What's On

Spotlight on committees

Senate committee considering estimates

Inquiries

Committees were very busy during the final sitting weeks of 2014 with a wide range of new inquiries established. Among these are inquiries into the future of Australia's automotive industry, the availability of specialist cancer drugs, and the adequacy of care arrangements for young people with physical, mental or intellectual disabilities.

Information on other committee inquiries is available from the current inquiries page.

Reports

Several committee reports were tabled during December, including the first interim report of the Select Committee on Health, and the Community Affairs References Committee's report into income inequality in Australia.

Reports can still be presented while the Senate is not sitting. Details of these will be available from recent reports.

Other committee news

To keep track of committee activities, see:

Senate

The Senate concluded its 2014 sittings in the early hours of the morning on Friday, 5 December. During 2014 the Senate sat for 652 hours and 8 minutes over 63 days. The average length of a sitting day was 10 hours and 21 minutes. 1974 questions without notice were asked and 34 petitions with a total of 131,458signatures were presented. 234 bills were introduced, 122 were referred to committees, and 139 were passed.

Visit the Senate StatsNet for more facts and figures about the work of the Senate, or for a recap of Senate events, watch Senate Discovery.

Sittings will resume on 9 February 2015.

Senate Discovery

Every sitting day, time is set aside for what is known as 'Discovery of Formal Business'. This is an opportunity for business to be 'fast-tracked' - that is, moved and determined without debate.

Senate Discovery is a video series designed to 'fast-track' information about Senate business and the work of its committees.

Each episode contains a recap of business highlights such as the passage (or otherwise) of bills, new committee inquiries and the presentation of reports, swearing-in of new senators, and other matters of significance.

Senate Discovery is a quick and easy way to be updated on the work of the Senate - and for those wanting more information, below every video you will find relevant links to aid with further research.

Each new episode will be available early in the week following a sitting period – but to get an idea of what the series is all about, why not have a look at the earlier episodes that have been produced.

Occasional Lectures

Coat of Arms above Parliament House

The most recent lecture, 'Global Development: The Long Term Context of Australian Development' was given by Professor Ross Garnaut AO on Friday, 5 December.

Details of the next lecture will be advised when available.

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