Resolution of Appointment

Role of the Committee

On 10 December 2020 the House of Representatives resolved that:

  1. a Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention be established to inquire into:
    1. the findings of the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Mental Health, the Report of the National Suicide Prevention Officer, the Victorian Royal Commission, the National Mental Health Workforce Strategy and other recent strategic reviews of the current mental health system in light of events such as the 2019 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, including the capacity of the mental health workforce to respond to such events; and
    2. other matters not addressed by these recent reviews, including:
    1. emerging evidence-based approaches to effective early detection, diagnosis, treatment and recovery across the general population and at-risk groups, including drawing on international experience and directions;
    2. effective system-wide strategies for encouraging emotional resilience building, improving mental health literacy and capacity across the community, reducing stigma, increasing consumer understanding of the mental health services, and improving community engagement with mental health services;
    3. building on the work of the Mental Health Workforce Taskforce and forthcoming National Medical Workforce Strategy, the roles, training and standards for all health and allied health professionals who contribute to mental health care, including peer workers, that are required to deliver quality care at different levels of severity and complexity, and across the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery support;
    4. the funding arrangements for all mental health services, including through the MBS and PHNs, and whether they are structured in a way that supports safe, high quality and effective care in line with the qualifications of practitioners and needs of consumers across whole of population;
    5. the use, standards, safety and regulation of telehealth services and the role and regulation of domestic and international digital and online mental health service providers in delivering safe and high quality care in Australia; and
    6. any related matters;
  2. the committee present an interim report on or before 15 April 2021 and its final report on or before 1 November 2021;
  3. the committee consist of eight members, five Members to be nominated by the Government Whip, and three Members to be nominated by the Opposition Whip or by any non-aligned Member;
  4. in respect of initial appointments to or subsequent changes in membership of the committee when the House is not sitting and is not expected to meet for two weeks:
    1. the relevant Whip must nominate any appointment or discharge of a member of a committee in writing to the Speaker and such appointment or discharge shall take effect from the time the Speaker receives the written nomination; and
    2. at the next sitting, the Speaker shall report the change to the House and the House shall resolve the membership of the committee;
  5. participating members may:
    1. be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Government Whip, the Opposition Whip or any minority party or independent member; and
    2. participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any question before the committee;
  6. every nomination of a member of the committee be notified in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
  7. the members of the committee hold office as a select committee until presentation of the committee’s final report or until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time, whichever is the earlier;
  8. the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy;
  9. before the start of business and at any time a vacancy occurs, the committee shall be informed of the name of the member who has been:
    1. appointed by the Prime Minister to be the chair; and
    2. appointed by the Leader of the Opposition to be the 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;
  10. 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;
  11. in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote;
  12. three members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee;
  13. the committee:
    1. have 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; and
    2. appoint the chair of each subcommittee who shall have a casting vote only;
  14. 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;
  15. two members of a subcommittee constitute the quorum of that subcommittee;
  16. 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;
  17. the committee or 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 House of Representatives;
  18. the committee or any subcommittee have power to consider and make use of the evidence and records of any former committee on related matters; and
  19. the provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.