Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No 203
120 Procedure at inquiries
(1) Subject to this section, an inquiry by a Commission of Inquiry constituted under section 119 shall be held in public and evidence in the inquiry shall be taken in public and may be required to be taken on oath or affirmation.(2) Before a Commission of Inquiry commences to hold an inquiry, it shall give reasonable notice, by advertisement published in the Gazette and in such newspapers as it thinks necessary, of its intention to hold the inquiry, of the subject of the inquiry and of the time and place at which the inquiry is to be commenced.(3) A Commissioner of Inquiry may, by writing signed by the Commissioner summon a person to appear before the Commission of Inquiry at a time and place specified in the summons to give evidence and to produce such books and documents (if any) as are referred to in the summons.(4) A person served with a summons to appear as a witness at an inquiry by a Commission of Inquiry shall not, without reasonable excuse:(a) fail to attend as required by the summons, or(b) fail to appear and report himself or herself from day to day unless excused or released from further attendance by or on behalf of the Commission.Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.(5) Where a Commission of Inquiry is satisfied that it is desirable to do so in the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of any evidence or matter or for any other reason, the Commission may:(a) direct that an inquiry or a part of an inquiry shall take place in private and give directions as to the persons who may be present, oror do both of those things.(b) give directions prohibiting or restricting the publication of evidence given before the Commission or of matters contained in documents lodged with the Commission,(6) A Commission of Inquiry may, if it thinks fit, permit a person appearing as a witness before the Commission to give evidence by tendering, and verifying by oath or affirmation, a written statement.(7) Where a Commission of Inquiry considers that the attendance of a person as a witness before the Commission would cause serious hardship to the person, the Commission may permit the person to give evidence by sending to the Commission a written statement, verified in such manner as the Commission allows.(8) Where evidence is given to a Commission of Inquiry by a written statement in accordance with subsection (6) or (7), the Commission shall make available to the public in such manner as the Commission thinks fit the contents of the statement other than any matter the publication of which, in the opinion of the Commissioner, would be contrary to the public interest by reason of its confidential nature or for any other reason.(9) Subject to this section and the regulations:(a) the procedure to be followed at an inquiry by a Commission of Inquiry shall be determined by the Commission, and(b) a Commission of Inquiry is not bound by the rules of evidence.(10) An oath or an affirmation may be administered for the purposes of this section by a Commissioner of Inquiry or by any person authorised by the Oaths Act 1900 to administer a judicial oath.(11) Nothing in this section derogates from any law relating to Crown privilege.(12) This section is subject to section 120A.