Terms of Reference

  1. That a Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network be appointed to inquire into and report on the rollout of the national broadband network;
  2. until the national broadband network is declared built and fully operational, the committee report to each House of the Parliament annually on:
    1. rollout progress with particular regard to the NBN Co Limited Statement of Expectations issued by Shareholder Ministers on 24 August 2016;
    2. utilisation of the national broadband network in connected localities in both metropolitan and regional areas, and the identification of opportunities to enhance economic and social benefits;
    3. Australia’s comparative global position with regard to residential broadband infrastructure; particularly relative to other large, developed economies;
    4. national broadband network activation rates, user demand, usage patterns and trends, and any identified impediments to the take-up of national broadband network services;
    5. any market, industry, or regulatory characteristics that may impede the efficient and cost-effective rollout of the national broadband network; and
    6. any other matter pertaining to the national broadband network rollout that the committee considers relevant;
  3. the Committee consist of 17 members, 4 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by the Government Whip or Whips, 4 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by the Opposition Whip or Whips, and 1 non-aligned Member, 3 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 3 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 1 Senator to be nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate; and 1 Senator to be nominated by any minority group or independent Senator;
  4. participating members:
    1. may be appointed to the committee on the nomination in the:
      1. House of Representatives, of the Government or Opposition Whip or Whips, or any minority group or independent member; and
      2. Senate, of the Leader of the Government or Opposition, or any minority group or independent senator;
    2. shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum;
    3. may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of a member of the committee, except that a participating member may not vote on any question before the committee;
  5. 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. every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
  7. the members of the committee hold office as a joint standing committee until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time;
  8. the committee elect:
    1. a Government member as its chair; and
    2. an Opposition member as its deputy chair who shall act as chair of the committee at any time when the chair is not present at a meeting of the committee;
  9. at any time when the chair and deputy chair are not present at a meeting of the committee the members present shall elect another member to act as chair at that meeting;
  10. in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote;
  11. five members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include one Government member of either House and one Opposition member of either House;
  12. the committee:
    1. 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, provided that each subcommittee shall include at least one Government member of either House and one Opposition member of either House; and
    2. appoint the chair of each subcommittee who shall have a casting vote only;
  13. two members of a subcommittee constitute a quorum of that subcommittee, provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include one Government member of either House and one non-Government member of either House;
  14. members of the committee who are not members of a subcommittee may participate in the proceedings of that subcommittee but shall not vote, move any motion or be counted for the purposes of a quorum;
  15. the committee and any subcommittee have power to:
    1. call for witnesses to attend and for documents to be produced;
    2. conduct proceedings at any place it sees fit;
    3. sit in public or in private;
    4. report from time to time; and
    5. adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the Senate and the House of Representatives;
  16. 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 and the Speaker;
  17. the committee has power to consider and make use of the evidence and records of the Joint Committee on the National Broadband Network appointed during a previous Parliament;
  18. the provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

Committee Secretariat contact:

PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3585
Fax: 02 6277 5794
nbn.joint@aph.gov.au