Senate Hearings – are they ever effective?

 Reader Greg has made a valid point in commenting on a previous topic:

 “I have been following with great interest the submissions and transcripts into the Standing Commission on Family and Human Services into the Impact of illicit drug use on families.

Some of the statements made in these hearings, by both the witnesses and those sitting on the panel (and I particularly refer to the chair, Bronwyn Bishop here) have been absolutely outragous – full of misinformation, personal attacks on some very respected individuals within the AOD field, muddled terminology, inflamatory accusations and overall, show a total lack of humanity.

I urge all in the AOD sector to read these transcripts, as there is an obvious political agenda driving this committee.

I dread to think what results will be published from this, as it is fairly obvious that the members of the committee have already made up their minds about the issues under discussion and are determined to undermine the current National Drug Strategy.

The link for the Hansard transcripts is below: ”

This led me to muse on the number of Senate hearings on various AOD and Mental Health matters over the decades and to ask the obvious question – has any of it achieved real legislative change? Personally I’m a big believer in the Senate and its oversight role, but with the givernment having a Senate majority, has its demeanour changed?
I’d be particularly interested in hearing from anyone who attended the hearings for their perspective – anonymously is fine.