On 10 December 2020, the Senate referred the Australian Education Legislation Amendment (Prohibiting the Indoctrination of Children) Bill 2020 to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 5 July 2021.
Submissions are now being accepted and the closing date is 19 March 2021.
The bill and explanatory materials
A copy of the bill and explanatory memorandum can be found on the Bills and Legislation section of the Parliament's website.
The committee welcomes submissions to this inquiry.
However, it is important to note that the committee is not obliged to accept every document it receives as a submission. The committee has the option to accept a document as correspondence, or not accept it at all depending on its content.
Odgers Senate Practice clearly indicates:
"…a submission made to a committee becomes a committee document, and it is for the committee to decide whether to receive it as evidence and whether to publish it."
Further information can be found in our procedural documents.
Drafting a submission
To assist your document being received and accepted as a submission to the inquiry, we recommend your comments stay focused on the provisions of the bill.
Documents that don't address the provisions of the bill and diverge onto extraneous issues are unlikely to be accepted as submissions. Further guidance on making a submission can be found here.
Form letters or documents containing repetitive themes
Form letters that are received as part of letter writing campaigns are likely to be received in the following way: a sample of the document may be accepted as a submission and published with a written indication of how many such documents were received.
Similarly, documents received that are not strictly form letters but demonstrate repetitive themes are also highly likely to be acknowledged in the same way: a certain number taken as samples with a written indication of how many such documents were received.
Treatment of correspondence
If your document is received as correspondence, the committee will consider its content and it will inform the committee's consideration of the bill. However, it will not be individually referenced in the final report of the inquiry.
The committee hopes this information will assist you in the drafting of your submission.
Accepting submissions and parliamentary privilege
You must not share or publish your submission until the committee advises you of its decision to accept and publish it. Submissions are confidential until the committee releases them. If the committee accepts and publishes your submission, that version is protected by parliamentary privilege (Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987, subsection 16(2)). This means the content of your published submission cannot be used in court against you or anyone else.
See: Senate Brief No. 20 Parliamentary privilege.