Thursday, 22 June 2023
Administrative Appeals Tribunal; Order for the Production of Documents
At the request of Senator Cash, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) order for production of documents no. 247 agreed by the Senate on 15 June 2023, requiring the Minister representing the Attorney- General to table briefing notes, file notes and any written communication in relation to the resignation of the President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), and
(ii) the Minister representing the Attorney-General, in his response to the order, made a claim of public interest immunity on the basis that frankness of future communications between statutory office holders and ministers would be impacted by the disclosure;
(b) rejects the public interest immunity claim made by the Minister representing the Attorney-General, noting that frankness of future communications between statutory office holders and ministers is not an area for public interest immunity claims that is accepted by the Senate;
(c) requires the Minister representing the Attorney-General to comply with the order by no later than midday on 28 June 2023; and
(d) requires the Minister representing the Attorney-General to attend the chamber at the conclusion of formal business on Thursday, 22 June 2023 to provide an explanation of no more than 10 minutes concerning the resignation of the President of the AAT, the Honourable Fiona Meagher, and the knowledge of the Attorney-General, or his office, of the circumstances leading up to her resignation, and:
(i) any senator may move to take note of the explanation required by paragraph (d), and
(ii) any motion under paragraph (d)(i) may be debated for no longer than 30 minutes, shall have precedence over all other business until determined, and senators may speak to the motion for not more than 5 minutes each.
by leave—I move the amendment to this motion that has been circulated in the chamber:
Paragraph (d), omit "on Thursday, 22 June 2023", substitute "on the next day of sitting".
Question agreed to.
Original question, as amended, agreed to.