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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2832

The inquiry was initiated to review and report whether changes were desirable in:

The law and practice of parliamentary privilege,

The procedures by which alleged breaches of parliamentary privilege may be raised, investigated and determined, and

The penalties that may be imposed for breach of parliamentary privilege.

The Committee received a wide range of submissions, and conducted a program of public hearings at which issues were discussed with interested persons. In addition, the Committee conducted a seminar attended by presiding officers and clerks of the State legislatures which enabled a good discussion to take place with persons well versed in the subject. The Committee also sought information from a representative cross section of overseas parliaments and some very useful material was obtained.

The Committee, which had been originally appointed in the Thirty-second Parliament had not completed its inquiry at the dissolution of that Parliament and was re-appointed in the new Parliament. Mr Spender was invited to continue as Chairman, notwithstanding the change of Government, in order to maintain continuity in the Committee's operations. He has made a major contribution, along with the Secretary, Mr Bernard Wright, and other seconded Senate and House officers, for which the Committee is particularly grateful.