Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Page: 91


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Education) (11:23): I will go ahead with the original motion and we will do the committees after question time. I apologise to the member for Bass and the other new members of the House who are preparing for their maiden speeches—I will keep my remarks very brief—but the reason I am moving this debate forward is that the standing order changes impact on question time. I did not want to interrupt the maiden speeches halfway through and cause disservice to the family members and friends who have come for these very important opening speeches. I decided it was important to get these amendments out of the way now so they would be able to affect the first question time.

The standing order changes have been circulated to the House through the Notice Paper and today. They make a few changes. Most of them are machinery provisions recommended by the clerks and by various procedure committees over the years. I will explain a few of them. Some of the changes in the 43rd Parliament were unique to the 43rd Parliament because it was a parliament in which the crossbenchers, through the alliance they had with the government, had a majority. Some of those changes have been removed.

The matters of public importance will be reduced to one hour, as they used to be. We will sit from 12 o'clock on Tuesday. For the first two hours of that day we will not have quorums or divisions. They will be delayed until later in the day. We will reduce the sitting hours by bringing the finishing time back from 10.30 on Monday and Tuesday to 9.30. These hours are, we think, more friendly to the health of our good colleagues on both sides of the House. The health of my colleagues is, of course, always first and foremost in my thinking.

We will allow the Selection Committee to refer matters directly to the Federation Chamber. In the past there has been a convoluted and complicated process involving the Speaker, but we will allow the Selection Committee to refer matters to the Federation Chamber without the Speaker's involvement. This change was recommended by the clerks and various procedure committees. We will allow the Leader of the House to refer matters to the Federation Chamber without votes in order to ensure the smooth and democratic passage of non-controversial legislation, committee reports, delegation reports and private member's business.

One of the changes we are making is the implementation of interventions in the House of Representatives. This is a matter that I have long wanted to introduce into this parliament. It is very common in the House of Commons in Westminster and it allows a more spontaneous debate, a more free-flowing debate in the chamber. During his or her second reading speech, a member would have the opportunity, if another member wanted to interrupt them, to give way to that member. That member might want to ask a question or make a statement. It does not have to be a hostile question or statement. In fact, these matters could come from either side of the parliament. This change would introduce more spontaneity into the parliament and allow a more free-flowing debate. I envisage that, over the months and years, as members become more confident with the prospect of interventions in the chamber, they would give way and allow debate to flow more freely.

We will not be continuing with supplementary questions in this 44th Parliament. I regard that as having been a pilot program of the 43rd Parliament and I do not think its benefits measured up. Unfortunately, I think the government in the 43rd Parliament abused supplementary questions—they were not really genuine. As a consequence, we are going to remove the discretion of the Speaker to allow supplementary questions.

Members on both sides of the House will be very familiar with the practice of making an outrageous statement about another member of the House, whether it is accusing me of wanting to sack one in seven teachers or whether it is accusing the Turnbull-led opposition of voting against the first stimulus package. Time and time again, members had to rise to the dispatch box to correct such misrepresentations when they knew the person making it knew it was a misrepresentation. I think all sides of the House are thoroughly sick of that pantomime and we intend to eliminate it. The Speaker will be able to decide that, if a misrepresentation has already been corrected, the continued making of that misrepresentation is disorderly. I think that will improve the atmosphere of the chamber.

Many of the other changes are machinery changes designed to give the Federation Chamber more status, to allow a freer flow of business to the Federation Chamber. We will not be continuing with the situation where the Selection Committee has a majority of non-government members on it. That would be unusual in a parliament where there are 90 government members and 60 non-government members. We will be removing the crossbench member from the Selection Committee. We are also putting into the standing orders the longstanding practice that the Prime Minister chooses the chair of standing committees in the House of Representatives and the Leader of the Opposition chooses the deputy chair.

I believe these standing orders will add to the lustre of the parliament. I think they will democratise the parliament more and they will give members the opportunity to take part in debates in a more spontaneous way. Before I move the motion standing in my name, I ask whether the Manager of Opposition Business has had an opportunity to look at the list of committees and whether he is happy for me to move that amendment?

Mr Burke: Not yet, no.

