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Thursday, 9 February 2012
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The Senate met from 9.30 am until 7.42 pm
The Senate will meet again on 27 February 2012. Senate committees will meet from 13 to 17 February 2012 to consider additional estimates.
Bills and related documents
The following bills were introduced
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Monitoring of Whaling) Bill 2012 [private senator’s bill]
- Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 9 February 2012]
- Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Universal Service Reform) Bill 2011 and 2 related bills [passed by the House of Representatives on 8 February 2012]
The following private senator’s bill was debated
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bioregional Plans) Bill 2011–second reading debate continued [first speaker]
The following bills were passed
- Customs Amendment (New Zealand Rules of Origin) Bill 2011 [first speaker] [The bill will now be assented to]
- Higher Education Support Amendment (VET FEE-HELP and Other Measures) Bill 2011  [first speaker] [The House of Representatives will now consider this bill]
- Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Significant Incident Directions) Bill 2011 [first speaker] [The bill will now be assented to]
See Committees for details of reports relating to legislation
Scheduled public committee hearings
- Additional information arising from estimates hearings was tabled
- The Minister for Manufacturing (Senator Carr) tabled particulars of proposed additional expenditure, and the Senate referred the particulars to committees for examination and report
Report on legislation
- Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Online Games) Bill 2011–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee [report]
- Publications Committee–13th report [report] [a motion to adopt the report was agreed to]
- Regulations and Ordinances Committee–Delegated legislation monitor–Disallowable legislative instruments tabled in the Senate in 2011
- Work of Committees–1 January to 31 December 2011
Government responses tabled
- Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Joint Committee–Inquiry into the operation of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006–Interim and final reports
- Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee–Human rights in the Asia‑Pacific: Challenges and opportunities
- Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee–
- Defence’s request for tender for aviation contracts [a motion to take note of the response was agreed to]
- Part II: Incidents onboard HMAS Success between March and May 2009 and subsequent events
- Treaties Joint Committee–110th report–Treaties tabled 18, 25  and 26 November 2009 and 2  February 2010
Selection of Bills Committee report
The Senate adopted report no. 1 of 2012 of the Selection of Bills Committee, and made the following references:
- Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012–Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee–to report by 27 February 2012
- Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012–Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 22 March 2012
- Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support and Other Measures) Bill 2012–Community Affairs Legislation Committee–to report by 19 March 2012
- Telecommunications Amendment (Mobile Phone Towers) Bill 2011–Environment and Communications Legislation Committee–to report by 9 May 2012
- Prevention and treatment of problem gambling–Gambling Reform Joint Select Committee
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–29 February 2012 from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
- Community Affairs Legislation and References Committees–9 February 2012 from 5.00 pm–private meetings otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
- Economics Legislation Committee–9 February 2012 from 3.30 pm–private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)
- Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee–
- 27 February 2012 from 10.00 am to 11.30 am–Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Japan and the Republic of Korea; and from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm–Australia’s overseas representation
- 19 March 2012 from 10.00 am to 11.30 am–Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Japan and the Republic of Korea
Notice of motion to extend a reporting deadline
- Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee–Higher education and skills training for agriculture and agribusiness–to report by 8 June 2012
The Senate agreed to various changes to committee membership [see Journals entries 29 and 44].
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
The Senate did not agree to a motion requiring the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Senator Evans) to table documents relating to the implementation cost of a $1 bet limit on poker machines.
The Minister for Manufacturing (Senator Carr) tabled a statement and documents responding to the order of the Senate of 1 November 2011 requiring the production of documents relating to the Mineral Resource Rent Tax [a motion to take note of the documents was agreed to].
Departmental and agency appointments and vacancies
A letter of advice for the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio was tabled [Lists of appointments made and existing vacancies are required to be tabled 7 days before the commencement of budget, supplementary budget and additional estimates hearings]
Departmental and agency grants
Letters of advice for the Foreign Affairs and Trade and Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolios were tabled [Lists of all grants approved are required to be tabled 7 days before the commencement of budget, supplementary budget and additional estimates hearings]
Government documents, committee reports, government responses and Auditor‑General’s reports were discussed.
Ministerial statements tabled
The Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Senator Wong) tabled ministerial statements about–
- Defence Security Authority vetting [a motion to take note of the statement was agreed to]
- livestock trade to the Middle East [a motion to take note of the statement was debated and agreed to – first speaker]
Questions without notice and issues arising during question time–first question
Adjournment debate–first speaker
Motions agreed to
Questions on notice–Failure to provide answer
Senator Cash asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Senator Ludwig) why answers had not been provided to questions placed on notice during the consideration by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee of the 2011-12 supplementary Budget estimates. Senator Ludwig provided an explanation. A motion moved by Senator Cash to take note of the response was agreed to.
Statement by President
The President made a statement endorsing rulings made by Temporary Chairs of Committees earlier in the day.
Notices of motion
Notices of motion given today are available in the Senate Journals [see Journals entries 4 and 38].
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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The Senate Daily Summary is available at www.aph.gov.au/senate
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