STANDING ORDERS CHAPTER 24

 COMMITTEES 

201 Appointment of select committees

 

The House may appoint a select committee to consider a specified matter.

202 Appointment of Standing Committees

 

(1)

At the commencement of each session, the following Standing Committees will be appointed:

 

 

(a)

Economy and Infrastructure Standing Committee;

    (b)

Environment and Planning Standing Committee; and

 

 

(c)

Legal and Social Issues Standing Committee.

  (2)

A Standing Committee holds office and may exercise all the powers conferred on it by these Standing Orders, any Act or otherwise by Parliament for the session during which its members are appointed and until the expiration, dissolution or other lawful determination of the Assembly.

203 Functions of Standing Committees

  (1)

The Economy and Infrastructure Standing Committee will inquire into and report on any proposal, matter or thing connected with the Department of Education and Training; the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions; the Department of Transport; and the Department of Treasury and Finance and related agencies.

  (2)

The Environment and Planning Standing Committee will inquire into and report on any proposal, matter or thing connected with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and related agencies.

  (3)

The Legal and Social Issues Standing Committee will inquire into and report on any proposal, matter or thing connected with the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Justice and Community Safety; and the Department of Premier and Cabinet and related agencies.

  (4)

If under the Public Administration Act 2004 the name of a Department is changed, a reference in this Standing Order to a particular Department is, from the date when the name is changed and so far as it relates to any period on or after that date, taken to be a reference to the Department by its new name.

 204 Referrals to Standing Committees

  (1)

A Standing Committee must inquire into, consider and report to the House on any proposal, matter or thing that is relevant to its functions and has been referred to the committee by resolution of the House.

  (2)

A resolution of the House may specify a period of time within which the Standing Committee must make a final report to the House on the proposal, matter or thing.

  (3)

A Standing Committee may inquire into, consider and report to the House on any annual report or other document relevant to the functions of the committee that is tabled in the House.

  (4)

In carrying out its functions, a Standing Committee must comply with any limitation of time specified in subclause (2).

205 Membership

  (1)

A committee will normally consist of not less than five, and not more than 12, members unless otherwise ordered by the House.

  (2)

A list of members serving on committees must be published in the notice paper.

  (3)

The Speaker or the Deputy Speaker cannot be compelled to be appointed to a committee.

206 Notice for appointment of a select committee
  (1)

The notice of motion for the appointment of a select committee may name the members proposed for the committee. If it does not, the members of the committee must be selected by ballot.

  (2)

A member intending to move for the appointment of a select committee must obtain in advance the consent of each proposed nominee to serve on such a committee.

207 Ballot for appointment to select committee

 

When members are to be selected under SO 205(1) by ballot:

  (1)

The bells will be rung as for a division.

  (2)

Each member present is issued with a list of all members that has been initialled by the Clerk.

  (3)

No nomination is required.

  (4)

A member votes by placing a cross against the names of the number of members as ordered by the House; if any list contains a larger or smaller number of votes than is required, it is void and rejected.

  (5)

The Speaker will nominate scrutineers who, with the Clerk, will count the votes.

  (6)

The members who receive the most votes will be declared by the Speaker to be elected.

  (7)

If two or more members have an equality of votes for the last place or places on the committee, a second ballot will be held to determine that place or those places.

  (8)

Only those members who achieved an equality of votes for that place or those places will continue as candidates in the second ballot.

  (9)

If, after a second ballot, two or more members still have an equality of votes, the Speaker determines by lot which member or members are chosen.

208 Vacancy on a committee

 

A member ceases to be a member of a committee if:

  (1)

The member’s seat becomes vacant;

  (2)

The member resigns by writing delivered to the Speaker; or

  (3)

The member is discharged by the House.

209 Committee meetings

  (1)

Committees may meet at any time, except that when the House is actually sitting:

    (a)

the Privileges and Standing Orders Committees may only meet within the parliamentary precincts; and

    (b)

any other committee may not meet unless specifically authorised to do so by the House.

