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Thursday, 28 June 2012
Page: 8325


Mr PERRETT (Moreton) (09:36): On behalf of the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs, I seek leave to make a statement on the Maritime Powers Bill 2012, the Maritime Powers (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2012 and the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012, in discharge of the committee’s requirement to provide an advisory report on the bills, and to present a copy of my statement.

Leave granted.

Mr PERRETT: I rise to present this oral statement on behalf of the committee in discharge of the Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee's obligation to report on the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012, the Maritime Powers Bill 2012 and the Maritime Powers (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2012.

On 31 May the House Selection Committee referred the abovementioned bills to our committee. The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has been referred the very same bills by the Senate for inquiry. This is not the first time such duplication has occurred. The Senate committee has made a call for submissions and has settled on reporting dates for both inquiries.

The Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs does not wish to duplicate the work that the Senate committee is undertaking. Moreover, this committee has received phone calls from stakeholders of the various bills querying why they need to duplicate their work and provide separate submissions to both the Senate and House of Representatives inquiries. This committee does not wish to burden stakeholders with requests for multiple submissions to the same inquiry or to appear at public hearings more than once for the same inquiry.

Further, the House of Representatives human rights subcommittee has adopted terms of reference for a policy inquiry into human trafficking which will involve the same stakeholders as an inquiry into the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012. The committee believes that in this case it cannot add value to the work of the Senate inquiries into the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012, the Maritime Powers Bill 2012 and the Maritime Powers (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2012. Further, the committee has determined that in this instance it would be an inefficient use of committee and Department of the House of Representatives resources to conduct concurrent inquiries into these bills.