Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

ELECTORAL REFORM-PROPOSED JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE-Message from the House of Representatives

The following Message from the House of Representatives was reported: MR PRESIDENT, Message No. 5 The House of Representatives transmits to the Senate the following Resolution which was agreed to by the House of Representatives this day, and requests that the Senate concur and take action accordingly: (1) That a joint select committee be appointed to inquire into and report upon all aspects of the conduct of elections for the Parliament of the Commonwealth and matters related thereto, including- (a) legislation governing, and the operation of, the Australian Electoral Commission;

(b) the provision of ''free'' radio time for political messages during election periods;

(c) the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 concerning the defamation of candidates for election;

(d) tax deductibility of political donations; and

(e) the establishment of fixed formulae for determining the number of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to which the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and other territories are entitled.

(2) That the committee consist of 10 members, 3 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or the Opposition Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the National Party, the Deputy Leader of the National Party or the National Party Whip, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and 1 Senator to be nominated by any minority group or groups or independent Senator or independent Senators.

(3) That every nomination of a member of the committee be forthwith notified in writing to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(4) That the members of the committee hold office as a joint committee until the House of Representatives is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time.

(5) That the committee elect a Government member as its chairman.

(6) That the committee elect a deputy chairman who shall perform the duties of the chairman of the committee at any time when the chairman is not present at a meeting of the committee, and at any time when the chairman and the deputy chairman are not present at a meeting of the committee, the members present shall elect another member to perform the duties of the chairman at that meeting.

(7) That 4 members of the committee constitute a quorum of the committee.

(8) That the committee have power to appoint sub-committees consisting of 3 or more of its members, and to refer to such a sub-committee any matter which the committee is empowered to examine.

(9) That the committee appoint the chairman of each sub-committee who shall have a casting vote only, and at any time when the chairman of a sub-committee is not present at a meeting of the sub-committee, the members of the sub-committee present shall elect another member of that sub-committee to perform the duties of the chairman at that meeting.

(10) That a quorum of a sub-committee be a majority of the members of that sub-committee.

(11) That members of the committee, not being members of a sub-committee, may participate in the proceedings of that sub-committee, but shall not vote, move any motion or be counted for the purpose of a quorum.

(12) That the committee, or any sub-committee, have power to send for persons, papers and records.

(13) That the committee or any sub-committee have power to consider and make use of- (a) submissions lodged with the Clerk of the Senate in response to public advertisements placed in accordance with the resolution of the Senate of 26 November 1981 relating to a proposed Joint Select Committee on the Electoral System; and

(b) the evidence and records of the Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform appointed during the 33rd Parliament.

(14) That the committee, or any sub-committee, have power to move from place to place.

(15) That any sub-committee have power to adjourn from time to time.

(16) That any sub-committee have power to authorise publication of any evidence given before it and any document presented to it.

(17) That the committee have leave to report from time to time.

(18) That the committee report as soon as possible.

(19) 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. House of Representatives, H. A. JENKINS, Canberra, 27 February 1985 Speaker The Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Gareth Evans), by leave, moved- (1) That the Senate concurs in the Resolution transmitted to the Senate by Message No. 5 of the House of Representatives relating to the appointment of a Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform, subject to the following modification- Paragraph (2), leave out the paragraph, insert the following paragraph: ''(2) That the Committee consist of 11 Members, 4 Members of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or the Opposition Whip, 1 Member of the House of Representatives to be nominated by either the Leader of the National Party, the Deputy Leader of the National Party or the National Party Whip, 2 Senators to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, 1 Senator to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, and 2 Senators to be nominated by any minority group or groups or any independent Senator or independent Senators.''.

(2) That the provisions of the Resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the Standing Orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders.

(3) That the foregoing Resolution be communicated to the House of Representatives by Message, with a request for the concurrence of that House in the Senate's modification of the Resolution transmitted to the Senate by that House. Question-put and passed.