Business News Releases

Ending Live Sheep Exports By Sea Bill: report released

THE Australian Parliament’s Agriculture Committee has presented its advisory report for its inquiry into the Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Bill 2024, which will end the live sheep export trade by sea by May 1, 2028.

The inquiry examined the provisions of the bill, including the authority for Commonwealth spending to assist those impacted to prepare and adapt.

Committee Chair, Meryl Swanson MP, said, "The bill fulfils the Albanese Government’s election promise to end the live export of sheep by sea while providing time and money for the orderly transition of industry to new avenues of production and trade."

While acknowledging the strong opposition of sections of industry and local WA communities, Ms Swanson said, "This matter has been extensively canvassed by governments and communities. The time has come to transition away from this trade. Like all transitions, it will not be without pain, but the outcome will provide industry with long-term certainty in line with community expectations."

In addition to recommending that the bill be passed, the Committee has made two recommendations including that the Australian Government:

  • considers making additional funding available to support the industry transition, potentially through the 2026 stocktake of industry progress; and
  • continues to seek opportunities to work with the Western Australian Government to refine and implement the transition support package.

The Committee held two public hearings in Canberra and Muresk, Western Australia, which took important evidence from a range of stakeholders representing industry, government, local communities and animal welfare groups. It received more than 13,000 contributions from people supporting and opposing the bill and offering feedback on its contents.

The Committee thanked those who contributed to the inquiry through written submissions, correspondence and giving evidence at public hearings.

The full report can be found on the Committee’s inquiry webpage.

 

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Treaties Committee to examine Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union

THEJoint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will hold a public hearing for its inquiry into the Australia–Tuvalu Falepili Union.

Committee Chair Josh Wilson MP said, “This treaty is an expression of fellowship and cooperation between Tuvalu and Australia and a broader example of Australia’s commitment to building strong relationships with our Pacific neighbours.

“The very heart of this agreement, the Tuvaluan concept of Falepili, is a shared commitment to look out for each other as good neighbours. The committee will examine how the agreement may lead to a stronger and more integrated partnership as Tuvalu and Australia navigate our shared challenges.

"The goals of this union include building climate resilience, safeguarding our collective peace and regional security, and supporting human mobility.”

The committee will hear from officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as key academics.

Public hearing details

Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2024
Time: 12pm-2pm approximately
Location: Committee Room 1R4

The hearing can be accessed online and the program for this hearing is available on the Committee website, along with further information about the inquiry. 

 

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Manufacturing Division welcomes vote to split from CFMEU

THE CFMEU Manufacturing Division has welcomed the announcement from Employment and Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Burke, that the Federal Government would provide the opportunity for members to vote on their future.

Manufacturing Division members will now have the chance to determine if they want their union to be outside of the CFMEU.

Mr Burke was "100 percent right in his assessment that the status quo in the CFMEU is dysfunctional and cannot continue" a statement from the Manufacturing Division read.

CFMEU Manufacturing national secretary, Michael O’Connor said, "We welcome this, the government is doing the right thing, they have listened to us and are respecting the good judgment of our members.

“Our members, who work in floorcovering, cabinetry and joinery, glass and glazing, installation and shopfitting, timber and wood products, pulp and paper, furniture, textile, clothing and footwear and building products and materials manufacturing, deserve the right to decide how they want to be represented by their union.

“This government has a good track record of backing workers’ rights and this is no exception. We will now move to ensure a vote of our members on this question can occur as a matter of priority.

“We will be encouraging every member to vote in the secret ballot and ensure they are fully informed of the benefits to them from the Manufacturing Division becoming independent of the CFMEU.”   

The Manufacturing Division made an application to the Fair Work Commission more than two years ago to put the demerger question to rank and file Manufacturing Division members and, following CFMEU Construction Division efforts to block the vote from occurring, has supported a Private Members Bill Senator Jacqui Lambie introduced to Parliament earlier this year which would facilitate a vote.

Last year the Mining and Energy Union was allowed a vote on whether to leave the CFMEU and 98 percent of members voted in their thousands to leave.

“Our members will now get the same opportunity as mining and energy workers got last year, to determine the future of their union,” Mr O'Connor said.

“We thank Senator Lambie and Minister Burke, who are backing us in, to give our members an opportunity for a brighter future outside of the CFMEU and a more respected and active role in the labour movement, free from the shackles of the dysfunctional CFMEU,” Mr O’Connor said.

 

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Treaties Committee to examine UK accession to CPTPP and the listing of new endangered species

THE Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will hold a public hearing for its inquiry into the Protocol on the Accession of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and associated side-letters, and the inquiry into Amendments to Appendices I, II and III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Committee Chair Mr Josh Wilson MP said of CPTPP, “Significantly, the United Kingdom would be the first non-founding country to join CPTPP since it was signed by 11 countries in 2018, and its accession would expand the trade partnership beyond the Pacific region.

