Committees – Select Committee on Australia’s Excess Mortality – Appointment, 23 March 2023

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (11:22): I move:

(1) That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Australia’s Excess Mortality, be established to inquire into and report on:

(a) current Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showing excess deaths in 2021 and 2022, with particular reference to:

(i) all-cause provisional mortality data reported by the states and territories to the ABS, and

(ii) the difference between all-cause provisional mortality data for 2021 and 2022 with the preceding years of 2015 to 2020 (inclusive); and

(b) the socioeconomic determinants on health that might have contributed to these excess deaths, such as mental health, cost of living, or other such factors,

(c) any other identified factors contributing to excess mortality,

(d) the process of death certificate issuance in each state and territory; and

(e) any other related matter.

(2) That the committee present its final report by the last day of sitting in March 2024.

(3) That the committee consist of six senators, as follows:

(a) two senators nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate;

(b) two senators nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;

(c) one senator nominated by the United Australia Party; and

(d) one senator nominated by other minority party or independent senators.

(4) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator,

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and

(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of a committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

(5) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that not all members have been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(6) That the committee elect as chair the member nominated by the United Australia Party and, as deputy chair, a member nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

(7) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(8) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.

(9) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(10) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of three or more of its members, and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to consider.

(11) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(12) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(13) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that general business notice of motion No. 194, standing in the name of
Senator Babet, be agreed to.

The Senate divided.
(The President—Senator Lines)
Ayes ………………….4
Noes ………………….35
Antic, A. – Babet, R. (Teller) – Hanson, P. L. – Roberts, M. I.
Allman-Payne, P. J. – Askew, W. (Teller) – Ayres, T. – Brown, C. L. – Cash, M. C. – Chisholm, A. – Ciccone, R. -Colbeck, R. M. – Cox, D. – Duniam, J. R. – Farrell, D. E. – Faruqi, M. – Green, N. L. – Grogan, K. – Hanson-Young, S. C. – Hume, J. – Lines, S. – McAllister, J. R. – McKim, N. J. – McLachlan, A. L. – Payman, F. – Pocock, B. – Polley, H. – Rice, J. E. – Sheldon, A. V. – Shoebridge, D. – Smith, M. F. – Steele-John, J. A. – Sterle, G. – Urquhart, A. E. – Walsh, J. C. – Waters, L. J. – Watt, M. P. – Whish-Wilson, P. S. – White, L.