Mr PYNE: In that case, I will move the motion as it stands. I move:

That:

(1) standing orders 1, 13, 29, 34, 39, 41, 45, 55, 66A, 68, 101, 133, 138, 140, 141, 142, 143, 146, 155, 183, 192, 197, 198, 215, 222, 227, 229, 232, 235 and 257 be amended as provided; and

(2) the House adopt a resolution concerning procedures for dealing with committee witnesses as provided.

1 Maximum speaking times

The maximum time limits that apply to debates, speeches and statements are as follows.

Subject

Time (max)

Address in Reply

Each Member

 

20 mins

Adjournment of the House or Federation Chamber—to end the sitting

Whole debate in House

Whole debate in Federation Chamber

Extended debate (if required by Minister to reply etc)

Each Member—no extension of time can be granted

Member who has already spoken to the motion may speak again for one period if no other Member rises to speak

Minister in extension of debate

(standing orders 31 (House) and 191 (Federation Chamber))

 

30 mins

not specified

10 mins

5 mins

5 mins

 

5 mins

 

Bills—Main Appropriation—second reading

Mover

Leader of Opposition or Member representing

 

 

no limit

no limit

 

Bills—Other Government—second reading

Mover

Leader of Opposition or Member representing

Minister at conclusion of debate

 

30 mins

30 mins

15 mins

Bills—Private Members’—second reading

Mover

At time of presentation

In continuation, on resumption of debate (if required by mover)

(standing order 222)

 

10 mins

5 mins

 

Bills—All—second reading

Any other Member not specified above

 

(standing order 222)

 

15 mins

or lesser time determined by the Selection Committee

Bills—All—consideration in detail

Bills—All—consideration of Senate amendments or requests

Each Member—unlimited number of periods

 

 

5 mins

Censure of or no confidence in the Government

(if accepted by the Government under standing order 48)

Mover

Prime Minister or Minister representing

Any other Member

(if otherwise, e.g. under suspension of standing orders, see

Other debates—not otherwise provided for)

 

 

30 mins

30 mins

20 mins

 

Committee and delegation business on Mondays

Announcements relating to inquiries

Committee Chair or deputy Chair

 

Reports

Each Member

 

(standing orders 39, 40, 192, 222)

 

 

as determined

by the Selection Committee

 

10 mins

or lesser time determined by the Selection Committee

Condolence motion

Each Member

(standing order 49)

 

no limit

Dissent motion

Whole debate

Mover

Seconder

Member next speaking

Any other Member

(standing order 87)

 

30 mins

10 mins

5 mins

10 mins

5 mins

Elections of Speaker or Deputy Speakers

Each Member

(standing order 11)

 

5 mins

Extension of time

On motion, determined without debate, a Member may continue a speech interrupted under this standing order, for one period

 

10 mins, but

extension may not exceed half of the original period allotted

Grievances

Whole debate

Each Member

(standing order 192b)

 

1 hour

10 mins



Interventions

Member

(standing order 66A)

 

30 secs

Matter of public importance

Whole discussion

Proposer

Member next speaking

Any other Member

(standing order 46)

 

1 hour

10 mins

10 mins

5 mins

 

Members’ statements

90 second statements

Whole period on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Each Member (but not a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary)

(standing order 43)

3 minute constituency statements

Whole period

Each Member

(standing order 193)

 

 

15 mins

90 seconds

 

 

30 mins

3 mins

Other debates—not otherwise provided for

(e.g. censure of a Minister, reference to committee, approval of public works)

Mover of a motion

Any other Member

 

 

15 mins

10 mins

Other statements—by leave of the House

(e.g. ministerial statements and responses to them, committee reports)

Member

 

 

no limit

Private Members’ business on Mondays

Whole debate

Each Member

 

 

(standing orders 41, 192, 222)

 

as determined

by the Selection

Committee,

subject to times

set down for

private Members’

bills

Question Time

Each question

Each answer

(standing orders 100 and 104)

 

30 secs

3 mins

Statements by permission from the Speaker (by indulgence)

Valedictory remarks

Member

Other statements

   (e.g. adding to answer, personal explanation, privilege)

Member

If further statements referred to the Federation Chamber

Any other Member

(standing order 183)

 

