Tuesday, 3 February 2009

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No. 02/2009

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The Senate met from 12.30pm until 7.21pm


The President announced the resignation on 30 January 2009 of Senator Chris Ellison.


Bills and related documents available on BillsNet <www.aph.gov.au/bills/index.htm>

Bills considered

The following bill was debated

  • Corporations Amendment (No. 1) Bill 2008 [2009] second reading agreed to and committee of the whole commenced 1 AG amendment to be determined

The following bill was passed

  • Tax Laws Amendment (Political Contributions and Gifts) Bill 2008 17 AG amendments agreed to, 6 items negatived [the House of Representatives will now consider the amendments made by the Senate]

Notice of motion to read a bill a second time

  • Social Security Legislation Amendment (Employment Services Reform) Bill 2008 notice given by the Minister for Human Services (Senator Ludwig)

Messages from the House of Representatives

  • Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Television Switch-over) Bill 2008 informing the Senate that the House does not insist on the amendments disagreed to by the Senate, and agreeing to the consequential amendment made by the Senate
  • Temporary Residents' Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 agreeing to the amendments made by the Senate

[These bills have been 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


For scheduled public committee hearings

For committee reports

Reports tabled

Report on legislation

  • Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management (Repeal and Consequential Amendment) Bill 2008 Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee

Other report

  • Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Effectiveness of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 in eliminating discrimination and promoting gender equality [motion to take note of the report agreed to]

Document tabled

  • 2008 supplement to the consolidated register of Senate committee reports

Reports on access to committee documents tabled

  • Regulations and Ordinances Committee 1907 to the 1960s
  • Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Legislation Joint Select Committee 1970 to 1972

Government responses tabled

  • Finance and Public Administration Committee Knock, knock who's there? The Lobbying Code of Conduct
  • Intelligence and Security Joint Committee
    • Inquiry into the proscription of terrorist organisations' under the Australian Criminal Code
    • Review of security and counter terrorism legislation
  • National Capital and External Territories Joint Committee The way forward: Inquiry into the role of the National Capital Authority
  • President's report of 26 June 2008 on outstanding government responses to parliamentary committee reports
  • Public Accounts and Audit Joint Committee 411th report: Progress on equipment acquisition and financial reporting in Defence

Public meetings

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

  • Agricultural and Related Industries Select Committee 4 February 2009 from 3.30pm pricing and supply arrangements in the Australian and global fertiliser market
  • Electoral Matters Joint Committee 3 February 2009 from 12.45 pm to 1.45 pm 2007 Federal Election, including the Commonwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008

Notices of motion given

To extend reporting deadlines:

  • Economics Committee to report by 26 February 2009
    • Tax Laws Amendment (Taxation of Financial Arrangements) Bill 2008
    • Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008

To refer a matter to a committee:


The Senate agreed to various changes to committee membership.


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

Notices of motion given

The following notices of motion were given requiring Ministers to table documents:

  • Answers to various questions relating to the increase in excise on certain alcoholic drinks by 5 and 23 February 2009 notice given by Senator Cormann
  • Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to table reports relating to the National Broadband Network no later than 10.00am on 5 February 2009 notice given by Senator Minchin
  • Minister representing the Treasurer to table documents relating to the Department of the Treasury report Australia's low pollution future: The economics of climate change mitigation no later than 12.00pm on 5 February 2009 notice given by Senator Cormann

Orders with continuing effect

Departmental and agency appointments

Statements of compliance for various portfolios [see Journals entries 32 and 45] were 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 contracts published on the Internet

A statement of compliance for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry was tabled [Letters of advice about certain contracts valued at $100 000 or more entered into by departments and agencies are required to be tabled twice a year]

Departmental and agency grants

Statements of compliance for various portfolios [see Journals entries 33 and 46] 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]

Indexed lists of departmental and agency files published on the Internet

A statement of compliance for the Australian Trade Commission was tabled [Letters of advice about certain files created by departments and agencies are required to be tabled twice a year]

Documents tabled

  • Auditor-General Audit reports nos 12 to 18 of 2008-09 [See Journals entries nos 30 and 38] [motion to take note of report no. 12 was agreed to]
  • Business of the Senate 1 January to 31 December 2008 [a digest of all business considered by the Senate in 2008]
  • Government documents [see Journals entries nos 2 and 29] [and considered]
  • Responses to Senate resolutions about:
    • Construction of a road through the Tarkine Forest, Tasmania from the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Mr Albanese) [resolution agreed to 1 December 2008] [motion to take note of the response agreed to]
    • Harmful effects of pesticides from the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Mr Burke) [resolution agreed to 25 November 2008]
    • Moreton Bay fishing from the Premier of Queensland (Ms Bligh) [resolution agreed to 27 November 2008]
    • Trees for Life in South Australia from the Chief Executive Officer of Trees for Life (Ms Carmel Dundon) [resolution agreed to 2 December 2008]
  • Questions on notice summary 12 February to 31 December 2008
  • 2 petitions

Ministerial statements tabled

The Acting Deputy President (Senator Hurley) tabled a ministerial statement about changes to the 2008-09 skilled migration program, which was presented since the last sitting of the Senate.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector (Senator Stephens) tabled a ministerial statement responding to the global financial and economic crisis.

Other business

Questions without notice and issues arising during question time first question

Adjournment debate first speaker

Motion debated

The Senate discussed issues relating to the Prime Minister's economic strategies, raised by Senator Abetz as a matter of public importance. [first speaker]

Statement by President

The President made a statement relating to various staffing and administrative matters.

Death of Private Gregory Michael Sher

The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Evans) moved that the Senate records its deep regret at the death, on 4 January 2009, of Private Gregory Michael Sher, while on combat operations in Afghanistan.

Trooper Mark Donaldson VC

The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Evans) moved that the Senate records this occasion of national significance in the awarding of the Victoria Cross to Trooper Mark Donaldson, VC, on 16 January 2009.

Shadow Ministry

Senator Minchin informed the Senate of changes to the Shadow Ministry.

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 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, on the Internet at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/pubs/index.htm

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

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