"The United Kingdom’s accession to the CPTPP is expected to build upon the recent Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) in terms of goods and services and provide additional strategic benefits for Australia. The Committee will examine these potential benefits.”

On the CITES treaty, Mr Wilson said, “The amendments add new species to the list of flora and fauna for which international trade is prohibited or monitored. The committee will seek to understand how the new listings support Australia’s strong commitment to effective regulation of the international trade in wildlife and conservation of threatened species.”

Public hearing details

Date:Tuesday, 18 June 2024
Time: 12pm to 1.20pm approximately
Location: Committee Room 2R2

The hearing can be accessed online and the program for this hearing is available on the Committee website, along with further information about the inquiry. 

 

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Inquiry seeking evidence to improve access for victim-survivors in the family law system to family violence orders

THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has today launched an inquiry into access to family violence orders for victim-survivors in the family law system.

Committee Chair, Susan Templeman MP, said, "The committee is seeking written submissions with ideas for how the Australian Government can provide better access to family violence orders for victim-survivors in the family law system, how those orders can be better enforced, and what supports are needed.”

“There have been many inquiries into family violence and the committee does not intend to revisit findings of other reviews. This inquiry has a narrow focus on what we can do at a federal level to make applying for orders easier for victims already negotiating the family law system and how we can make those orders more effective in keeping families safe,” Ms Templeman said.

"Parliamentary committees cannot investigate or assist with individual cases, particularly those that are, or may be, before the courts. The committee will consider publishing personal contributions if they inform the terms of reference, focus on systemic issues or ideas for improving the system, and do not identify anybody or their personal circumstances.

"The committee will not be publishing contributions that provide personal details or include information relating to individual cases or court orders. However, it may receive personal submissions as confidential evidence if they inform how the system and supports for victim-survivors can be improved."

Written submissions have been requested by Friday, July 19, 2024, and can be submitted via the inquiry website or emailed directly to the secretariat.

Further information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, is available on the inquiry webpage at www.aph.gov.au/familyviolenceorders.

 

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2024 My First Speech competition begins

THE 2024 edition of the national My First Speech competition for year 10, 11 and 12 students opened today and is now accepting submissions.

The competition asks students to write and record a 90-second speech on a topic they are passionate about as if they are making their first speech in the House of Representatives. A winner from each year group is selected and flown to Canberra with a parent or guardian where they deliver their speech at Parliament House. Winners will also meet MPs, tour Parliament House, and learn more about the democratic process.

A panel of judges, which includes Members and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Milton Dick MP, will choose the winner from each year group.

“I am so pleased to see this great competition return for another year. Last year we had a record number of entries, and the competition was strong.” Speaker Milton Dick said.

“Not only is this competition a fundamental part of engaging our young Australians in democracy, but it also gives us a glimpse into the issues that are important to them.”

Entries close at 5pm (AEST) on 27 July 2024. More details can be found on the My First Speech website at: aph.gov.au/myfirstspeech.

 

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Committee to hear from local government associations

ON FRIDAY, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Development, Infrastructure and Transport will hear from local government associations from South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, and the Northern Territory as part of its inquiry into local government sustainability.

The committee will also hear from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Jobs and Skills Australia, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, and the Department of Finance.

Chair of the committee, Luke Gosling OAM, MP, said, "The hearing will provide an opportunity for the committee to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing local governments.

"Local governments play a vital role in supporting the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of their communities. They are also key partners in delivering infrastructure and vital services that enhance regional development and affect communities, businesses, and people.

"The committee is keen to hear from the local government associations about their perspectives and priorities on these issues," Mr Gosling said.

The committee is interested in hearing about the evolving role of the local government sector and the scope and volume of the changing service delivery landscape, the key cost pressures impacting financial sustainability, particularly infrastructure management, and drivers underlying critical workforce issues across the respective states and territories.

The hearing also provides an opportunity to gather evidence concerning current and future workforce skills, attraction and retention challenges, along with local government environmental concerns and legislative requirements, and the broader Commonwealth grants funding framework.

Public hearing details

Canberra, Australian Parliament House and via videoconference

Date:      Friday, 7 June 2024
Venue:   Committee Room 1R4
Time:     9.30am to 2pm (AEST)

The committee will hold further public hearings during 2024. Further information on the inquiry, including the terms of reference and how to contribute, is available on the committee’s website.

 

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Inquiry into food and beverage manufacturing in Australia

THE House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources will hold a day of public hearings in Brisbane on Thursday, June 13, as part of its inquiry into food and beverage manufacturing in Australia.