20 mins

 

at the discretion

of the Speaker

10 mins

Suspension of standing or other orders without notice

Whole debate

Mover

Seconder (if any)

Member next speaking

Any other Member

(standing order 47)

 

25 mins

10 mins

5 mins

10 mins

5 mins

Taxation or duty proposal

Mover

Leader of Opposition or Member representing

Any other Member

(standing orders 178 and 179)

 

20 mins

20 mins

10 mins

Thanks motion

Each Member

(standing order 49)

 

no limit

Urgent matters—allotment of time for debate

Whole debate

Each Member

(standing order 84)

 

20 mins

5 mins

 

13 When Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy Speaker elected

(a) The Deputy Speaker and Second Deputy Speaker shall be elected at the beginning of each Parliament, or at any time the respective office becomes vacant. Whenever the two offices are vacant at the same time, elections for both offices shall be conducted together.

(b) The Speaker shall conduct the elections under standing order 14, and may not vote in an ordinary ballot.

(c) Only a non-government Member may be elected as Second Deputy Speaker.

(d) A Member shall propose the nomination of a Member to the vacant office by moving, without notice, that such Member ‘be elected Deputy Speaker (or Second Deputy Speaker)’.

29 Set meeting and adjournment times

(a) The House shall meet each year in accordance with the program of sittings for that year agreed to by the House, unless otherwise ordered and subject to standing order 30.

(b) When the House is sitting it shall meet and adjourn at the following times, subject to standing orders 30, 31 and 32:

1

2

3

4



day

meeting commences

adjournment proposed

House adjourns

Monday

10.00 am

9.00 pm

9.30 pm

Tuesday

12.00 pm

9.00 pm

9.30 pm

Wednesday

9.00 am

7.30 pm

8.00 pm

Thursday

9.00 am

4.30 pm

5.00 pm

 



34 Order of business

   The order of business to be followed by the House is shown in figure 2.

    Figure 2. House order of business

 

MONDAY

 

TUESDAY

 

WEDNESDAY

 

THURSDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgement

of country

Prayers

 

Acknowledgement

of country

Prayers

 

 

 

 

9.00 am

 

9.00 am

 

 

Acknowledgement

of country

Prayers

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.00 am

Petitions (to 10.10am)

Committee & delegation business and

Divisions and quorums deferred 10am-12 noon

 

 

 

Acknowledgement

of country

Prayers

 

Government

Business

 

Government

Business

12 noon

Government

Business

12 noon

Government

Business

Divisions and quorums between 12 and 2pm Deferred until after MPI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.45 pm

90 sec statements

 

1.45 pm

90 sec statements

1.45 pm

90 sec statements

2.00 pm

 

Question

Time

2.00 pm

 

Question

Time

2.00 pm

 

Question

Time

2.00 pm

 

Question

Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

approx. 3.10 pm

Ministerial

statements

approx. 3.10 pm

MPI, Ministerial statements

approx. 3.10 pm

MPI, Ministerial statements

approx. 3.10 pm

MPI, Ministerial statements

 

 

 

approx 4.10 pm

 

approx 4.10 pm

 

approx 4.10 pm

Government Business

 

4.30 pm

Adjournment

Debate

 

Government

Business

 

Government

Business

 

Government

Business

 

 

 

5.00 pm

 

6.30 pm

 

Divisions and quorums deferred 6.30-8 pm*

6.30 pm

 

 

Divisions and quorums deferred 6.30-8 pm*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.30 pm

 

 

 

 

 

Adjournment

Debate

8.00 pm

 

8.00 pm

 

8.00 pm

 

 

 

 

9.00 pm

Adjournment

Debate

9.00 pm

Adjournment

Debate

 

 

 

 

9.30 pm

 

9.30 pm

 

 

 

 

 

39 Announcements concerning inquiries and presentation of reports

(a) The Chair or deputy Chair of a committee may make a statement to inform the House of matters relating to an inquiry during the periods for committee and delegation business on Mondays ( standing order 34). The Selection Committee shall recommend time limits for such statements.

(b) Members may present reports of committees or delegations:

   (i) as determined by the Selection Committee, during the periods for committee and delegation business on Mondays in the House and Federation Chamber ( standing orders 34 and 192 ); or

   (ii)    in the House at any time when other business is not before the House.