  (2)

Subject to paragraph (1), a committee may adjourn from time to time and from place to place.

  (3)

A committee may use an audio link or audio visual link to allow a member to participate in a meeting of the committee provided the committee is satisfied that the quality of the audio link or audio visual link will enable members who are physically present at the meeting to verify the identity of that member. A member attending by audio link or audio visual link may be counted for the purposes of a quorum and may vote.

210 Election of Chair and Deputy Chair

  (1)

At the first meeting of a committee, the Chair must be elected before any other business is discussed.

  (2)

A committee may elect a Deputy Chair and, in the absence of the Chair, any powers and duties of the Chair may be exercised by the Deputy Chair.

211 Absence of Chair and Deputy Chair

 

If the Chair and Deputy Chair are absent from any meeting the members present may appoint any one of their number to be Chair for that meeting.

212 Voting by members

  (1)

Unless otherwise provided in these Standing Orders, a question arising at a committee meeting must be determined by a majority of votes of members present and voting on that question.

  (2)

Each member of a Standing Committee has a deliberative vote. In the event of an equality of votes on any question, the Chair of a Standing Committee has a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote.

  (3)

Unless otherwise provided, the Chair of a select committee will only have a casting vote.

213 Quorum

  (1)

The quorum of a committee is a majority of the members appointed to it.

  (2)

If a quorum is not present within 30 minutes of the time set for a meeting of a committee, the meeting will lapse and the next meeting will be called by the Chair.

  (3)

If, during a committee meeting, attention is drawn to the absence of a quorum by a member or officer of the committee, the Chair may suspend the committee until a quorum is present or adjourn the committee to some future time.

214 Evidence

  (1)

A committee may send for persons, documents and other things.

  (2)

Unless the House or the committee determines otherwise, a committee must take all evidence in public and may publish the evidence immediately.

  (3)

A committee may take evidence in private if the committee resolves that special circumstances make it desirable to take the evidence in private and for this purpose, part or whole of a public hearing may be held in private.

  (4)

A committee may take evidence in private but use it as public evidence, provided that the committee informed the person giving the evidence that it is received by the committee on the basis that it will be made public.

  (5)

A committee may take evidence in any manner that the committee considers appropriate including by means of audio link, audio visual link or any other electronic means.

  (6)

A committee must determine what weight or value to give to evidence received by different means in accordance with subsection (5).

  (7)

Without limiting or affecting the generality of section 19A of the Constitution Act 1975, evidence given before a committee must, if the committee so requires, be given on oath or affirmation.

  (8)

An oath to be sworn or affirmation to be made by a witness who is to give evidence by audio link or audio visual link may be administered either—

    (a)

by means of the audio link or audio visual link, in as nearly as practicable the same way as if the witness were to give evidence at the place at which the committee is sitting; or

    (b)

at the direction of, and on behalf of, the committee at the place where the witness is located by a person authorised by the committee.

  (9)

A committee may empower a specified member or members of the committee to send for persons, documents and other things and to take evidence with respect to any proposal, matter or thing which is referred to the committee for consideration and report if the committee unanimously agrees so to empower the member or members.

  (10)

When sending for persons, documents and other things or when taking evidence under subsection (9), a member of a committee has all the privileges, immunities and powers of the committee.

  (11)

Any person may make a written submission to a Standing Committee with respect to any proposal, matter or thing being inquired into or being considered by the Committee.

215 Subcommittees

  (1)

A committee may appoint a subcommittee of three or more of its members to inquire into and report to the committee upon any matter which the committee is empowered to examine, but may not take evidence unless the committee so decides in relation to each proposed witness.

  (2)

The quorum of a subcommittee is a majority of the members appointed to it.

  (3)

The standing orders apply to a subcommittee in the like manner as they apply to a committee.

  (4)

A subcommittee will report to the committee as soon as practicable on each matter referred to that subcommittee.

