What's happening in Parliament - June 2022
10 June 2022
Below are some of the current Committee Inquiries and Bills that are before both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council this month.
Committee inquiries and reports
The Legislative Council Environment and Planning Committee tabled its final report on renewable energy in Victoria and is now awaiting government response. The inquiry investigated what steps would be necessary to transition to 100% renewable energy as well as job creation opportunities and economic benefits.
The committee found that demand for electricity in Victoria is likely to double by 2050 as more Victorians switch from gas to electrical appliances in their homes and as people adopt zero emissions vehicles. The report makes 32 recommendations, including that the Victorian Government conduct an education campaign informing the public about the benefits of reducing energy consumption, continue the zero emissions vehicle subsidy program and adopt a cut-off date for sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles.
The Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee is investigating the social and emotional impacts of having an imprisoned parent on affected children, as well as the services available and how these services could be improved. During the public hearings the committee heard from a range of Australian and international organisations that advocate for and support families of incarcerated people. You can see the full list of more than 20 witnesses and read the transcripts from the hearings on the committee’s website. The committee is currently undertaking research. The reporting date for this inquiry is 1 July 2022.
Each year around May, the government tables the budget papers and the Appropriation Bills (financial bills) in parliament. The budget papers include estimated projections of government revenue over the forward estimates (three years) and expenditure for the next financial year. They also outline the fiscal outlook for the state’s economy and the government’s proposed major initiatives.
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, on behalf of parliament, conducts a detailed scrutiny of the government’s annual spending and revenue (the budget estimates). This inquiry aims to benefit parliament and the community by:
- promoting the accountability, transparency and integrity of the executive and the public sector
- encouraging effective and efficient delivery of public services and assets
- enhancing the understanding of the budget estimates and the wider economic environment; and
- assisting Members of Parliament in their deliberation on the appropriation bills.
The Treaty Authority and Other Treaty Elements Bill 2022 continues the advancement of Victoria's treaty process by facilitating the establishment of elements necessary to support future treaty negotiations between Aboriginal Victorians and the State of Victoria. For instance, the bill recognises the establishment of the Treaty Authority under the Treaty Authority Agreement and facilitates its operations by giving legal force to its activities. The bill also amends the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Act 2018 in relation to the treaty negotiation framework and self-determination fund to support the establishment of those elements by agreement between the State and the Aboriginal Representative Body.
Read the Explanatory Memorandum, including the detailed list of purposes of the bill and amendments to previous acts.
The Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Amendment Bill 2020 proposes modernising the law in relation to unfitness to be tried, streamlining preceedings and removing from juries the decision as to wheter a person is fit to stand trial, to better provide for the distinct needs of people with cognitive impairment.
Read the Explanatory Memorandum, including the detailed list of purposes and amendments to previous acts.
The main purpose of the Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Symbol Prohibition) Bill 2022 is to amend the Summary Offences Act 1966 to make the public display of Nazi symbols an offence.
The bill passed the Legislative Assembly on the 9 June, and the Legislative Council has introduced the bill and has commenced second reading.
Some of the purposes of the Child Employment Amendment Bill 2022 are to amend the Child Employment Act 2003 in relation to the meaning of employment, to increase the penalties for certain offences, to create a new system of licences to allow for employment of children under the age of 15, as well as other considerations such as appointing authorised officers, criminal liability of employers and issuing of compliance notices for contraventions. The bill also proposes amendments to the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 in relation to work experience arrangements.
Read the Explanatory Memorandum, including the full list of purposes and proposed amendments to previous acts.