Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURAL AND RELATED INDUSTRIES
14/05/2010
Bushfires in Australia
SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURAL AND RELATED INDUSTRIES
Senate committee
Friday, 14 May 2010
Bushfires in Australia
Final

CHAIR (Senator Heffernan) —I declare open this public hearing of the Senate Select on Agriculture and Related Industries. The committee is hearing evidence on the committee’s inquiry into the incidence and severity of bushfires across Australia. I welcome everyone here today. This is a public hearing and a Hansard of the proceedings will be prepared. Before the committee starts taking evidence, I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

The committee prefers all evidence to be given in public, but under the Senate’s resolutions witnesses have the right to request to be heard in private sessions. It is important that witnesses give the committee notice that they intend to give evidence in camera. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course be made at any other time.

I ask witnesses to remain for a few minutes at the conclusion of their evidence in case the Hansard staff need to clarify any terms or references. I remind all people in the hearing room to ensure that their mobile phones are switched off or to silent. Finally, on behalf of the committee I would like to thank all those who have made submissions and sent representatives here today for their cooperation.

[12.31 pm]