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Petitions from Victoria
House of Representatives committee
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Petitions from Victoria

CHAIR (Mrs Irwin) —Before the public hearing commences, I request that a member move that proceedings be permitted to be broadcast by the House monitoring system and that filming be permitted during the hearing.

Ms VAMVAKINOU —So moved.

Mr ADAMS —Seconded.

CHAIR —Thank you. Good morning; I now declare open this public hearing of the Standing Committee on Petitions and welcome everyone in attendance. Under the standing orders, the committee is able to examine matters relating to petitions and, as a way of complementing the ministerial response process, the committee has decided to conduct public hearings on issues raised in petitions. So far we have held three public hearings in Canberra, where we have invited relevant departments to provide advice on issues raised by petitioners so that petitioners of most, if not all, petitions are able to have the benefit of expert advice on the relevant department or departments. We have been sending this information back to the petitioners as well as placing it on our website for the benefit of others who are interested in subjects discussed.

Today’s hearing is the first hearing held outside Canberra. The committee has intended to conduct meetings with principal petitioners as a way of ensuring that petitioners can truly make their voices heard. We are very pleased, therefore, to be with you in Fitzroy and want to express our thanks to the Fitzroy Public Library for its assistance. We have a solid program today, with principal petitioners on many issues. Before we proceed to hear from petitioners on the social impacts of khat, we will deal with a few housekeeping matters. Copies of the program are available from the secretariat table, and anyone who wishes to address the committee later this afternoon should register their interest with the secretariat in the first instance. The transcript of today’s proceedings will be posted on the committee’s website. If you would like further details about the meeting or the transcript, please ask any of the committee staff here at the meeting. The meeting is definitely open to the public. Microphones are for recording only, so you will not hear any voice amplification.

[10.20 am]