Establishment of the Senate committee system
Estimates committees commence operation
The first two committees—the Standing Committee on Health and Welfare and the Standing Committee on Primary and Secondary Industry and Trade—were appointed in August 1970. These committees immediately commenced inquiries into national programs for people with disability and the operation of freight shipping services to and from Tasmania. The committees also reported on petitions and annual reports within their subject areas that were referred to them by the Senate.
From left: Senators Gordon Davidson, Jim Webster and Joe Fitzgerald, C. Campbell [Committee Secretary], Senators Ivy Wedgwood [Chair], Doug McClelland, Nancy Buttfield and Reg Turnbull.
In March 1971 two more committees (Education, Science and the Arts; and Social Environment) were established after a progress report tabled in the Senate by the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Sir Alister McMullin, declared the ‘successful launching of the first stage of the Senate’s Committee system’.
From left: Senators Laurie Wilkinson, Peter Rae, Harold Young, Thomas Bull [chair], Vince Gair, Arthur Poyser and Alexander Lillico.