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Monday, 21 May 2018
Page: 3801


Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (10:01): Today I present the 23rd report of the Petitions Committee for the 45th Parliament, together with 31 petitions and 57 ministerial responses to petitions previously presented.

I'd like to draw to the attention of the House a correction to the signature count for a petition tabled by the member for Watson on 27 March 2018. The petition, lodged by Sister Susan Connelly, concerned the maritime boundary between Australia and Timor-Leste. The correct number of signatures obtained for the paper petition is 16,522 signatures. This petition was presented alongside an e-petition in identical terms with 369 signatures. We regret that this administrative error occurred and convey our sincere apologies to both Sister Connelly and the member for Watson. On behalf of the Petitions Committee, I congratulate Sister Connelly for her efforts in petitioning the House on a cause dear to her and to the thousands of people who signed her petition.

Indeed, these petitions, along with the petitions I present to the House today, assure us of the continuing relevance and importance of the petitioning process in the House of Representatives. The group of petitions I present today includes a number of e-petitions that have each obtained thousands of signatures. One of these is an e-petition requesting the removal of GST from women's sanitary products, which obtained 104,185 signatures. The committee has now certified over 300 electronic petitions and over 230 paper petitions during the 45th Parliament. On behalf of the committee, I thank the individuals who petitioned the House on issues that matter to them, and the individuals who took the time to sign those petitions.

Thank you. The committee looks forward to presenting its report into e-petitioning in the coming weeks and continuing to update the House on the work of the Petitions Committee.