(c) Members may make statements in relation to these reports:

   (i) during the periods for committee and delegation business on Mondays in the House and Federation Chamber (standing orders 34 and 192) ; the Selection Committee shall determine time limits for statements, of not more than 10 minutes for each Member; or

   (ii)    in the House at any other time, by leave.

(d) The Member presenting a report may move without notice, a specific motion in relation to the report. Debate on the question shall be adjourned to a future day and the resumption of the debate may be referred to the Federation Chamber.

(e) Unless otherwise ordered, a committee report presented in accordance with this standing order shall be made a Parliamentary Paper.

41 Private Members’ business

(a) In the periods set for committee and delegation business and private Members’ business under standing orders 34 and 192, private Members’ notices and orders of the day shall be considered in the order shown on the Notice Paper. When the time set by standing orders 34 or 192 or determined by the Selection Committee ends, the Speaker shall interrupt proceedings and the matter shall be listed on the Notice Paper for the next sitting.

Private Members’ bills—priority

(b) The Selection Committee, in making determinations:

   (i) shall give priority to private Members’ notices of intention to present bills over other notices and orders of the day; and

   (ii)    shall set the order in which the bills are to be presented.

First and second reading

(c) Subject to this standing order, the first and second reading shall proceed in accordance with standing orders 141 and 142. The Member who has presented the bill may speak to the second reading for no longer than 10 minutes at the time of presentation and 5 minutes on resumption of the debate. The Selection Committee may determine times for consideration of the remainder of the second reading debate.

Priority following second reading

(d) If the motion for the second reading is agreed to by the House, further consideration of the bill shall be accorded priority over other private Members’ business and the Selection Committee may determine times for consideration of the remaining stages.

Alternation of notices

(e) Subject to paragraph (b)(i), the Selection Committee shall provide for the consideration of private Members’ notices to alternate between those of government and non-government Members.

Participation of Speaker and Deputy Speaker

(f) The Speaker and Deputy Speaker may participate in private Members’ business.

45 Order of government business and programming declarations

(a) The Leader of the House may arrange the order of notices and orders of the day for government business on the Notice Paper as he or she thinks fit.

(b) The Leader of the House or the Chief Government Whip may make a programming declaration in the House in relation to one or more items of government business.

The declaration may refer a government business order of the day to the Federation Chamber, or may require a government business order of the day to be returned from the Federation Chamber for further consideration in the House. The matter must be set down for consideration at a later hour that day.

55 Lack of quorum

(a) When the attention of the Speaker is drawn to the state of the House and the Speaker observes that a quorum is not present, the Speaker shall count the Members present in accordance with standing order 56 .

(b) On Mondays, if any Member draws the attention of the Speaker to the state of the House between 10 am and 12 noon, the Speaker shall announce that he or she will count the House at 12 noon, if the Member then so desires.

(c) On Mondays and Tuesdays, if any Member draws the attention of the Speaker to the state of the House between the hours of 6.30 pm and 8 pm, the Speaker shall announce that he or she will count the House at 8 pm, if the Member then so desires.

(d) On Tuesdays, if any Member draws the attention of the Speaker to the state of the House prior to 2 pm, the Speaker shall announce that he or she will count the House after the discussion of the matter of public importance, if the Member then so desires.

(e) If a quorum is in fact present when a Member draws attention to the state of the House, the Speaker may name the Member in accordance with standing order 94(b) (sanctions against disorderly conduct) .

66A Interventions

During consideration of any order of the day a Member may rise and, if given the call, ask the Speaker whether the Member speaking is willing to give way. The Member speaking will either indicate his or her:

(a) refusal and continue speaking; or

(b) acceptance and allow the other Member to ask a short question or make a brief response immediately relevant to the Member’s speech, for a period not exceeding 30 seconds—

Provided that, if, in the opinion of the Speaker, it is an abuse of the orders or forms of the House, the intervention may be denied or curtailed.

68 Personal explanation

A Member may explain how he or she has been misrepresented or explain another matter of a personal nature whether or not there is a question before the House. The following conditions shall apply:

(a) the Member must rise and seek permission from the Speaker;

(b) the Member must not interrupt another Member addressing the House; and

(c) the matter must not be debated.

