Upper House Committees
take Parliament to the people and enable members of Parliament to become better informed about community views. They allow members to examine issues in more detail and with greater public input and debate than if the matter were considered by the House alone.
Whether you are an expert in a relevant field, work for a representative organisation, are directly affected by the issue being examined, or are simply an interested individual, there are a number of ways to get involved in committee activities.
Make a submission
Written submissions are a way for individuals to express their views and experiences on a particular issue that a committee is investigating. Committee reports usually refer to and quote from the information and arguments presented in submissions.
It is preferable for a submission to address the terms of reference of an inquiry. The terms of reference set out the scope for the inquiry and can be found on each committee’s inquiry page.
Most submissions received by a committee will be made public (including by publishing them on the committee website). If you would like all or part of your submission to be made confidential, please contact the committee staff.
More information is available at Guide to writing submissions
Give evidence at a committee hearing
Committee hearings allow members of Parliament to speak directly to people to find out how you, your organisation, or your community feel about an issue.
A committee can invite members of the public, representatives of organisations, public servants, academics and government ministers to appear at a hearing. A witness may have presented a written submission to an inquiry, but this is not essential. You can ask to appear as a witness but not everyone who requests to appear before a committee is given that opportunity.
More information is available at Guide for witnesses
Attend a hearing as a member of the public
Individuals are welcome to attend public hearings held at Parliament House or at other sites around New South Wales. Hearing details can be found on each committee's inquiry page.
Committee hearings are usually held in public, however sometimes they are held in private (in camera
). In such cases the public and media are asked to leave the hearing room.
Request committee reports
Once a committee tables a report, it is available on the committee reports
page. Hard copies are available upon request by calling or emailing committee staff.