Terms of Reference

Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950


  1. Short title
    • This Order in Council may be cited as the Commissions of Inquiry Order (No. 1) 2018.

  2. Commencement
    • This Order in Council commences on 1 August 2018.

  3. Appointment of commission
    1. The Governor in Council hereby appoints Mr Michael Forde to make full and careful inquiry in an independent manner into the circumstances leading up to and associated with the procurement through a Public Private Partnership of New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains which fail to comply with:-

      1. the Disability Legislation; and
      2. functional requirements.
    2. In making such inquiry, the commission is to have regard to:

      1. the procurement process for the NGR trains related to compliance with the Disability Legislation and functional requirements, including project milestones, technical specifications, project sponsor arrangements and governance;
      2. respective obligations of contractual parties, governance arrangements and entities involved in procurement of the NGR trains;
      3. the design approval process under the contract, including review of scale mock-ups, engagement with the disability sector and processes adopted to ensure compliance with the Disability Legislation; and
      4. decisions made by respective Governments, Statutory authorities and Departments which caused or contributed to non-compliance with Disability Legislation, and any reasons provided for those decisions.
  4. Procedure
    • The commission:

      1. may receive any document or other material relevant to the terms of reference that the commission considers appropriate;
      2. may conduct interviews if required with any person who has information relevant to the terms of reference either with the person's consent or pursuant to a requirement under section 5 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950;
      3. may request and receive submissions from relevant parties;
      4. may not conduct hearings; and
      5. may conduct proceedings using any technology that allows reasonably contemporaneous and continuous communication.
  5. Commission to report
    1. And directs the commission to make full and faithful report on the terms of reference and transmit the report to the Honourable the Premier and Minister for Trade by 3 December 2018.
    2. Without limiting the scope of any report arising out of the inquiry, it should include:
      1. an executive summary of the commission’s findings and recommendations;
      2. a chronology of the procurement of the NGR trains;
      3. any factual findings in respect of the procurement processes and decisions which caused or contributed to noncompliance with the Disability Legislation and functional requirements;
      4. any recommendations to ensure that future procurement by government, including of rail infrastructure in the context of a narrow-gauge rail network:

        1. involves consultation with the disability sector;
        2. takes into account functionality; and
        3. complies with all relevant disability standards;

        considering changes implemented to date in response to the identified non-compliance with the Disability Legislation.

  6. Application of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950
    • Pursuant to section 4(2) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1950 it is declared that the provisions of that Act shall apply for the purposes of the inquiry other than the following:

      • section 4A (Interaction of commission with courts)
      • section 5B (Attendance of prisoner, patient or forensic disability client before commission)
      • section 13 (Powers of chairperson if a judge of the Supreme Court)
      • section 16A (Power of tribunal as to exclusion of public)
      • section 18 (Power to sit at any time and place)
      • section 19C (Authority to use listening devices)
      • section 21 (Examination of witnesses by counsel)
  7. Definitions
    • In this order in council –

      Disability Legislation means the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) and the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Cth).

      Terms of reference means the subject matter of the inquiry specified in paragraph 3.


  1. Made by the Governor in Council on 26 July 2018
  2. Notified in the Gazette on 27 July 2018
  3. Not required to be laid before the Legislative Assembly.
  4. The administrating agency is the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
Last reviewed
1 August, 2018
Last updated
31 July, 2018