Senate Daily Summary - 8 February 2012

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No. 3/2012

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

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The Senate met from 9.30 am until 7.37 pm

Legislation

Bills and related documents

Bills considered

The following bills were introduced

  • Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2011 [passed by the House of Representatives on 7 February 2012]
  • Excise Amendment (Reducing Business Compliance Burden) Bill 2011 and a related bill [passed by the House of Representatives on 7 February 2012]
  • Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012 [private senator’s bill]

The following bill was passed

  • Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Amendment Bill 2010 [The bill will now be assented to]

The following bill was debated

  • National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010–committee of the whole continued

Notices of motion

To introduce private senators’ bills

  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Monitoring of Whaling) Bill 2012–notice given by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown)
  • Native Title Amendment (Reform) Bill (No. 1) 2012–notice given by Senator Siewert
  • Opal Fuel Bill 2012–notice given by Senator Siewert

Committees

Scheduled public committee hearings

Committee reports 

Estimates

Motion not agreed to

The Senate did not agree to a motion requiring the attendance of the former General Manager of Fair Work Australia at the 2011-12 additional estimates hearings of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee.

Reports tabled

  • Scrutiny of Bills Committee–Alert Digest No. 1 of 2012 and 1st report of 2012 [contains assessments of bills on civil liberties and related grounds]

Motion agreed to

The Senate debated and agreed to a motion to amend standing order 25(1) and allocate departments and agencies to legislative and general purpose standing committees [first speaker].

New inquiries

Bill reference

  • Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 25 May 2012

Other reference

Meetings during the sitting of the Senate

The Senate authorised the following meetings to be held while the Senate is sitting:

  • Corporations and Financial Services Joint Committee–9 February, 1 March, 15 March and 22 March 2012 from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–1 March 2012–Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2011 and a related bill
  • Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee–9 February 2012 from 10.00 am–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee–28 February 2012 from 5.30 pm–Review of Defence annual report 2010-11
  • Migration Joint Committee–29 February 2012 from 10.30 am to noon–public meeting
  • Public Accounts and Audit Joint Committee–29 February, 14 March and 21 March 2012 from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm–public meetings
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–8 February 2012 from 4.30 pm–Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–9 February 2012 from 4.30 pm–Examination of the Foreign Investment Review Board national interest test
  • Treaties Joint Committee–27 February 2012 from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm–public meeting

Reporting dates extended

The Senate extended reporting dates for the following inquiries:

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2011 and a related bill–to report by 13 March 2012
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011–to report by 27 February 2012

Notices of motion

To refer matters to committees

  • Impacts of the coal seam gas industry–Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–to report by 22 August 2012–notice given by Senator Waters
  • Possible improper relationship between Senator Cash and Woodside Petroleum–Privileges Committee–notice given by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown)
  • Possible improper relationship between Senator Joyce and GVK and the Hancock Group–Privileges Committee–notice given by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown)
  • Prevention and treatment of problem gambling–Gambling Reform Joint Select Committee–notice given by Senators Crossin, Back and Xenophon

To hold meetings when the Senate is sitting

  • Australia’s Food Processing Sector Select Committee–29 February 2012 from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Community Affairs Legislation and References Committees–9 February 2012 from 5.00 pm–private meetings otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Economics Legislation Committee–9 February 2012 from 3.30 pm–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee–
  • 27 February 2012 from 10.00 am to 11.30 am–Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Japan and the Republic of Korea; and from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm–Australia’s overseas representation
  • 19 March 2012 from 10.00 am to 11.30 am–Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Japan and the Republic of Korea

Membership

The Senate agreed that Senator Ludwig be discharged from and Senator Arbib be appointed to the Selection of Bills Committee.
Messages from the House of Representatives were reported advising that Mr Jenkins would replace Ms Rowland on the Treaties Joint Committee and Mr Gibbons on the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee.

Documents

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]

Notice of motion withdrawn

Senator Wright withdrew a notice of motion to disallow Health Insurance (Allied Health Services) Amendment Determination 2011 (No. 2), made under subsection 3C(1) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 [homepage].

Orders for the production of documents

Documents tabled

A document relating to the Australian and New Zealand Government Sustainable Procurement Framework was tabled in response to the order of the Senate agreed to on 2 November 2011.

Departmental and agency appointments and vacancies

A letter of advice for the Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio was 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 grants

Letters of advice for various agencies 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]

Notice of motion

A notice of motion was given requiring the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Senator Evans) to table documents relating to the implementation cost of a $1 bet limit on poker machines–no later than 27 February 2012–notice given by Senators Di Natale and Xenophon.

Documents tabled

Ministerial statements tabled

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research (Senator Evans) tabled ministerial statements about–

  • recent events in Papua New Guinea
  • the situation in Syria

Other business

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

Matters of public interest debate–first speaker

Adjournment debate–first speaker

Motions agreed to

Matter of public importance discussed

Questions on notice–Failure to provide answers

The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Abetz) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Senator Ludwig) why an answer had not been provided to question on notice no. 673 asked on 30 May 2011 relating to the prevention of the bringing of contraband or weapons into detention centres. Senator Ludwig provided an explanation. A motion moved by Senator Abetz to take note of the response was debated and agreed to [first speaker].

Senator Cormann asked the Assistant Treasurer (Senator Arbib) why answers had not been provided to questions placed on notice during the consideration by the Economics Legislation Committee of the 2011-12 supplementary Budget estimates. Senator Arbib indicated that an explanation would be provided. A motion moved by Senator Cormann to take note of the failure to provide answers or an explanation was agreed to.

Proposed dissent from ruling

The Senate debated but did not agree to a motion moved by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) objecting to a ruling of the President on 25 November 2011 (that the motion to refer a matter to the Privileges Committee not be given precedence) [first speaker].

Notices of motion
Notices of motion given today are available in the Senate Journals.

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Online

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Related resources

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Contact details

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