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AGAINST – Documents — National Disability Insurance Scheme; Order for the Production of Documents

Anthony Chisholm

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that in response to orders relating to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Financial Sustainability Framework (orders nos 229, 253 and 315) ministers have:

(i) provided relevant documents,

(ii) advised that documents do not exist,

(iii) sought additional time to process or review documents, or

(iv) raised a public interest immunity claim on the established ground that release of documents would be detrimental to relations between the Commonwealth and the states and territories;

(b) notes that on 16 October 2023 the Minister representing the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme complied with the order of 14 September 2023 which required him to provide an explanation to the Senate in relation to these matters;

(c) notes that on 8 February 2024 the Minster representing the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme tabled the report of the Independent National Disability Insurance Scheme review; and

(d) resolves that Minister representing the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme is satisfactorily complying with his obligations to respond to its orders and discharges him from the requirement to attend the Senate to provide an explanation on the first day of each sitting week.

Jonathon Duniam

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Sue Lines

Leave is granted for one minute.

Jonathon Duniam

The minister's public interest immunity claim in relation to the tabling of the NDIS financial sustainability framework is deficient. It has been made on the basis that the release of the document would be detrimental to the relations between the Commonwealth and the states and territories. When a PII claim is made on these ground, the agreement of the states or territories to disclose the information should be sought, and they should be invited to give reasons for any objection. No such agreement has been sought, nor has the Senate been advised of any objections from a state or territory government; therefore, the coalition opposes this motion.

Jordon Steele-John

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Sue Lines

Leave is granted for one minute.

Jordon Steele-John

The Greens will be opposing the motion brought by the government today. Let's be really clear: this motion seeks to free them from the demand of the Senate to deliver basic documentation in relation to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Senate demands that the government deliver this basic documentation and the Senate rejects the spurious basis upon which the public interest immunity claim has been made. The government claims that releasing this basic information would jeopardise relationships between the very state and territory governments that have already agreed to the NDIS framework target, the documentation of which the Senate now seeks. The state premiers have agreed to it. The territory chief ministers have agreed to it. The Prime Minister and Treasurer presumably agree to it. The only people who do not know this documentation are disabled people.

Sue Lines

The question is that government business No. 1, standing in the name of Senator Chisholm, be agreed to.

Summary

Date and time: 4:41 PM on 2024-02-27
Senator Pocock's vote: No
Total number of "aye" votes: 18
Total number of "no" votes: 40
Total number of abstentions: 18

Adapted from information made available by theyvoteforyou.org.au