Senate Daily Summary - 13 March 2012

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No. 12/2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

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The Senate met from 12.30 pm until 9.59 pm

Senators

Casual vacancy

The President announced the resignation on 5 March 2012 of Senator Arbib. Senator Robert (Bob) John Carr was sworn in as a senator for New South Wales to fill the vacancy.

Legislation

Bills and related documents

Bills considered

The following bills were introduced

  • Corporations Amendment (Phoenixing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 1 March 2012]
  • Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers and Offences) Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 1 March 2012]
  • Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 1 March 2012]

The following bills were debated

  • Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Bill 2012 and 2 related bills–second reading debate commenced [first speaker]

The following bill was passed

  • National Radioactive Waste Management Bill 2010–3 Government, 1 Opposition and 2 Australian Greens amendments agreed to [the House of Representatives will now consider the amendments made by the Senate]

Notices of motion

To introduce a private senator’s bill

  • Solar Hot Water Rebate Bill 2012–notice given by Senator Birmingham

To vary the hours of meeting and routine of business and consider bills under a limitation of time

Notices of motion were given by the Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations (Senator Collins) to vary the hours of meeting and routine of business for various days and to consider various bills under limitations of time.

Messages from the House of Representatives

Agreeing to amendments made by the Senate to the following bill

  • Education Services for Overseas Students Legislation Amendment (Tuition Protection Service and Other Measures) Bill 2011 [The bill will now be assented to]

Bills assented to

Assent to a number of laws was reported in the Senate.

See Committees for details of reports relating to legislation

Committees

Scheduled public committee hearings

Committee reports 

Reports tabled

Report on legislation

  • Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011–Electoral Matters Joint Standing Committee [report] [a motion to take note of the report was debated – first speaker]

Other reports

  • Corporations and Financial Services Joint Committee–
  • Examination of the 2010-11 annual reports of bodies established under the ASIC Act [report]
  • Statutory oversight of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission [report]

Government responses tabled

  • Community Affairs References Committee–Professional Services Review (PSR) Scheme [response]
  • Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee–Examination of annual reports no. 1 of 2008
  • Fuel and Energy Select Committee–The mining tax: Still bad for the economy – still bad for jobs
  • National Broadband Network Joint Committee–Review of the rollout of the National Broadband Network [a motion to take note of the response was debated – first speaker]
  • Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–Airports Amendment Bill 2010 [Provisions] [a motion moved to take note of the response was agreed to]
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–Rural and regional access to secondary and tertiary education opportunities [a motion to take note of the response was debated and agreed to – first speaker]
  • Scrutiny of New Taxes Select Committee–The mining tax: A bad tax out of a flawed process

Committee established

The Senate concurred with a resolution appointing a Human Rights Joint Committee.

Proposed reference

The Senate debated but did not agree to refer the Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Bill 2012 and 2 related bills to the Economics Legislation Committee [first speaker].

Meetings during the sitting of the Senate

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

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–14 March 2012 from 9.30 am–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Community Affairs Legislation and References Committees–14 March 2012 from 3.00 pm–private meetings otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Electoral Matters Joint Committee–14 March 2012–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee–
    • 13 March 2012 from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm–in camera hearing
    • 14 March 2012 from 11.00 am to noon–public meeting–Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Japan and Korea

Reporting dates extended

The Senate extended reporting dates for the following inquiries:

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–
    • Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Bill 2011 and a related bill–to report by 15 March 2012
    • Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and 2 related bills–to report by 14 March 2012
  • Corporations and Financial Services Joint Committee–Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Obligations and Prudential Standards) Bill 2012–to report by 19 March 2012

Notices of motion

To refer matters to committees

  • Concerns expressed about amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2012–Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee–to report by 10 May 2012–notice given by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Abetz)
  • Effects of the global financial crisis on the Australian banking sector–Economics References Committee–to report by 31 October 2012–notice given by Senators Bushby, Cormann and Williams

To hold meetings when the Senate is sitting

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–22 March 2012 from 1.00 pm–public meeting–2011-12 additional estimates
  • Cyber Safety Joint Select Committee–21 March 2012 from 4.15 pm–public meeting
  • Law Enforcement Joint Committee–15 March 2012 from 10.30 am–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–15 March 2012 from 4.00 pm–public meeting–Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (R 18+ Computer Games) Bill 2012
  • Migration Joint Committee–21 March 2012 from 10.30 am–public meeting
  • Treaties Joint Committee–19 March 2012 from 10.30 am–public meeting

To extend reporting deadlines

  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (R 18+ Computer Games) Bill 2012–to report by 21 March 2012
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee–Prospective marriage visas–to report by 7 June 2012

Membership

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

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]

Orders for the production of documents

Orders with continuing effect

Indexed lists of departmental and agency files published on the Internet

Letters of advice for various agencies were tabled [Letters of advice about certain files created by departments and agencies are required to be tabled twice a year]

Departmental and agency contracts published on the Internet

Letters of advice for various agencies were 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]

Notice of motion

Senator Cormann gave a notice of motion to require the Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Senator Wong) to table documents relating to the appointment of the next Chair of the Future Fund–no later than noon on 15 March 2012.

Documents tabled

Other business

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

Adjournment debate–first speaker

Motion negatived

Matter of public importance discussed

Ministerial arrangements

The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Evans) informed the Senate of changes to the Gillard Ministry.

Notices of motion

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

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Online

The Senate Daily Summary is available at www.aph.gov.au/senate

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.

Follow the Australian Senate on Twitter: @AuSenate

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 on the Internet at www.aph.gov.au/senate

Contact details

Inquiries, comments and suggestions:    
phone 6277 3021
e-mail: sds@aph.gov.au