Monday, 15 February 2021
Petitions Committee; Report
I present the 21st report of the Petitions Committee for the 46th Parliament, comprising 127 petitions and 106 ministerial responses to petitions previously presented. This is the first report of the Petitions Committee for what I hope will be a prosperous and happy year for all. Since my last presentation, in December, the committee has continued to receive and consider new petitions on a range of diverse topics. Many have concerned the challenges that we face with the COVID-19 virus—in fact 19 petitions and 26 ministerial responses included in this presentation are concerning matters relating to the virus—but petitioners also continue to be concerned with a range of other longstanding and important issues such as taxes, the environment, education and politics, which are also included in this report.
On another note, the committee has recently launched an inquiry into aspects of the House petitioning system relating to security and accessibility. Through this inquiry, the committee will investigate how best to maintain the important responsibility we have in ensuring a petitioning system that is accessible and easy to use but also provides acceptable levels of security to reduce instances of fraudulent activity and to maintain the integrity of the petitioning process. This is an important balance that the committee has taken seriously, and we look forward to considering where improvements can be made.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I look forward to further updating the House on the work of the committee and the progress of the inquiry.