Parliamentary committees inquire into issues that are important to the people of New South Wales. Committees increase public awareness and debate on issues under consideration by Parliament. They benefit the community by reviewing proposed laws, facilitating more informed policy-making and ensuring greater government accountability.
There are several types of Legislative Council (Upper House) committees - standing committees and select committees.
Standing committees are established for the life of each Parliament (four years). The current standing committees of the Legislative Council are The Standing Committee on Law and Justice which focuses on legal and constitutional issues, The Standing Committee on Social Issues which examines matters relating to the state’s social development and the wellbeing of its people and The Standing Committee on State Development which considers opportunities for growth and development throughout New South Wales.
The Legislative Council also has seven General Purpose Standing Committees, which focus on government accountability. There are seven of these committees, and each is responsible for oversight of certain government portfolios, such as health, education and transport.
Select committees are established by the Upper House to inquire into particular issues, and cease to exist once an inquiry has been completed. Joint select committees are comprised of members from both Houses - the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and the Legislative Council (Upper House).
The Privileges Committee examines matters regarding parliamentary privilege and considers submissions from citizens seeking a right of reply to statements made about them in Parliament.
Committees of the 57th Parliament were appointed on 8th May 2019 and more information can be found here.