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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8315

Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (10:02): Today I present the 28th report of the Petitions Committee for the 45th Parliament, together with two petitions and nine ministerial responses to petitions previously presented.

The two petitions I present today are paper petitions, but there are a number of electronic petitions that are gathering signatures on the Australian Parliament House website. These petitions will be presented to the House at the close of the four-week signature period.

As I mentioned in my previous report to the House, the committee has launched an inquiry into the future of petitioning. The inquiry will review all aspects of petitioning, including the role and operations of the Petitions Committee, and the practice and procedures for petitioning in the House.

Petitioning remains the most direct form of communication between the public and the parliament. The success of e-petitioning demonstrates the benefits of responding to the changing needs and expectations of the public. This inquiry will give people the opportunity to have their say on what petitioning the House should look like, including what action should be taken on a petition after it is presented.

The committee will examine alternate approaches to petitioning that have been adopted in other parliaments in Australia and overseas. This will assist the committee in determining how best to engage with Australians on issues they raise by creating or signing a petition. During the inquiry into e-petitioning, the committee heard about the petitioning systems of other jurisdictions, including the UK parliament. The committee is looking forward to considering these approaches in more detail during the current inquiry.

The committee encourages all interested Australians to have their say on petitioning by making a submission to the inquiry. Submissions are open until 12 October.

Thank you, and I look forward to updating the House further on the work of the Petitions Committee and on the progress of the new inquiry.