Senate Daily Summary - 22 August 2012

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No. 44/2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

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The Senate met from 9.30 am until 7.26 pm


Bills and related documents

Bills considered

The following bills were introduced

  • Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 22 August 2012]
  • Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 20 August 2012]
  • Public Service Amendment Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 20 August 2012]
  • Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 [passed by the House of Representatives on 22 August 2012]

The following bill was debated

  • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development) Bill 2012–second reading debate commenced [first speaker]

The following bills were passed

  • Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 [first speaker in second reading debate]–16 Government amendments agreed to [The House of Representatives will now consider the amendments made by the Senate]
  • Health Insurance Amendment (Extended Medicare Safety Net) Bill 2012 [first speaker in second reading debate] [The bill will now be assented to]


Scheduled public committee hearings
Committee reports

Reports tabled

  • Community Affairs References Committee–The factors affecting the supply of health services and medical professionals in rural areas [report] [a motion to take note of the report was debated – first speaker]
  • Human Rights Joint Committee–1st report of 2012–Examination of legislation in accordance with the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011: Bills introduced 18 to 29 June 2012 [a motion was moved to take note of the report]
  • Scrutiny of Bills Committee–Alert Digest No. 9 and 9th report of 2012 [contains assessments of bills on civil liberties and related grounds]

New inquiry

The Senate referred matters relating to social determinants of health to the Community Affairs References Committee to report by 27 March 2013.

Meetings during the sitting of the Senate

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

  • Community Affairs Legislation Committee–11 September 2012 from 12.30 pm–private meeting
  • Economics Legislation Committee–23 August 2012 from 3.30 pm–private meeting

Reporting date extended

The Senate extended the reporting date for the inquiry of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee into the allowance payment system to 29 November 2012.

Notices of motion

To establish a select committee

  • Electricity Prices Select Committee–to report by 1 November 2012–notice given by the Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Senator Wong)

To hold meetings when the Senate is sitting

  • Community Affairs References Committee–11 September 2012 from 12.30 pm–private meeting
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–23 August 2012 from 4.30 pm–public meeting–Management of the Murray-Darling Basin

To extend reporting deadlines

  • Community Affairs References Committee–Palliative care in Australia–to report by 19 September 2012
  • Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee–Procurement procedures for defence capital projects–to report by 30 August 2012
  • Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee–Management of the Murray-Darling Basin–to report by 1 November 2012


The Senate agreed that Senator McKenzie replace Senator Nash on the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee on 23 August 2012 for the committee’s inquiry into the management of the Murray-Darling Basin.


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]

Motion to disallow debated

A motion moved by Senator Whish-Wilson to disallow the Small Pelagic Fishery Total Allowable Catch (Quota Species) Determination 2012 [homepage] was debated [first speaker]. The debate will continue on a future sitting day.

Orders for the production of documents

Document tabled

A document relating to the terms of reference of the Financial Ombudsman Service was tabled [The documents were tabled in response to the order of the Senate agreed to on 25 June 2012].

Notices of motion

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

  • Documents relating to allegations concerning certain Reserve Bank of Australia subsidiaries–no later than 17 September 2012–notice given by the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Milne) and Senator Xenophon
  • The Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (Senator Wong) to table details relating to the issue of free carbon permits–no later than noon on 10 September 2012–notice given by Senator Cormann

Orders with continuing effect

Departmental and agency contracts published on the Internet
A letter of advice for the Treasury portfolio 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]

Documents tabled

Other business

Questions without notice and issues arising during question time–first question
Matters of public interest debate–first speaker
Adjournment debate–first speaker

Motion agreed to in part

  • Press freedoms–moved by Senator Birmingham [paragraph (a) agreed to and paragraph (b) negatived]

Motions negatived

Matter of public importance discussed

Notices of motion

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

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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.

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Related resources

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