216 Deliberations in private

 

Committee deliberations will always be conducted in private except that, where special circumstances make it desirable to do so, a committee may resolve to allow other persons to attend. 

217 Disclosure of evidence and other documents

  (1)

The committee may authorise the publication of any documents, papers and submissions presented to it.

  (2)

Evidence not taken in public and any documents, papers and submissions received by the committee which have not been authorised for publication will not be disclosed unless they have been reported to the House.

218 Unreported evidence

 

Where a committee lapses or ceases to have legal existence before it can report to the House, the evidence can be considered by any other committee appointed in the same or next Parliament inquiring into the same subject matter.

219 Recording of evidence

 

Unless otherwise determined by the committee, a transcript will be taken of all formal evidence.

220 Record of proceedings of committee

 

The minutes of proceedings of a committee must record each of the following:

  (1)

The names of the members who attended each meeting.

  (2)

Every motion or amendment proposed and the name of its mover.

  (3)

The divisions and the names of the members voting for each side on a question, which must also be included in the committee’s report to the House.

221 Chair to prepare draft report

 

The Chair of a committee will prepare the draft report for consideration by the committee.

222 Proceedings on consideration of draft report

  (1)

The draft report will be printed and circulated to members of the committee.

  (2)

The report will be considered paragraph by paragraph, or groups of paragraphs, and a question put ‘That the paragraph [or paragraphs], or the paragraph or paragraphs (as amended), stand part of the report’.

  (3)

A member may move amendments to a paragraph at the time it is under consideration.

  (4)

After all paragraphs and appendices (if any) have been considered, the question will be put ‘That the draft report (as amended) be the report of the committee’.

223 Minority report

 

When requested to do so by one or more members of a committee, the committee will include a minority report with its report to the House.

224 Report tabled

  (1)

After a report of a committee is adopted by the committee, the Chair must —

    (a)

cause the report to be tabled in the House within 10 sitting days; or

    (b)

if the House is not sitting within 21 days of the adoption of the report and the committee unanimously so resolves, give the report to the Clerk.

  (2)

If a report is received by the Clerk under subsection (1)(b), the Clerk must—

    (a)

as soon as practicable after the report is received, notify each member of the House of the receipt of the report and advise that the report is available upon request; and

    (b)

give a copy of the report to any member of the House upon request to the Clerk; and

    (c)

cause the report to be tabled in the House on the next sitting day of the House.

  (3)

A report that is given to the Clerk under subsection (1)(b) is taken to have been published by authority of the Assembly.

225 Interim reports

 

A committee may report upon its deliberations and present its minutes, evidence or other documents from time to time.

226 Report of Standing Orders Committee

  (1)

The member who presents a report to the House of the Standing Orders Committee may immediately move that it be set down on the notice paper as an order of the day for the next sitting.

  (2)

If the House does not consider the report within 12 sitting days of tabling, the order of the day becomes the first government business order of the day for the next sitting day.

 226A Engagement of staff

  (1)

A committee may commission a person to investigate and report to the committee on any aspect of a proposal, matter or thing being inquired into or being considered by the committee.

  (2)

With the consent of the Premier, a committee may make use of the services of an employee within the meaning of the Public Administration Act 2004 for the purpose of investigating and reporting to the committee on any aspect of a proposal, matter or thing being inquired into or being considered by the committee.

226B Government responses

  (1)

If a committee's report to the Parliament recommends that the Government take a particular action with respect to a matter, within six months of the report being tabled, the appropriate responsible minister must table a response to the committee's recommendations.

  (2)

If a response is received by the Clerk on a day on which the House is not sitting, the Clerk must —

    (a)

as soon as practicable after the response is received, notify each member of the House of the receipt of the report and advise that the report is available upon request; and

    (b)

give a copy of the response to any member of the House upon request to the Clerk; and

    (c)

cause the response to be tabled in the House on the next sitting day of the House.

  (3)

A response received by the Clerk under subsection (2) is taken to have been published by authority of the Assembly