If a Member has given a personal explanation to correct a misrepresentation and another Member subsequently repeats the matter complained of, the Speaker may intervene.

101 Speaker’s discretion about questions

The Speaker may:

(a) direct a Member to change the language of a question asked during Question Time if the language is inappropriate or does not otherwise conform with the standing orders; and

(b) change the language of a question in writing if the language is inappropriate or does not otherwise conform with the standing orders.

133 Deferred divisions on Mondays and Tuesdays

(a) On Mondays, any division called for between the hours of 10 am and 12 noon shall be deferred until 12 noon.

(b) On Mondays and Tuesdays, any division called for between the hours of 6.30 pm and 8 pm shall be deferred until 8 pm.

(c) On Tuesdays, any division called for prior to 2 pm shall be deferred until after the discussion of the matter of public importance.

(d) The Speaker shall put all questions on which a division has been deferred, successively and without amendment or further debate.

(e) This standing order does not apply to a division called on a motion moved by a Minister on Mondays and Tuesdays, during the periods specified in this standing order.

138 Initiation of bills

A House bill may be initiated:

(a) by the calling on of a notice of intention to present a bill;

(b) by an order of the House; or

(c) without notice by a Minister under standing order 178 (Appropriation Bill or bill dealing with taxation) ;

A bill not prepared according to the standing orders of the House shall be ordered to be withdrawn.

140 Signed copy of bill presented

(a) A Member presenting a bill must sign a legible copy of the bill and give it to the Clerk at the Table.

(b) The title of a bill must agree with the notice of intention to present it, and every clause must come within the title.

141 First reading and explanatory memorandum

(a) When a bill is presented, or a Senate bill is first received, the bill shall be read a first time without a question being put.

(b) For any bill presented by a Minister, except an Appropriation or Supply Bill, the Minister must present a signed explanatory memorandum. The explanatory memorandum must include an explanation of the reasons for the bill. For other bills, the Member presenting the bill may present an explanatory memorandum.

142 Second reading

(a) If copies of the bill are available to Members, the Member presenting the bill may move immediately after the first reading, or at a later hour—

That this bill be now read a second time.

At the conclusion of the Member’s speech the debate on the question must then be adjourned to a future sitting.

(b) If copies of the bill are not available, a future sitting shall be appointed for the second reading and copies of the bill must then be available to Members.

143 Bill referred to Federation Chamber or committee

After the first reading but before the resumption of debate on the motion for the second reading:

(a) a motion may be moved without notice to refer a bill to the Federation Chamber for further consideration as provided by standing order 183 ; or

(b) a motion may be moved without notice or a determination may be made by the Selection Committee as provided by standing order 222 to refer a bill to a committee for an advisory report. The motion or determination may specify a date by which the committee is to report to the House. After an advisory report has been presented to the House, the bill may then be referred to the Federation Chamber under paragraph (a).

(c) If, having considered a bill referred to it for an advisory report, a committee finds no issues requiring a formal report, the Chair or Deputy Chair may make a statement to the House to that effect. The statement, with the presentation of the relevant minutes of proceedings, discharges the committee’s obligation to report on the bill.

146 Amendment to dispose of bill

An amendment may be moved to the question—

That this bill be now read a second time—

by omitting ‘now’ in order to insert ‘not’, which, if carried, shall finally dispose of the bill. No amendment may be moved to this amendment.

155 Question for third reading

(a) When a bill has been agreed to, the House may grant leave for the motion for the third reading to be moved immediately, or a future sitting may be set for the motion.

The question shall be proposed on the motion—

That this bill be now read a third time.

(b) The only amendment which may be moved to this question is by omitting ‘now’ in order to insert ‘not’, which, if carried, shall dispose of the bill.

(c) After the third reading the bill has passed the House and no further question may be put.

183 Establishment of Federation Chamber

The Federation Chamber shall be established as a committee of the House to consider matters referred to it as follows:

(a) proceedings on bills to the completion of the consideration in detail stage;

(b) orders of the day for the resumption of debate on any motion;

(c) subject to paragraph (a), private Members’ notices and other items of private Members’ and committee and delegation business referred in accordance with a Selection Committee determination pursuant to standing order 222 ;

(d) further statements on a matter when statements have commenced in the House; and

(e) items of government business referred from the House by a programming declaration made in accordance with standing order 45 .

