Senate debates

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Committees

Selection of Bills Committee; Report

11:46 am

Photo of John WilliamsJohn Williams (NSW, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On behalf of Senator Bushby, I present the 15th report for 2018 of the Selection of Bills Committee. I seek leave to have the report incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The report read as follows—

SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

Report no. 15 of 2018

1. The committee met in private session on Wednesday, 5 December 2018 at 7.28 pm.

2. The committee recommends that—

(a) the Corporations (Aboriginal and Tones Strait Islander) Amendment (Strengthening Governance and Transparency) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 11 February 2019 (see appendix 1 for statements of reasons for referral);

(b) contingent upon introduction in the House of Representatives, the provisions of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Support for Infrastructure Financing) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 6 February 2019 (see appendix 2 for a statement of reasons for referral);

(c) the provisions of the Future Drought Fund Bill 2018 and Future Drought Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 February 2019 (see appendix 3 for a statement of reasons for referral);

(d) the Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 13 February 2019 (see appendix 4 for a statement of reasons for referral);

the Lower Tax Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 2 April 2019 (see appendix 5 for a statement of reasons for referral);

the provisions of the Migration Amendment (Streamlining Visa Processing) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 25 February 2019 (see appendix 6 for a statement of reasons for referral);

contingent upon introduction in the House of Representatives, the provisions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Worker Screening Database) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 8 February 2019 (see appendix 7 for a statement of reasons for referral);

the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 3 April 2019 (see appendix 8 for a statement of reasons for referral);

the provisions of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Supporting Retirement Incomes) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the

Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 11 February 2019 (see appendix 9 for a statement of reasons for referral); and

(j) contingent upon introduction in the House of Representatives, the provisions of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2018 be referred immediately to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry but was unable to reach agreement on a reporting date (see appendix 10 for a statement of reasons for referral).

3. The committee recommends that the following bills not be referred to committees:

                4. The committee deferred consideration of the following bills to its next meeting:

                    Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2018

                    Business Names Registration (Fees) Amendment (Registries Modernisation) Bill 2018

                    Corporations (Fees) Amendment (Registries Modernisation) Bill 2018 National Consumer Credit Protection (Fees) Amendment (Registries Modernisation) Bill 2018

                        Customs Tariff Amendment (Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2018

                                Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Regulatory Levies) Amendment (Regulations References) Bill 2018

                                              5. The committee considered the following bill but was unable to reach agreement (see appendix 11 for statements of reasons for proposed referral):

                                                (David Bushby)

                                                Chair

                                                6 December 2018

                                                Appendix 1

                                                SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                Name of bill:

                                                Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Amendment (Strengthening Governance and Transparency) Bill 2018

                                                Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                Content of the Bill may raise governance issues for Indigenous Organisations, Increase costs of compliance, and unnecessarily infringe of service delivery for remote disadvantaged communities.

                                                Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                National Congress, members of the Redfern Collation, Land Councils

                                                Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

                                                Possible hearing date(s):

                                                To be determined by the committee

                                                Possible reporting date:

                                                February 11th 2019

                                                SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                Name of bill:

                                                Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Amendment (Strengthening Governance and Transparency) Bill 2018

                                                Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                Impact of changes on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations

                                                Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, Aboriginal organisations

                                                Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

                                                Possible hearing date(s):

                                                Possible reporting date:

                                                February 11th 2019

                                                Appendix 2

                                                SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                Name of bill:

                                                Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Support for Infrastructure Financing) Bill 2018

                                                Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                Ensure proper scrutiny of the legislation and to allow key stakeholders an opportunity to provide views.

                                                Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                      Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                      Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

                                                      Possible hearing date (s) :

                                                      To be determined by the committee

                                                      Possible reporting date:

                                                      6 February, 2019

                                                      Appendix 3

                                                      SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                      Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                      Name of bill:

                                                      Future Drought Fund Bill 2018 and Future Drought Fund (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018

                                                      Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                      Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                      Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                      Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

                                                                                      Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                      To be determined by the committee

                                                                                      Possible reporting date:

                                                                                      8 February 2019

                                                                                      Appendix 4

                                                                                      SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                      Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                      Name of bill:

                                                                                      Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition) Bill 2018

                                                                                      Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                      The impacts to the climate, groundwater and surface water, Australia's natural environment, human health and infrastructure if the Galilee basin is opened up for mining and the coal is burnt.

