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senate vote 2019-11-14#11

Edited by mackay

on 2020-06-05 11:03:13

Title

  • Bills — National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Streamlined Governance) Bill 2019; in Committee
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Streamlined Governance) Bill 2019 - in Committee - Board and Advisory Council members

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Cory Bernardi</p>
  • <p>The committee is considering the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Streamlined Governance) Bill, amendments (1) and (2) on sheet TK154.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Carol Brown</p>
  • The majority voted against [amendments](https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:legislation/billhome/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22legislation%2Famend%2Fs1218_amend_4e45c01e-f4d9-4538-8422-ab8ab815172d%22;rec=0) introduced by WA Senator [Jordon Steele-John](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/wa/jordon_steele-john) (Greens), which means they failed. The amendments concerned the appointment and termination of members of the Board and Advisory Council.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *(1) Schedule 1, item 7, page 6 (lines 17 to 24), omit subsection 127(4), substitute:*
  • >
  • >> *(4) Before the Minister appoints a Board member other than the Chair, the Minister must:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the appointment; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) be satisfied that the appointment is supported by the Commonwealth; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(c) secure the support of a majority of host jurisdictions for the appointment.*
  • >>
  • >> *[appointment of Board members]*
  • >
  • > *(2) Schedule 1, item 7, page 7 (lines 20 to 27), omit subsection 127(4D).*
  • >
  • >> *[appointment of Board members]*
  • >
  • > *(3) Schedule 1, page 7 (after line 27), after item 7, insert:*
  • >
  • >> *7A Subsection 134(4)*
  • >>
  • >> *Repeal the subsection, substitute:*
  • >>
  • >> *(4) Before the Minister terminates the appointment of a Board member other than the Chair, the Minister must:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the termination; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) be satisfied that the termination is supported by the Commonwealth; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(c) secure the support of a majority of the host jurisdictions for the termination.*
  • >>
  • >> *[termination of Board members]*
  • >
  • > *(4) Schedule 1, item 11, page 9 (lines 21 to 25), omit the item, substitute:*
  • >
  • >> *11 Subsections 147(2) to (3A)*
  • >>
  • >> *Repeal the subsections, substitute:*
  • >>
  • >> *(2) The Minister must consult the host jurisdictions about the appointment of the Principal Member.*
  • >>
  • >> *(3) Before the Minister appoints a member of the Advisory Council other than the Principal Member, the Minister must:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the appointment; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) be satisfied that the appointment is supported by the Commonwealth; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(c) secure the support of a majority of the host jurisdictions for the appointment.*
  • >>
  • >> *(3A) The Minister must give a notice (the original notice) in writing to one host jurisdiction Minister for each host jurisdiction seeking the agreement of that host jurisdiction to the appointment covered by subsection (3) and requesting the agreement be given before the end of 28 days beginning on the day the notice is given.*
  • >>
  • >> *(3B) If, immediately before the end of that 28‑day period:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) no host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the appointment; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has made a request under subsection (3C);*
  • >>>
  • >>> *then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have agreed to the appointment.*
  • >>
  • >> *(3C) If, before the end of that 28‑day period, a host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction gives a notice in writing to the Minister requesting a longer period within which that host jurisdiction may agree to the appointment:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) that host jurisdiction may give that agreement before the end of 90 days beginning on the day the original notice was given; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) if, immediately before the end of that 90‑day period, no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the appointment, then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have so agreed.*
  • >>
  • >> *[appointment of members to the Advisory Council]*
  • >
  • > *(5) Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (lines 26 to 31), omit the item, substitute:*
  • >
  • >> *12 Subsection 155(4)*
  • >>
  • >> *Repeal the subsection, substitute:*
  • >>
  • >> *(4) Before the Minister terminates the appointment of a member of the Advisory Council other than the Principal Member, the Minister must:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the termination; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) be satisfied that the appointment is supported by the Commonwealth; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(c) secure the support of a majority of the host jurisdictions for the termination.*
  • >>
  • >> *(5) The Minister must give a notice (the original notice) in writing to one host jurisdiction Minister for each host jurisdiction seeking the agreement of that host jurisdiction to the termination covered by subsection (4) and requesting the agreement be given before the end of 28 days beginning on the day the notice is given.*
  • >>
  • >> *(6) If, immediately before the end of that 28‑day period:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) no host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the termination; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has made a request under subsection (7);*
  • >>>
  • >>> *then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have agreed to the termination.*
  • >>
  • >> *(7) If, before the end of that 28‑day period, a host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction gives a notice in writing to the Minister requesting a longer period within which that host jurisdiction may agree to the termination:*
  • >>
  • >>> *(a) that host jurisdiction may give that agreement before the end of 90 days beginning on the day the original notice was given; and*
  • >>>
  • >>> *(b) if, immediately before the end of that 90‑day period, no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the termination, then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have so agreed.*
  • >>
  • >> *[termination of members of the Advisory Council]*
