Thursday, 17 October 2019
Scrutiny of Bills Committee; Scrutiny Digest
I present Scrutiny Digest No. 7 of 2019 of the Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, and I move:
That the Senate take note of the report.
I rise to speak to the tabling of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee's Scrutiny Digest No. 7 of 2019. Since 1981, the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills has scrutinised all bills against a set of accountability standards which focuses on the effect of proposed legislation on individual rights, liberties and obligations and on parliamentary scrutiny. The committee's reports to the Senate play a vital role in the scrutiny of legislation by the Senate. Importantly, the committee's work also has 'unseen influence' on the development of bills prior to their introduction into the parliament. The committee's consistent application of its scrutiny principles to all bills introduced into the parliament ensures that legislative drafters and officials are aware of the expectations of the committee at the bill drafting stage.
I also take this opportunity to note that the committee is actively considering recommendation 9 of the recent inquiry into the parliamentary scrutiny of delegated legislation by the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances. The report recommended that the Scrutiny of Bills Committee consider whether the standing orders be amended to prevent the passage of a bill if the Scrutiny of Bills Committee has not yet tabled a report in relation to that bill. With those comments, I commend the committee's Scrutiny Digest No. 7 of 2019 to the Senate.
Question agreed to.