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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3476

Mr ZAPPIA (Makin) (12:08): I seek leave of the House to make a statement in respect of the discharge of the request of the Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and the Arts to inquire into the Australia Council bills.

Leave granted.

Mr ZAPPIA: I present a copy of this statement, which the committee has endorsed. The two Australia Council bills were referred for consideration to this House by the Selection Committee of the House on 21 March after this committee's meeting during the previous sitting period. The committee met today to consider how to proceed. Members noted that the provisions of the bill had been referred to the Senate Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and the Transport Legislation Committee with the same reasons given—that is, 'to determine the impact of the provisions contained in the bill on the Australia Council and on Australian arts and cultural organisations'. The Senate committee was asked to report by 9 May and we note that the report was presented to the Senate on that date. According to the Senate report, the inquiry was advertised, 28 submissions were received and a public hearing was held. Following the Senate committee's deliberations, comments were received from the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. These were noted and included in an appendix to the Senate committee report.

The Senate committee report canvasses the views it received from a variety of sources and makes three recommendations, including that the bills be passed with amendments proposed by the committee. This House committee has noted on several occasions during this parliament that where legislation has been referred to committees of both places there is little to be gained from the conduct of concurrent inquiries. The House committee, noting that the Senate has completed a report in a short time frame in which public input was sought and recommendations made, does not propose to conduct an additional inquiry, especially not where the reasons for the inquiry are identical. To that end, no recommendation is made, and the committee considers that its task is concluded.