Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Public Works Committee Act 1969

Authoritative Version
  • - C2012C00761
  • In force - Superseded Version
  • View Series
Act No. 92 of 1969 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Statute Law Revision Act 2012
An Act relating to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works
Administered by: Finance
Registered 30 Oct 2012
Start Date 22 Sep 2012
End Date 09 Dec 2015
Table of contents.

Public Works Committee Act 1969

Act No. 92 of 1969 as amended

This compilation was prepared on 30 October 2012
taking into account amendments up to Act No. 136 of 2012

The text of any of those amendments not in force
on that date is appended in the Notes section

The operation of amendments that have been incorporated may be
affected by application provisions that are set out in the Notes section

Prepared by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel, Canberra

  

  

  


Contents

Part I—Preliminary                                                                                                              1

1............ Short title [see Note 1]........................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement [see Note 1].............................................................. 1

5............ Interpretation....................................................................................... 1

5AA...... Meaning of public work...................................................................... 3

5A......... Application of the Criminal Code....................................................... 5

6............ Extension to Territories....................................................................... 5

6A......... Bodies to which Act applies................................................................ 5

Part II—Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works               7

7............ Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.......................... 7

8............ Declaration to be subscribed by members........................................... 8

9............ Chair and Deputy Chair...................................................................... 8

10.......... Sectional Committees........................................................................ 10

11.......... Reference of matters to Sectional Committees................................... 11

12.......... Meetings of the Committee............................................................... 11

13.......... Quorum............................................................................................. 12

14.......... Voting............................................................................................... 12

15.......... Minutes............................................................................................. 13

16.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 13

Part III—Reports on Public Works                                                                          14

17.......... Functions of the Committee.............................................................. 14

18.......... Reference of public works to the Committee..................................... 15

18A....... Inquiries by Committee..................................................................... 16

18B....... Consideration of overseas public works........................................... 17

19.......... Review of reports.............................................................................. 17

20.......... Power to take evidence...................................................................... 18

21.......... Power to summon witnesses............................................................. 18

22.......... Warrant for apprehension of witness................................................ 18

23.......... Evidence to be given in public except in certain cases....................... 19

24.......... Continuance of evidence................................................................... 20

25.......... Privileges of witnesses...................................................................... 20

26.......... Assessors.......................................................................................... 21

27.......... Power to enter on land etc................................................................. 21

28.......... Failure of witness to attend............................................................... 21

29.......... Preventing witnesses from giving evidence...................................... 22

30.......... Refusal to be sworn etc..................................................................... 22

31.......... False evidence................................................................................... 22

32.......... Protection of witnesses..................................................................... 22

33.......... Prosecution of offences..................................................................... 23

Part IV—Miscellaneous                                                                                                    24

35.......... Allowances....................................................................................... 24

36.......... Limitation of annual expenditure....................................................... 24

37.......... Application of Parliamentary Papers Act.......................................... 24

38.......... Evidence given before former Committee......................................... 24

40.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 25

The Schedule—Public Works Committee Act 1969                                       26

Notes                                                                                                                                             27


An Act relating to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

Part IPreliminary

1  Short title [see Note 1]

                   This Act may be cited as the Public Works Committee Act 1969.

2  Commencement [see Note 1]

                   This Act shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by Proclamation.

5  Interpretation

                   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

assessor means a person appointed under section 26.

authority of the Commonwealth means:

                     (a)  a body corporate, or an unincorporated body, established for a public purpose by, or in accordance with the provisions of, an enactment;

                     (b)  a body established by the Governor‑General or a Minister otherwise than in accordance with an enactment; or

                     (c)  an incorporated company over which the Commonwealth is in a position to exercise control;

but does not include an inter‑governmental body.

authority of the Commonwealth to which this Act applies means an authority of the Commonwealth that, under section 6A, is an authority of the Commonwealth to which this Act applies.

building includes part of a building.

Chair means the Chair of the Committee.

commence, in relation to a public work, includes enter into a contract for the carrying out of the whole or a part of the work, and commencement has a corresponding meaning.

court of summary jurisdiction includes a court of a Territory sitting as a court for the making of summary orders or the summary punishment of offences under the law of the Territory.

enactment means:

                     (a)  an Act;

                     (b)  an Ordinance of the Australian Capital Territory; or

                     (c)  an instrument (including rules, regulations or by‑laws) made under an Act or under such an Ordinance.

engineering work includes part of an engineering work.

inter‑governmental body means a body corporate or an unincorporated body established by, or in accordance with the provisions of, an agreement between the Commonwealth and a State or States or between the Commonwealth and the Government of another country or the Governments of other countries.

member means a member of the Committee.

movable property includes aircraft, satellites, ships and vehicles.

Parliamentary zone has the same meaning as in the Parliament Act 1974.

public work has the meaning given by section 5AA.