                                                                                      Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                      Australian Conservation Foundation, The Australia Institute, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, North Queensland Conservation Council, CSIRO, Independent Scientific Committee on Coal and Coal Seam Gas, Global Change Institute (University of Queensland), Minerals Council of Australia, Queensland Resources Council, Agforce, Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council, Law Council of Australia, Australian Network of Environmental Defenders Offices, Queensland Tourism Council.

                                                                                      Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                      Environment and Communications Committee

                                                                                      Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                      dates during week 14 -18 January 2019, week 4-8 February 2019

                                                                                      Possible reporting date:

                                                                                      Wednesday 13th February 2019

                                                                                      Appendix 5

                                                                                      SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                      Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                      Name of bill:

                                                                                      Lower Tax Bill 2018

                                                                                      Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                      Whether there is a case for each of the tax reductions and abolitions, in the context of larger reductions in government spending.

                                                                                      Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                      Parliamentary Budget Office re the costings of both tax cuts and spending cuts;

                                                                                      Treasury, ATO and Border Force;

                                                                                      business groups (ACCI, BCA, AIG), unions (ACTU, CPSU) and ACOSS;

                                                                                      think tanks, lobbyists and consultancies (IPA, CIS, CIE, Deloitte, Grattan, Australia

                                                                                      Institute, Per Capita, GetUp)

                                                                                      motoring organisations re fuel and luxury car tax (AAA, FCAI);

                                                                                      petroleum extraction industry re crude oil duty abolition (APPEA);

                                                                                      alcohol industry re alcohol tax (Alcohol Beverages Australia);

                                                                                      tobacco industry re tobacco tax (British American, Philip Morris, Imperial);

                                                                                      Health Department;

                                                                                      Tourism industry re passenger movement charge (TTF);

                                                                                      Banking industry re major bank levy (ABA, NAB, Westpac, CommBank, ANZ,

                                                                                      Macquarie).

                                                                                      Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                      Economics Legislation Committee.

                                                                                      Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                      11 February 2019, 15 February 2015, or the weeks of 29 January, 4 February or 25 February.

                                                                                      Possible reporting date:

                                                                                      2 April 2019.

                                                                                      Appendix 6

                                                                                      SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                      Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                      Name of bill:

                                                                                      Migration Amendment (Streamlining Visa Processing) Bill 2018

                                                                                      Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                            Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                                            Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                                            Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee

                                                                                                            Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                                            To be determined by the committee

                                                                                                            Possible reporting date:

                                                                                                            25 February 2019

                                                                                                            Appendix 7

                                                                                                            SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                                            Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                                            Name of bill:

                                                                                                            National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Worker Screening Database) Bill 2018

                                                                                                            Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                                            Rollout issues with the NDIS and state interaction issues

                                                                                                            Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                                            National Disability Services

                                                                                                            AFDO

                                                                                                            CYDA

                                                                                                            Brotherhood of St Laurence

                                                                                                            State governments

                                                                                                            Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                                            Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee

                                                                                                            Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                                            To be determined by the committee

                                                                                                            Might be able to be done on the papers — but one short hearing is probably advisable

                                                                                                            Possible reporting date:

                                                                                                            8 February 2018

                                                                                                            Appendix 8

                                                                                                            SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                                            Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                                            Name of bill:

                                                                                                            Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australia Fund 2018

                                                                                                            Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                                            To consider the merits of forming a joint committee as set out in the bill for the formation and management of an Australia Fund.

                                                                                                            Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                                            Australian farmers (who have experienced drought), Fire Services, Financial institutions, Councils responsible for housing in the aftermath of disasters.

                                                                                                            Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                                            Economics Committee.

