Senate Daily Summary - 15 March 2012

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No. 14/2012

Thursday, 15 March 2012

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The Senate met from 9.30 am until 11.07 pm

Condolence motions

The President informed the Senate of the death on 12 March 2012 of the Honourable Douglas Barr Scott, former senator for the state of New South Wales in 1970 and from 1974 to 1985, former Deputy President of the Senate from 1978 to 1979 and former Federal Minister for Special Trade Representations from 1979 to 1980. A motion moved by the Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations (Senator Collins) was carried [first speaker].


Bills and related documents

Bills considered

The following bill was introduced

  • Higher Education Support Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 15 March 2012]

The following bills were debated

The following bills were passed

  • Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Bill 2012 and 2 related bills [The bills will now be assented to]


Scheduled public committee hearings

Committee reports 

Reports tabled

  • Legislation committees–Reports on annual reports referred to legislation committees–No. 1 of 2012
  • Selection of Bills Committee–Report no. 3 of 2012 [a motion to adopt the report was agreed to]

Proposed reference

The Senate did not agree to refer matters relating to coal seam gas and liquid natural gas exploration and export industries to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee.

Meetings during the sitting of the Senate

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

  • Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Joint Committee–16 March 2012 from 1.30 pm–public meeting–Integrity of overseas Commonwealth law enforcement operations
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee–16 March 2012 from 9.00 am–public meeting–Review of Defence annual report 2010-11
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–16 March 2012 from 9.30 am–public meeting–Crimes Amendment (Fairness for Minors) Bill 2011 and the Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012

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 19 March 2012
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–2011-12 additional estimates–to report by 22 March 2012

Notices of motion

To refer matters to committees

  • Revised Implementation Guidelines for the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry–Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee–to report by 10 May 2012–notice given by Senator Fisher
  • Road Safety Remuneration Bill 2011 and a related bill–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)

To hold meetings when the Senate is sitting

  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee–21 March 2012 from 5.30 pm–public meeting–Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011
  • Gambling Reform Joint Select Committee–20 March 2012 from 4.00 pm–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1), followed by an in camera hearing

To extend a reporting deadline

  • Community Affairs References Committee–Health services and medical professionals in rural areas–to report by 27 June 2012


Delegated legislation

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

Orders for the production of documents

Notices of motion

The following notices of motion were given requiring Ministers to table documents:

  • The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Evans) to table documents relating to allegations made regarding Central Coast Group Training–no later than 5.00 pm on 19 March 2012–notice given by Senator Fierravanti-Wells
  • The Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Senator Lundy) to table training manuals produced by Serco–no later than 22 March 2012–notice given by Senator Hanson-Young

Documents tabled

Other business

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

Adjournment debate–first speaker

Motions agreed to

  1. Maintenance of River Murray levee banks–moved by Senators Xenophon, Birmingham and Hanson-Young

A motion moved by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) and negatived on 14 March 2012 which related to nuclear submarines, was moved again and agreed to.

Motions negatived

Notices of motion

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

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