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Motion: Port Kembla Steel Industry

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:44):I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 813, standing in my name for today, relating to Australian made steel.

Leave granted.

Senator RHIANNON:

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) more than 10 000 jobs are directly dependent on BlueScope Steel's operations in Port Kembla,

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Greens throw full weight behind steel-making jobs

The Greens NSW conference meeting this weekend in Gloucester unanimously endorsed the campaign to save the blast furnace at Port Kembla using state and federal government purchasing polices, according to Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon.

The party also called for the NSW state government to take up part ownership of the steel mill in return for financial support delivered through requiring at least 50 percent of all steel in publicly-funded infrastructure projects to come from Australian blast furnaces.

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Statement by Senator: BlueScope Steelworks

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (13:04): The call 'Save our steelworks' is resonating around the Illawarra and today 'Save our steelworks' resonates in this parliament. Members of the South Coast Labour Council, the Illawarra branch of the Australian Workers Union and other unionists have travelled to Canberra to speak to MPs about the future of the Illawarra and the future of the steel industry. Action is needed by the New South Wales and federal governments. Steelmaking is vital for the Illawarra and critical to the economy of the whole country.

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Motion: Hutchison Employees Terminated via Text

Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (15:56): I move:

That the Senate-

(a) notes the termination by Hutchison Ports Australia of 97 of its employees by notice given in text messages and emails sent late at night on Thursday, 6 August 2015;

(b) affirms that the method of giving notice of termination of its employees by Hutchison Ports Australia was callous and disrespectful to its employees, and has no place in any workplace; and

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Department of Education and Training)

Senator RHIANNON: You said earlier, Ms Paul, I think it was on 25 November, that it was determined that the planned advertising campaign complied with guidelines. Principle 4 of the department's guidelines for expenditure on advertising state that they should be 'instigated on the basis of a demonstrated need…' Other than the government's desperation to pass its legislation, what was the demonstrated need for the advertising campaign?

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency)

Senator RHIANNON: Thank you, Professor Saunders. I noted you said that the staff numbers are currently 56, down 10. What were the staff numbers when TEQSA started?

Prof. Saunders : We had a staff level of about 100—not when we started, but we built up to staff level of about 100.

Senator RHIANNON: In what year, please?

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Estimates: Education and Employment Legislation Committee (Department of Education and Training)

Senator RHIANNON: This morning when we were trying to explore some of the advertising issues, I asked some questions that I would like to return to. Principle 4 of the department's guidelines for expenditure on advertising states, 'Any campaign must be instigated on the basis of a demonstrated need.' It is a quote you would obviously know well. Other than the government's desperation to pass its legislation, what was the demonstrated need for this advertising campaign?

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