Following an order of the Senate on 13 May 2009, the Senate's eight legislative and general purpose standing committees each now comprise a pair of committees: A Legislation Committee whose purpose is to deal with bills referred by the Senate, the Estimates process and oversee the performance of departments, including their annual reports, and a References Committee whose purpose is to deal with all other matters referred by the Senate.
This reverts to a system that was in place between 1994 and 2006 when the eight legislative and general purpose standing committees of the Senate each had a legislation and a references committee. The committees will be governed by Senate Standing Order 25.
Standing order 25 provides for the appointment of a legislative and general purpose standing committee on Community Affairs.
Information on the establishment, role and powers of Senate committees can be found in Chapter 5, in the Standing Orders of the Senate.
The Community Affairs portfolio coverage includes Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Health and Ageing and Human Services.