Thursday, 20 September 2018
Consideration by Estimates Committees
That on Monday, 22 October 2018, estimates hearings by legislation committees shall be suspended at 10 am till midday to enable senators to attend the National Apology for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.
I thank the government for bringing this motion on. Just to remind the chamber what this is about, this is about enabling the apology to survivors of institutionalised child sexual abuse. It's really important. It's only for a relatively short time, for an hour and 15 minutes. I would encourage those senators that can stay longer to stay longer, because survivors are very keen to make sure that people get a chance to talk to them and to mingle and to take part in the activities that are going on around the apology. I encourage senators to fully engage in that apology on 22 October.
This is a matter that is close to many senators' hearts, and the government wishes to allow them time to extend the apology. To ensure time is maximised, it is proposed that committees meet up until the time of the proposed suspension, with no morning tea break. Where necessary, the government will work with committees to facilitate spillover hearings, ensuring ministerial availability where possible, to make up for any lost time. And committees should accommodate any reasonable requests from deputy chairs around extending hours to compensate for the interruption, including but not necessarily limited to: commencing earlier, curtailing lunch or dinner breaks, or concluding later.
Question agreed to.