                                                                                                            Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                                            Possible reporting date:

                                                                                                            03/04/2019

                                                                                                            Appendix 9

                                                                                                            SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                                            Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                                            Name of bill:

                                                                                                            Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Supporting Retirement Incomes) Bill 2018

                                                                                                            Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                                            Complexity of Schedule 1: The change to the means test for pooled lifetime income stream products needs to be better understood and stakeholders, including the industry super sector, needs to be able to comment on the bill.

                                                                                                            Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                                            Industry Super Australia

                                                                                                            COTA

                                                                                                            National Seniors

                                                                                                            Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                                            Senate Economics Legislation Committee

                                                                                                            Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                                            To be determined by the committee

                                                                                                            NOTE — hearings are not required — the complex and technical issues can likely be dealt with on the papers.

                                                                                                            Possible reporting date:

                                                                                                            11 February 2019

                                                                                                            Appendix 10

                                                                                                            SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                                            Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                                            Name of bill:

                                                                                                              Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2018

                                                                                                            Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                                                  Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                                                  CHOICE

                                                                                                                  Consumer Policy Research Centre

                                                                                                                  Treasury

                                                                                                                  ACCC

                                                                                                                  Data 61

                                                                                                                  Australian Banking Association

                                                                                                                  Energy Australia

                                                                                                                  Australian Strategic Policy Institute

                                                                                                                  Business Council of Australia

                                                                                                                  AGL

                                                                                                                  Australian Financial Markets Association

                                                                                                                  Australian Retail Credit Association

                                                                                                                  Energy Consumers Australia

                                                                                                                  Insurance Council of Australia

                                                                                                                  Optus

                                                                                                                  Telstra

                                                                                                                  Data Republic

                                                                                                                  Financial Rights Legal Centre

                                                                                                                  Communications Alliance

                                                                                                                  Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                                                  Senate Economics Legislation Committee

                                                                                                                  Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                                                  To be determined by the Committee

                                                                                                                  Possible reporting date:

                                                                                                                  Monday 18 March 2019

                                                                                                                  Appendix 11

                                                                                                                  SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                                                  Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                                                  Name of bill:

                                                                                                                    Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2018

                                                                                                                  Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                                                        Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                                                        Business Council of Australia

                                                                                                                        Australian Energy Council

                                                                                                                        Australian Industry Group

                                                                                                                        Energy Networks Australia

                                                                                                                        Energy Users Association of Australia

                                                                                                                        Clean Energy Council

                                                                                                                        Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

                                                                                                                        Treasury

                                                                                                                        Department of Environment and Energy

                                                                                                                        Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                                                        Senate Economics Legislation Committee

                                                                                                                        Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                                                        To be determined by the Committee

                                                                                                                        Possible reporting date:

                                                                                                                        Monday 18 March 2019

                                                                                                                        SELECTION OF BILLS COMMITTEE

                                                                                                                        Proposal to refer a bill to a committee

                                                                                                                        Name of bill:

                                                                                                                        Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2018

                                                                                                                        Reasons for referral/principal issues for consideration:

                                                                                                                        To understand the implications of the new prohibited market conduct provisions, particularly on prices and investment.

                                                                                                                        Possible submissions or evidence from:

                                                                                                                                Committee to which bill is to be referred:

                                                                                                                                Economics

                                                                                                                                Possible hearing date(s):

                                                                                                                                February 2019

                                                                                                                                I move:

                                                                                                                                That the report be adopted.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I will move the amendment circulated in the name of Senator Collins in the chamber. In addition to that amendment, there is another section, and I'll read that out. It's to do with part (c). It says, 'In respect to the National Integrity Commission Bill 2018'—

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Senator Urquhart, we don't appear to have the amendment. Is this an amendment to an amendment or an amendment to the report? I was going to call Senator Ruston, but she deferred to you to move an amendment.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                It's an amendment to the report.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Okay, what I'll do is I'll let the minister move the government's amendment, and then we'll come to you in case yours is amending theirs. Senator Ruston.

                                                                                                                                11:47 am

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I move the following amendments:

                                                                                                                                At the end of the motion, add "and, in respect of:

                                                                                                                                (a) the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018, the bill and all circulated amendments to the bill be referred to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 11 February 2019;

                                                                                                                                (b) the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2018, the bill be referred to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 11 February 2019; and

                                                                                                                                (c) the Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2018, the bill be referred to the Economics Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 11 February 2019".

