Thursday, 2 December 2021
National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory; Order for the Production of Documents
(a) there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Indigenous Australians, by no later than 3.30 pm on Thursday, 9 December 2021, the most recent Stronger Futures package evaluation, due to be completed in 2019-20 under the National Partnership Agreement on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory; and
(b) if the Senate is not sitting when the documents are ready for presentation, the documents are to be presented to the President under standing order 166.
This is somewhat procedural in nature. I've just noticed that, with the change of arrangements we've got for the limitation on word counts and extraneous material, we may have placed ourselves in breach of Erskine May, back through section 49 of the Constitution. I just want to read from Erskine May—the 1893 version, which applies to us: 'but, however ample the power of each house to enforce production of papers, a sufficient cause must be shown for the exercise of that power and, if consideration of public policy can be urged against a motion for papers, it is either withdrawn or elsewise dealt with according to the judgement of the house'. We do not put any context around these orders for production, and I think that that is a breach of the obligations placed upon us by Erskine May through our Constitution and should be considered by the Senate.