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Orders of the Senate

 

Adjournment debates—Temporary order

[Amendment to standing order 54(5) to provide for 5-minute speeches, rather than 10-minute speeches on Wednesdays. Amendment to standing order 54(6) to remove the option for 20-minute speeches during the open ended adjournment on Tuesdays. Temporary order takes effect from 5 February to 30 June 2018.]

54       Adjournment without motion

(5)    On Monday and Thursday debate on the question for the adjournment shall not exceed 40 minutes, and a senator shall not speak to that question for more than 10 minutes.

         On Wednesday debate on the question for the adjournment shall not exceed 40 minutes, and a senator shall not speak to that question for more than 5 minutes.

         On Tuesday at the conclusion of debate, and on other days at the expiration of 40 minutes, at the conclusion of debate, or at the time specified for adjournment, whichever is the earlier, or if there is no debate, the President shall adjourn the Senate without putting the question.

(6)    On the question for the adjournment of the Senate on Tuesday, a senator shall speak to that question for not more than 5 minutes, except that if no other senator wishes to speak for up to 5 minutes, a senator who has not already spoken may speak for up to 10 minutes.

( Agreed to 7 December 2017 upon adoption of recommendations in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2017 )

 

Allocation of departments/agencies

That departments and agencies be allocated to legislative and general purpose standing committees as follows:

Community Affairs

Health

Human Services

Social Services

Economics

Jobs and Innovation (Industry, Innovation and Science)

Treasury

Education and Employment

Education and Training

Jobs and Innovation (Jobs and Small Business)

Environment and Communications

Communications and the Arts

Environment and Energy

Finance and Public Administration

Finance

Parliament

Prime Minister and Cabinet

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Defence, including Veterans’ Affairs

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Attorney-General

Home Affairs

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Agriculture and Water Resources

Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

 ( Agreed to 31 August 2016; varied 12 February and 15 February 2018 )

 

Budget week 2018—Hours of meeting and routine of business—Variation

That the hours of meeting for Tuesday, 8 May 2018 be from midday to 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm to adjournment, and for Thursday, 10 May 2018 be from 9.30 am to 6 pm and 8 pm to adjournment, and that:

                          (a)      the routine of business from 8.30 pm on Tuesday, 8 May 2018 shall be:

                                                (i)      Budget statement and documents 2018-19, and

                                               (ii)      adjournment; and

                          (b)      the routine of business from 8 pm on Thursday, 10 May 2018 shall be:

                                                (i)      Budget statement and documents—party leaders and independent senators to make responses to the statement and documents for not more than 30 minutes each, and

                                               (ii)      adjournment.

( Agreed to 22 March 2018 )

 

Environment and Communications References Committee— Determination of committee chair—Standing order 25(9)

That, pursuant to standing order 25(9), the Senate determines:

(a)         that the chair of the Environment and Communications References Committee shall be elected by that committee from members nominated by minor parties or independent senators; and

(b)        that this order remain in effect until the President is duly notified of an agreement that meets the terms of standing order 25(9)(c).

( Agreed to 2 November 2011; varied 13 September 2016 )

 

Estimates hearings—2017-18 additional estimates; 2018-19 Budget estimates

(1)         That estimates hearings by legislation committees for 2018 be scheduled as follows:

2017-18 additional estimates:

Monday, 26 February and Tuesday, 27 February ( Group A )

Wednesday, 28 February and Thursday, 1 March ( Group B ).

2018-19 Budget estimates:

Monday, 21 May to Thursday, 24 May, and, if required, Friday, 25 May ( Group A )

Tuesday, 29 May to Friday, 1 June, and, if required, Friday, 22 June ( Group B )

Monday, 22 October and Tuesday, 23 October ( supplementary hearings—Group A )

Wednesday, 24 October and Thursday, 25 October ( supplementary hearings—Group B ).

(2)         That pursuant to the order of the Senate of 26 August 2008, cross portfolio estimates hearings on Indigenous matters be scheduled for Friday, 2 March, Friday, 25 May and Friday, 26 October 2018, but not restricted to these days.

(3)         That cross portfolio estimates hearings on Murray-Darling Basin Plan matters be scheduled for Friday, 2 March, Friday, 25 May and Friday, 26 October 2018, but not restricted to these days.

(4)         That the committees consider the proposed expenditure in accordance with the allocation of departments and agencies to committees agreed to by the Senate.