State includes the Northern Territory.

structure includes part of a structure.

the Committee means the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for the time being constituted in accordance with this Act.

work means an architectural or engineering work, and includes:

                     (a)  the construction, alteration, repair, refurbishment or fitting out of buildings and other structures;

                     (b)  the installation, alteration or repair of plant and equipment designed to be used in, or in relation to, the provision of services for buildings and other structures;

                     (c)  the undertaking, construction, alteration or repair of landscaping and earthworks (whether or not in relation to buildings and other structures);

                     (d)  the demolition, destruction, dismantling or removal of:

                              (i)  buildings and other structures;

                             (ii)  plant and equipment falling within paragraph (b); and

                            (iii)  earthworks;

                     (e)  the clearing of land and the development of land for use as urban land or otherwise; and

                      (f)  any other matter declared by the regulations to be a work;

but does not include:

                     (g)  the production of, or anything done in relation to, intangible things;

                     (h)  the production of, or anything done in relation to, movable property unless the work is, under the regulations, a movable work to which this Act applies;

                      (j)  the installation, alteration or repair of plant or equipment where the plant or equipment:

                              (i)  is not designed to be used in, or in relation to, the provision of services for a building or other structure; and

                             (ii)  is not necessary or desirable to make a building or structure a complete building or structure; and

                     (k)  any other matter declared by the regulations not to be a work.

5AA  Meaning of public work

             (1)  A public work means:

                     (a)  a work to which subsection (2), (3) or (5) applies; or

                     (b)  a work declared by the regulations to be a public work.

However, a public work does not include:

                     (c)  a work that is proposed to be carried out within the Parliamentary zone; or

                     (d)  a work that is proposed to be carried out by or for the Commonwealth by way of assistance to an overseas country; or

                     (e)  a work declared by the regulations not to be a public work.

             (2)  This subsection applies to a work:

                     (a)  that is proposed to be carried out by or for the Commonwealth, either within or outside Australia; and

                     (b)  either:

                              (i)  in respect of the carrying out of which moneys appropriated by the Parliament are proposed to be expended by the Commonwealth; or

                             (ii)  in relation to which moneys appropriated by the Parliament are proposed to be expended by the Commonwealth.

             (3)  This subsection applies to a work:

                     (a)  that is proposed to be carried out, either within or outside Australia, by or for an authority of the Commonwealth to which this Act applies; and

                     (b)  either:

                              (i)  in respect of the carrying out of which moneys appropriated by the Parliament, or moneys of the authority, are proposed to be expended by the authority; or

                             (ii)  in relation to which moneys appropriated by the Parliament are proposed to be expended by the Commonwealth or the authority.

             (4)  For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3), it does not matter whether or not the work concerned is a work of which the Commonwealth, or an authority of the Commonwealth to which this Act applies, is proposed to become the owner.

             (5)  This subsection applies to a work:

                     (a)  that is proposed to be carried out, either within or outside Australia, otherwise than by or for the Commonwealth or an authority of the Commonwealth to which this Act applies; and

                     (b)  of which the Commonwealth, or an authority of the Commonwealth to which this Act applies, is proposed to become the owner; and

                     (c)  in relation to which moneys appropriated by the Parliament are proposed to be expended by the Commonwealth or an authority of the Commonwealth.

5A  Application of the Criminal Code

                   Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code applies to all offences against this Act.

Note:          Chapter 2 of the Criminal Code sets out the general principles of criminal responsibility.

6  Extension to Territories

             (1)  This Act extends to every Territory not forming part of Australia.

             (2)  This Act does not extend to:

                     (a)  a work:

                              (i)  that is proposed to be carried out by or for the Northern Territory; and

                             (ii)  in respect of the carrying out of which moneys of that Territory are proposed to be expended by that Territory; or

                     (b)  a work:

                              (i)  that is proposed to be carried out by or for the Administration of Norfolk Island; and

                             (ii)  in respect of the carrying out of which moneys of that Administration are proposed to be expended by that Administration.

6A  Bodies to which Act applies

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act applies to every authority of the Commonwealth.

             (2)  This Act does not apply to:

                     (a)  an authority of the Commonwealth in respect of which a declaration referred to in subsection (3) is in force; or

                     (b)  the Parliament House Construction Authority; or

                     (c)  an authority of the Commonwealth established for the purpose of providing, or for purposes which include the purpose of providing, tertiary education in the Australian Capital Territory.

             (3)  Where the Governor‑General is satisfied that an authority of the Commonwealth is engaging in trading or other activities, or is providing services, in competition with another body or other bodies, or with persons, the Governor‑General may make regulations declaring that this Act does not apply to that authority.


 

Part IIParliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

7  Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

             (1)  As soon as practicable after the commencement of the first session of each Parliament, a joint committee of members of the Parliament, to be known as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, shall be appointed.

             (3)  The Committee shall consist of nine members, namely:

                     (a)  three members of the Senate appointed by the Senate; and

                     (b)  six members of the House of Representatives appointed by that House.

             (4)  The appointment of members by a House of the Parliament shall be in accordance with the practice of that House with respect to the appointment of members of that House to serve on joint select committees of both Houses of the Parliament.

             (5)  A member of the Parliament is not eligible for appointment as a member of the Committee if he or she is:

                     (a)  a Minister;

                     (b)  the President of the Senate;

                     (c)  the Speaker of the House of Representatives; or

                     (d)  the Chairman of Committees of the Senate or the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

             (6)  A member holds office during the pleasure of the House of the Parliament by which he or she was appointed.

             (7)  A member ceases to hold office:

                     (a)  when the House of Representatives expires by effluxion of time or is dissolved;

                     (b)  if he or she becomes the holder of an office specified in any of the paragraphs of subsection (5);

                     (c)  if he or she ceases to be a member of the House of the Parliament by which he or she was appointed; or

                     (d)  if he or she resigns his or her office as provided by either of the next two succeeding subsections.

