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Petitions under review.

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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: Web:

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

20 September 2006


Have you ever organised or signed a petition? If so, the House of Representatives Procedure Committee would like to hear from you.

Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said that the Committee is conducting an inquiry into all aspects of the petitioning process and would like to hear from the public on how they found the process.

“Petitions have a long history and are one of the ways that various groups in the community can directly advise the parliament what they think about an issue,” Mr Hawker said.

“Here in Wannon I’ve presented petitions to the Parliament on a wide range of issues, from encouraging the continuation on live animal exports and upgrading railway level crossings, to reducing crime and violence on television and keeping our current Australian Flag.

“We want to make sure that we have the best system possible in place so that the public feel their views are heard.

“Are the rules about form and content appropriate, should people be able to sign petitions electronically, and most importantly, are petitions an effective way of influencing the parliament or just a waste of time?

“The terms of reference for the inquiry are very broad, and the Committee welcomes submissions addressing the following areas in particular:

x Are the current rules about what is a petition too restrictive? x Should the rules governing form and content of petitions be changed? x How should petitions be able to be presented to the Parliament? x Should petitions be examined by the Parliament rather than simply referred to the relevant minister? x How effective are petitions? x Should there be a formal response required from the Government to petitions and what form should

that take?

“Submissions can be made either by mail or email, and should reach the Committee no later than 27 October 2006.,” Mr Hawker said.

For background information: please contact the committee secretariat on (02) 6277 4670 or visit the inquiry website at:

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (03) 5572 1100