[LINK] Broadband for a Broad Land

Greg Taylor gtefa at internode.on.net
Wed Feb 16 13:34:11 AEDT 2011

On 2011/02/16 11:08 AM, Roger Clarke wrote:
> ....
> What I understand to be a correct statement (and a reasonable one) is
> that "submissions to Committees attract parliamentary privilege.
> That privilege may be voided if the submission is published (in any
> sense of the word) prior to being considered by the Committee.  We
> accordingly recommend that you withhold publication until then".  It
> would of course be sensible if that were communicated in advance
> rather than in arrears ...

Nothing new about this. It is well documented in the instructions:
How to make a submission to a Senate or Joint Committee inquiry
"8. A submission to a committee becomes a committee document, and must 
not be disclosed to any other person until it has been released 
('published') by the committee. Unless you have requested that the 
submission remain confidential, it is normally published after the 
committee has received and examined it and authorised its publication. 
Once a committee has authorised the release of a submission, subsequent 
publication of it is protected by parliamentary privilege (see below). 
The content of a submission may be published in another form or for 
another purpose before the submission is released by the committee, but 
this publication will not be protected by parliamentary privilege...."

Privilege is worthwhile, especially if any comments made in a submission 
may otherwise attract litigation by some aggrieved party. It may seem 
arcane, but the system is presumably designed so that representations 
can be made to Parliament without fear or favour. Some Senate enquiries 
deal with more sensitive issues where such rules might seem much more 

There are plenty of ways to enable discussion of a draft submission 
without placing it on a public website.


More information about the Link mailing list