Senate debates

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee; Report

5:28 pm

Photo of Gary HumphriesGary Humphries (ACT, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I present a report of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee on its inquiry into Australia’s research and training capacity in the area of climate change, together with submissions received by the committee.

Ordered that the report be printed.

by leave—I move:

That the Senate adopt the recommendation of the report relating to the withdrawal of the reference.

I will speak to that motion only briefly. The Senate saw fit to refer to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee in June 2008 a reference relating to the effects of climate change on training and employment needs. Senators will be aware that since that time there have been a number of inquiries by other committees of the Senate on climate change. Both references and bills relating to climate change have been comprehensively dealt with—for example, by the economics committee—as a matter of some urgency at the time. The Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee had considered the terms of reference of its own climate change referral, and when that matter was referred to it formally a number of submissions were received—some 51 in total.

Although many of these submissions were interesting and useful—for example in the areas of the need for increased environmental literacy, the teaching of sustainable skills, new occupations to be encouraged and new labour market pathways to be created—there were also a number of submissions which, it could be said, went outside the terms of reference of the inquiry into other broader areas relating to climate change. The committee was faced with pressures from new and urgent inquiries, particularly in workplace relations, which made it difficult to return to the subject of this inquiry. The committee took the view that too much work had been undertaken in the area by other committees in the time between the receipt of submissions and the likely time of commencement of hearings for this inquiry to make its own inquiry worthwhile. Accordingly it recommends in this report to the Senate that this particular reference be discharged.

Question agreed to.