             (8)  A member appointed by the Senate may resign his or her office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the President of the Senate.

             (9)  A member appointed by the House of Representatives may resign his or her office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Speaker of that House.

           (10)  Either House of the Parliament may appoint one of its members to fill a vacancy amongst the members of the Committee appointed by that House.

           (11)  Notice of the appointment of a member, and of a member ceasing to hold office otherwise than upon the expiry or dissolution of the House of Representatives, shall be published in the Gazette.

           (12)  The exercise of a power or the performance of a function by the Committee, the Chair or a member is not invalidated by reason only of there being a vacancy or vacancies in the membership of the Committee.

8  Declaration to be subscribed by members

                   A member shall, before proceeding to discharge the duties of his or her office, make and subscribe a declaration of office in accordance with the form in the Schedule:

                     (a)  in the case of a member appointed by the Senate—before the President of the Senate or a person appointed by the President of the Senate to be a person before whom such a declaration may be made and subscribed; and

                     (b)  in the case of a member appointed by the House of Representatives—before the Speaker of that House or a person appointed by the Speaker of that House to be a person before whom such a declaration may be made and subscribed.

9  Chair and Deputy Chair

             (1)  There shall be a Chair and a Deputy Chair of the Committee, who shall be elected by the members.

             (2)  The Chair and Deputy Chair hold office during the pleasure of the Committee.

             (3)  The Chair or Deputy Chair ceases to hold office if:

                     (a)  he or she ceases to be a member; or

                     (b)  he or she resigns his or her office as provided by the next succeeding subsection.

             (4)  The Chair or Deputy Chair may resign that office by writing under his or her hand presented to a meeting of the Committee.

             (5)  Subject to this section, the Chair or, in his or her absence, the Deputy Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Committee.

             (6)  Where:

                     (a)  the Chair is absent from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to exercise his or her powers under this Act; and

                     (b)  the Deputy Chair is absent from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to exercise the powers of the Chair under this Act;

the members present at a meeting of the Committee may appoint one of their number to be temporary chair of the Committee.

             (7)  While the appointment of a temporary chair remains in force, he or she shall preside at all meetings of the Committee at which he or she is present.

             (8)  The appointment of a temporary chair remains in force until:

                     (a)  he or she resigns the appointment by writing under his or her hand presented to a meeting of the Committee;

                     (b)  he or she ceases to be a member;

                     (c)  the absence or inability of the Chair or Deputy Chair ceases; or

                     (d)  the appointment is revoked by the Committee;

whichever first happens.

             (9)  The Deputy Chair and a temporary chair may each exercise any of the powers of the Chair under this Act.

           (10)  If the Chair, the Deputy Chair and (if the appointment of a temporary chair is in force), the temporary chair, are absent from a meeting of the Committee, the members present may appoint one of their number to preside at the meeting. The member so appointed may exercise, in relation to that meeting, and in relation to any matter arising out of that meeting, any of the powers of the Chair under this Act.

           (11)  For the purpose of the exercise of the powers of the Chair under this Act, a reference in this Act to the Chair includes a reference to the Deputy Chair, to a temporary chair and to a member appointed under subsection (10).

10  Sectional Committees

             (1)  The Committee may appoint three or more members to be a Sectional Committee and may appoint a member to fill a vacancy amongst the members of a Sectional Committee.

             (2)  A member of a Sectional Committee:

                     (a)  holds office during the pleasure of the Committee;

                     (b)  ceases to hold office if he or she ceases to be a member of the Committee; and

                     (c)  may resign that office by writing under his or her hand addressed to the Chair of the Committee.

             (3)  There shall be a Chair and a Deputy Chair of each Sectional Committee, who shall be elected by the members of the Sectional Committee.

             (4)  The Chair or Deputy Chair of a Sectional Committee:

                     (a)  holds office during the pleasure of the Sectional Committee;

                     (b)  ceases to hold office if he or she ceases to be a member of the Sectional Committee; and

                     (c)  may resign his or her office by writing under his or her hand presented at a meeting of the Sectional Committee.

             (5)  The Chair or, in his or her absence, the Deputy Chair, of a Sectional Committee shall preside at all meetings of the Sectional Committee.

             (6)  There shall not be more than two Sectional Committees at the one time.

             (7)  A Sectional Committee or Sectional Committees may sit when the Committee is sitting.

             (8)  At a meeting of a Sectional Committee, a majority of the members of the Sectional Committee form a quorum.

             (9)  The exercise of a power by a Sectional Committee, the Chair of a Sectional Committee or a member of a Sectional Committee is not invalidated by reason only of there being a vacancy or vacancies in the membership of the Sectional Committee.

11  Reference of matters to Sectional Committees

             (1)  The Committee may refer to a Sectional Committee appointed under the last preceding section, for inquiry and report to the Committee, a matter connected with a public work that has been referred to the Committee under this Act.

             (2)  For the purposes of the last preceding subsection, this Act (other than sections 7, 8, 9 and 10, this section, subsections (2) and (3) of the next succeeding section and sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 35, 38 and 39) applies in relation to a Sectional Committee in like manner as it applies in relation to the Committee and, for the purposes of this Act as so applying, a reference to the Chair is to be read as a reference to the Chair, or to the Deputy Chair, of the Sectional Committee.