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Just as a means of clarification, what motion are we actually considering now?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                We are considering the motion to adopt the Selection of Bills Committee report. Senator Ruston has just moved an amendment to that report in the terms that she just read out.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Thank you.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Senator Ruston, having looked at these, I think provision (a)—

                                                                                                                                11:48 am

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Sorry, before I deal with the one that you've got in front of you with (a), (b), (c) and (d) on it, I have another one.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Is it an amendment to the amendment?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Yes, it's an amendment to the amendment. This one is in the name of Senator Pratt. I move:

                                                                                                                                In respect of part (a) omit "Education and Employment Legislation Committee", substitute "Legal and Constitutional References Committee".

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                What I will do, unless people wish to speak to that, is put the amendment moved by Senator Urquhart to paragraph (a) of the amendment moved by Senator Ruston. Is everyone clear on that? The effect of this would be that, rather than referring that bill and amendments to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee, it would go instead under the terms of Senator Urquhart's amendment to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee.

                                                                                                                                11:49 am

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Just by way of clarification, it says, 'at the end of the motion'. It's not at the end of paragraph (a). It says Senator Pratt says, 'at the end of the motion'. That means that that would contradict paragraph (a) in the motion itself.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I have not been blessed with a hard copy of this. I was going by what was read out.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                No, and clearly not much thought went into this by those who have cooked it up, but I'm just making the point that it contradicts.

                                                                                                                                11:50 am

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Maybe if I can clarify: because the government has moved an amendment, we're now amending the government's amendment.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Unfortunately, that may be Senator Urquhart's intention, but the amendment says, 'at the end of the motion, add', and that means that you would add it to the amendment.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I've just been advised by the Clerk that the effect of this amendment as currently circulated, Senator Urquhart, would be to send the bills and amendments to both committees, not to replace the Education and Employment Legislation Committee with the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                We haven't seen the government's amendments to be able to then add our amendments. Are we able to have a copy of the government's amendments?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Yes. I was not aware that you didn't have them. I've been informed they have been circulated; there are obviously a few flying around.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Can we have a copy so that we are very clear with what we're dealing with?

                                                                                                                                11:51 am

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                May I be able to assist further?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Always, Senator Bernardi.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I have copies of both of the amendments. It may be that Senator Pratt should reconsider her amendment to amend it and maybe come back to the chamber after we've discussed or voted on the minister's amendment. That would probably be most prudent.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Because we're seeking to amend an amendment, it would be harder to come back to, so I'm happy to give—

                                                                                                                                Senator Bernardi interjecting

                                                                                                                                I appreciate that, but I'm going to give the whip a moment here.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                What we're doing is delaying the ability to discuss the motions that are on the Notice Paper already.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I think it's unfair to those crossbench senators in particular, who have a number of motions to consider, given we're time limited.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I am sure we can proceed through this.

                                                                                                                                11:52 am

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                To be very clear now, I have actually got the government's amendments in front of me. I apologise I didn't have them before. The proposal is now: I would like to omit from paragraph (a) 'Education and Employment Legislation Committee', and substitute 'Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee'.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Again, I think that should be circulated in writing in the chamber.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Senator Bernardi, for the operation of the chamber, I think that's a relatively simple amendment.

                                                                                                                                Senator Bernardi interjecting

                                                                                                                                No. The provision here is to replace the reference to 'Education and Employment Legislation Committee' with 'Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee'. I'm going to put that proposed amendment to the amendment moved by Senator Ruston.

                                                                                                                                The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Urquhart to the amendment to the Selection of Bills committee report moved by Senator Ruston be agreed to. For clarity, the effect of the amendment, if passed, is that the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Removing Discrimination Against Students) Bill 2018 and all circulated amendments will be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee. If the amendment is lost, it will stand in its original form and be referred to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Did you say the legislation committee, which is where the bills go to?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I understand the effect of this amendment is to send those bills I mentioned to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                That's outrageous. Bills go to the legislation committee.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                We've had the opportunity for debate. I have to put the motion.

