What's happening in parliament - September 2023

11 September 2023

We are more than half way through the first year of the 60th Parliament. It’s been a busy year so far, with a range of new bills introduced, and several committees holding inquiries, including public hearings in regional Victoria.

Here are some of the details of bills before both houses and three of the committee inquiries that are underway.


New Bills

Summary Offences Amendment (Nazi Salute Prohibition) Bill 2023

This bill was introduced to the Legislative Assembly on 29th of August. It makes the public display or performance of Nazi gestures an offence and extends the application of the offence of public display of Nazi symbols.

Human Rights and Housing Legislation Amendment (Ending Homelessness) Bill 2023

This bill was introduced to the Legislative Assembly on the 15th of August. It  amends: the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 to establish a right to housing; and the Housing Act 1983 to set a target of ending homelessness in Victoria by 2030. The bill requires a plan to be developed to meet the target and requires annual reporting on progress towards the target and for other purposes.

Bail Amendment Bill 2023

This bill was introduced to the Legislative Assembly on the 15th of August and the second reading has commenced in the Legislative Council. The Bail Amendment Bill 2023 amends the Bail Act 1977 and makes consequential amendment to several other Acts. These amendments make changes to the tests applied and what bail decision makers must take into account when making determinations in relation to bail and to repeal 2 offences. The amendments address remand of those accused of relatively low-level offending and the particular impacts of the Bail Act 1977 on vulnerable cohorts including Aboriginal people and women. 


Committee inquiries – Legislative Council

Inquiry into the state education system in Victoria

The education system inquiry will investigate the Victorian education system across government schools. The inquiry will look into trends in students learning outcomes, disparities associate with geography and social-economic disadvantage; the state of the teaching profession, including the administrative burden on teachers; and student well-being, including poor mental health, school refusal and disengagement.

Inquiry into the 2022 flood event in Victoria

The flood event inquiry will investigate Victoria's preparedness for, and response to Victoria’s major flooding event of October 2022 (the Flood Event). The inquiry will look into the flood event as a whole and the areas affected, with consideration of factors that caused or contributed to the Flood Event; emergency services; government policy; flood mitigation strategies; the Flemington Racecourse flood wall; and the Victoria planning framework.

  • The Committee is now conducting public hearings.

    • 13th of September 2023, Shepparton

    • 14th of September 2-23, Seymour

    • 11-12th and 25th of October, Melbourne

Inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria

The Committee will investigate the challenges facing Victorian renters and factors causing the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria including low availability and high costs of rental properties, insecurity, availability and affordability issues facing Victorian renters, the adequacy of regulation with regards to standards and conditions of rental housing, the adequacy of the rental system and its enforcement, the impact of short stay accommodation, barriers to first home ownership and the impact this has on rental stock and the experience and impacts all of this has on renters and property owners.

  • Terms of reference
  • The Committee will hold public hearings for this inquiry across September and October 2023.