Wednesday, 17 September 2008

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No. 56/2008

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The Senate met from 9.30am until 7.22pm



Bills and related documents available on BillsNet <>

Bills considered

The following bills were introduced

  • Archives Amendment Bill 2008 [new Senate bill]

  • Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Radio) Bill 2008 [new Senate bill]

  • Defence Amendment (Parliamentary Approval of Overseas Service) Bill 2008 [No. 2] [private senator’s bill]

  • First Home Saver Accounts (Further Provisions) Amendment Bill 2008 and a related bill [passed by the House of Representatives on 17 September 2008]

  • Restoring Territory Rights (Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation) Bill 2008 [private senator’s bill]

The following bills were debated

  • Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008–second reading debate commenced [first speaker]

  • Tax Laws Amendment (Luxury Car Tax) Bill 2008 and 3 related bills–a motion that the bills be read a second time was debated [first speaker]

Notices of motion

To introduce a private senator’s bill

  • Urgent Relief for Single Age Pensioners Bill 2008–notice given by Senator Coonan

To exempt bills from the cut-off order [to enable consideration this period of sittings]

  • First Home Saver Accounts (Further Provisions) Amendment Bill 2008 and a related bill
    International Tax Agreements Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2008
    –notice given by the Minister for Human Services (Senator Ludwig)

Message from the House of Representatives

  • Tax Laws Amendment (2008 Measures No. 4) Bill 2008–agreeing to the amendments made by the Senate [The bill will now be assented to]



For scheduled public committee hearings
For committee reports

Reports tabled

  • Seven standing committees–Reports on annual reports tabled by 30 April 2008 [A motion to take note of the report by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee was moved]

  • Procedure Committee–First Report of 2008 [A motion to take note of the report was moved]

  • Scrutiny of Bills Committee–PDF 221KB of 2008 and PDF 124KB of 2008 [contain assessments of bills on civil liberties and related grounds]

Public meeting

The Senate authorised the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee to hold a public meeting while the Senate is sitting on 18 September 2008 from 4.00pm for the committee’s inquiry into the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Laws Bill 2008 [No. 2].

Reporting dates extended

The Senate extended reporting dates for the following inquiries:

  • Examination of annual reports tabled by 30 April 2008–Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee–to report by 13 November 2008

  • State Government Financial Management Select Committee–to report by 18 September 2008

Notices of motion given

To extend reporting deadlines:

  • Community Affairs Committee–

    • Special disability trusts—to report by 16 October 2008

    • Petrol sniffing and substance abuse in central Australia–to report by the last sitting day in March 2009

To hold meetings when the Senate is sitting:

  • Community Affairs Committee–
    • 22 September 2008–draft National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits — Charges) Regulations 2008–from 3.00pm
    • 25 September 2008–draft National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits — Charges) Regulations 2008; the Poker Machine Harm Reduction Tax (Administration) Bill 2008, the Poker Machine Harm Minimisation Bill 2008, and the ATMs and Cash Facilities in Licensed Venues Bill 2008–from3.00pm
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee–18 September 2008–management of the Murray-Darling Basin system and the Emergency Water (Murray-Darling Basin Rescue) Bill 2008–from 4.30pm


The Senate appointed Senator Bob Brown as a member of the Senators’ Interests 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]

Notice of motion withdrawn

Senator Barnett withdrew a notice to disallow regulations repealing the Health Insurance (General Medical Services Table) Regulations 2006 and making the Health Insurance (General Medical Services Table) 2007.

Orders for the production of documents–Orders with continuing effect

Indexed lists of departmental and agency files published on the Internet
Statements of compliance 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 tabled

  • Commonwealth Ombudsman–Report for 2007-08 on the Ombudsman’s activities in monitoring controlled operations conducted by the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity

  • Government documents

Ministerial statement tabled

The Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law (Senator Sherry) tabled a ministerial statement about a national consumer law.


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

Motion negatived

Motion debated


The Senate agreed to present the address-in-reply to the Governor-General on 22 September 2008.

Party leadership

Senator Joyce informed the Senate of his appointment as Leader of The Nationals in the Senate.

Notices of motion

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


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