                                                                                                                                12:02 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                (In division) Senators, I'm not going to call this division until we resolve the matter that was being voted on. I'll call Senator Cormann, and I think we should all heed Senator Bernardi's entreaties of a few minutes ago that these things need to be circulated in writing.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                (In division)I seek leave to make a short statement.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Leave is granted.

                                                                                                                                Senator Wong interjecting

                                                                                                                                Can I outline the situation from the chair. There was a circulated amendment that had the words 'references committee' in it. As Senator Bernardi pointed out, that amendment was inconsistent. We had to deal with the amendment verbally and have it rewritten. When it was read out, the word 'references' was not used.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                If I could speak: essentially, the reason I think we need to pause for a moment is that the chair of the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee, Senator Pratt, was interjecting during the division to our side of the chamber that the intention was to refer this bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. I think there are several of our senators on this side who very clearly heard Senator Pratt, who is the chair of the references committee, point out to the chamber that it was not going to her committee but was going, as it should appropriately, to the legislation committee. If it was the intention of the opposition to initiate a referral to the references committee then I find that very, very disappointing, indeed, because instead of resolving legislation in the usual way this is essentially further politicising something that should be managed in a consensus fashion, which is what the government is prepared to do. This is legislation. It should appropriately go to a legislation committee, and that is of course what Senator Pratt, the chair of the references committee seemed to think. I understood, based on previous discussions among parties, that the question was whether it should go to the education legislation committee or to the legal and constitutional legislation committee, but I think there was some Labor Party initiated confusion in relation to this.

                                                                                                                                12:04 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                (In division)I'm happy to provide some indication. The reference is to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee.

                                                                                                                                Senator Cormann interjecting

                                                                                                                                Senator Cormann, if you want to use interjections as the basis of asserting a party's position, I'm very happy to do so. Can I make the point so that the chamber, and I thank those who've supported it—

                                                                                                                                Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting

                                                                                                                                No; we need to proceed.

                                                                                                                                Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting

                                                                                                                                Can I just be clear: this is the committee to which these issues were previously referred. They have already done the work ahead of the Sex Discrimination Act discussion that we had this week. We have put forward an amendment and, if the Senate supports it, we'd be grateful.

                                                                                                                                Senator Ian Macdonald interjecting

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I will come to you, Senator Macdonald. In my recollection, when this amendment was moved verbally, the word 'references' was not used. That has probably caused the confusion. Senator Bernardi rightly pointed out that this may happen.

                                                                                                                                Senator Bernardi interjecting

                                                                                                                                You say, 'I told you so', quite rightly. That is the point of the confusion. Senator Macdonald, I will call you and then I will come to you, Senator Pratt. Are you seeking leave to make a statement, Senator Macdonald?

                                                                                                                                12:05 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                (In division) Yes, I'm seeking leave the same way the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate sought leave.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I am the chairman of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. We're very happy to deal with that, as we deal with all other bills referred by this chamber. Senator Wong used the argument that the references committee had already dealt with the matter. Of course, clearly they didn't. The references committee dealt with a referral by, as it turned out, the majority of the Senate to the references committee of not this bill but of a similar issue.

                                                                                                                                Mr President, if this Senate is to have any credibility whatsoever, we have to follow the rule since time immemorial—well, since the two committees were created—that all bills are referred to the legislation committees, which were set up specifically to look at legislation. The references committees were set up to look at anything vaguely in the area of legal and constitutional affairs that the parliament might decide the references committee should refer to.

                                                                                                                                This is an outrageous breach not only of the by-laws of the Senate but also of the principles and spirit of the Senate dealing with the executive's actions. The executive put forward these bills and private senators put forward these bills, and they're always been referred to the legislation committee, not to the references committee.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Senator Wong, on a point of order? Leave was granted for him to make a statement, Senator Wong.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                For how long?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                He sought leave to make a statement and he was granted leave.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I ask that you move on, Mr President.

