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Among the collateral damage of an early election – especially a double dissolution election – is the work of parliamentary committees. At 9am on 9 May, each and every committee of the forty-fourth parliament ceased to exist and many inquiries lapsed, their investigations unfinished.
Having had fair warning of Turnbull’s intentions, other committees rushed out their findings at the last minute. In the week before parliament was dissolved, the various Senate, House and joint committees published around seventy interim or final reports between them. Among the releases was a report from the joint standing committee on migration on its inquiry into Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme.
Committee work can be important and influential, as the history of the Seasonal Worker Programme, or SWP, shows.