Friday, October 12, 2007

The Report on our Children and their Future

Committee on Children and Young People
Review of the 2005-06 Annual report of the Commission for Children and Young People
10th October 2007, 2 pm

Topics Discussed:

The committee met to discuss the projects undertaken by the Commission for Children and Young People over the past year.

Gillian Calvert, Commissioner for the Commission for Children and Young People detailed her activity over 2005-06, explaining what information was gathered from each project, and how it will be used. Several documents were and reports were published in 2005-06. Recommendations were made in numerous publications and then implemented through the year.

The Commission for Children and Young People are working with the Department of Health ad Aging to implement strategies that are in the interests of both commissions.

Observations:

As with any government process, the parliamentary hearing is full of official procedure. The introduction of the chair, Ms Tebbutt and the acknowledgment of the legislative council and assembly representatives are formalities.

The hearing provides an opportunity for the public to hear about the Commission and their activities. Differing from question time, it is a refreshing to hear the assembly and council members expressing their views without blatant ridicule and sarcasm. The infrequent nature of these hearings means a more mature process is held.

While reporting on their progress over 2005-06, the commission is being held responsible for the plans and actions they intended to carry out. This accountability process is a necessary one, but just reinforces the serious nature of government. The commission has a duty to the children of the state, and further, the nation and this hearing makes sure they are carrying out these duties.

The Legislative council and assembly members provide some interesting opinions. They are obviously well researched on the subject matter and take their job very seriously. And when they have to job or protecting the interests of children in our country, I would take the job very seriously too!

When it comes down to it, the real life parliamentary hearings are serious and official events, far from the depictions on political TV shows like the West Wing. Judging on this committee hearing, they are often long, in depth and somewhat tedious.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Question my Agenda

After yet another viewing of Parliament Question Time, today from the senate, I question the actual point of Question Time itself. When questioned, the Senators today, twisted and turned their answers around mentioning nothing about the actual question that was asked in the first place.

Instead of actually answering questions posed to them, the opportunity is taken to push own agendas. A classic case of this was seen today when South Australian Senator Annette Hurley asked Senator Nigel Scullion, to answer wether he agrees with Mr Howard, Australian families have never been better off. After Hurley stated numours statistics indicating rises in the cost of general goods & services and mentioning the number of interest rate raises, Scullion flatly ignored the question and responded indignantly about unemployment rates. At no time was anything remotly close to the question ever mentioned by Scullion.

This method of reply is a reoccurring theme in Question Time sessions. Question time is opportunity to bring out the good things your party has done and the bad of your opposition. Perhaps the whole segament should be more appropriatly renamed Agenda Time?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

APEC

While this post isnt exactly about parliament question time, it does have a political flavour. The Recent APEC summit has concluded and Sydney is slowly returning to normal. Tales are being told of the over the top security, traffic disruptions, endless motorcades and down right inconvenience of the whole event. In the lead up to and during the main weekend the city became diserted. Images beamed all over the world of the APEC summit portrayed Sydney looking more like a ghost town than the vibrant city it is. It certainly wasnt the look the tourism department is going for. The umteen thousand police and their heavy handed approach certainly didnt win support either. Deals were made between the delagates and relationships strengthened acheiving the summits aims on an international front but is APEC going to have the desired effect for John Howard within Australia or has it only convinced the Australian public -particluarly Sydneysiders- to put their vote else where in the coming election?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Beginnings

Well its up and we're away...well so to speak. Depsite a current lack of insightful wisdom, I hope I can provide interesting material in the future!

Stay tuned,
Nea