The committee will hear from a range of stakeholders, including:

  • peak industry bodies for food and beverage manufacturing;
  • the academic, scientific, research and development sector;
  • domestic food and beverage brands; and
  • Queensland’s independent statutory body regulating food safety.

Committee Chair, Rob Mitchell MP said, “After visiting several sites the previous day, this hearing will be an opportunity for the committee to learn more about the wide range of research and development currently being undertaken for the food and beverage manufacturing sector.”

On Wednesday, the committee will visit Barambah Organics, the Health and Food Sciences Precinct jointly run by the Queensland Government, CSIRO, and the University of Queensland, and the Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy at Queensland University of Technology.

The committee will conduct further interstate public hearings in July and August 2024. Further information about the inquiry, including the Terms of Reference, is available on the Committee’s website: aph.gov.au/isr

Public hearing details

Date: Thursday, 13 June 2024
Time: 9am to 2pm (AEST)
Location: CR3, Queensland Parliament, 2A George Street, Brisbane City QLD 4000.
Witnesses: Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy/Queensland University of Technology, Food and Agribusiness Network/Turbine, Food and Beverage Accelerator/University of Queensland, Safe Food Production Queensland, Australian Organic Limited, End Food Waste Australia.

 

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New inquiry – Ending Live Sheep Export Bill

THE House Standing Committee on Agriculture has today commenced an inquiry into the Export Control Amendment (Ending Live Sheep Exports by Sea) Bill 2024, which will end the live sheep export trade by sea from May 1, 2028.

Committee Chair, Meryl Swanson MP, said the Bill fulfilled the government’s election promise to end the live export of sheep while providing time and funding for industry to adjust to the end of the trade.

The committee will examine the provisions of the Bill and its application to the live sheep export trade, especially in Western Australia. This includes the end of live sheep exports by sea and authority for Commonwealth spending to assist sheep farmers, businesses and communities to prepare and adapt.

The committee will hold two public hearings for the inquiry in Canberra on June 12 and in Muresk, Western Australia on June 14, 2024.

“There are a range of views on this issue. The committee is looking forward to meeting and talking with stakeholders in Western Australia,” Ms Swanson said.

“The public hearing in Muresk will provide an opportunity for the Committee to meet those most affected. Anyone who would like to share their views on the Bill can engage with the committee in a number of ways including by making a written submission, or attending a public hearing where the Committee plans to hold a community statements session.”

Stakeholders are encouraged to contact the secretariat as soon as possible to register your interest. Submissions to the inquiry will be open until  June 11, 2024.

Further information about this inquiry, including how to make a submission can be found on the Committee’s website.

 

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Electoral Matters Committee wants to hear from Australians about civics education in schools!

THE Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is seeking direct feedback from students and schools about civics and citizenship education.

The committee has released a survey on civics and citizenship education in Australian schools as part of its current inquiry. If you are a primary or secondary school student, a recent school leaver or an educator, the committee wants to hear from you. Here is the survey link:

Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters - Civics education survey (surveymonkey.com)

Committee Chair, Kate Thwaites MP, said "The committee is keen to get the perspectives of school students and educators on the way civics is taught in Australian schools. This survey will help the committee understand how students and educators feel about civics and citizenship education, how civics and citizenship are taught in Australian schools, and how students and educators engage with social and political issues.

"It is concerning that many young Australians don’t have the grounding in civics to set them up to be confident participants in our democracy.

"Data from the National Assessment Program–Civics and Citizenship shows that in 2019 just 38 percent of Year 10 students and 53 percent of Year 6 students achieved the ‘proficient’ standard.

"The committee is investigating how civics forms part of the Australian curriculum, examining the importance of media literacy, and listening to the voices of young people about how best to improve civics education," Ms Thwaites said.

"The committee will engage with young people, along with people in remote communities, new migrants and culturally and linguistically diverse Australians, to ensure that everyone in Australia is able to participate fully in our democratic system."

Further information about the inquiry is available on the inquiry website.

 

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That’s the spirit in Parliament House

THE HOUSE Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources will hear from peak industry bodies from the spirit and craft distilling sector as part of its inquiry into food and beverage manufacturing in Australia on Wednesday, June 5.

Committee Chair, Rob Mitchell MP said, “The Australian spirits industry has seen immense growth over the past decade, with the number of Australian distilleries increasing significantly.

“The committee is interested to hear about the barriers the industry faces, and what innovations are on the horizon to enable the Australian spirits industry to realise its full potential.”

The committee will conduct further public hearings between June and August 2024. Further information about the inquiry, including the Terms of Reference, is available on the committee's website: aph.gov.au/isr.

Public hearing details

Date: Wednesday, 5 June 2024
Time: 8:30am to 9:30am (AEST)
Location: Committee Room 1R5, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Witnesses: Spirits & Cocktails Australia and Australian Distillers Association.

 

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