Over the summer break, you may have noticed a lull in public committee activity after a busy 2019. Behind the scenes it hasn’t been all quiet though. Members and staff have been busy organising hearings, reading and processing submissions, and preparing reports for tabling.

Committees will be back in full swing from next week with an eventful month ahead.

What’s on next week

PC 7 travels North to hear about the effect of the bushfires on koalas

If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ll have no doubt read that the NSW bushfires have had an adverse effect on koalas and their natural habitats. Portfolio Committee No. 7 is heading to Port Macquarie next Monday and Tuesday to visit the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and the Great Koala National Park to learn more about the impacts of these fires. The committee will also hold hearings to receive evidence from local councils, environmental groups, Indigenous representatives and academics – all of which the public are warmly invited to attend. Read more online.

PC 4 inquiry into the implementation of the recommendations in the NSW Chief Scientist’s independent review on coal seam gas continues 

On Tuesday, Portfolio Committee No. 4 will hold a second hearing to gather further evidence about the implementation of the recommendations in the NSW Chief Scientist’s independent review on coal seam gas activities in NSW. Invited witnesses to attend the hearing include: industry representatives, advocacy representatives and government officials. Read more online.

PC 7 to hear from stakeholders for and against the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Territorial Limits) Bill

On Thursday, Portfolio Committee No. 7 will be back in Sydney to hear from stakeholders about their thoughts on the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Territorial Limits) Bill. The committee will hear from policy, health and community groups who oppose the bill in the morning and from the CFMMEU, the Minerals Council and NSW Government, who support the bill, in the afternoon. This will be the only hearing for this inquiry with the report due to be tabled in March. Read more online.

PC 6 to find out more about the government’s plans for ICT projects under the proposed Digital Restart Fund

Portfolio Committee No. 6 will be holding a hearing next Friday for its inquiry into the provisions of the Digital Restart Fund Bill 2019.  The Bill aims to establish a new $100 million fund to resource digital and ICT initiatives across government. The inquiry is considering whether this will result in the proper and efficient use of public funds, and whether privacy and cyber security have been adequately addressed. Read more online.

What’s on for the rest of February  

There is a lot more committee activity happening later in February with a number of inquiries accepting submissions, holding hearings and tabling reports.

Inquiries accepting submissions or online questionnaire responses

Inquiry Committee Submission closing date
Work Health and Safety Amendment (Review) Bill 2019 Portfolio Committee No. 1 4 February 2020
Gay and Transgender Hate Crimes between 1970 and 2010 Social Issues Committee 28 February 2020

Upcoming hearings

Inquiry Committee Hearing date
Work Health and Safety Amendment (Review) Bill 2019 Portfolio Committee No. 1 10 February 2020
2019 Review into the Dust Diseases Scheme Law and Justice Committee 11 February 2020
Animal Cruelty Select Committee on Animal Cruelty 12 and 13 February 2020
Regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes Public Accountability Committee 20 February 2020 (in Newcastle)

Reports tabling

Inquiry Committee Tabling date
Operation and Management of Northern Beaches Hospital Portfolio Committee No. 2 By 28 February 2020
Measurement and Outcome Based Funding in NSW Schools Portfolio Committee No. 3 By 28 February 2020


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