My Committee Work
We all know about some of the work that MPs do – speaking and voting in Parliament, attending community events, listening to local residents and helping constituents if they are having a problem with the Government.
The work that some MPs do on Committees is less well known, but very important, and is another substantial demand on our time. Until my election as Speaker I was a member of a number of Standing Committees in Parliament. These committees hold inquiries into important national issues and Government projects, consult with people and organisations all over Australia to find out what people think about them, and produce reports which help to make sure that Government policy reflects the concerns and needs of the Australians who will be affected.
Among others I was a member of the following committees, which I believe are most relevant to my work for Fisher.
JOINT COMMITTEE ON CORPORATIONS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
In February 2021 the Prime Minister commissioned me to be the Chair of this vital parliamentary committee.
In this role I chaired the Committee’s meetings and hearings, spoke on behalf of the Committee in the Parliament and in public, and took a leading role in preparing the Committee’s final reports.
This Committee oversees the operations of ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, and conducts inquiries into the functioning of the laws that govern corporations in Australia. As we work toward building our economic recovery from COVID-19 the efficient functioning of our business regulations has never been more important to the Sunshine Coast.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES STANDING COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL POLICY AND LEGAL AFFAIRS
The Prime Minister also commissioned me to be the Chair of this important parliamentary committee in the current Parliament. This Committee conducts inquiries into social issues which affect many of us like family law, and into subjects which affect some of the most vulnerable on the Sunshine Coast like adoption, family and domestic violence, child protection online, homelessness and child support.
JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE
Between the beginning of this Parliament and my election as Speaker I was Chair the Defence Sub-Committee of the important Joint Standing Commitee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. One of my major focusses as the Federal Member for Fisher is on helping to diversify our economy and encourage the growth of highly skilled jobs here on the Coast. I believe that this is the best way to ensure our region’s prosperity into the future, and the best way to ensure our young people can pursue their aspirations right here. That is why I have started the Fisher Defence Industry Initiative, to encourage and support the growth of this high tech manufacturing industry on the Coast. My position as Chair of the Defence Sub-committee ensured that I was fully aware of all the latest developments in defence and defence procurement to incorporate into this initiative, while my position on the wider Committee provided me with an understanding how changes in our trade agreements might affect our agricultural and fishing businesses on the Sunshine Coast.
JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is the biggest Government healthcare project in decades. It rolled out on the Sunshine Coast at the start of 2019. I used my work on the Committee to ensure that the NDIS is working as well as it possibly can as it rolled out in our community. I was part of this committee so that I could help to shape how the NDIS is improved as it is implemented. I also wanted to ensure that the NDIS will help to support people in Fisher who are living with a psycho-social disability, as part of my work on mental health.
GOVERNMENT POLICY COMMITTEES
These Committees work to provide feedback and ideas to the Government on important policy areas.
Once again, until my election as Speaker I was involved in Policy Committees which I believe are most relevant to my work in the electorate of Fisher. These included:
Defence and Veterans Affairs – where I was the Chair
Industrial Relations, Legal and Home Affairs
Infrastructure, Regional Development and Population
Small and Family Business, Employment, Education and Training