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Engaging with Committees

Engaging with Committees

​​Committees take Parliament to the people and enable members to become better informed about community views. They allow members to examine issues in detail and with greater public participation and debate than if the matter were only considered by either House.

You can engage with committees either as an individual or an organisation by making a submission, giving evidence or attending a hearing.

Understanding our committees and how they work

For more information on participating in Legislative Assembly committee inquiries, refer to the video resources below. (Look out for video resources on our Legislative Council committees, coming soon.) 

  1. Introduction to committees
  2. How to prepare if you have been invited as a witness
  3. What to expect on the day
  4. After you give evidence
  5. Parliament House accessibility

Make a Submission

Committees often start an inquiry by calling for submissions from the public and relevant organisations. Submissions inform committee members on matters relevant to an inquiry, and show how you, your organisation, or your community feel about an issue. Committee reports usually refer to and quote from the information and arguments presented in submissions.

A submission should preferably 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 the committee are made public and published on the committee's webpage. If you would like all or part of your submission to be made confidential, please contact the committee staff.

More information about making a submission is available in the Making a submission to a parliamentary committee inquiry brochure (LA Committees) or in the Making a submission (LC Committees)

Give Evidence

Committee hearings allow members of Parliament to hear directly from the public, interest groups and organisations. They also enable members to seek clarification or further details about issues raised in submissions.

A committee can invite individuals and representatives to give evidence at a hearing. A witness may have made a submission to the inquiry, but this is not essential. You can ask to appear as a witness, but the final decision will rest with the Committee. Not all individuals who make a submission will appear as witnesses.

More information is available in the Giving evidence at a parliamentary committee hearing brochure​ (LA Committees) or in Giving evidence, Giving evidence by videoconference and Procedural fairness factsheets (LC Committees).

Attend a Hearing

People can attend public hearings held at Parliament House or at other locations around NSW. Details of upcoming hearings can be found on the relevant 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 have to leave the hearing room.

Stay Informed

Once a committee tables a report, it is available on the committee reports  page. If it contains recommendations, the Government will have to respond to them within 6 months (Legislative Assembly) or 3 months (Legislative Council). These Government responses will also​ be available on the reports page once Parliament has received them.