  • <p>Labor will be supporting this government amendment. This amendment compels the chief executive officer of the NDIA and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner to provide data and information including protected information under the NDIS Act for the purposes of a royal commission. Currently, under the NDIS Act 2013, agency heads can release information at their discretion. This amendment eliminates that discretion and associated administrative process that may prevent a royal commission, including the disability royal commission, from accessing the information it needs for its purposes. Labor supports measures that will ensure that the royal commission can maintain its integrity and that people with disability, their families and carers and the disability sector can have confidence their evidence is heard independently and impartially. That's why Labor is supporting this amendment.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jordon Steele-John</p>
  • <p>I'd like to continue on with where we were before we were so rudely interrupted and put a question to the minister. We were discussing the nature of the genesis of the bill. I think we pretty clearly landed on the person who has so far had the shepherding of this process. Could you go into a little bit more detail as to what motivated the government to put this bill forward. What, ultimately, are the series of problems that you are trying to solve here?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>Thank you very much, Senator Steele-John. My understanding is that a major motivation behind the substantive component of the bill, as opposed to the amendments we're currently debating, is to ensure that we maximise the efficiency of the operation of the act by making sure that the requirements around the rules of operation are appropriate for purpose.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jordon Steele-John</p>
  • <p>Could I take you to the Commonwealth's submission to the Senate inquiry into the bill. It talked at length about some of the delays that had been experienced in the appointment of members to the board, therefore creating&#8212;I'm not quite sure&#8212;obstructions. Could you outline for us what obstructions we are talking about here and the length of time that we are talking about, in terms of delays, that have motivated relevant sections of the bill?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>It is my understanding that, due to the requirements in the rules on identification of suitable individuals to be on the board that require every state and territory to unilaterally agree to those appointments, the process through which the 2017 board was appointed actually commenced in 2015. Due to the inability of all states and territories to agree on the particular members of the board, because of the processes, it made it particularly difficult to get a unanimous decision in relation to who should be appointed to the board&#8212;simply by the requirement for every state and territory to be in agreement with each other as well as with the Commonwealth.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jordon Steele-John</p>
  • <p>The submission made by the Commonwealth referenced a lack of interest on behalf of states and territories, and it said that this bill 'is a remedy to that lack of interest'. Can you clarify what you mean by that?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>Senator Steele-John, I'm afraid I'm not across every single detail of the submission that the Commonwealth put into the inquiry, so I'm going to have to take that on notice so I can get some greater context around what the meaning of that particular statement that you have provided is&#8212;what the intent of it was.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jordon Steele-John</p>
  • <p>Senator, just to clarify, this is what the department gave in their submission. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the government's aware of the submission that it made. So, in the submission, you spoke clearly about 'a lack of interest' and that the bill was a remedy to that, but I'm just trying to burrow a bit into that. The evidence that you gave in the subsequent hearing spoke again to that lack of interest and that the bill was part of a remedy to that lack of interest. I'm just wondering what the examples were the department had in mind when it was talking about a lack of interest on the part of states or territories.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>Certainly, Senator Steele-John, the complexity of this issue and the rollout of this scheme mean there are a number of moving parts that are all happening at the same time. I am certainly unaware of 'lack of interest' being the driving factor behind the requirement, or the desire, for this bill to be brought into this place. That's certainly not my understanding of the genesis of or the motivation behind this bill. I don't think you said that I had said that it was through a lack of interest. I think you were referring to the submission&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jordon Steele-John</p>
  • <p>I was&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Cory Bernardi</p>
  • <p>One at a time, please. It's a rhetorical flourish.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Anne Ruston</p>
  • <p>You might clarify whether you were or you weren't suggesting that when you respond. My very clear understanding is that this bill was not generated because of 'a lack of interest'. However, I think it would be fair to say that some of the concerns and some of the delays and timing problems that have occurred with the administration and the rollout of this scheme have certainly come about because of different jurisdictions having different levels of prioritisation of particular issues. Clearly, the desired outcome we're trying to achieve here is to make sure we get some sort of clarity around how these decisions are going to be prioritised.</p>
  • <p>As you would well know, the process that sits behind the appointment of the board is, we believe, very important, but we would seek to make sure that&#8212;with all the right sorts of measures in place to ensure its integrity&#8212;it's not a process that in the future takes two years to go through to enable appointments to the board. We did need to address that. I raise that as an example, and there are a number of other situations that have occurred in other areas of the agency that that applies to. As I said, I haven't seen the 'lack of interest' comment. To my mind, it would suggest that it is about the relativity of prioritisation in decision-making. That is probably how I would have couched it.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jordon Steele-John</p>
  • <p>Just to clarify, I was referencing evidence given by Mr Broadhead to the Senate inquiry. When the department were asked to contextualise why there had been, to their mind, extended periods of time between the appointments, he characterised it as 'a lack of interest' that the bill would remedy. But, moving on to another question I have, would you be able to explain to the chamber what safeguards exist to prevent the minister making unilateral and unpopular decisions to appoint or terminate members of the board and of the IAC should this legislation pass?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Cory Bernardi</p>