192 Federation Chamber’s order of business

The normal order of business of the Federation Chamber is set out in figure 4.



    Figure 4. Federation Chamber order of business

 

MONDAY

 

TUESDAY

 

WEDNESDAY

 

THURSDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.30 am

3 min constituency statements

9.30 am

3 min constituency statements

 

 

 

 

10.00 am

Government business and/or

committee & delegation business

10.00 am

Government business and/or

committee & delegation business

10.30 am

3 min constituency statements

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.00 am

Committee & delegation business and private Members’ business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.30 pm

Adjournment

Debate

 

 

 

 

1.00 pm

 

1.00 pm

 

1.30 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.00 pm

 

4.00 pm

If required

4.00 pm

If required

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government

business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.00 pm

 

 

 

7.00 pm

 

 

 

 

Grievance debate

 

9.00 pm

 

9.00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meeting times of the Federation Chamber are fixed by the Deputy Speaker and are subject to change. Times shown for the start and finish of items of business are approximate. Adjournment debates can occur on days other than Thursdays by agreement between the Whips.

Return of matters to the House

The Federation Chamber may return a matter to the House before its consideration is completed.

(a) A matter may be returned to the House on a motion moved without notice at any time by a Minister—

That further proceedings be conducted in the House .

       The motion shall be put without amendment or debate. If the Federation Chamber agrees to, or is unable to resolve, this question, the bill or order of the day shall be returned to the House. Consideration in the House must continue from the point reached in the Federation Chamber and the House must resolve any issues that the Federation Chamber reports.

(b) The House may at any time require a matter to be returned for further consideration, on a motion moved without notice by a Minister. The matter must be set down for consideration at a later hour that day.

(c) An item of government business may be returned to the House by a programming declaration made in accordance with standing order 45 .

198 Report to the House

(a) When the Federation Chamber has fully considered a bill referred to it, a final question shall be put immediately and resolved without amendment or debate—

That this bill be reported to the House, with [out] [an] amendment [s] [and with (an) unresolved question(s)].

(b) The Clerk of the Federation Chamber shall certify a copy of the bill or other matter to be reported to the House, together with any schedules of amendments and unresolved questions. Unless otherwise provided, the Speaker shall report the matter at a later hour that day when other business is not before the House.

215 General purpose standing committees

(a) The following general purpose standing committees shall be appointed:

   (i) Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs;

   (ii)    Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry;

   (iii)    Standing Committee on Climate Change, Environment and the Arts;

   (iv)    Standing Committee on Economics;

   (v) Standing Committee on Education and Employment;

   (vi)    Standing Committee on Health and Ageing;

   (vii)    Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications;

   (viii)    Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs; and

   (ix)    Standing Committee on Regional Australia.

(b) A committee appointed under paragraph (a) may inquire into and report on any matter referred to it by either the House or a Minister, including any pre-legislation proposal, bill, motion, petition, vote or expenditure, other financial matter, report or document.

(c) A committee may make any inquiry it wishes to make into annual reports of government departments and authorities and reports of the Auditor-General presented to the House. The following qualifications shall apply to these inquiries:

   (i) Reports shall stand referred to committees under a schedule presented by the Speaker to record the areas of responsibility of each committee.

   (ii)    The Speaker shall determine any question about responsibility for a report or part of a report.

   (iii)    The period during which an inquiry into an annual report may be started by a committee shall end on the day the next annual report of the department or authority is presented to the House.

   (iv)    If a committee intends to inquire into all or part of a report of the Auditor-General, the committee must notify the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit of its intention, in writing.

(d) Each committee appointed under paragraph (a) shall consist of seven members: four government Members and three non-government Members, provided that if a non-aligned Member is appointed to a committee, such committee shall consist of eight members: four government Members, three non-government Members, and one non-aligned Member. Each committee may have its membership supplemented by up to four members for a particular inquiry, with a maximum of two extra government and two extra opposition or non-aligned Members. Supplementary members shall have the same participatory rights as other members, but may not vote.

