Senate debates

Tuesday, 26 June 2012



3:33 pm

Photo of Jacinta CollinsJacinta Collins (Victoria, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) Share this | | Hansard source

I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the provisions of paragraphs (5) to (8) of standing order 111 not apply to the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 3) 2012, allowing it to be considered during this period of sittings.

I also table a statement of reasons justifying the need for this bill to be considered during these sittings and seek leave to have the statement incorporated in Hansard.

The statement read as follows—



Purpose of the Bill

The Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 3) 2012 will:

-   amend the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) to:

o   clarify that Chief Executives of FMA Act Agencies have power to make, vary and administer arrangements, on behalf of the Commonwealth, in relation to the affairs of their Agencies; and

o   establish specific legislative authority for the Commonwealth to make, vary and administer arrangements and grants and make payments under certain programs that are prescribed in the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997 (FMA Regulations);

amend the FMA Regulations to:

      amend the FMA Act to enable Ministers to delegate the power to make, vary or administer an arrangement to officials;

      amend Schedule 1 of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (ADJR Act) to exempt from review under the ADJR Act decisions to make, vary and administer certain arrangements, grants and programs in accordance with the new legislative authority in the FMA Act;

      establish transitional arrangements to provide legislative authority for prescribed programs and arrangements that are in force immediately before the FFLA Bill commences; and

      Reasons for Urgency

      It is important that the Bill be passed in the Winter 2012 sittings to provide specific legislative authority for the Commonwealth to fund existing programs, and to enter into arrangements for expenditure.

      The FFLA Bill responds to the decision of the High Court on 20 June 2012 in Williams v Commonwealth [2012] HCA 2, which found that the Commonwealth executive government could not enter into agreements and make payments without legislative authority. Appropriation legislation and subsection 44(1) of the FMA Act are not sufficient. Many existing programs, without clear legislative authority, are in real peril. The FFLA Bill seeks to ensure that the status quo can be maintained and that recipients of Commonwealth funding will not be detrimentally affected.

      Senator Colbeck to move:

      That the time for the presentation of the report of the Select Committee on Australia's Food Processing Sector be extended to 16 August 2012.

      Senators Boyce and Fifield to move:

      That the Senate—

        (a)   recognises that:

           (i)   the proposal of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a once-in-a-generation landmark reform that has the potential to deliver better quality of life outcomes for Australians with disabilities,

           (ii)   the schedule for implementation of the NDIS, as proposed by the Productivity Commission, will take 7 years, spanning the life of three Parliaments, and

           (iii)   the NDIS is a reform that involves the cooperation and support of state and territory governments, the disability support services sector, people with a disability and their families and carers;

        (b)   notes the bipartisan and cross-party support for the implementation of the NDIS; and

        (c)   declares its support for policy stability on the NDIS over the life of those three Parliaments and until the scheme's full implementation.

      Senators Boyce and Fifield to move:

      (1)   That a joint select committee, to be known as the Joint Select Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme be established to oversee the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

      (2)   That the committee be subject to terms of reference and reporting dates, to be agreed upon by the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition and agreed to by both Houses of Parliament.

      (3)   That the committee consist of 10 members, two Government members and two Opposition members, two Government senators and two Opposition senators, one Australian Greens member or senator and one independent member or senator.

      (4)   That every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

      (5)   That the members of the committee hold office as a joint select committee until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time, whichever is the earlier.

      (6)   That the committee elect as its joint chairs a Government member appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Government Whip or Whips or the Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives or the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and an Opposition member appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Opposition Whip or Whips or the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives or the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

      (7)   That three members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include one Government member of either House and one Opposition member of either House.

      (8)   That the committee have the power to call for witnesses to attend and for documents to be produced.

      (9)   That the committee may conduct proceedings at any place it sees fit.

      (10)   That the committee have the power to adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

      (11)   That the committee report to both Houses of Parliament from time to time.

      (12)   That the provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

      (13)   That a message be sent to the House of Representatives acquainting it of this resolution and requesting that it concur with the action accordingly.

      Senator Collins to move:

      That the order of the Senate agreed to on 19 June 2012, relating to the hours of meeting and routine of business, be varied to provide that:

      On Thursday, 28 June 2012:

        (a)   the hours of meeting shall be 9 am to 6 pm and 7 pm to adjournment;

        (b)   the routine of business from 9 am to 2 pm, and from 7 pm, shall be the following government business orders of the day:

      Tax Laws Amendment (Managed Investment Trust Withholding Tax) Bill 2012 and a related bill, and

      Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 and 2 related bills;

        (c)   the routine of business from after motions to take note of answers to not later than 4.30 pm shall be:

           (i)   petitions,

           (ii)   notices of motion,

           (iii)   tabling and consideration of a report of the Selection of Bills Committee,

           (iv)   postponement and rearrangement of business,

           (v)   discovery of formal business, and

           (vi)   tabling of Clerk's documents;

        (d)   the order of general business shall be:

           (i)   general business order of the day no. 20 (Environment Protection (Beverage Container Deposit and Recovery Scheme) Bill 2010), and

           (ii)   orders of the day relating to government documents;

        (e)   divisions may take place after 4.30 pm; and

        (f)   the question for the adjournment of the Senate shall not be proposed until a motion for the adjournment is moved by a minister.