Senate Daily Summary - 12 October 2015

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No. 59/2015

Monday, 12 October 2015

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The Senate met from 10 am until 10.11 pm


Senator Robert Simms was sworn in as a senator to fill a vacancy in the representation of South Australia, and the certificate of the choice by the Parliament of South Australia was tabled

A notice of motion was given to enable Senator Simms to make his first speech on 13 October 2015


Bills and related documents

Bill considered

The following bill was debated

Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 [second reading – first speaker]–committee of the whole commenced–joint Independent Senators Muir, Day, Lazarus and Madigan, and joint Independent Senators Xenophon, Day, Lazarus, Madigan and Muir and PUP amendments agreed to–further amendments remain to be considered

Bills introduced

Notice of motion to introduce a private senator’s bill

Commonwealth Grants Commission Amendment (GST Distribution) Bill 2015–notice given by Senator Wang

Private senators’ bills to be debated

On Thursday, 15 October 2015, the Racial Discrimination Amendment Bill 2014 [homepage] and the Commonwealth Grants Commission Amendment (GST Distribution) Bill 2015, subject to introduction, are scheduled for debate


Scheduled public committee hearings

Committee reports

Reports and documents tabled

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–Social Security Legislation Amendment (Debit Card Trial) Bill 2015 [report]
  • Economics Legislation Committee–Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (Better Targeting the Income Tax Transparency Laws) Bill 2015 [report]
  • Environment and Communications Legislation Committee–Landholders’ Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2015 [report]
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee–Schedule 2 of the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2015 Budget Measures) Bill 2015 [report]
  • Health Select Committee–Mental health: a consensus for action [fourth interim report]
  • Intelligence and Security Joint Committee:
    • Annual report of committee activities: 2014-15 [report]
    • Review of the re-listing of terrorist organisations [report]
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee–Matter of a popular vote, in the form of a plebiscite or referendum, on the matter of marriage in Australia—Corrigenda [2]
  • Regulations and Ordinance Committee–Delegated legislation monitor no. 12 of 2015
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 [report]

Meetings during the sittings of the Senate

The Senate authorised meetings of committees to be held while the Senate is sitting


  • A message was reported from the House of Representatives notifying the appointment of members to joint committees
  • The Senate agreed to vary the membership of committees

New inquiry

Regional processing centres–Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee–to report by 31 December 2016 [statements were made – first speaker]

Reporting dates extended

The Senate extended the reporting dates for various inquiries of committees


Delegated legislation

See Disallowance Alert for a complete list of notices of motion to disallow (and outcomes)

Clerk’s documents were tabled [legislative instruments and other documents required by statute to be tabled]

Disallowance motions

The Chair of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee (Senator Williams) gave a notice of intention to withdraw a notice to disallow the Specification of Occupations, a Person or Body, a Country or Countries 2015, made under Migration Regulations 1994 [F2015L01147]

Orders for the production of documents

Documents tabled

  • The Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources (Senator Ruston) tabled documents relating to the NBN Co Limited [The documents were tabled in response to the order of the Senate agreed to on 17 September 2015]
  • The Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources (Senator Ruston) tabled a document relating to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Client Services Survey [The document was tabled in response to the order of the Senate agreed to on 17 September 2015]

Notice of motion

Senator Carr gave a notice of motion requiring the Minister for Education and Training to table documents concerning the Nous Group contract–to table by no later than 3.30 pm on 14 October 2015

Orders with continuing effect

Departmental and agency appointments and vacancies

Letters of advice were tabled [Lists of appointments made and existing vacancies are required to be tabled 7 days before the commencement of budget, supplementary budget and additional estimates hearings]

Departmental and agency entity contracts

A letter of advice was tabled [Lists of all grants approved are required to be tabled 7 days before the commencement of budget, supplementary budget and additional estimates hearings]

Departmental and agency grants

Letters of advice were tabled [Lists of all grants approved are required to be tabled 7 days before the commencement of budget, supplementary budget and additional estimates hearings] 

Departmental and agency unanswered questions on notice–Estimates hearings

Statements were tabled [Letters of advice in relation to questions taken on notice are required to be tabled by not later than 10 days before the commencement of the budget estimates, supplementary budget estimates and additional estimates hearings

Indexed lists of departmental and agency files published on the Internet

A statement of compliance was tabled [Letters of advice about certain files created by departments and agencies are required to be tabled twice a year]

Documents tabled

  • Government documents, reports of the Auditor-General
  • Department of the Senate–Report for 2014-15

Other business

Questions without notice and issues arising during question time – first question

Adjournment debate – first speaker

Death of former member

The President informed the Senate of the death, on 4 October 2015, of Robert (Bob) Bruce Whan, AM, a former member of the House of Representatives for the division of Eden-Monaro from 1972 to 1975

Matter of public importance discussed

Industrial relations–Penalty rates–proposed by Senator Moore [first speaker]

Ministry and ministerial arrangements

The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Brandis) tabled a document relating to the Turnbull Ministry [a statement was made]

Motions agreed to

Motion negatived

Transport–Western Australia–Perth Freight Link–moved by Senator Ludlam [statements were made – first speaker]

Statement by President

The President made a statement relating to matters of privilege raised by senators concerning the unauthorised disclosure of committee reports [additional statements were made – first speaker]

Notices of motion

Further notices of motion given today are available in the Senate Journals


The Senate Daily Summary is available at

It is issued by the Senate Table Office as a convenient summary of each day’s proceedings in the Senate. For a complete account see the official record, the Journals of the Senate.

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Related resources

The Order of Business (or ‘Senate Red’) and the Dynamic Red (which updates the Order of Business throughout the sitting day) are also available at

Contact details

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