What's happening in parliament - May 2022

Debates in the Legislative AssemblyBelow are some of May’s 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 Inquiries

To follow the progress of a committee inquiry, including reading the public submissions and transcripts of the committee hearings, visit https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/committees or click on the relevant links provided for each committee inquiry.

Inquiry into extremism in Victoria - Legal and Social Issues Committee

The Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee is calling for submissions to its inquiry into extremism in Victoria. The committee is looking into the rise of far‐right extremist movements in Victoria.

The committee will submit their report to parliament in August 2022.

Inquiry into Victorian universities’ investment in skills - Economy and Infrastructure Committee

The Legislative Assembly Economy and Infrastructure Committee is now welcoming public submissions for its inquiry into Victorian universities’ role in the provision of future skills. There will be a focus on working towards a clean economy and regional skills in the areas of health, agriculture and community services.

The committee will submit their report to parliament later in the year.

 

Committee Reports

The full committee reports are available on Parliament of Victoria’s website via the links provided.

Inquiry into Victoria’s Criminal Justice System

A report on Victoria’s criminal justice system has been tabled in parliament. The report, with 100 recommendations and 73 findings, calls for wide-ranging reform to address rising rates of imprisonment and recidivism.

It is the result of a committee inquiry that received 170 public submissions and met with over 90 witnesses. They included victims of crime and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.

Inquiry into the Multi-Purpose Taxi Problem (MPTP)

A report on Victoria’s Multi-Purpose Taxi Program has been tabled in parliament. This follows an inquiry into the program, which provides subsidised travel for Victorians with a disability. The report includes 20 findings and recommendations that address safety, fairness and the expected impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

 

Legislative Assembly

The budget

The government introduced its 2022/2023 budget into the Legislative Assembly. The budget is the Victorian Government’s annual statement of how it intends to collect and spend money. The budget is introduced into parliament as a series of bills known as “appropriation bills”, as they will appropriate public money for spending. As with all other bills, the budget must be debated and passed in both houses of parliament. You can read the Treasurer, Tim Pallas’, budget speech here (click on the third “Bills” to read the appropriation bills). You can also watch a YouTube video of the speech here.

Throughout the year the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) will meet to scrutinise the budget outcomes.

Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance Scheme) Bill 2022

The Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance Scheme) Bill 2022 proposes to:

  • amend the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 by providing a new scheme to assist victims of crime in their recovery from acts of violence
  • amend the Victims of Crime Commissioner Act 2015 in relation to victims of crime, the functions of the Commissioner and reporting requirements under that Act
  • make consequential amendments to other Acts.

 

Legislative Council

Road Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2022

The Road Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 proposes to:

  • Amend the Road Safety Act 1986 to make further provision in relation to
    • evidentiary matters relating to offences detected by road safety cameras
    • the suspension of driver licences and learner permits and the disqualification of persons
    • from obtaining a driver licence or learner permit
  • Amend the Transport Accident Act 1986 to:
    • to make further provision in relation to the payment of benefits under that Act
    • for miscellaneous purposes

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

Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Decriminalisation of Possession and Use of Drugs of Dependence) Bill 2022 proposes 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 and to make consequential and related amendments and for other purposes.

The amendments to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981:

  • to reduce to 1 penalty unit the penalty for the following offences
    • the offence of possessing a drug of dependence in a quantity that is not more than the small quantity applicable to that drug
    • the offence of using or attempting to use a drug of dependence
    • to make the offence of using or attempting to use a drug of dependence a summary offence
    • to provide for those offences to be dealt with by way of a drug education or treatment notice, and
    • to make consequential and related amendments.