222 Selection Committee

(a) A Selection Committee shall be appointed to:

   (i) arrange the timetable and order of committee and delegation business and private Members’ business for each sitting Monday in accordance with standing orders 39 to 41 ;

   (ii)    select private Members’ notices and other items of private Members’ and committee and delegation business for referral to the Federation Chamber, or for return to the House;

   (iii)    select bills that the committee regards as controversial or as requiring further consultation or debate for referral to the relevant standing or joint committee in accordance with standing order 143 ; and

   (iv)    subject to standing order 1 , set speaking times for second reading debates.

(b) The committee shall consist of eleven members: the Speaker, or in the absence of the Speaker the Deputy Speaker, the Chief Government Whip or his or her nominee, the Chief Opposition Whip or his or her nominee, the Third Party Whip or his or her nominee, four government Members, and three non-government Members. The Speaker shall be the Chair of the committee. A quorum shall be three members of the committee.

(c) For committee and delegation business and private Members’ business, the committee may determine the order of consideration of the matters, and the times allotted for debate on each item and for each Member speaking.

(d) In relation to committee and delegation business and private Members’ business the committee must report its determinations to the House in time for its decisions to be published on the Notice Paper of the sitting Thursday before the Monday being considered. In relation to bills the committee must report its determinations as soon as practical in respect of each bill or each group of bills.

(e) Reports of the committee under paragraph (d) shall be treated as having been adopted when they are presented. Reports shall be published in Hansard.

(f) A referral by determination of the Selection Committee pursuant to paragraph (a)(ii) or (a)(iii), once the determination has been reported to the House, is deemed to be a referral by the House.

227 « « « «

229 Appointment of committee members

(a) Members shall be appointed to or discharged from a committee by motion moved on notice.

(b) Special arrangements are required for a change in membership when the House is not sitting and is not expected to meet for at least two weeks. The relevant whip must nominate any appointment or discharge of a member of a committee in writing to the Speaker. The change in membership shall take effect from the time the Speaker receives the written nomination. At the next sitting, the Speaker shall report the change to the House and the House shall resolve the membership of the committee.

(c) If a committee is considering a bill referred under standing order 143 , one or more members of the committee may be replaced by other Members by motion moved on notice. This does not affect the ability of a general purpose standing committee to have its membership supplemented under standing order 215(d) .

232 Appointment of committee Chair and deputy Chair

(a) Before the start of business and at any time a vacancy occurs, a committee shall be informed of the name of the member who has been appointed by the Prime Minister to be its Chair. The Chair shall have a casting vote only.

(b) A committee shall also be informed of the name of the member who has been appointed by the Leader of the Opposition to be its deputy Chair. The deputy Chair shall act as Chair of the committee whenever the Chair is not present at a meeting. If neither the Chair nor deputy Chair is present at a meeting, the members present shall elect another member to act as Chair at the meeting.

235 Proceedings and sittings of committee

(a) A committee or a subcommittee may conduct proceedings using any means approved by the House and in the following manner:

   (i) in private meeting;

   (ii)    by hearing witnesses, either in public or in private; and

   (iii)    in the form of any other meeting, discussion or inspection conducted under the practice of committees of the House.

(b) A committee may conduct proceedings using audio visual or audio links with members of the committee or witnesses not present in one place. If an audio visual or audio link is used, committee members and witnesses must be able to speak to and hear each other at the same time regardless of location. A committee may resolve for a subcommittee to use audio visual or audio links.

(c) A committee or a subcommittee may conduct proceedings at any time or place as it sees fit, and whether or not the House is sitting.

257 Admission of Senators and visitors

(a) Only the Speaker shall have the privilege of admitting visitors into the lower galleries, and may admit distinguished visitors to a seat on the floor of the Chamber.

(b) No Member may bring a visitor into any part of the Chamber, or that part of the room where the Federation Chamber is meeting, which is reserved for Members.

(c) Senators shall have the privilege of being admitted into the Senators’ gallery without invitation. When present in the Chamber or galleries they must observe the Speaker’s instructions regarding good order.

