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One of the most interesting roles of the Senate is to examine in detail community problems and attitudes to legislation and other government business.

Some of my committees’ inquiries have included; amendments to the Act covering QANTAS’s activities, the mining tax, a Bill to combat illegal logging, the live cattle export trade to Indonesia and protecting consumers who use short term loans from exploitation by lenders.

Inquiries receive submissions from a wide range of people and organisations and then hold public hearings where the committee can ask further questions. Witnesses before the inquiry have outlined their opinions on how the Government can assist this vital employer of people in rural and regional communities.

The Legislation Standing Committees hold Budget Estimates across each year. These are a valuable opportunity for Senators to ask questions of Department Heads and Ministers about their administration of government services and spending decisions.

The Labor Party Caucus also convenes a number of policy committees. I am currently a member of the Social Policy and Economics caucus committees. I am also the only Tasmanian on the Caucus’ Spreading the Benefits of the Mining Boom Subcommittee.

Below are links to the website of my Senate committees where you can find information on current and previous inquiries and where to make a submission: