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3.13 Parliamentary Committees

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The Parliament has two types of committees which it may use to undertake its work. These are Standing Committees and Select Committees.

A Select Committee is a group of Members selected by either the Legislative Council or the Legislative Assembly or by both Houses in the case of a Joint Select Committee, to carry out a single issue inquiry (for example land conservation, rural education or youth affairs) on behalf of the House and to report back to the House. Once the Committee has reported, the Committee ceases to exist. A Bill may also be referred to a Select Committee after the second reading.

There are also Standing Committees of the Parliament. Either House (or both Houses, as in the case of the Legislation Committees) may establish a Standing Committee, or there may be a Joint Standing Committee made up of Members of both Houses, which operate for the term of the Parliament. These Committees look at matters connected with the receipt and expenditure of public money, legislation, government agencies or delegated legislation (rules, regulations and by-laws made by a delegated authority, for example, local government by-laws). Both Houses also have Standing Committees which consider, and make recommendations on, the Standing Orders of each house.

Select and Standing Committees have wide powers and may compel people to appear before them for questioning and demand that records and documents be produced.