Proposed resolution

Procedures for dealing with witnesses

That, in their dealings with witnesses, committees of the House shall observe the following procedures:

(1) A witness shall be invited to attend a committee meeting to give evidence. A witness shall be summoned to appear (whether or not the witness was previously invited to appear) only where the committee has made a decision that the circumstances warrant the issue of a summons.

(2) Where a committee desires that a witness produce documents or records relevant to the committee’s inquiry, the witness shall be invited to do so, and an order that documents or records be produced shall be made (whether or not an invitation to produce documents or records has previously been made) only where the committee has made a decision that the circumstances warrant such an order.

(3) A witness shall be given notice of a meeting at which he or she is to appear, and shall be supplied with a copy of the committee’s terms of reference and an indication of the matters expected to be dealt with during the appearance. Where appropriate a witness may be supplied with a transcript of relevant evidence already taken in public.

(4) A witness may be given the opportunity to make a submission in writing before appearing to give oral evidence.

(5) A witness shall be given reasonable access to any documents or records that the witness has produced to a committee.

(6) A witness shall be offered, before giving evidence, the opportunity to make application, before or during the hearing of the witness’s evidence, for any or all of the witness’s evidence to be heard in camera, and shall be invited to give reasons for any such application. The witness may give reasons in camera. If the application is not granted, the witness shall be notified of reasons for that decision.

(7) Before giving any evidence in camera a witness shall be informed whether it is the intention of the committee to publish or present to the House all or part of that evidence, that it is within the power of the committee to do so, and that the House has the authority to order the production and publication of undisclosed evidence. Should the committee decide to publish or present to the House all or part of the evidence taken in camera, the witness shall be advised in advance. A member, in a protest or dissent added to a report, shall not disclose evidence taken in camera unless so authorised by the committee.

(8) The Chair of a committee shall take care to ensure that all questions put to witnesses are relevant to the committee’s inquiry and that the information sought by those questions is necessary for the purpose of that inquiry.

(9) Where a witness objects to answering any question put to him or her on any ground, including the grounds that it is not relevant, or that it may tend to incriminate him or her, he or she shall be invited to state the ground upon which he or she objects to answering the question. The committee may then consider, in camera, whether it will insist upon an answer to the question, having regard to the relevance of the question to the committee’s inquiry and the importance to the inquiry of the information sought by the question. If the committee determines that it requires an answer to the question, the witness shall be informed of that determination, and of the reasons for it, and shall be required to answer the question in camera, unless the committee resolves that it is essential that it be answered in public. Where a witness declines to answer a question to which a committee has required an answer, the committee may report the facts to the House.

(10) Where a committee has reason to believe that evidence about to be given may reflect on a person, the committee shall give consideration to hearing that evidence in camera.

(11) Where evidence is given which reflects upon a person, the committee may provide a reasonable opportunity for the person reflected upon to have access to that evidence and to respond to that evidence by written submission or appearance before the committee.

(12) A witness may make application to be accompanied by counsel or an adviser or advisers and to consult counsel or the adviser(s) in the course of the meeting at which he or she appears. If such an application is not granted, the witness shall be notified of reasons for that decision. A witness accompanied by counsel or an adviser or advisers shall be given reasonable opportunity to consult with counsel or the adviser(s) during a meeting at which he or she appears.

(13) A departmental officer shall not be asked to give opinions on matters of policy, and shall be given reasonable opportunity to refer questions asked of him or her to superior officers or to the appropriate Minister.

(14) Witnesses shall be treated with respect and dignity at all times.

(15) Reasonable opportunity shall be afforded to witnesses to request corrections in the transcript of their evidence and to put before a committee additional written material supplementary to their evidence. Witnesses may also request the opportunity to give further oral evidence.

(16) Where a committee has any reason to believe that any person has been improperly influenced in respect of evidence which has been or may be given before the committee, or has been subjected to or threatened with any penalty or injury in respect of any evidence given or in respect of prospective evidence, the committee shall take all reasonable steps to ascertain the facts of the matter. Where the committee considers that the facts disclose that a person may have been improperly influenced or subjected to or threatened with penalty or injury in respect of evidence which may be or has been given before the committee, the committee shall report the facts and its conclusions to the House.

(17) That the foregoing provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.