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STANDING COMMITTEE ON PETITIONS - 24/09/2008 - Petitions presented before 5 September 2008
House of Representatives committee
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Petitions presented before 5 September 2008

CHAIR (Mrs Irwin) —I now declare open the second public hearing of the new House of Representatives Standing Committee on Petitions and welcome everyone here in attendance. Under the standing orders, the committee is able to examine matters relating to petitions as a way of complementing the ministerial response process. The committee has decided to conduct public hearings on issues raised in petitions. We intend to invite relevant departments to provide advice on issues raised by petitioners so the petitioners of most, if not all, petitions are able to have the benefit of expert advice from the relevant department or departments.

The committee also intends to conduct similar meetings in states and territories with principal petitioners as a way of ensuring that petitioners can truly make their voice heard. This morning we welcome representatives of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy; the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts; the Department of Climate Change; the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; the Department of Defence; and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. I would also like to welcome Nola Marino, the federal member for Forrest, and Mr Bruce Billson, the federal member for Dunkley, who I understand have tabled petitions on behalf of petitioners within their electorates.

[10.14 am]