Wednesday, 18 March 2009

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No. 23/2009

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The Senate met from 9.30am until 7.56pm


Bills and related documents available on BillsNet <>

Bills considered

The following bills were introduced

  • Australian Business Investment Partnership Bill 2009 and a related bill [passed by the House of Representatives on 17 March 2009]
  • Migration Amendment (Abolishing Detention Debt) Bill 2009 [new Senate bill]
  • Social Security Amendment (Liquid Assets Waiting Period) Bill 2009 [passed by the House of Representatives on 18 March 2009]
  • Social Security and Veterans’ Entitlements Amendment (Commonwealth Seniors Health Card) Bill 2009 [passed by the House of Representatives on 17 March 2009]

The following bill was debated

  • Fair Work Bill 2008–Committee of the whole continued–3 Australian Greens amendments agreed to and 1 clause negatived [further amendments remain to be considered]

The following bills were defeated by a majority vote

  • Customs Tariff Amendment (2009 Measures No. 1) Bill 2009
    Excise Tariff Amendment (2009 Measures No. 1) Bill 2009
    Messages from the House of Representatives were reported informing the Senate that the House had not made the amendments requested by the Senate [first speaker]. The committee resolved not to press its requests. An amendment to the motion that the report of the committee be adopted was moved by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) and Senator Cormann and agreed to [a message will be sent to the House of Representatives].
    The bills were defeated at the third reading [see Journals entries nos 27 and 29].

Exemption from the cut-off order

[to enable consideration in this period of sittings]

The Senate agreed to exempt the following bills from the cut-off order:

  • Social Security Amendment (Liquid Assets Waiting Period) Bill 2009
  • Social Security and Veterans’ Entitlements Amendment (Commonwealth Seniors Health Card) Bill 2009
  • Tax Laws Amendment (2009 Measures No. 1) Bill 2009

The Senate did not agree to exempt the following bills from the cut-off order [first speaker]:

  • Australian Business Investment Partnership Bill 2009 and a related bill
  • Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2009

Bills to be considered together

The Senate agreed that the following bills may be considered together for their remaining stages:

  • Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2008-2009
  • Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2008-2009
  • Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2008-2009
  • Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2008-2009

Notice of motion to vary the hours of meeting

A notice was given by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing (Senator McLucas) to vary the hours of meeting for 19 March 2009 to enable the government’s legislative program to be considered.


For scheduled public committee hearings
For committee reports

Reports tabled

  • Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee–The operation of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999–First report [a motion to take note of the report was debated–first speaker]
  • Selection of Bills Committee–Report no. 3 of 2009
  • Scrutiny of Bills Committee–Alert Digest No. 4 of 2009 and 3rd report of 2009 [contain assessments of bills on civil liberties and related grounds] [a motion to take note was debated and agreed to–first speaker]

Document tabled

  • Scrutiny of Bills Committee–Retirement of Emeritus Professor Jim Davis, Legal Advisor to the committee: 1983 to 2008

New inquiry

The Senate referred matters relating to foreign investments in Australia to the Economics Committee to report by 17 June 2009 [first speaker].

Meetings during the sitting of the Senate

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

  • Economics Committee–18 and 19 March 2009 from 6.30pm–Exposure draft of the legislation to implement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee–18 March 2009–Private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)

Notices of motion given

To extend a reporting deadline

  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee–Import risk analysis for the importation of Cavendish bananas from the Philippines–to report by 14 May 2009

To refer matters to committees

  • Community Affairs Committee–
    • Matters relating to Medicare Australia–to report by 15 May 2009
    • National accreditation scheme for doctors and other health workers–to report by 12 May 2009
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee–
    • Access to justice
    • Australia’s judicial system and the role of judges
      –to report by 17 August 2009

To withdraw a reference to a committee


The Senate agreed to various changes to committee membership [see Journals entries nos 22 and 31].


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

Notice of motion

Senator Cormann gave a notice of motion to amend the order of the Senate relating to departmental and agency appointments.

Order with continuing effect

Indexed lists of departmental and agency files published on the Internet

A statement of compliance for the Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio was tabled [Letters of advice about certain files created by departments and agencies are required to be tabled twice a year]

Documents tabled

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

Notices of motion

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

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The Senate Daily Summary is available on the Internet at

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, on the Internet at

Related resources

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