Senate Daily Summary - 20 September 2012

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No. 55/2012

Thursday, 20 September 2012

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The Senate met from 9.30 am until 6.57 pm


Bills and related documents 

Bills considered

The following bills were introduced

  • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012 and a related bill [passed by the House of Representatives on 18 September 2012] [Minister’s second reading speeches]

The following bill was defeated by a majority vote

  • Marriage Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2012–defeated at second reading [first speaker]

The following bill was passed

  • Judges and Governors-General Legislation Amendment (Family Law) Bill 2012 [first speaker] [The bill will now be assented to]

Notices of motion to introduce private senators’ bills

  • Anti-Money Laundering Amendment (Gaming Machine Venues) Bill 2012–notice given by Senator Xenophon
  • Environment Protection (Beverage Container Recovery Reward Scheme) Bill 2012–notice given by Senator Whish-Wilson

Bill assented to

to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Declared Commercial Fishing Activities) Act 2012 was reported in the Senate.


Scheduled public committee hearings 
Committee reports


Additional information
received relating to estimates hearings was tabled.

Reports tabled

  • Electoral Matters Joint Committee– Review of the AEC analysis of the FWA report on the HSU [report] [a motion to take note of the report was debated and agreed to – first speaker]
  • Human Rights Joint Committee–4th report of 2012–Examination of legislation in accordance with the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011–Interim report–Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012 [a motion to take note of the report was debated and a tabling statement was later tabled]
  • Publications Committee–19th report [report] [a motion to adopt the report was agreed to]

Government response tabled

  • Community Affairs References Committee–Inquiry into Commonwealth funding and administration of mental health services [a motion to take note of the response was debated and agreed to – first speaker]

Documents tabled

  • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Bill 2012 and 2 related bills–Community Affairs Legislation Committee–Additional information

New inquiries

Selection of Bills Committee report

The Senate adopted report no. 12 of 2012 of the Selection of Bills Committee, and made the following references:

  • Clean Energy Amendment (International Emissions Trading and Other Measures) Bill 2012 and 6 related bills–Economics Legislation Committee–to report by 29 October 2012
  • Competition and Consumer Amendment (Australian Food Labelling) Bill 2012 (No. 2)–Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–to report by the first sitting day of 2013
  • Dental Benefits Amendment Bill 2012–Community Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 29 October 2012
  • Law Enforcement Integrity Legislation Amendment Bill 2012–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 20 November 2012

Other reference

The Senate referred matters relating to the forced sterilisation of people with disabilities to the Community Affairs References Committee to report by 24 April 2013.

Proposed references

The Senate did not agree to refer the following matters to committees:

  • Detention, treatment and trial of Mr David Hicks–Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee
  • Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Excessive Noise from Wind Farms) Bill 2012–Environment and Communications References Committee

Meetings during the sitting of the Senate

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

  • Community Affairs Legislation and References Committees–9 October and 30 October from 12.30 pm–private meetings
  • Electricity Prices Select Committee–9 October 2012 from 1.00 pm–public meeting

Reporting date extended

The Senate extended the reporting date for the inquiry of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee into the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 to 25 September 2012.

Notice of motion
to hold a meeting when the Senate is sitting

  • Economics References Committee–10 October 2012 from 6.00 pm–public meeting–Effects of the global financial crisis on the Australian banking sector


The Senate agreed to various changes to the membership of committees.

A message from the House of Representatives was reported advising that Mr Byrne had been appointed a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee in place of Mr LDT Ferguson.


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]

Orders for the production of documents

Motion agreed to

The Senate ordered the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to table documents relating to a longitudinal study of Indigenous children by 28 September 2012.

Orders with continuing effect

Departmental and agency contracts published on the Internet

A letter of advice for the Immigration and Citizenship portfolio was tabled [Letters of advice about certain contracts valued at $100 000 or more entered into by departments and agencies are required to be tabled twice a year]

Documents tabled

  • 1 petition
  • Auditor-General–Audit report no. 4 of 2012-13
  • Australian National Audit Office–Annual report for 2011-12

Documents discussed

Government documents, committee reports, government responses and Auditor‑General’s reports were discussed.

Other business

Questions without notice and issues arising during question time–first question
Adjournment debate–first speaker

Motions negatived

Motion debated

Temporary chair of committees

A warrant was tabled revoking the warrant nominating Senator Sinodinos as a temporary chair of committees.

Notices of motion

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


Statistics on the work of the Senate this week will be available in the Statistical Summary, which forms part of StatsNet–the Department of the Senate’s online statistical collection.

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