Terms of Reference

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration related to Commonwealth Government Affairs, be established to inquire into and report on:

(a) the amount of Commonwealth funds allocated or paid to the State of Queensland since 26 March 2012, with particular reference to:

(i) the purposes for which the funds were appropriated by the Parliament,

(ii) performance measures in relation to Commonwealth funds paid to the State of Queensland,

(iii) identified breaches of funding agreements or conditions,

(iv) the proportion of the Queensland State budget derived from Commonwealth funds, and

(v) whether any Commonwealth funds have been used by the State of Queensland for state government advertising or party political purposes,

(b) the administration of the Queensland courts and judicial system insofar as it relates to cross vesting arrangements, with particular reference to judicial independence and separation of powers;

(c) approval process for the development of projects for the export of resources or services insofar as they are administered by the Commonwealth or under a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth;

(d) the extent to which Queensland State Government policies and practices are consistent with Australia’s obligations under international environmental law instruments;

(e) whether it is appropriate for the Federal Minister for the Environment to delegate his approval powers to the Queensland State Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 by way of approval bilateral agreements or strategic assessments;

(f) the extent to which Queensland State Government policies and practices are consistent with Australia’s obligations under international human rights instruments, with particular reference to:

(i) the administration of prisons, and

(ii) detention without trial; and

(g) any other matter the committee considers relevant.

(2) The committee will inquire into and report on the adequacy of Commonwealth oversight of the approval of coal seam gas projects in Queensland.

(3) That the committee presents its final report on or before 27 March 2015.

(4) That the committee consist of 5 senators, 1 to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2 to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 1 to be nominated by the Leader of the Australian Greens, and 1 to be nominated by the Leader of the Palmer United Party.

(5) That:

(a) on the nominations of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and minority groups and independent senators, participating members may be appointed to the committee;

(b) participating members may 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 questions before the committee; and

(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

(6) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(7) That the committee:

(a) appoint as chair the Leader of the Palmer United Party in the Senate; and

(b) elect as deputy chair a member elected by the committee.

(8) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(9) That, in the event of an equality of voting, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(10) That the quorum of the committee be 3 members.

(11) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine any person and any document, to move from place to place (including, but not limited to, major metropolitan and regional centres in Queensland and the committee shall conduct public hearings in Nambour, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton, Kingaroy, Mt Isa, Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns) to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives.

(12) That the committee shall report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(13) That the committee has power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 2 or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider.

(14) That 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.

(15) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senior Clerk's Office
Department of the Senate
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3555