             (3)  The report of a Sectional Committee upon a matter referred to it under this section, together with the record of all evidence given before, and all documents and parts of documents produced in evidence to, the Sectional Committee shall be presented to the Committee by the Chair, or by the Deputy Chair, of the Sectional Committee.

12  Meetings of the Committee

             (1)  The Committee may meet at such times and at such places within Australia or within an external Territory as the Committee, by resolution, determines or, subject to any resolution of the Committee, as the Chair determines, but shall not meet at any place outside Australia and the external Territories.

             (2)  Five members may make a request in writing signed by them to the Chair to convene a meeting of the Committee for a specified purpose.

             (3)  Upon receiving a request under the last preceding subsection, the Chair shall:

                     (a)  determine a time and place for the holding of the meeting, being a time on a day not later than fourteen days after the day on which he or she received the request; and

                     (b)  by such means as he or she thinks fit, inform each member of the time, date and place of the meeting and of the purpose of the meeting.

             (4)  The Committee may meet and transact business notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament.

             (5)  The Committee shall not meet or transact business on a sitting day of either House of the Parliament during the time of the sitting, except by leave of that House.

13  Quorum

                   At a meeting of the Committee, five members form a quorum.

14  Voting

             (1)  A question arising at a meeting of the Committee shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and voting.

             (2)  The member presiding at a meeting of the Committee has a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, a casting vote.

             (3)  Where the members present at a meeting of the Committee do not vote unanimously on a question, there shall, if a member so requires, be recorded in the minutes and in the Committee’s report:

                     (a)  the names of the members who voted and the manner in which each such member voted;

                     (b)  the names of the members who abstained from voting and the fact that they abstained from voting; and

                     (c)  if the question was determined by the casting vote of the member presiding—the name of the member presiding and the fact that the question was so determined.

15  Minutes

                   The Committee shall keep full minutes of its proceedings.

16  Annual report

                   The Committee shall cause to be laid before each House of the Parliament, within fifteen sitting days of that House after each 31 December, a report of its proceedings, if any, during the year ended on that 31 December.


 

Part IIIReports on Public Works

17  Functions of the Committee

             (1)  The Committee shall, as expeditiously as is practicable:

                     (a)  consider each public work that is referred to it in accordance with this Act; and

                     (b)  make a report to both Houses of the Parliament concerning the expedience of carrying out the work and concerning any other matters related to the work in respect of which the Committee thinks it desirable that the views of the Committee should be reported to those Houses;

and, for those purposes, shall do such things and make such inquiries as it thinks necessary.

             (2)  The Committee may, in its report on a public work, recommend any alterations to the proposals for the work that, in its opinion, are necessary or desirable to ensure that the most effective use is made of the moneys to be expended on the work.

             (3)  In considering and reporting on a public work, the Committee shall have regard to:

                     (a)  the stated purpose of the work and its suitability for that purpose;

                     (b)  the necessity for, or the advisability of, carrying out the work;

                     (c)  the most effective use that can be made, in the carrying out of the work, of the moneys to be expended on the work;

                     (d)  where the work purports to be of a revenue‑producing character, the amount of revenue that it may reasonably be expected to produce; and

                     (e)  the present and prospective public value of the work.

             (4)  In considering and reporting on a public work proposed to be carried out by an authority of the Commonwealth, the Committee shall have regard to the functions, powers and duties of the authority and to the powers conferred on a Minister in relation to the activities of the authority concerned.

18  Reference of public works to the Committee

             (1)  A motion may be moved in either House of the Parliament that a public work be referred to the Committee for consideration and report.

             (2)  A motion under the last preceding subsection may relate to a public work that has been referred to the Committee as constituted during a previous Parliament.

             (3)  Upon the moving of the motion, the Minister shall furnish to the House in which the motion is moved:

                     (a)  a statement in relation to the public work (including the purpose of the work); and

                     (b)  such plans, specifications and other particulars as the Minister thinks necessary.

             (4)  The Governor‑General may, at any time when the Parliament is not in session or the House of Representatives is adjourned for a period exceeding one month or for an indefinite period, being a time when the Committee is in existence, refer a public work to the Committee for consideration and report.

             (5)  A public work that has been referred to the Committee in accordance with this section shall not be commenced before a report of the Committee concerning the work has been presented to both Houses of the Parliament.

             (6)  If, after a report of the Committee concerning a public work has been presented to both Houses of the Parliament and before the work has been commenced, each House resolves that, for reasons or purposes stated in the resolution, the work be again referred to the Committee for consideration and report, the Committee shall further consider the work and the work shall not be commenced before a further report of the Committee concerning the work has been presented to both Houses.

             (7)  A public work that has been referred to the Committee shall not be commenced unless, after the report of the Committee (or, if there has been a further reference of the work under the last preceding subsection, the report of the Committee on the further reference) has been presented to both Houses of the Parliament, the House of Representatives has resolved that it is expedient to carry out the work.

             (8)  A public work the estimated cost of which exceeds the threshold amount shall not be commenced unless:

                     (a)  the work has been referred to the Committee in accordance with this section;

                     (b)  the House of Representatives has resolved that, by reason of the urgent nature of the work, it is expedient that it be carried out without having been referred to the Committee;

                     (c)  the Governor‑General has, by order, declared that the work is for defence purposes and that the reference of the work to the Committee would be contrary to the public interest; or

                     (d)  the work is a work that has been declared, by a notice under subsection (8A), to be a repetitive work for the purposes of this subsection.

