputy chair, a member nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens.
( 6) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.
( 7) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and the deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.
( 8) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.
( 9) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to examine.
( 10) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives.
( 11) That 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.
( 12) That 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.
That the following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 14 April 2012:
(a) the need for national law reform surrounding evidence relating to child sex abuse, specifically looking at the role federal laws could play in requiring documents relating to child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, to be held for a minimum of 30 years;
(b) the need for national law reform to prevent the destruction and concealment of documents which should be retained in the public interest, including documents in relation to potential legal proceedings;
(c) the circumstances under which documents should be categorised as Cabinet-in-Confidence;
(d) the appropriateness or otherwise of victims of child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, being required to sign confidentiality agreements as part of any compensation arrangements and the need for any consequential law reform;
(e) in relation to events relating to allegations of abuse in the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in Queensland from 1988:
(i) the shredding of documents by the then-Queensland Government in 1990 relating to the alleged rape of a resident at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in 1988, and other abuses and the implications these actions had on the ability of victims and others to pursue their legal rights with reference to section 129 of the Queensland Criminal Code, and the need for a national approach to the protection of such documents,
(ii) previous Queensland Government initiated inquiries and federal parliamentary inquiries into the matters referred to at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre,
(iii) whether evidence provided to previous Senate committee inquiries about the shredding of the documents referred to was misleading, or whether evidence was withheld from previous Senate committee inquiries and whether there is any new evidence relating to these matters, and
(iv) the relevance of considering the matters raised in paragraphs (a) to (d); and
(f) any other related matters.
That the Senate notes:
(a) the Gillard Government's failure to consult with the Australian public or the Parliament on the recent decision to deploy troops, ships and aircraft from the United States of America in the Northern Territory; and
(b) the security, environmental and social consequences of this decision.
(1) The Senate notes that:
(a) the Lobbying Code of Conduct (the Code) has been in operation since 1 July 2008;
(b) the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration recommended in September 2008 that it conduct an inquiry into the operation of the Code in the second half of 2009;
(c) no such inquiry took place;
(d) the details of the Government's review in 2010 were not made public; and
(e) the stated intent of the Code is to promote trust in the integrity of government processes and ensure that contact between lobbyists and government representatives is conducted in accordance with public expectations of transparency, integrity and honesty.
(2) The following matter be referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by 1 March 2012:
The operation of the Lobbying Code of Conduct and the Lobbyist Register.
(3) In undertaking the inquiry, the committee must consider:
(a) whether the Code is adequate to achieve its aims;
(b) whether the application of the Code should be extended to include all members of parliament and, if so, how this might be done;
(c) whether the Code should be confined to organisations representing clients, or should be extended to organisations which lobby on their own behalf;
(d) whether the exemptions under sections 3.5 (a), (b), (e) and (f) are justified; and
(e) any other related matters.
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the University of Sydney in the week beginning 20 November 2011 announced 340 planned job cuts to academic and general staff, due to a forecasted budget shortfall, placing further pressure on staff to meet the increased teaching demands that will arise from uncapped student places next year,
(ii) other universities have recently announced similar job cuts due to budget pressures, including La Trobe University's plans to shed up to 230 academic and general staff in 2012, 50 jobs at Macquarie University and mooted cuts to the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne Arts faculties,
(iii) while Australia's total expenditure on tertiary education is in line with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 1.6 per cent of national gross domestic product (GDP), Australia's public funding levels of 0.7 per cent of GDP are one of the lowest of any OECD country, falling well short of the OECD average of 1 per cent,
(iv) Australia is the only OECD country to go backwards in terms of public expenditure on tertiary education institutions in real terms since 1995, leaving Australia lagging behind the United States of America, Finland and Canada, as well as being overtaken by Denmark, Korea and Sweden during this period,
(v) chronically low public funding of universities has resulted in an unhealthy reliance on international student fees, creating budget uncertainty which has placed increased pressure on academic staff and students, with higher student to staff ratios and fewer resources, reducing the overall quality of teaching and learning at universities, and
(vi) the Review of Australian Higher Education (the Bradley review) recommended a 10 per cent increase in university student base funding, and Australia still awaits the release of the Lomax-Smith review of base funding; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) immediately increase public funding by 10 per cent per government-supported university student, as recommended by the Bradley review, to give budget certainty to universities, and
(ii) set a longer term target to invest 1 per cent of GDP to fund universities, to bring Australia in line with the OECD average, to ensure that Australia maintains a quality tertiary education sector and remains internationally competitive.
That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Treasurer, no later than noon on 2 December 2011, the following information relating to the Department of the Treasury 2011 modelling of its carbon tax/emissions trading scheme to 2050:
(a) all of its modelling, including the actual models, model documentation, exogenous assumptions, all underlying databases and datasets, codes and specifications used by Treasury, including but not limited to the Global Trade and Environment Model and the Monash Multiregional Forecasting Model, in a form that would allow the reproduction and scrutiny of the Treasury results by third parties; and
(b) any other model simulations undertaken relevant to the abovementioned policy scenarios but not publicly released.
That the time for the presentation of reports of the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee be extended as follows:
(a) biosecurity and quarantine arrangements—to 21 March 2012; and
(b) Foreign Investment Review Board national interest test—to 14 March 2012.
That the following matter be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 12 September 2012:
The provision of palliative care in Australia, including:
(a) the factors influencing access to and choice of appropriate palliative care that meets the needs of the population, including:
(i) people living in rural and regional areas,
(ii) Indigenous people,
(iii) people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,
(iv) people with disabilities, and
(v) children and adolescents;
(b) the funding arrangements for palliative care provision, including the manner in which sub-acute funding is provided and spent;
(c) the efficient use of palliative, health and aged care resources;
(d) the effectiveness of a range of palliative care arrangements, including hospital care, residential or community care and aged care facilities;
(e) the composition of the palliative care workforce, including:
(i) its ability to meet the needs of the ageing population, and
(ii) the adequacy of workforce education and training arrangements;
(f) the adequacy of standards that apply to the provision of palliative care and the application of the Standards for Providing Quality Care to All Australians;
(g) advance care planning, including:
(i) avenues for individuals and carers to communicate with health care professionals about end-of-life care,
(ii) national consistency in law and policy supporting advance care plans, and
(iii) scope for including advance care plans in personal electronic health records; and
(h) the availability and funding of research, information and data about palliative care needs in Australia.
That the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services be authorised to hold a private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1) during the sitting of the Senate on Thursday, 24 November 2011, from 11.30 am.
That the Senate congratulates the Australian Refugee Council on its 30th anniversary – 30 years of wonderful work, advocacy and promotion of Australia's multicultural society, offering important support to new arrivals and refugees.
That the following matter be referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report by 1 November 2012:
The importance of the Indian Ocean rim for Australia's foreign, trade and defence policy, with particular reference to:
(a) trade and tourism opportunities for Australia;
(b) Australian mineral exports, including competition and synergies in the region;
(c) strategic developments in the Indian Ocean, including the growing Indian and Chinese naval influences and their implications for Australia and the region more generally; and
(d) the Indian Ocean Rim Association and its future directions.
That, in accordance with section 5 of the Parliament Act 1974, the Senate approves the proposal by the National Capital Authority for capital works within the Parliamentary Zone, relating to landscape works and the installation of a concrete bench at the High Court of Australia.