Business of Joint Committee

Good afternoon. I thank Deputy Dillon for stepping in for me for the private session.

I welcome members to our final meeting before the Christmas break and I thank all of them for their engagement over the past term.

I will begin with some formalities. I take it that the draft minutes of our latest public and private committee meeting of Wednesday, 1 December, are formally agreed and that there are no matters arising. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Before we continue with today's meeting, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the committee. I refer to our recent meeting of the committee on 3 November convened to examine governance and other matters with a sporting organisation. Having viewed the record of the meeting, I wish to now read into the record that it is the right of this committee to pursue all legitimate lines of inquiry within the orders of reference without fear or favour and any suggested interference of political partisanship during such committee engagements will not be allowed.

I also want to take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathy to two of our committee colleagues. I offer my condolences to Senator Hoey and Deputy Mythen. They both had personal and family bereavements in this term and I publicly want to say that they are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time during their bereavements.