Senate Daily Summary - 22 March 2012

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No. 20/2012

Thursday, 22 March 2012

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The Senate met from 9.30 am until 8.31 pm

The Senate has now completed the Autumn sittings and will commence the Budget sittings on 8 May 2012.

Legislation

Bills and related documents

Bills considered

The following bills were introduced

  • Broadcasting Services Amendment (Anti-siphoning) Bill 2012 [Senate bill]
  • Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011 and a related bill [passed by the House of Representatives on 21 March 2012]
  • Judges and Governors-General Legislation Amendment (Family Law) Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 21 March 2012]
  • Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2012 [private senator’s bill]
  • National Water Commission Amendment Bill 2012 [Senate bill]
  • Poker Machine Harm Reduction ($1 Bets and Other Measures) Bill 2012 [private senators’ bill]

The following bills were exempted from the cut-off order [to enable consideration in this period of sittings – 7 February to 22 March 2012]

  • Family Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012
  • Family Law Amendment (Validation of Certain Orders and Other Measures) Bill 2012
  • Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Disability Support Pension Participation Reforms) Bill 2012

The following bills were debated

  • Assisting Victims of Overseas Terrorism Bill 2012–second reading debate continued–1 Australian Greens second reading amendment to be determined [first speaker]
  • Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Amendment Bill 2011–second reading debate commenced [first speaker]
  • Landholders’ Right to Refuse (Coal Seam Gas) Bill 2011–second reading debate continued [first speaker]

The following bill was introduced, debated and passed

  • Family Law Amendment (Validation of Certain Orders and Other Measures) Bill 2012 [first speaker]  [The bill will now be assented to]

The following bill was defeated by a majority vote

  • Solar Hot Water Rebate Bill 2012–defeated at second reading [first speaker]

Messages from the House of Representatives

  • Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill 2011 [2012]–agreeing to the bill without amendment [the bill will now be assented to]
  • Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency Bill 2011 and a related bill–agreeing to the amendments made by the Senate to the bills [the bills 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 

Estimates

The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee tabled a report into the 2011-12 additional estimates [report].

Additional information arising from estimates hearings was also tabled.

Reports tabled

Reports on legislation

  • Air Navigation and Civil Aviation Amendment (Aircraft Crew) Bill 2011 and the Qantas Sale Amendment (Still Call Australia Home) Bill 2011–Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee [report]
  • Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (R 18+ Computer Games) Bill 2012–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee [report]

Other reports

  • Privileges Committee–151st report–Possible imposition of a penalty on, or interference with, a witness before the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee [report] [a motion was moved in relation to the report]
  • Publications Committee–15th report [report] [a motion to adopt the report was agreed to]
  • Scrutiny of Bills Committee–Alert Digest No. 4 and 4th report of 2012 [contains assessments of bills on civil liberties and related grounds]

Documents tabled

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and 2 related bills–Additional information
  • Community Affairs References Committee–Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption practices–Additional information
  • Regulations and Ordinances Committee–Ministerial correspondence relating to the scrutiny of delegated legislation for the period August to December 2011

New inquiries

Selection of Bills Committee report

The Senate adopted report no. 4 of 2012 of the Selection of Bills Committee, and made the following references:

  • Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2012–Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–to report by 18 June 2012
  • Assisting Victims of Overseas Terrorism Bill 2012 and the Social Security Amendment (Supporting Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas) Bill 2011–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 8 May 2012
  • Broadcasting Services Amendment (Anti-siphoning) Bill 2012–Environment and Communications Legislation Committee–to report by 4 May 2012
  • Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Bill 2012 and 4 related bills–Economics Legislation Committee and the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee–to report by 19 June 2012
  • Corporations Amendment (Phoenixing and Other Measures) Bill 2012–Economics Legislation Committee–to report by 8 May 2012
  • Courts Legislation Amendment (Judicial Complaints) Bill 2012 and a related bill–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 18 June 2012
  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012–Environment and Communications Legislation Committee–to report by 20 June 2012
  • Health Insurance (Dental Services) Bill 2012 [No. 2]–Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee–to report by 8 May 2012
  • Judges and Governors-General Legislation Amendment (Family Law) Bill 2012–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 8 May 2012
  • Migration Legislation Amendment (Student Visas) Bill 2012–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 18 June 2012
  • National Health Reform Amendment (Administrator and National Health Funding Body) Bill 2012–Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee–to report by 9 May 2012
  • National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Charges) Bill 2012–Economics Legislation Committee–to report by 9 May 2012
  • National Water Commission Amendment Bill 2012–Environment and Communications Legislation Committee–to report by 1 May 2012
  • Skills Australia Amendment (Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency) Bill 2012–Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee–to report by 8 May 2012
  • Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012–Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee–to report by 18 June 2012

Meeting during the sitting of the Senate

The Senate authorised the Gambling Reform Joint Select Committee to hold a private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1) during the sitting of the Senate on 22 March 2012 from 5.00 pm.

Reporting dates extended

The Senate extended reporting dates for the following inquiries:

  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee–Defence Trade Controls Bill 2011–to report by 15 August 2012
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–Access to Justice (Federal Jurisdiction) Amendment Bill 2011–to report by 29 March 2012
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–Operational issues in export grain networks–to report by 12 April 2012
  • Scrutiny of Bills Committee–Future direction and role of the committee–to report by 9 May 2012

Notice of motion to refer a matter to a committee

  • Routine of business and the precedence granted to motions to refer matters of privilege to the Privileges Committee when the President gives precedence to such matters–Procedure Committee–notice given by the Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations (Senator Collins)

Membership

The Senate agreed to various changes to the membership of committees [see Journals entries nos 2 and 47].

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]

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 agreed to

Motions negatived

Notices of motion

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

Statistics

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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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.

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

Contact details

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