                                                                                                                                Government senators interjecting

                                                                                                                                The motion has been voted on and we need to move to discovery. Senator Bernardi and others have motions.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Senator Wong, if someone seeks leave to make a statement and that leave is granted, I have no choice; that is a choice of the Senate. Senator Macdonald.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Thank you, Mr President. I had almost finished my contribution when Senator Wong interrupted. She didn't raise a point of order; as is her wont, she just gets up and talks and thinks that different rules apply to her. When she spoke, I remind you, Mr President, she didn't even seek leave to make a statement; she just made a statement. It's an ongoing approach of the leader of the Labor Party in the Senate to simply believe that the rules of the Senate apply to everybody except her. What you've just seen there is typical of the CFMMEU bullying you get from the current Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Senator Bernardi, on a point of order?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                No, I was going to seek leave to speak. I thought Senator Macdonald was winding up.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Senator Macdonald, have you concluded?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Ian MacdonaldIan Macdonald (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I think I've made the point, Mr President. My speech was sought by leave, and it wasn't time limited. Senator Wong just got up and started talking, as she does—because the rules don't apply to her; there are special rules for CFMMEU people who understand how the CFMMEU operate! What you just saw and what this motion represents is a complete disregard for the rules and for the law. No wonder the CFMMEU that Senator Wong used to belong to is out there now saying publicly, 'The laws of the land do not apply to us'—because their representative in this chamber has the same view on the Senate rules.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I am going to call Senator Cormann. He has precedence.

                                                                                                                                12:09 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                (In division) Just to assist the chamber, I do believe that there was a level of confusion because—

                                                                                                                                Opposition Senators:

                                                                                                                                Opposition senators interjecting

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Order! Senator Cormann is seeking leave to make a statement. Is leave granted?

                                                                                                                                An opposition senator: For one minute.

                                                                                                                                One minute, Senator Cormann.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I am just going to ask a question—it is not going to be a long statement—to assist the chamber. There was a level of confusion, including because of a contribution by Senator Pratt during the division, as to whether it was going to the legislation or references committee. There is only one matter that is relevant to me now. If that had been very clearly understood, would any senator in this chamber have voted differently? If the answer is yes then I believe the vote would have to be put again. If the answer is no then the Senate can move on.

                                                                                                                                12:10 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                (In division) I seek leave to make a short statement.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Leave is granted for one minute.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Cory BernardiCory Bernardi (SA, Australian Conservatives) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I note that in the notice of motion, Senator Patrick refers this bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. Senator Patrick needs to understand that the Selection of Bills Committee reference will take precedence over his motion. It's only prudent for this chamber to recommit the vote.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                For the good order of the chamber, I ask the question put by Senator Cormann: if there was any confusion that would result in what people know now changing their vote on the motion to refer those bills to the legal and constitutional affairs references committee, not the legislation committee, does any senator wish to indicate they would like the vote to be re-put, because their vote would change?

                                                                                                                                Photo of David LeyonhjelmDavid Leyonhjelm (NSW, Liberal Democratic Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Are you referring to all three bills or just the sex discrimination bill?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                The sex discrimination bill and associated amendments.

                                                                                                                                Photo of David LeyonhjelmDavid Leyonhjelm (NSW, Liberal Democratic Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                You did say 'these bills'.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I meant 'the amendments'—my apologies. I will call the division.

                                                                                                                                Question agreed to.

                                                                                                                                12:11 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I move to amend an amendment to the government amendment.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                In paragraph (b). It's just an omission of a date. I move:

                                                                                                                                Omit '11 February 2019' in paragraph (b) and substitute '18 March 2019'. In paragraph (c), omit '11 February 2019' and substitute '18 March 2019'.

                                                                                                                                I ask for the question to be divided on.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                The question is that Senator Urquhart's amendment to paragraph (b) of the government's amendment be agreed to.

                                                                                                                                12:18 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I will now put the same amendment to paragraph (c) of the government amendment, as moved by Senator Urquhart, to change the reporting date of 11 February to 18 March.

