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Tuesday, 24 November 1998
Page: 500

Mr NEHL —In accordance with sessional order 28D(b), on behalf of the Selection Committee, I present a report on the proposed general principles relating to the selection of private members business.

The report read as follows—

The Selection Committee submits its report to the House on the proposed general principles relating to the selection of private Members' business, and recommends its adoption.

In accordance with standing order 28D(b) the Selection Committee has resolved that the general principles be as follows:

Proposed general principles relating to the selection of private Members' business

In formulating the priority to be given to items of private Members' business the Selection Committee shall have regard to:

the importance of the subject;

the current level of interest in the subject;

the extent of the current discussion on the subject both in the parliament and elsewhere;

the extent to which the subject comes within the responsibility of the Commonwealth Parliament;

the probability of the subject being brought before the House by other means within a reasonable time; and

whether the subject is the same, or substantially the same, as another item of business which has been debated or on which the House has already made a decision in the same period of sittings and, if so, whether new circumstances exist.

The committee shall accord priority to private Members' business:

with regard to the numbers of Members affiliated with each party in the House;

in a way which ensures that a particular Member or the Members who comprise the Opposition Executive do not predominate as the movers of the items selected; and

in a way which seeks to ensure balance is achieved over each period of sittings.

When a private Member has the responsibility for the carriage of a bill transmitted from the Senate for concurrence, the bill shall be accorded priority following the question for the second reading being put to the House in the same way as a private Member's bill originating in the House is accorded priority by standing order 104A.

Priority shall not be accorded to any item of private Members' business if the matter should be dealt with by the House in another, more appropriate, form of proceeding.

The general principles set out above shall be observed by the Selection Committee but nothing in the general principles shall be taken to prevent the Selection Committee departing from those general principles in order to meet circumstances, which, in its opinion, are unusual or special.

Motion (by Mrs Sullivan)—by leave—agreed to:

That the proposed general principles relating to the selection of private members business reported to the House by the Selection Committee this day be adopted.