  • <p>Order! The time allotted for consideration of this bill has expired. I will now put the questions required to conclude consideration of this bill. The first question is that amendments (1) and (2) on sheet TK154 moved by the government be agreed to.</p>
  • <p>Question agreed to.</p>
  • <p class="italic">The CHAIR: I remind senators that we are following the orders that were passed earlier in the day. The question now is that the amendments on sheet 8745 circulated by the Australian Greens be agreed to.</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>Australian Greens' circulated amendments&#8212;</i></p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) Schedule 1, item 7, page 6 (lines 17 to 24), omit subsection 127(4), substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(4) Before the Minister appoints a Board member other than the Chair, the Minister must:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the appointment; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) be satisfied that the appointment is supported by the Commonwealth; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) secure the support of a majority of host jurisdictions for the appointment.</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>[appointment of Board members]</i></p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) Schedule 1, item 7, page 7 (lines 20 to 27), omit subsection 127(4D).</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>[appointment of Board members]</i></p>
  • <p class="italic">(3) Schedule 1, page 7 (after line 27), after item 7, insert:</p>
  • <p class="italic">7A Subsection 134(4)</p>
  • <p class="italic">Repeal the subsection, substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(4) Before the Minister terminates the appointment of a Board member other than the Chair, the Minister must:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the termination; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) be satisfied that the termination is supported by the Commonwealth; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) secure the support of a majority of the host jurisdictions for the termination.</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>[termination of Board members]</i></p>
  • <p class="italic">(4) Schedule 1, item 11, page 9 (lines 21 to 25), omit the item, substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">11 Subsections 147(2) to (3A)</p>
  • <p class="italic">Repeal the subsections, substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) The Minister must consult the host jurisdictions about the appointment of the Principal Member.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(3) Before the Minister appoints a member of the Advisory Council other than the Principal Member, the Minister must:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the appointment; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) be satisfied that the appointment is supported by the Commonwealth; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) secure the support of a majority of the host jurisdictions for the appointment.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(3A) The Minister must give a notice (the <i>original notice</i>) in writing to one host jurisdiction Minister for each host jurisdiction seeking the agreement of that host jurisdiction to the appointment covered by subsection (3) and requesting the agreement be given before the end of 28 days beginning on the day the notice is given.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(3B) If, immediately before the end of that 28-day period:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) no host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the appointment; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has made a request under subsection (3C);</p>
  • <p class="italic">then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have agreed to the appointment.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(3C) If, before the end of that 28-day period, a host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction gives a notice in writing to the Minister requesting a longer period within which that host jurisdiction may agree to the appointment:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) that host jurisdiction may give that agreement before the end of 90 days beginning on the day the original notice was given; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) if, immediately before the end of that 90-day period, no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the appointment, then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have so agreed.</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>[appointment of members to the Advisory Council]</i></p>
  • <p class="italic">(5) Schedule 1, item 12, page 9 (lines 26 to 31), omit the item, substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">12 Subsection 155(4)</p>
  • <p class="italic">Repeal the subsection, substitute:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(4) Before the Minister terminates the appointment of a member of the Advisory Council other than the Principal Member, the Minister must:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) seek the support of all the host jurisdictions for the termination; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) be satisfied that the appointment is supported by the Commonwealth; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) secure the support of a majority of the host jurisdictions for the termination.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(5) The Minister must give a notice (the <i>original notice</i>) in writing to one host jurisdiction Minister for each host jurisdiction seeking the agreement of that host jurisdiction to the termination covered by subsection (4) and requesting the agreement be given before the end of 28 days beginning on the day the notice is given.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(6) If, immediately before the end of that 28-day period:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) no host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the termination; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has made a request under subsection (7);</p>
  • <p class="italic">then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have agreed to the termination.</p>
  • <p class="italic">(7) If, before the end of that 28-day period, a host jurisdiction Minister for a host jurisdiction gives a notice in writing to the Minister requesting a longer period within which that host jurisdiction may agree to the termination:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) that host jurisdiction may give that agreement before the end of 90 days beginning on the day the original notice was given; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) if, immediately before the end of that 90-day period, no host jurisdiction Minister for that host jurisdiction has informed the Minister whether that host jurisdiction agrees to the termination, then, at the end of that period, that host jurisdiction is taken to have so agreed.</p>
  • <p class="italic"> <i>[termination of members of the Advisory Council]</i></p>
  • <p>Bill, as amended, agreed to.</p>
  • <p>Bill reported with amendments; report adopted.</p>