Active committee workers are more likely to speak on local issues, and more likely to be on Twitter.
As part of the House:Divided project, UniPollWatch has collected data from Australian Parliament website to find the unsung parliamentary workers, in the form of those most active on committees.
The data-driven project, undertaken by Bond University journalism students, considered only committee work undertaken in the current term—from November 12, 2013 until January 1, 2016.
In terms of length of time served on committees, Liberal Party MP Dan Tehan (who served on four committees) was the most active committee worker, followed by Tim Watts (eight committees), Graham Perrett (six committees), Tony Pasin (seven committees) and Andrew Giles (six committees).
The remaining top 10 committee workers were: Melissa Price, Nola Marino, Andrew Southcott, Sharon Claydon, Julie Owens and Sharman Stone.
Committees investigate specific matters of policy or government administration or performance, and committee work is more likely to be done by those who don’t have a ministerial or shadow ministerial role.
When working in a parliamentary committee MPs have considerable powers to undertake work on behalf of the Parliament. Carried out in smaller groups, committees are able to achieve things that would not be possible in the House Chamber, as it consists of 150 members.
There were 15 frontbenchers involved in committee work, despite their ministerial roles. The top 5 ministerial or shadow-ministerial committee workers were: Joel Fitzgibbon, Mark Dreyfus, Christian Porter, Gary Gray and Wyatt Roy.