STATEMENT BY MR ROSS VASTA MP, CHAIR, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON PETITIONS
I present the fifth report of the Petitions Committee for the 45th Parliament together with 3 petitions and 1 ministerial response to a petition previously prevented. The terms of the petitions and the ministerial response will be printed in Hansard.
As this is my last presentation for the year, I will take the opportunity to brief the House on the work of the Petitions Committee thus far. Since the commencement of the 45th Parliament, the Petitions Committee has held 5 meetings, considered 87 petitions, certified 32 e-petitions and 32 paper petitions as being in order and certified 23 petitions as being out of order. The committee has taken time to deliberate over the content of some petitions at these meetings to ensure that they meet the requirements of the standing orders.
In my role as the Chair, I have presented 13 petitions and 21 ministerial responses that were certified in the 44th Parliament. I have, on behalf of the Committee, presented 16 e-petitions and 18 paper petitions along with 5 ministerial responses.
Mr Speaker, the Petitions Committee is pleased to note that at this time there has been a good uptake of the e-petitions system, with there being an equal number of e-petitions and paper petitions that have been found in order to this date. The committee is also pleased that the majority of petitions that the committee considers are in order, which is a good result for those who seek to petition the House.
The content of the petitions has been diverse with petitions from school children concerned about the price paid to dairy farmers for their milk, communities concerned about the lack of mobile phone coverage or the protection of local environments. Communities have banded together to petition the House on topics close to them such as the provision of an integrated cancer centre in a regional hospital.
Mr Speaker, the Petitions Committee has been very busy so far this Parliament and I am sure that in 2017, the committee will continue to be busy assisting concerned members of the Australian community to petition the House.