In the 46th parliament David serves as: Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT); a long standing member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS); and a voting member of the Senate Standing Legislation Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.
Committees are a key part of how the Parliament obtains and reviews information on a vast range of topics. Recent outcomes from the JSCFADT include Australia’s 2016 Defence Industry Policy and Defence Export Strategy, Australia’s Modern Slavery Laws, a focus on improving outcomes in the Pacific region and management of PFAS contamination on Defence bases around Australia. As well as oversight of relevant portfolio departments, the JSCFADT is also the Parliament’s key interface with the diplomatic corps in Australia.
Senate committees are particularly important in holding the government and public service to account through public inquiries into proposed legislation, issues of concern and via the Estimates process.
Past Committee Service
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Minister for Defence in the 45th Parliament, David served on a range of parliamentary committees including:
- JSCFADT as both Chair of the Defence sub-committee and then Chair of the full committee, producing the report that led to Australia’s 2016 Defence Industry Policy;
- Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJCCFS) leading to the lifting of professional, ethical and education standards of the financial services industry;
- PJCIS, responsible for oversight of Australia’s six intelligence agencies and national security legislation;
- Joint Standing Committee on Treaties scrutinising international agreements ranging from security treaties to trade agreements and maritime pollution conventions;
- Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade;
- Senate Standing Committee on Appropriations, Staffing and Security;
- Senate Standing Committee for Selection of Bills; and
- Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications
Prior to the 2016 Federal Election, David also served in the 44th Parliament as Deputy Government Whip in the Senate and supported the Senate President in an acting role when the President was not available to oversee proceedings in the Senate Chamber.
Key contributions and reports that led to significant developments such as the First Principles Review and 2016 Defence Industry include: