Last week in the House, the Budget Estimates timetable was agreed to along with two orders for papers, another four committee inquiries were established, four private members’ bills were introduced, and three newly elected members gave their first speeches.

On Tuesday, the House agreed to the timetable for this year’s Budget Estimates inquiry by the seven portfolio committees. The initial hearings will be held over twelve days from Thursday 29 August to Friday 13 September 2019. See Budget Estimates for further details of the initial hearings.

Also on Tuesday, the second and third readings for the Library Amendment Bill 2019 were agreed to with the bill forwarded to the Assembly for concurrence. The bill was returned by the Assembly on Wednesday without amendment.

On Wednesday the House considered the Ageing and Disability Commissioner Bill 2019 in committee of the whole with a total of 40 amendments moved by the Opposition, The Greens and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers. Of these, 26 were agreed to before debate was interrupted. The bill will likely be considered again during the next sitting week.

Last week saw another four committee inquiries established by the House. Portfolio Committee No 2 received a referral to inquire into the operation and management of the Northern Beaches Hospital. The committee is to report by the first sitting day in 2020. A Select Committee was established to inquire into the use of battery cage for hens in the egg production industry. The committee is to report by 31 October 2019.

Two bills were also referred to committees for inquiry. The Standing Committee on Law and Justice received a referral to inquire into the Mining Amendment (Compensation for Cancellation of Exploration Licence) Bill 2019 introduced by Revd Nile (Christian Democratic Party) on Thursday and the Standing Committee on State Development received a referral to inquire into the Uranium Mining and Nuclear Facilities (Prohibition) Repeal Bill 2019, introduced by Mr Latham (Pauline Hanson’s  One Nation) also on Thursday.

The Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment (Inmate Behaviour) Bill 2019 was received from the Assembly on Tuesday and was declared urgent. According to a sessional order any bill received in the last two sitting  weeks of the session may only be passed by the Council if declared urgent. The House also debated and returned the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2019 to the Assembly without amendment.

Other bills introduced last week include private members’ bills on the prohibition on supply of plastic shopping bags by retailers, and increasing protections for Crown land.

On Thursday, two orders for papers were agreed to ― Country University Centre LTD and Cooma University Centre Incorporated, and the Sale of the Vales Point Power Station and Eraring Energy.  Five other motions were also considered in the new short form motion format which limits debate to 30 minutes under the new sessional orders.

Last week also saw three newly elected members gave their first speeches: Mr Roberts, Mr Buttigieg and Ms Jackson.