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Half the Senate inquiry reports since 2010 gathering dust

THE Gillard Government has not responded to half of the 166 Senate inquiries that have reported to the government since Labor took office in 2010.

A report by Senate President John Hogg detailed the status of all government responses to current and completed Senate inquiries during the 43rd Parliament.

The report is filed twice a year, with Senator Hogg's latest report, tabled in the Senate on the final day of sittings in 2012.

It revealed that of the 166 Senate inquiries that had been completed, and were waiting government response, 82 Senate inquiries were gathering dust, with no government response received at all.

Under the Senate rules, the Federal Government is supposed to respond to all Senate inquiries within three months of an inquiry report being tabled.

Of the 166 final inquiry reports tabled, the government has only responded to 47 inquiries, leaving the remaining 72 awaiting an official response.

But it wasn't all bad news, with the government responding within the timeframe to a total of four Senate inquiries, and a further 34 official responses tabled, but later than the deadline.

Another 30 Senate inquiry reports which have been tabled more recently were still waiting for response, but had not exceeded the time limit.

Senator Hogg's report also showed a further 10 Senate inquiry reports did not need any responses, as most were inquiries into minor legislative amendments.

Government responses to Senate Inquiry reports:

  • Total: 166
  • Not received by deadline: 119
  • No response received: 82
  • Tabled late: 34
  • Deadline not expired: 30
  • Not required: 10
  • Tabled before deadline: 4

SOURCE: Senate Table Office.



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