This week in Committees, the Social Issues Committee holds its first hearing for the inquiry into gay and transgender hate crimes; Portfolio Committee No. 5 hears about the devastating impact that supermarket price wars are having on dairy farmers; and the trial Regulation Committee reports on a regulation regarding cemetery and crematoria and an ongoing role for the committee following the 2019 election.
As always, if you’re keen to find out more about any of our current or past inquiries, you can also find further information on our website.
Committee shines a light on LGBTIQ community’s experience of hate crime
On Friday 9 November, the Social Issues Committee held its first hearing for the inquiry into gay and transgender hate crimes between 1970 and 2010.
The inquiry is seeking to identify whether there existed impediments within the NSW criminal justice system that impacted the protection of LGBTIQ people, and whether such impediments have been effectively addressed by current policy and practice. The committee is also examining the delivery of justice to victims of LGBTIQ hate crimes and their families.
At Friday’s hearing the committee took evidence from ACON, the authors of the report In Pursuit of Truth and Justice, and Assistant Commissioner Tony Crandell of the NSW Police Force, who spoke to the findings of the Strike Force Parrabell report. The NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby; Dowson Turco Lawyers; Mr Alex Greenwich MP, Member for Sydney; Mr Larry Galbraith, former editor and journalist; and Mr Duncan McNab, an author and former NSW Police Detective, also gave evidence.
The next hearings will take place on 27 and 28 November and will be broadcast on the Parliament’s website.
For those seeking support: ACON, QLife and Lifeline provide counselling services for community members who have experienced violence, as well as survivors’ friends and loved ones. Please call: ACON on (02) 9206 2000, QLife on 1800 184 527, or Lifeline on 13 14 11. For more information visit: acon.org.au/mentalhealth, qlife.org.au or lifeline.org.au.
Impact of supermarket price wars on dairy farmers takes centre stage in Moss Vale
Portfolio Committee No. 5 – Industry and Transport held its first public hearing in Moss Vale on Monday 12 November 2018 for the inquiry into the sustainability of the dairy industry in New South Wales.
The committee heard powerful evidence from dairy farmers regarding the current state of the industry and how to ensure its sustainability into the future.
The committee will be holding further public hearings, including at NSW Parliament House in Sydney on 16 November where the committee will hear from industry and government representatives, and at Taree on 19 November to hear from more dairy farmers. The transcript for Monday’s hearing will be published on the committee’s website later this week.
Report recommends campaign for greater public awareness about cemetery interment rights
On 9 November, the Regulation Committee tabled its report on the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Regulation 2018, making three recommendations and four findings for government action.
The inquiry elicited significant interest with many submissions reflecting the need for the government to better communicate the actual impact and effect of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Regulation 2018 and the Act, which underpins it, the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013.
The committee recommended that the government invest in an education and public awareness campaign to improve community understanding and acceptance about renewable interment and its voluntary role for the operators of cemeteries and crematoria in NSW. The report also canvassed a number of issues concerning renewable interment and the responsibilities of cemetery operators when offering this type of burial.
Trial Regulation Committee makes the case for ongoing role in 57th Parliament
The Regulation Committee also tabled an evaluation report on 9 November which considered the effectiveness of the committee trial during 2018.
The report examined the operation and work of the Regulation Committee as observed from the two inquiries conducted during the year. Both inquiries allowed members to review the purpose, implementation, and potential impacts of the regulations in detail. By doing so the committee highlighted systemic issues with the government’s public consultation processes when developing regulations.
The committee reported that its work had afforded greater visibility to delegated legislation, which has enhanced Parliament’s oversight role and provided opportunities for stakeholders to have input into the operation and development of delegated legislation.
The report’s key recommendation is that the Legislative Council establish the Regulation Committee as a standing committee at the commencement of the 57th Parliament in 2019.