What's happening in Parliament - March 2022

WhatsHappeningParl

Below are some of the current Committee Inquiries and Bills that are before both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. More information about what is happening in Committees and during each sitting week can be found on the Committee's and Bills this week pages.

Committee Inquires

Performance of Victorian Integrity Agencies 2020/21: Focus on Witness Welfare – Integrity and Oversight Committee

The Integrity and Oversight Committee unanimously resolved to undertake the important work of reviewing witness welfare. The committee chair, Hon Jill Hennessy MP, announced that the committee will inquire into the Victorian integrity agencies’ management of the welfare of witnesses, and others involved in agency investigations. The committee will be holding public hearings over the coming months with the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, the Victorian Inspectorate and the Victorian Ombudsman.

The committee’s report of this review is due to be tabled in Parliament by 23 June 2022.

 

Bills before Parliament

Legislative Assembly

Justice Legislation Amendment (Trial by Judge Alone and Other Matters) Bill 2022

A bill to amend the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 in order to provide temporary arrangements for trial by judge alone on an order made or applied for while a pandemic declaration is in force. The bill will also  amend the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997, the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958, the Justice Legislation Amendment (Criminal Appeals) Act 2019 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and for other purposes.

Conservation, Forests and Lands Amendment Bill 2022

A bill to amend the Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987 in relation to Codes of Practice covering, for example, the management of timber production and maintaining parliamentary oversight of threatened species protections.

 

Legislative Council

Children, Youth and Families (Raise the Age) Amendment Bill 2021

A bill to amend the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, to make consequential amendments to the Crimes Act 1958, the Fines Reform Act 2014 and the Infringements Act 2006. Two considerations in the bill are: 1) to amend the Children, Youth and Families 5 Act 2005 to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 10 years of age to 14 years of age; and 2) to make consequential amendments to the Crimes Act 1958, Fines Reform Act 2014 10 and Infringements Act 2006.

Alpine Resorts Legislation Amendment Bill 2022

A bill to amend the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997 which aims to repeal the establishment of the Alpine Resort Management Boards and the Alpine Resorts Co-ordinating Council by that Act, and instead establish Alpine Resorts Victoria.

Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Decriminalisation of Possession and Use of Drugs of Dependence) Bill 2022

A bill to amend the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 to provide for certain offences to be dealt with by way of a drug education or treatment notice.

This bill was introduced into the Legislative Council as a Private Members bill.  A private members bill is any bill initiated by non-government MPs. These bills can be more difficult given the complexities in drafting a bill.