          (8A)  The Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette, declare a work to be a repetitive work for the purposes of subsection (8) if:

                     (a)  he or she is satisfied that the work is substantially similar to other works that have been carried out, are being carried out or are likely to be carried out from time to time by or for the Commonwealth, or by or for an authority of the Commonwealth to which this Act applies; and

                     (b)  the Committee has agreed to the work being so declared.

             (9)  In this section:

estimated cost, in relation to a public work, means an estimate of cost made when all particulars of the work substantially affecting its cost have been determined.

threshold amount means:

                     (a)  $15,000,000; or

                     (b)  if another amount is specified in the regulations for the purposes of this definition—that other amount.

18A  Inquiries by Committee

             (1)  Subject to this section, where a public work is referred to the Committee for consideration and report, the Committee may direct that the inquiry by the Committee into the work shall take place in public or in private.

             (2)  Where the Committee directs that an inquiry by the Committee into a public work take place in private, the Committee may give directions as to the persons who may be present at the inquiry.

             (3)  Where a public work by way of the provision of services on land for the purpose of developing the land for use as urban land is referred to the Committee, the Committee may decide to consider and report on the work without holding any inquiry into the work.

18B  Consideration of overseas public works

                   Where a public work that is to be carried out outside Australia and the external Territories is referred to the Committee:

                     (a)  the Committee shall consider the work on the basis of plans, models and statements placed before it and of the evidence (if any) taken by it;

                     (b)  the Committee is not entitled to require or request the attendance before it of any person who is outside Australia; and

                     (c)  the Committee may receive statements, in writing, relevant to its consideration of the work, from any person who is in or outside Australia, and may take evidence from any person who is in Australia.

19  Review of reports

             (1)  Where the Committee has made a report concerning a public work, the Committee (including the Committee as constituted at any subsequent time, whether during the same or another Parliament) may, if it resolves, before the work is commenced, that the report be reviewed, review the report and make a further report in accordance with section 17 to both Houses of the Parliament concerning the work.

             (2)  Without prejudice to the operation of subsection (7) of section 18, if the Chair notifies the Minister in writing that the Committee has resolved, in accordance with this section, that a report concerning a public work be reviewed, the work shall not be commenced unless:

                     (a)  the Committee has resolved that it does not desire the commencement of the work to be deferred;

                     (b)  a further report has been made by the Committee concerning the work;

                     (c)  the House of Representatives has resolved that it is expedient that the work be commenced without awaiting the further report; or

                     (d)  the further report has not been made before the House of Representatives expires by effluxion of time or is dissolved.

20  Power to take evidence

             (1)  The Committee may take evidence on oath or affirmation and the Chair may administer an oath or affirmation to a witness appearing before the Committee.

             (2)  An oath or affirmation administered to a witness may be in accordance with the prescribed form.

21  Power to summon witnesses

             (1)  The Chair or a member authorized by the Committee by resolution may summon a person to appear before the Committee to give evidence and to produce such documents (if any) as are referred to in the summons.

             (2)  The summons may be in accordance with the prescribed form.

             (3)  The summons may be served upon the person to whom it is addressed either personally or by being left at, or sent by post to, his or her usual place of business or of abode.

22  Warrant for apprehension of witness

             (1)  Where:

                     (a)  a summons under the last preceding section has been served upon a person;

                     (b)  a reasonable amount for the costs of his or her conveyance has been tendered to that person; and

                     (c)  that person fails to appear or, if he or she has appeared, fails, unless excused or released by a member from continuing in attendance, to continue in attendance as directed by the Committee or the Chair;

the Chair or a member authorized by the Committee may issue a warrant for his or her apprehension.

             (2)  The warrant may be in accordance with the prescribed form.

             (3)  The person executing the warrant may:

                     (a)  apprehend the person in respect of whom it is issued;

                     (b)  bring that person before the Committee; and

                     (c)  detain that person in custody until he or she is released by order of the Chair or a member.

             (4)  The warrant may be executed by the person to whom it is addressed or by a person appointed by him or her to assist in its execution and the person executing the warrant may break and enter a building, place, vehicle or vessel for the purpose of executing the warrant.

23  Evidence to be given in public except in certain cases

             (1)  Subject to this section, where the Committee directs that the inquiry by the Committee into a public work shall take place in public, any evidence taken by the Committee for the purpose of the inquiry shall be taken in public.

             (2)  Where, in the opinion of the Committee, any evidence proposed to be given before, or the whole or a part of a document produced or proposed to be produced in evidence to, the Committee relates to a secret or confidential matter, the Committee may, and at the request of the witness giving the evidence or producing the document shall:

                     (a)  take the evidence in private; or

                     (b)  direct that the document, or the part of the document, be treated as confidential.

             (3)  Where a direction under the last preceding subsection is applicable in respect of a document, or a part of a document, produced in evidence to the Committee, the contents of that document or part shall, for the purposes of this section and of section 37, be deemed to be evidence given by the person producing the document and taken by the Committee in private.

