Monday, 16 March 2009

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No. 21/2009

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The Senate met from 12.00 noon until 11.28pm


Bills and related documents available on BillsNet <>

Bills considered

The following private senator's bill was introduced

  • Food Safety (Trans Fats) Bill 2009

The following bills were debated

  • Customs Tariff Amendment (2009 Measures No. 1) Bill 2009
    Excise Tariff Amendment (2009 Measures No. 1) Bill 2009
    Second reading agreed to [first speaker] 1 Opposition second reading amendment agreed to [expressing a view about the policy of the bills]
    Committee of the whole commenced 20 Opposition requests for amendments agreed to

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

  • Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2008-2009
    Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2008-2009
  • Australian Business Investment Partnership Bill 2009 and a related bill
  • Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2009
  • 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

See Committees for details of reports relating to legislation



For scheduled public committee hearings

For committee reports

Reports tabled

Report on legislation

  • Excise Tariff Amendment (2009 Measures No. 1) Bill 2009 and Customs Tariff Amendment (2009 Measures No. 1) Bill 2009 Community Affairs Committee

Other reports

  • Treaties Joint Committee
    • 98th report Treaties tabled on 26 November 2008 and 4 December 2008
    • 99th report Treaties tabled on 3 December 2008 and 3 February 2009

[a motion to take note of the reports was agreed to]

Document tabled

  • National Broadband Network Select Committee Correction to interim report

Amendment to terms of reference

The Senate agreed to a motion to amend the terms of reference for the inquiry of the Corporations and Financial Services Joint Committee into financial products and services in Australia.

Public meeting

The Senate authorised the Electoral Matters Joint Committee to hold a public meeting while the Senate is sitting on 17 March 2009 for the committee's inquiry into the 2007 Federal Election, including the Commonwealth Electoral (Above-the-Line Voting) Amendment Bill 2008.

Notices of motion given

To extend reporting deadlines

  • Community Affairs Committee Implementation of recommendations of committee reports on child migration and Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home car as children to report by 25 June 2009
  • Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee Water Amendment (Saving the Goulburn and Murray Rivers) Bill 2008 to report by 7 May 2009

To hold meetings when the Senate is sitting

  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee 19 March 2009 In camera hearing from 5.00pm Economic and security challenges facing Papua New Guinea and the island states of the southwest Pacific
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Joint Committee 19 March 2009 from 10.00am Human rights mechanisms and the Asia-Pacific
  • Treaties Joint Committee 17 March 2009 Private meeting otherwise than in accordance with standing order 33(1)

To vary the order appointing a committee

  • Climate Policy Select Committee notice given by the Minister for Human Services (Senator Ludwig)


The Senate agreed to various changes to committee membership.

Messages from the House of Representatives were reported advising of various changes to joint committees.



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]

Notices of motion to disallow given

The Chair of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances gave notices to disallow the following delegated legislation:

Orders for the production of documents

Document tabled

The Minister for Human Services (Senator Ludwig) tabled an interim response to an order of the Senate agreed to on 11 March 2009 for the production of documents relating to private health insurance.

Order 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

  • Australian Parliamentary Delegation Report Egypt and Israel 24 October to 6 November 2008 [a motion to take note of the report was debated and agreed to first speaker]
  • Government document

Ministerial statement tabled

The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Senator Carr) tabled a ministerial statement on the agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade area, together with the agreement [a motion was moved to take note of the statement].


Other business

Questions without notice and issues arising during question time first question

Adjournment debate first speaker

Motion agreed to

Motion debated

The Senate discussed matters relating to the oil and chemical spill on the south-east Queensland coast, raised by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) as a matter of public importance. [first speaker]

Questions on notice Failure to provide answers

Senator Ronaldson asked the following Ministers why answers had not been provided to various questions on notice

  • Immigration and Citizenship (Senator Evans) [explanation]
  • Human Services (Senator Ludwig) [explanation]
  • Special Minister of State (Senator Faulkner) [explanation]
  • Climate Change and Water (Senator Wong) [explanation]
  • Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Senator Carr) [explanation]
  • Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (Senator Conroy) [explanation]
  • Superannuation and Corporate Law (Senator Sherry) [explanation]

Explanations were provided, and a motion moved by Senator Ronaldson to take note of the explanations was debated and agreed to [first speaker].

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

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

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