Senate Daily Summary - 14 August 2012

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No. 38/2012

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

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The Senate met from 12.30 pm until 8.56 pm


Bills and related documents

Bills considered

The following bill was introduced

  • Consumer Credit Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 26 June 2012]

The following bill was debated

  • Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012–second reading debate commenced [first speaker]

The following bill was passed

  • Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Trustee Obligations and Prudential Standards) Bill 2012 [first speaker] [This bill will now be assented to]

Messages from the House of Representatives reported

  • Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and 2 related bills–agreeing to the amendments made by the Senate to the bills

Bills assented to

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

See Committees for details of reports relating to legislation


Scheduled public committee hearings

Committee reports


A corrigendum to the report of the Community Affairs Legislation Committee into the 2012-13 Budget estimates was tabled.

Reports tabled

Reports on legislation

  • Courts Legislation Amendment (Judicial Complaints) Bill 2012 and a related bill–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–Interim and final reports [final report]
  • Customs Amendment (Smuggled Tobacco) Bill 2012–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee [report]
  • Military Court of Australia Bill 2012 and a related bill–Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee [report]
  • Tax Laws Amendment (Cross-Border Transfer Pricing) Bill (No. 1) 2012–Economics Legislation Committee [report]

Other reports

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–Administration of Indigenous Business Australia in relation to certain evidence given to the Senate Community Affairs Committee [report]
  • Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee–The shortage of engineering and related employment skills [report]
  • Intelligence and Security Joint Committee–Review of the re-listing of Hizballah’s External Security Organisation [report] [a motion to take note of the report was agreed to]

Government responses tabled

  • Economics References Committee–
    • Investing for good: The development of a capital market for the not-for-profit sector in Australia
    • The asset insurance arrangements of Australian state governments: State government insurance and the flood levy [Inquiry into the provisions of the Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Flood and Cyclone Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011 and Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Flood and Cyclone Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011]
  • Finance and Public Administration References Committee–The Government’s administration of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee–Torres Strait: Bridge and border
  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee–Donor conception practices in Australia
  • Public Accounts and Audit Joint Committee–426th report–Ninth biannual hearing with the Commissioner of Taxation
  • Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee–Animal welfare standards in Australia’s live export markets and the Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2011 [No. 2] and Live Animal Export Restriction and Prohibition Bill 2011 [No. 2]
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–Australia’s biosecurity and quarantine arrangements
  • Treaties Joint Committee–100th report–Treaties tabled on 25 June 2008 (2): Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Meetings during the sitting of the Senate

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

  • Australia’s Food Processing Sector Select Committee–15 August 2012 from noon–private meeting
  • Community Affairs Legislation and References Committees–14 August 2012 from 12.35 pm–private meetings
  • Electoral Matters Joint Committee–15 August 2012 from 9.30 am–private meeting
  • Environment and Communications Legislation Committee–14 August 2012 from 1.45 pm–private meeting
  • National Broadband Network Joint Committee–14 August 2012 from 6.15 pm to 7.20 pm–public meeting–Rollout of the National Broadband Network

Reporting dates extended
The Senate extended reporting dates for the following inquiries:

  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–
  • Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012–to report by 11 September 2012
  • Military Court of Australia Bill 2012 and a related bill–to report by 9 October 2012

Notices of motion

To hold meetings when the Senate is sitting

  • Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Joint Committee–
    • 16 August 2012 from 11.00 am–private meeting
    • 13 September 2012 from 11.00 am–private meeting
  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–
    • 16 August 2012 from 5.00 pm–public meeting–Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012
    • 21 August 2012 from 12.30 pm to–private meeting
  • Community Affairs References Committee–21 August 2012 from 12.30 pm–private meeting
  • Electoral Matters Joint Committee–22 August 2012 from 9.30 am to 11.00 am–public meeting–Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Bill 2012
  • Environment and Communications Legislation and References Committees–16 August 2012 from 1.00 pm–private meeting
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–16 August 2012 from 4.30 pm–public meeting–Examination of the Foreign Investment Review Board national interest test

To extend a reporting deadline

  • Community Affairs References Committee–Health services and medical professionals in rural areas–to report by 22 August 2012


The Senate agreed to the following changes to committee membership:

  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee–Senator Rhiannon to replace Senator Ludlam for the committee’s inquiry into aid for Afghanistan
  • Procedure Committee–Senator Ludlam discharged and Senator Siewert appointed

Message from the House of Representatives

A message from the House of Representatives was reported advising that Ms Rowland would replace Ms Rishworth on the National Broadband Network Joint Committee.


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, including Governor-General’s Proclamations]

Orders for the production of documents

Statement by Minister

A statement from the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) responding to the order of the Senate [agreed to on 19 June 2012] requiring the tabling of legal advice relating to the Murray Darling Basin draft plan was tabled.

Notice of motion

Senator Cormann gave a notice of motion to require the Minister representing the Treasurer to table information relating to Minerals Resource Rent Tax revenues–no later than noon on the 20th day of every month.

Documents tabled

  • 2 petitions
  • Business of the Senate–1 January to 30 June 2012 [a digest of all business considered by the Senate in 2011]
  • Government documents [see Journals entries 2 and 37]
  • Responses to Senate resolutions about–
    • Bsafe program–from the Minister for Justice (Mr Clare) [resolution agreed to on 10 May 2012] [a motion to take note of the response was agreed to]
    • Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws–from the Attorney-General (Ms Roxon) [resolution agreed to on 28 June 2012]
    • Democracy in Bahrain–from the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Senator Bob Carr) [resolution agreed to on 10 May 2012]
    • Domestic and family violence–from the Attorney-General (Ms Roxon) [resolution agreed to on 27 June 2012] [a motion to take note of the response was agreed to]
    • International arms trade–from the Executive Director, Oxfam International (Mr Hobbs) [resolution agreed to on 21 June 2012]
    • Murray Darling inflows–from the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Mr Burke) [resolution agreed to on 9 May 2012] [a motion to take note of the response was debated and agreed to – first speaker]
    • World Down Syndrome Day–from the Chair of Trustees, Down Syndrome International (Ms Robertson, OAM) [resolution agreed to on 21 March 2012] [a motion to take note of the response was agreed to]
  • Questions on notice summary–28 September 2010 to 30 June 2012
  • Work of Committees–Financial statistics: 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012; and half‑year statistics: 1 January to 30 June 2012

Other business

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

Adjournment debate–first speaker

Motion agreed to

Motions negatived

Imminent retirement of senator

Senator Fisher made a statement relating to her imminent retirement.

Death of Sergeant Blaine Diddams

The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Evans) moved that the Senate records its deep sorrow at the death, on 2 July 2012, of Sergeant Blaine Diddams, while on combat operations in Afghanistan. The motion was supported.

Matter of public importance discussed

Notices of motion

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

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