             (4)  Where, at the request of a witness, evidence is taken by the Committee in private:

                     (a)  the Committee shall not, without the consent in writing of the witness; and

                     (b)  a person (including a member) shall not, without the consent in writing of the witness and the authority of the Committee under subsection (6);

disclose or publish the whole or a part of that evidence.

             (5)  Where evidence is taken by the Committee in private otherwise than at the request of a witness, a person (including a member) shall not, without the authority of the Committee under the next succeeding subsection, disclose or publish the whole or a part of that evidence.

             (6)  The Committee may, in its discretion, disclose or publish or, by writing under the hand of the Chair, authorize the disclosure or publication of, evidence taken in private before the Committee, but this subsection does not operate so as to affect the necessity for the consent of a witness under subsection (4).

             (7)  Nothing in this section prohibits:

                     (a)  the disclosure of evidence by a Sectional Committee to the Committee;

                     (b)  the disclosure or publication of evidence that has already been lawfully published; or

                     (c)  the disclosure or publication by a person of a matter of which he or she has become aware otherwise than by reason, directly or indirectly, of the giving of evidence before the Committee.

Penalty:  Four hundred dollars or imprisonment for one year.

24  Continuance of evidence

                   Where the Committee as constituted at any time, or a Sectional Committee as constituted at any time, has taken evidence in relation to a matter but the Committee as so constituted has ceased to exist before reporting on the matter, the Committee as constituted at any subsequent time, whether during the same or another Parliament, may consider that evidence as if it had taken that evidence.

25  Privileges of witnesses

                   A person summoned to appear or appearing before the Committee as a witness has the same protection and privileges, and is, in addition to the penalties provided by this Act, subject to the same liabilities in any civil or criminal proceeding, as a witness in proceedings in the High Court.

26  Assessors

             (1)  The Committee may appoint a person to be an assessor to assist it in relation to an inquiry under this Act.

             (2)  A person is not qualified for appointment as an assessor unless he or she possesses engineering or other technical knowledge or, in relation to the matter the subject of the inquiry, special local knowledge or experience.

27  Power to enter on land etc.

                   For the purposes of this Act, a member or other person acting on behalf of the Committee may, with the authority of the Committee, upon notice given by him or her or the Committee in accordance with the regulations to the occupier of any land, building or place in Australia or an external Territory:

                     (a)  enter and inspect the land, building or place; and

                     (b)  inspect any material on the land or on or in the building or place.

28  Failure of witness to attend

             (1)  A person upon whom a summons under section 21 has been served shall not:

                     (a)  fail to appear; or

                     (b)  fail, unless excused or released by a member from continuing in attendance, to continue in attendance;

as required by the summons.

Penalty:  Four hundred dollars or imprisonment for one year.

             (2)  Paragraph (1)(a) or (b) does not apply if the person proves that he or she has a reasonable excuse.

Note:          A defendant bears a legal burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2) (see section 13.4 of the Criminal Code).

29  Preventing witnesses from giving evidence

                   A person shall not dissuade or prevent a person from obeying a summons under section 21.

Penalty:  Four hundred dollars or imprisonment for one year.

30  Refusal to be sworn etc.

             (1)  A person upon whom a summons under section 21 has been served shall not refuse or fail:

                     (a)  to be sworn or to make an affirmation;

                     (b)  to answer a question put to him or her by the Chair or a member; or

                     (c)  to produce a document that he or she was, by the summons, required to produce.

Penalty:  Four hundred dollars or imprisonment for one year.

             (2)  Paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c) does not apply if the person proves that he or she has a reasonable excuse.

Note:          A defendant bears a legal burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2) (see section 13.4 of the Criminal Code).

31  False evidence

                   A person shall not give false evidence on oath or affirmation before the Committee.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for five years.

32  Protection of witnesses

                   A person shall not:

                     (a)  use violence to or inflict injury on;

                     (b)  cause violence, damage, loss or disadvantage to; or

                     (c)  cause the punishment of;

a person for or on account of his or her having appeared, or being about to appear, as a witness before the Committee or for or on account of any evidence lawfully given by him or her before the Committee.

Penalty:  Four hundred dollars or imprisonment for one year.

33  Prosecution of offences

             (1)  An offence against this Act may be prosecuted summarily or upon indictment, but an offender is not liable to be punished more than once in respect of the same offence.

             (2)  Subject to the next succeeding subsection, where proceedings in respect of an offence against this Act are brought in a court of summary jurisdiction, the court may commit the defendant for trial or determine the proceedings.

             (3)  Where proceedings in respect of an offence against section 31 are brought in a court of summary jurisdiction, the court shall not determine the proceedings except with the consent of the defendant and, where the court determines the proceedings, it shall not impose a penalty exceeding imprisonment for a period of one year.


 

Part IVMiscellaneous

35  Allowances

             (1)  The Chair and other members shall be paid such allowances as are prescribed.

             (2)  The allowances are payable, upon the certificate of the Chair, out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is appropriated accordingly.

36  Limitation of annual expenditure

                   The total amount paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in respect of allowances payable under the last preceding section shall not exceed Thirty thousand dollars in any financial year.

37  Application of Parliamentary Papers Act

             (1)  Section 23 has effect notwithstanding section 2 of the Parliamentary Papers Act 1908‑1963.

             (2)  Where evidence taken by the Committee in private is disclosed or published in accordance with section 23, section 4 of the Parliamentary Papers Act 1908‑1963 applies to and in relation to the disclosure or publication as if it were a publication of that evidence under an authority given in pursuance of section 2 of that Act.