                                                                                                                                12:19 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Minister for Communications and the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I move a further amendment in relation to paragraph (a):

                                                                                                                                Paragraph (a), as amended, omit “Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee”, substitute “Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee”.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                On the motion, I don't wish to speak long and we will not call a division if Senator Griff confirms that he is going to change his vote for the third time on this issue. If that is the case and he wishes—

                                                                                                                                Government Senator:

                                                                                                                                A government senator interjecting

                                                                                                                                Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Sorry, maybe the second time. This is effectively the recommittal that—

                                                                                                                                Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                You are a bully!

                                                                                                                                Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                No, I'm serious. If he tells us that he wants to support this, it is effectively a recommittal of the motion that was previously supported, but, in the interests of making sure we move on, I will indicate that Labor obviously has a different position but won't be calling a division on this.

                                                                                                                                12:20 pm

                                                                                                                                Rex Patrick (SA, Centre Alliance) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I can confirm we want this to go to the legislation committee. That is the correct place for a bill to go. There was a lot of confusion in the last 10 or 15 minutes because of late motions and motions that were varied verbally. The proper place for this to go is to the legislation committee.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                The question is that paragraph (a) as amended, which replaces the word 'references' with 'legislation' so that it goes to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, be agreed to.

                                                                                                                                Question agreed to.

                                                                                                                                I'm now going to put the amendment moved by Senator Ruston as amended through that series of votes.

                                                                                                                                12:22 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Are you talking about (a), (b) and (c)?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Yes, (a), (b) and (c) now as amended.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                We would like to have a separate vote on (a) to (b) and (c), please.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                The question is that paragraph (a) of Senator Ruston's amendment as amended by the Senate be agreed to.

                                                                                                                                Question agreed to.

                                                                                                                                The question is that paragraphs (b) and (c) of Senator Ruston's amendment as amended by the Senate be agreed to.

                                                                                                                                Question agreed to.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I'm now talking to the amendment to be moved by Senator Collins. I'll just make it clear that I'm not moving paragraphs (a) and (b) of the government amendments, but (c) and (d) on the sheet that's been circulated.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Paragraphs (c) and (d) of the amendments circulated under the name of Senator Collins—

                                                                                                                                12:24 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Which one is Senator Collins working from?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                The one with (c) and (d) is the one I'm working off. The one with four paragraphs that refers to the National Integrity Commission Bill 2018 (No. 2) and the National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018—is that correct?

                                                                                                                                12:23 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                We do not want to refer our ICAC Bill. I've got two copies of Senator Collins's amendments. I don't know which copy we're working from. One has four paragraphs; one has three.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I understand we're working off the one with four paragraphs, and we're only working on paragraphs (c) and (d).

                                                                                                                                Photo of David LeyonhjelmDavid Leyonhjelm (NSW, Liberal Democratic Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                There is no fourth paragraph on anything that's been circulated near my desk. There are only three.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I understand two documents have been circulated. I can only go by what's on my desk.

                                                                                                                                Senator Urquhart interjecting

                                                                                                                                I don't think we should do this verbally after what just happened.

                                                                                                                                12:24 pm

                                                                                                                                Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                By leave, could we come back after question time? This has been circulated, but, to give everyone an opportunity to have a look at it, is that acceptable?

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                Would the Senate prefer to come back to this matter of selection of bills after question time? The government has indicated it would prefer to deal with this now. I will put the question with respect to paragraphs (c) and (d) of the amendments listed to be moved by Senator Collins.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                We would like to put (c) and (d) together, because (c) refers our bill. We don't want it referred, and so we want to put that separately if the ALP are insisting on moving that amendment.

                                                                                                                                Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

                                                                                                                                I will put paragraph (c) of the amendments listed under Senator Collins's name.

                                                                                                                                Question agreed to.

                                                                                                                                The question is now to agree to paragraph (d) of the amendment listed under the name of Senator Collins and moved by Senator Urquhart.

                                                                                                                                Question agreed to.

                                                                                                                                We will now turn to the original motion, to adopt the Selection of Bills Committees report as amended by the Senate.

                                                                                                                                Question agreed to.