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Oct 13, 2016

Chairperson of Senate Committee Will Not Vote in Inquiry

Mark Lizarraga

A chair for the Senate Select Committee could not be appointed, since each of the three social partners senators declined to head the working group; they have respectively declined for various reasons. The chairperson of that committee, based on existing standing orders, is not permitted to vote, unless there is a stalemate among members of the committee.  According to Senator Lizarraga, government has been urging the social partners to take up the mantle.


Mark Lizarraga, Business Senator

“The President of the Senate called for a first meeting of the proposed membership of the special select committee and the agenda item was for the election of the chairperson for that committee.  In answer to your question directly as to why I am not interested in being the chairperson for that committee is specifically because I wish to have a vote if I am going to participate on that committee and the chairperson of that committee will not have a vote.  So, perhaps this is not known by many but it is obvious that in my view and in the view of the business community that that is one of the reasons that the government’s side is insisting that somebody from the social partners be the chairperson of that committee because it is very clear in the standing orders that the chairperson will not have an original vote and only a casting vote in the event of a tie.  So I would never be interested in being just the chair without a vote.”

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