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Information for the Guidance of Witnesses Appearing before Parliamentary Committees

1. Parliamentary Privilege

Committee proceedings are recognised as proceedings in Parliament and are accorded the same protection as proceedings in the House of Assembly itself.

2. Opening Procedures and Calling of Witnesses

Upon arrival please make yourself known to the Committee Secretary. When it is your turn to give evidence you will be asked by the Chair to state your full name and the capacity in which you appear before the Committee. The Chair will also ask you if you wish your evidence or part of your evidence to be taken in camera. (Section 5 below deals with in camera evidence.)

The Secretary will then administer a declaration as prescribed by the Evidence Act.

3. Documents Tendered

If you have made a written submission, the Chair will ask you whether you wish to amend your submission.

Once any changes, alterations or additions have been noted, the submission and any additional documents tendered as evidence, such as diagrams, maps, videos etc, will be included in the Committee's records as exhibits.

4. Examination of Witnesses

Before inviting members of the Committee to ask questions, the Chair will give you the opportunity to make a statement in support of the submission. Questions will then be directed to you by the Chair and members of the Committee. These questions are designed to clarify aspects of your submission, to seek information relevant to matters within the Committee's terms of reference and to allow you to amplify any points made in your submission. Generally the intention is to help the Committee go beyond the written submission.

5. In Camera Hearings

If, before or during the hearing of evidence, you consider that information to be provided by you, or requested by a member of the Committee is confidential you may make application to have your evidence or part of it, heard in camera. Evidence taken in camera, although recorded by Hansard, is not made available to anyone but members of the Committee and the witness concerned, and may not be tabled in the House .

If an application is made for evidence to be taken in camera, the Committee will consider the application and inform the witness whether it will grant the application.

6. Additional Material

Should you consider that you cannot answer a question or provide information at the hearing, you may seek permission to provide a written answer or additional material at a later date.

7. Recording of Evidence

The Parliamentary Reporting Service (Hansard) will record the proceedings of the public or in camera hearing. A copy of the transcript may be provided upon request. Conditions apply.

8. Further Advice

If you require any further information concerning the Committee's hearing, please contact the Committee Secretary.

Contact Address:

Committees Secretariat
House of Assembly
Parliament House
Hobart, Tas. 7000

Telephone: (03) 6233 2248    Fax: (03) 6223 3803

E-mail: committees@parliament.tas.gov.au

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