Bills relating to the summoning of ministers to give evidence, and to the prohibition of petroleum mining in the Liverpool Plains area, were both introduced on Wednesday. The House also agreed to establish a new select committee to further explore the undergrounding of the state’s renewable energy infrastructure, and debated a range of other private members’ motions. Read on for more…


The Parliamentary Evidence Amendment (Ministerial Accountability) Bill 2023 was introduced by the Hon Damian Tudehope (Liberal). The bill seeks to amend the Parliamentary Evidence Act 1901 to provide that Ministers of the Crown may be summoned to attend and give evidence before a House of Parliament or a committee of Parliament. As currently drafted, the Act excludes all members of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly (including ministers) from being summoned under the Act. Currently, members are simply invited to give evidence at parliamentary inquiry hearings, for example.

In his second reading speech, Mr Tudehope noted that the bill was prompted by circumstances arising in the context of the current inquiry into the appointments of Josh Murray to the position of Secretary of Transport for NSW and Emma Watts as NSW Cross-Border Assistant Commissioner, which is being conducted by the Legislative Council’s Public Accountability and Works Committee. Mr Tudehope also highlighted the fundamental role of the Council in scrutinising the activities of the executive government and holding it to account under the system of responsible government in NSW, including by having ministers appear before Council committees.

You can read Mr Tudehope’s speech in full here.

Following its introduction, debate on the bill was adjourned for five calendar days, according to standing order.


The Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (Liverpool Plains Prohibition) Bill 2023 was introduced by the Hon Jeremy Buckingham (Legalise Cannabis Party).

The bill seeks to prohibit prospecting for, or mining of, coal seam gas in the Liverpool Plains area. To do this, it would amend the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 to prevent the granting of petroleum titles in the Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Warrumbungle Shire local government areas, and also amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to prohibit development for the purpose of facilitating petroleum extraction in the area.

Speaking to the second reading, Mr Buckingham said the bill would ring fence the mistakes of the past and protect the Liverpool Plains – which he described as a highly productive food bowl that has sustained the Gomeroi people for millennia and will continue to sustain the people of Australia if it is protected under the provisions of the bill. Mr Buckingham noted that the bill would ensure that any pending applications and renewals would be refused, and that any previously approved petroleum authorisations or titles where mining or prospecting operations were yet to begin would be cancelled, all without any compensation payable.

Debate on the bill was then adjourned for five calendar days, according to standing order.


Among the day’s general motions, the House agreed to establish a new select committee to inquire into the feasibility of undergrounding the transmission infrastructure for renewable energy projects in NSW, moved by Ms Cate Faehrmann (The Greens).

This follows a recent inquiry into the same matter by the Council’s State Development Committee, whose report – including dissenting statements from some committee members – can be found here.

Details of the new select committee and its work will be available shortly on the Parliament’s website.

You can also find debate on the motion to establish the new committee in the Hansard record here.


The following motions were debated in the House over the course of the day:

Topic of motion (click link for details)Moved byAgreed to?
Eraring power stationThe Hon Mark Latham (Independent)Agreed to, as amended
Ventilation in schools (with the debate also continued in the  Hansard record here)Dr Amanda Cohn (The Greens)Agreed to, as amended
State credit ratingThe Hon Cameron Murphy (Labor)Agreed to on division (Ayes: 25 / Noes: 15)
Proposed Wamberal seawallMs Abigail Boyd (The Greens)Agreed to, as amended
Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023The Hon Emily Suvaal (Labor)Agreed to
Passing of Jeremy Jones AMThe Hon Susan Carter (Liberal)Agreed to
Qatar Airways decisionThe Hon Chris Rath (Liberal)Negatived on division (Ayes: 18 / Noes: 19)
Landcare Week 2023The Hon Bob Nanva (Labor)Agreed to
Rental vacancy auditThe Hon Jacqui Munro (Liberal)Agreed to
Condolence motion – Joy McKeanThe Hon Emily Suvaal (Labor)Agreed to

In addition to the above motions debated in the chamber, the following motions were agreed to without debate, during the morning’s formal business:


Request (click link for details)Moved byAgreed to?Due date
Papers relating to Department Liaison Officers in the Office of the Minister for TransportThe Hon Natalie Ward (Liberal)Agreed to, as amended1 October 2023
Papers relating to the tasering incident in Cooma (further order)The Hon Damien Tudehope (Liberal)Agreed to, as amended27 September 2023


Among the papers tabled on Wednesday were a range of statutory reports relating to state-owned corporations. Find all documents tabled and reported in our Tabled Papers Database.

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