1 This report provides a summary of, and comment on, the inquiries and petitions considered by the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs from August 2002 to November 2004.
2 The functions of the Committee are to inquire into and report on: public and private policies, practices, schemes, arrangements or projects in Western Australia which affect or may affect the environment; any bill referred by the House; and petitions.
3 The Committee has tabled eleven reports throughout the current Parliamentary session. The Committee has undertaken six separate inquiries, three of which were on referral from the House.
4 The Committee was referred over 60 petitions to inquire and report on. When reviewing petitions, the Committee seeks to provide a forum for public discussion on matters of community interest and to allow interested persons, or groups, to bring their concerns to the attention of the Legislative Council. The Committee found that its process of seeking clarification and response on the issues raised in a petition from the petitioner and the relevant Minister often led to a resolution of the matter.
5 The Committee has made a recommendation regarding the establishment of a discrete committee to undertake the petitions function.
Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that in the next Parliament a discrete petitions committee be established.