38  Evidence given before former Committee

                   For the purposes of this Act and of the Parliamentary Papers Act 1908‑1963, evidence taken by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works as constituted at any time under the Commonwealth Public Works Committee Act 1913 or under that Act as amended and in force at any time, or by a Sectional Committee of that Committee within the meaning of that Act, shall be deemed to be evidence taken by the Committee under this Act and, if it was taken in private at the request of the witness giving it, to have been taken under this Act in private at the request of that witness.

40  Regulations

             (1)  The Governor‑General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters that by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act and in particular providing for the payment of fees and expenses to assessors and to witnesses appearing before the Committee.

             (2)  Before making regulations for the purposes of:

                     (a)  paragraph (f) or (k) of the definition of work in subsection 5(1); and

                     (b)  paragraph 5AA(1)(b) or (e);

the Governor‑General shall take into consideration any relevant recommendation made to the Minister by the Committee.


The SchedulePublic Works Committee Act 1969

Section 8

DECLARATION BY MEMBER

I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that, according to the best of my skill and ability, I will faithfully, impartially and truly execute the office and perform the duties of a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.


Notes to the Public Works Committee Act 1969

Note 1

The Public Works Committee Act 1969 as shown in this compilation comprises Act No. 92, 1969 amended as indicated in the Tables below.

All relevant information pertaining to application, saving or transitional provisions prior to 17 September 2001 is not included in this compilation. For subsequent information see Table A.

The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was modified by the A.C.T. Self‑Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations (1989 No. 3 as amended) see Table B.

Table of Acts

Act

Number
and year

Date
of Assent

Date of commencement

Application, saving or transitional provisions

Public Works Committee Act 1969

92, 1969

27 Sept 1969

24 Nov 1969 (see Gazette 1969, p. 7065)

 

Public Works Committee Act 1972

57, 1972

9 June 1972

9 June 1972

Public Works Committee Act 1973

140, 1973

15 Nov 1973

15 Nov 1973

Statute Law Revision Act 1973

216, 1973

19 Dec 1973

31 Dec 1973

Ss. 9(1) and 10

Public Works Committee Act 1974

48, 1974

21 Aug 1974

21 Aug 1974

Public Works Committee Amendment Act 1981

20, 1981

9 Apr 1981

9 Apr 1981

S. 13

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act (No. 2) 1982

80, 1982

22 Sept 1982

Part LXII (ss.

233–236): 20 Oct 1982 (a)

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1983

39, 1983

20 June 1983

S. 3: 18 July 1983 (b)

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1985

65, 1985

5 June 1985

S. 3: 3 July 1985 (c)

Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988

108, 1988

6 Dec 1988

S. 55: (d)

Administrative Services Legislation Amendment Act 1989

5, 1989

13 Mar 1989

S. 4(d): (e)
Remainder: Royal Assent

S. 2(3)

Qantas Sale Act 1992

196, 1992

21 Dec 1992

Schedule (Part 1): 10 Mar 1993 (see Gazette 1993, No. GN17) (f)
Schedule (Part 5): 30 Aug 1995 (see Gazette 1995, No. S324) (f)

S. 2(6) (am. by 60, 1993, s. 4; 168, 1994, s. 3)

as amended by

 

 

 

 

Qantas Sale Amendment Act 1993

60, 1993

3 Nov 1993

10 Mar 1993

Qantas Sale Amendment Act 1994

168, 1994

16 Dec 1994

S. 3 (item 17): Royal Assent (g)

Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment Act 1997

20, 1997

7 Apr 1997

Schedule 2 (item 9): Royal Assent (h)

Finance and Administration Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001

109, 2001

17 Sept 2001

15 Oct 2001

S. 5 [see Table A]

Public Works Committee Amendment Act 2006

132, 2006

7 Nov 2006

7 Nov 2006

Sch. 1 (item 6) [see Table A]

Maritime Legislation Amendment Act 2007

150, 2007

24 Sept 2007

Schedule 1 (items 23, 24): 1 Jan 2008 (see F2007L04141)

Statute Law Revision Act 2012

136, 2012

22 Sept 2012

Schedule 1 (item 110): Royal Assent


(a)     The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was amended by Part LXII (sections 233–236) only of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act (No. 2) 1982, subsection 2(16) of which provides as follows:

               (16)   The remaining provisions of this Act shall come into operation on the twenty‑eighth day after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

(b)     The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was amended by section 3 only of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1983, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:

                 (1)   Subject to this section, this Act shall come into operation on the twenty‑eighth day after the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

(c)     The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was amended by section 3 only of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1985, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:

                 (1)   Subject to this section, this Act shall come into operation on the twenty‑eighth day after the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

(d)     The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was amended by section 55 only of the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988, subsections 2(1) and (3) of which provide as follows:

                 (1)   Sections 1, 2 and 55 commence on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

                 (3)   The remaining provisions of this Act (including the other amendments in the Schedule) commence on a day or days to be fixed by Proclamation.

         The date fixed in pursuance of subsection 2(3) was 31 January 1989 (see Gazette 1989, No. S39).

