Chapter 1

Chapter 1


1.1        On 12 May 2015, the Senate referred the following two documents to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (the committee) for examination and report:

1.2        The committee is required to examine the 2015-16 budget estimates contained in these two documents in relation to the Agriculture portfolio and the Infrastructure and Regional Development portfolio. Following examination, the committee is required to table its report on the 2015-16 budget estimates on 23 June 2015.[2]

Budget Estimates hearings

1.3        The committee examined witnesses from both portfolios at hearings held between 25 and 28 May 2015. The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda as follows:

1.4        The committee heard evidence from the following senators:

1.5        Evidence was also provided by:

1.6        The committee thanks the parliamentary secretary, minister, departmental secretaries and officers for their assistance and cooperation during the hearings.

Questions on notice

1.7        In accordance with Standing Order 26, the committee is required to set a date for the lodgement of written answers and additional information. The committee resolved that written answers and additional information be submitted by 10 July 2015.[3]

Record of proceedings

1.8        This report does not attempt to analyse the evidence presented during the hearings. However, it does provide a summary of some of the key issues that were covered by the committee for each portfolio.

Note on references and additional information

1.9        References to the Hansard transcript are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcripts.

1.10      Copies of the proof Hansard transcripts, documents tabled at the hearings, and additional information received after the hearings will be tabled in the Senate and available on the committee's website.

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