A committee is a group of members of Parliament who are appointed to inquire into specific areas of public policy and to examine the decisions and actions of the Government. Depending on the type of committee there may be as few as five members and as many as 10 members on a committee.
After gathering evidence through hearings and written submissions the committee writes a report which is officially tabled in the House, usually making recommendations based on the evidence they have received.
Committees can be made up of members from one House, or from both Houses and usually include members from the Government, Opposition and the crossbench. Parliamentary committees are a good way for members to gain in-depth knowledge about a particular topic and to find out what the public and experts think about it.