(e)     The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was amended by paragraph 4(d) only of the Administrative Services Legislation Amendment Act 1989, subsection 2(2) of which provides as follows:

                 (2)   Paragraph (4)(d) shall be taken to have commenced immediately after the commencement of the amendments of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 made by the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988.

         The amendments of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 commenced on 31 January 1989 (see Gazette 1989, No. S39).

(f)      The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was amended by the Qantas Sale Act 1992, subsections 2(2), (3)(a) and (c) of which provide as follows:

                 (2)   Subject to subsection (3), the remaining provisions of this Act commence on a day or days to be fixed by Proclamation.

                 (3)   A Proclamation may fix a day that is earlier than the day on which the Proclamation is published in the Gazette but only if:

                              (a)   In the case of sections 30, 31, 35, 37, 39, 43 and 50 and Parts 1 and 2 of the Schedule—the day is not earlier than the substantial minority sale day; and

                              (c)   in the case of sections 25, 36, 38, 44 and 51 and Parts 5, 6 and 7 of the Schedule—the day is not earlier than the 100% sale day.

(g)     The Qantas Sale Act 1992 was amended by section 3 (item 17) only of the Qantas Sale Amendment Act 1994, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:

                 (1)   Subject to this section, this Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

(h)     The Public Works Committee Act 1969 was amended by Schedule 2 (item 9) only of the Crimes and Other Legislation Amendment Act 1997, subsection 2(1) of which provides as follows:

                 (1)   Subject to subsection (2), this Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.


Table of Amendments

ad    = added or inserted    am. = amended      rep. = repealed    rs. = repealed and substituted

Provision affected

How affected

Ss. 3, 4................................

rep. No. 216, 1973

S. 5......................................

am. No. 216, 1973; No. 48, 1974; No. 20, 1981; No. 108, 1988; No. 5, 1989; No. 132, 2006

S. 5AA.................................

ad. No. 132, 2006

S. 5A...................................

ad. No. 109, 2001

S. 6......................................

am. No. 216, 1973; No. 20, 1981

S. 6A...................................

ad. No. 20, 1981

 

am. No. 80, 1982; No. 196, 1992; No. 150, 2007

S. 6B...................................

ad. No. 20, 1981

 

rep. No. 108, 1988

S. 7......................................

am. No. 216, 1973; No. 48, 1974; No. 132, 2006; No. 136, 2012

S. 8......................................

am. No. 48, 1974; No. 132, 2006

Heading to s. 9..................

rs. No. 132, 2006

Ss. 9–11..............................

am. No. 132, 2006

S. 12....................................

am. No. 48, 1974; No. 20, 1981; No. 132, 2006

S. 16....................................

am. No. 48, 1974

S. 17....................................

am. No. 20, 1981

S. 18....................................

am. No. 140, 1973; No. 48, 1974; No. 20, 1981; No. 80, 1982; No. 39, 1983; No. 65, 1985; No. 5, 1989; No. 132, 2006

Ss. 18A, 18B.......................

ad. No. 20, 1981

S. 19....................................

am. No. 48, 1974; No. 20, 1981; No. 80, 1982; No. 39, 1983; No. 132, 2006

Ss. 20–22............................

am. No. 132, 2006

S. 23....................................

am. No. 48, 1974; No. 20, 1981; No. 132, 2006

S. 26....................................

am. No. 132, 2006

S. 27....................................

am. No. 20, 1981; No. 132, 2006

Ss. 28, 29............................

am. No. 48, 1974; No. 109, 2001

S. 30....................................

am. No. 48, 1974; No. 109, 2001; No. 132, 2006

S. 31....................................

am. No. 109, 2001

S. 32....................................

am. No. 109, 2001; No. 132, 2006

S. 33....................................

am. No. 48, 1974

S. 34....................................

rep. No. 20, 1997

S. 35....................................

am. No. 132, 2006

S. 36....................................

am. No. 57, 1972

S. 37....................................

am. No. 48, 1974

S. 39....................................

rep. No. 216, 1973

S. 40....................................

am. No. 5, 1989; No. 132, 2006


Table A

Application, saving or transitional provisions

Finance and Administration Legislation Amendment (Application of Criminal Code) Act 2001 (No. 109, 2001)

5  Application of amendments generally

             (1)  Each amendment made by this Act applies to acts and omissions that take place after the amendment commences.

             (2)  For the purposes of this section, if an act or omission is alleged to have taken place between 2 dates, one before and one on or after the day on which a particular amendment commences, the act or omission is alleged to have taken place before the amendment commences.

 

Public Works Committee Amendment Act 2006 (No. 132, 2006)

Schedule 1

6  Application

The Public Works Committee Act 1969 as in force immediately before the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent continues to apply to a public work:

                     (a)  referred to the Committee before that day; and

                     (b)  that has not commenced.


Table B

Modifications

A.C.T. Self‑Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations

Schedule 1

Section 5 (definition of authority of the Commonwealth):

Add at the end “or a body established by or under an enactment within the meaning of section 3 of the Australian Capital Territory (Self‑Government) Act 1988.”.

Section 5 (definition of State):

After “includes” insert “the Australian Capital Territory and”.

Subsection 6(2):

Before paragraph (a) insert the following paragraph:

                    (aa)  a work:

                              (i)  that is proposed to be carried out by or for the Australian Capital Territory; and

                             (ii)  in respect of the carrying out of which moneys of that Territory are proposed to be expended by that Territory; or.