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Public hearings for two Audit Committee inquiries - Commonwealth Financial Statements and Failed Visa Privatisation

THE Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) will conduct the first public hearings on Friday April 19 for its inquiries on the 2022-23 Commonwealth Financial Statements and on the failed visa privatisation process and the implementation of other public sector IT procurements and projects.


Date: Friday 19 April 2024
Time: 10am – 3.30pm (AEST)
Venue: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House

Inquiry into Commonwealth Financial Statements 2022-23

Australian National Audit Office [IT and AI matters raised in the audit – roundtable]
Australian National Audit Office
Department of Home Affairs
Department of Finance
Digital Transformation Agency
Australian Signals Directorate
Department of Industry, Science and Resources
12.15pm         Break

Inquiry into the failed visa privatisation process and the implementation of other public sector IT procurements and projects
1pm           Australian National Audit Office
                  Department of Home Affairs
2.30pm      Australian National Audit Office
3.30pm      Close

The hearings will be broadcast live and will be accessible from the Parliament House website at

Details on the inquiries – including the terms of reference and submissions received – are available on the Committee website.



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Submission deadline extension for Australia’s local government sustainability research

THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Development, Infrastructure and Transport has extended the submission deadline by four weeks to May 31 this year for its inquiry into local government sustainability.

Chair of the committee, Luke Gosling MP said, "The committee recognises the importance of this inquiry to inform a deeper understanding of local government financial sustainability and service delivery obligations. The scope of the inquiry’s terms of reference covers a range of complexities across financial frameworks, skills development, labour hire practices, infrastructure, and asset management."

Mr Gosling said due to the high level of interest received to date, "the committee has agreed to extend the inquiry submission deadline by four weeks to Friday, 31 May 2024. The committee appreciates that many government and other organisations are keen to contribute to this important inquiry and is seeking to understand the challenges faced by local governments in servicing infrastructure requirements for their communities."

The committee is welcoming submissions from interested organisations and individuals by May 31. Further information on the inquiry, including the terms of reference and how to contribute, is available on the committee’s website.



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Committee to review proposed crime-related laws

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the committee) has commenced a review of the Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment (Omnibus No. 1) Bill 2024.

The Bill amends and clarifies the intended operation of provisions in various crime-related statutes, including by:

  • expressly authorising police, when executing search warrants issued under the Crimes Act 1914 or Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, to seize digital assets, such as cryptocurrency, including by accessing a person’s digital wallet and transferring its contents;
  • amending the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to extend the investigative and freezing powers that currently apply to financial institutions to also apply in relation to digital currency exchanges;
  • increasing the value of the Commonwealth ‘penalty unit’ from $313 to $330;
  • creating a position of Communications Security Coordinator in the Department of Home Affairs, with responsibility for certain telecommunications security functions currently assigned to the Communications Access Coordinator in the Attorney‑General’s Department;
  • amending information-sharing provisions in the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 to enhance the ability of state-based oversight bodies for integrity agencies to receive interception information and interception warrant information from agencies within their jurisdictions.

The committee isd inviting written submissions to the inquiry by May 9, 2024.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.



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PJCIS to review new declared areas bill

AT THE REQUEST of the Attorney-General, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Declared Areas) Bill 2024.

The amendments in the Bill would ensure the continuation of the declared areas offence in section 119.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. The offence, which is due to sunset on September 7, 2024, is an element of the Australian Government’s efforts to stop Australians becoming foreign fighters.

The Bill would extend the offence for another three years, to September 7, 2027, and would also provide that section 119.3—the provision under which the Minister for Foreign Affairs can declare an area for the purpose of the offence in section 119.2—also ceases to have effect on September 7, 2027.

Chair of the PJCIS, Peter Khalil MP said, "The committee welcomes the referral of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Declared Areas) Bill 2024. We look forward to receiving submissions from interested parties on the ongoing utility of the declared areas offences, which have been an important part of the Australian Government’s counter-terrorism efforts.

“Since the introduction of these offences, periodic review by this committee has ensured they are subject to ongoing parliamentary scrutiny and that the requirements of national security are constantly balanced against the rights of the individual," Mr Khalil said.

Submissions to the inquiry are invited by April 29, 2024.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.



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Parliament examines digital transformation of workplaces

THE rapid uptake of automated decision making and machine learning in the workplace is the focus of a new inquiry launched today by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training

The committee wants to hear directly from workers, employers, software developers and providers, academics, employer groups and trade unions about the digital transformation of workplaces that is currently taking place across Australia.

Chair of the committee, Lisa Chesters MP said, "Following the committee’s recent work on generative artificial intelligence in the Australian education system, the committee is now turning its attention to examining the intersection between advanced digital technology and the labour market.

"Australian workplaces are changing the way they operate," Ms Chesters said. "The committee wants to understand what these changes mean for employees and employers, our workplaces and the way we regulate and govern our employment practices."

Of particular interest to the committee are the benefits and risks of automated decision making and machine learning in the context of work, the role of business software and regulatory technology companies, and how to ensure the safe and responsible use of these technologies.

The committee is welcoming submissions from interested individuals and organisations by Friday, June 21, 2024. More information on the inquiry, including the full terms of reference and details on making a submission, can be found on the inquiry website.


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