Role of the Committee

Role of the Committee

The Committee is appointed by the House of Representatives under the following resolution of appointment:

(1)        this House establish a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation, to inquire and report on the following matters:

(a)        best practice approaches to regional development, considering Australian and international examples, that support:

(i)         growing and sustaining the rural and regional population base;
(ii)        the benefits of economic growth and opportunity being shared right across Australia;
(iii)       developing the capabilities of regional Australians;
(iv)      growing and diversifying of the regional economic and employment base;
(v)       an improved quality of life for regional Australians;
(vi)      vibrant, more cohesive and engaged regional communities;
(vii)     leveraging long-term private investment; and
(viii)    a place-based approach that considers local circumstances, competitive advantages and involves collective governance;

(b)        decentralisation of Commonwealth entities or functions, as a mechanism to increase growth and prosperity in regional areas, considering Australian and international                    examples, including:

(i)         examining the potential for decentralisation to improve governance and service delivery for all Australians, considering the administrative arrangements required               for good government;
(ii)        identifying the characteristics of entities that would be suited to decentralisation without impacting on the ability to perform their functions;
(iii)       identifying the characteristics of locations suitable to support decentralised entities or functions, including consideration of infrastructure and communication                    connectivity requirements;
(iv)      considering different models of decentralisation, including:

-        relocation of all or part of a Commonwealth entity to a regional area;
-        decentralisation of specific positions, with individual employees telecommuting, considering any limitations to this in current Australian Public Service                    employment conditions and rules; and
-        co-location of decentralised Commonwealth entities or employees in existing regionally based Commonwealth or State Government offices; and

(v)       examining the family, social and community impacts of decentralising;

(c)        actions of the Commonwealth that would encourage greater corporate decentralisation and what can be learned from corporate decentralisation approaches, including:

(i)         considering the role of the private sector in sustainably driving employment and growth opportunities in regional areas in both existing and new industries;
(ii)        comparing the access to early stage equity and or debt finance of metropolitan and regional businesses for both start up and established businesses;
(iii)       examining access to capital for regional business, including agribusiness, manufacturing and technology;
(iv)      considering the adequacy of regional businesses access to early stage accelerators and incubators, including access to business mentors, business networks and                    capital (debt or equity);
(v)       considering the adequacy to support the private sector to attract and retain skilled labour to regional areas; and
(vi)      examining the extent to which employment and growth can be supported by growing existing and new industries in regional areas, leveraging strong transport and               communications connectivity; and

(d)       any related matters;

(2)        the committee consist of 10 members, six members to be nominated by the Government Whip or Whips, three members to be nominated by the Opposition Whip or Whips and               one non-aligned member;

(3)        every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives;

(4)        the members of the committee hold office as a select committee until presentation of the committee’s report or the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by                         effluxion of time, whichever is the earlier;

(5)        the committee elect:

(a)        a government member as chair; and
(b)        a non-government member as 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, and 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;

(6)        in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, has a casting vote;

(7)        three members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include one government member and one non-               government member;

(8)        the committee has power to appoint subcommittees consisting of three or more of its members and to refer to any subcommittee any matter which the committee is empowered               to examine;

(9)        the committee appoint the chair of each subcommittee who shall have a casting vote only and at any time when the chair of a subcommittee is not present at a meeting of the               subcommittee the members of the subcommittee present shall elect another member of that subcommittee to act as chair at that meeting;

(10)      two members of a subcommittee constitute the quorum of that subcommittee, provided that in a deliberative meeting the quorum shall include one government member and                    one non-government member;

(11)      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 purpose of a quorum;

(12)      the committee or any subcommittee:

(a)        has power to call for witnesses to attend and for documents to be produced;
(b)        may conduct proceedings at any place it sees fit;
(c)        may sit in public or in private; and
(d)       has power to adjourn from time to time and to sit during any adjournment of the House of Representatives;

(13)      the committee may report from time to time, but will produce an issues paper no later than 31 August 2017 and an interim report no later than 31 December 2017, with its final               report no later than 28 February 2018; and

(14)      the provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.  

About this committee

The Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation is appointed by a resolution of appointment that passed the House of Representatives on 1 June 2017.

The Committee is due to produce an issues paper by 31 August 2017, an interim report by 31 December 2017 and a final report by 28 June 2018. The Committee has ten Members.


Committee Secretariat contact:

PO Box 6021
Parliament House

Phone: +61 2 6277 4397