Celebrating the work of Committees

 50 Years Logo

This year marks 50 years since a comprehensive Parliamentary Committtees Act was introduced in Victoria in 1968. Recommendations made by Victorian parliamentary committees have helped to bring about significant reforms.

One example is world first legislation that made wearing of seat belts in motor vehicles compulsory. 

Reforms to assisted reproduction law were introduced after a parliamentary committee investigation that heard from a range of people. It’s one example of how community input to parliamentary committee inquiries has shaped changes to Victoria’s laws in the 50 years since a comprehensive Parliamentary Committees Act was introduced. 

Road safety was a focus of several public inquiries after the Parliamentary Committees Act was passed by the Victorian Parliament in 1968. Evidence collected during those inquiries helped to bring about major changes in the law, including random breath testing for drivers.

Concerns about teenagers sending explicit images via phone and email prompted a parliamentary committee inquiry that helped bring about Australia’s first law to deal with ‘sexting’ in 2014. It’s one example of how parliamentary committees have influenced law reform in the five decades since the introduction of the Parliamentary Committees Act.

Checking on the actions and spending of government agencies has been a key role of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee during the 50 years since the establishment of a Parliamentary Committees Act. That scrutiny has led to a number of significant reforms, including in the area of child protection.

People often ask what impact parliamentary committees have. Here’s an interesting result from a committee inquiry into youth pursuing careers in agriculture.