Senate debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020


Allocation of Government Grants: Select Committee; Appointment

12:33 pm

Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senators Waters and Rice, I move:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Allocation of Government Grants, be established to inquire into and report on the administration of government grant programs during and after election campaigns, including but not limited to the Community Development Grants, Urban Congestion – Commuter Car Park Fund, Environmental Restoration Grants, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs and Drought Communities Fund, with particular reference to:

(a) program design and guidelines, including eligibility criteria;

(b) management and assessment processes;

(c) the use of closed grant programs which are not open to public applications, but require nomination by a Minister;

(d) adherence to published assessment processes and program criteria, including the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Commonwealth Grant Rules and Guidelines;

(e) the relationship between election commitments and grant allocations;

(f) demonstration of value for money;

(g) efforts to influence votes through grant allocation;

(h) the role of Ministers in determining awards of grants;

(i) measures to manage the risk of politicisation of funding outcomes and announcements; and

(j) any related programs or matters.

(2) That the committee present its final report on or before 30 August 2021.

(3) That the committee consist of 6 senators, as follows:

(a) 2 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;

(b) 2 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;

(c) 1 nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate; and

(d) 1 nominated by a minority party or independent Senator.

(4) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator;

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and

(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of a committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

(5) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(6) That the committee elect as chair the member nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate and as deputy chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

(7) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(8) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(9) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider.

(10) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(11) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(12) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that the motion moved by Senators Waters and Rice be agreed to.