Thursday, 9 February 2017
Closing the Gap
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 186, standing in my name for today, relating to the presentation of annual reports concerning the Closing the Gap initiative.
I amend the motion in the terms circulated in the chamber and move:
That the Senate—
(b) further notes that reports are presented by the Prime Minister to the Australian Parliament annually on progress in meeting these 'Closing the Gap' targets, along with a response by the Leader of the Opposition;
(c) is of the view that the presentation of these annual reports should be marked by a special parliamentary procedure in recognition of the significance of these initiatives to all Australians;
(d) therefore proposes to the House of Representatives that it consider marking the presentation of the Prime Minister's annual report on 'Closing the Gap' by:
(i) hosting a meeting of the House to which senators are invited, and
(ii) inviting senior Indigenous leaders to be present when the Prime Minister's annual report is presented; and
(e) resolves that, on its presentation to the Senate, the Prime Minister's annual report on 'Closing the Gap' and accompanying ministerial statement be listed for consideration as a government business order of the day, and that the Government undertake to provide for at least 2 hours consideration of the statement during government business time, not more than eight sitting days following the presentation of the report to the Senate.
(2) This order have continuing effect.
Senators are welcome to attend the tabling of the Closing the gap report, and some have attended in previous years. We welcome that, and processes are underway to invite senators to this year's event. It is noted that we have five Indigenous members and senators in our parliament. Indigenous leaders are welcome in the gallery, and we expect many people to attend again this year. This is consistent with the protocols Labor followed when in government. We encourage all members and senators to continue to discuss issues impacting Indigenous people in parliament and also in the community.
Question agreed to.