(5)         That committees meet in the following groups:

Group A:

Environment and Communications

Finance and Public Administration

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Group B:

Community Affairs

Economics

Education and Employment

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

(6)         That the committees report to the Senate on the following dates:

(a)         Tuesday, 27 March 2018 in respect of the 2017-18 additional estimates; and

(b)         Tuesday, 26 June 2018 in respect of the 2018-19 Budget estimates.

( Agreed to 15 November 2017; varied 16 November 2017 in respect of paragraph (1) )

 

Estimates—Unanswered questions on notice

That:

                          (a)      answers be provided by 14 September 2016 to all legislation committees relating to all questions taken on notice by the committees’ predecessor committees with respect to the Additional estimates 2015-16 and the Budget estimates 2016-17, and which remained unanswered at the beginning of the new Parliament; and

                          (b)      for the purposes of standing order 74(5), the day set for answering the question for each of the unanswered questions is 14 September 2016.

( Agreed to 31 August 2016 )

 

Meeting of Senate—2018

That the days of meeting of the Senate for 2018 be as follows:

Autumn sittings :

Monday, 5 February to Thursday, 8 February

Monday, 12 February to Thursday, 15 February

Autumn sittings (2):

Monday, 19 March to Thursday, 22 March

Monday, 26 March to Wednesday, 28 March

Budget sittings:

Tuesday, 8 May to Thursday, 10 May



 

Winter sittings:

Monday, 18 June to Thursday, 21 June

Monday, 25 June to Thursday, 28 June

Spring sittings:

Monday, 13 August to Thursday, 16 August

Monday, 20 August to Thursday, 23 August

Monday, 10 September to Thursday, 13 September

Monday, 17 September to Thursday, 20 September

Spring sittings (2):

Monday, 15 October to Thursday, 18 October

Spring sittings (3):

Monday, 12 November to Thursday, 15 November

Monday, 26 November to Thursday, 29 November

Monday, 3 December to Thursday, 6 December.

( Agreed to 15 November 2017 )

 

Meeting times—Temporary order

[Amendment to standing order 55 to add 30 minutes at the start of sittings on Tuesdays. Temporary order takes effect from 5 February to 30 June 2018.]

(1)        The days and times of meeting of the Senate in each sitting week shall be:

Monday                       10 am - 6.30 pm, 7.30 pm - 10.30 pm

Tuesday                       12 pm - adjournment

Wednesday                 9.30 am - 8 pm

Thursday                     9.30 am - 8.40 pm

( Agreed to 7 December 2017 upon adoption of recommendations in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2017 )

 

Outstanding orders for the production of documents—Report—Continuing order

(1)     That there be laid on the table by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, not later than 2 calendar months after the last day of each financial year and calendar year, a list showing details of all orders for the production of documents made during the current Parliament which have not been complied with in full, together with a statement indicating whether resistance to them is maintained and why, and detailing any changing circumstances that might allow reconsideration of earlier refusals.

(2)      This order is of continuing effect.

( Agreed to 7 December 2017 upon adoption of recommendations in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2017 )

 



 

Private senators’ bills—Temporary order

[Amendments to standing order 57 and 59 to move consideration of private senators' bills general business from Thursday to Monday and provide for government business to occur at the start of the day on Thursdays. Temporary order takes effect from 5 February to 30 June 2018.]

57       Routine of business

(1)    The routine of business shall be:

(a)    On Monday:

(i)          General business orders of the day for consideration of bills only

(ia)       At 12.20 pm, government business only

(d)    On Thursday:

 (i)        Government business only

(ii)        At 11.45 am, petitions

59       Government and general business

Government business shall take precedence over general business, except that general business shall take precedence over government business as follows:

(a)    On Mondays, from 10 am until 12.20 pm general business orders of the day for the consideration of bills shall be considered; and

(b)    from not later than 4.30 pm, for a period not exceeding 2½ hours, general business orders of the day shall take precedence over general business notices of motion on alternate Thursdays.

( Agreed to 7 December 2017 upon adoption of recommendations in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2017 )

 

Publications Committee—Report—Printing standards for documents presented to Parliament—Adoption of recommendation

5.6      That the Senate and House of Representatives pass the following resolution:

That unless otherwise ordered, and provided that they conform to the printing standards, the following documents shall be made Parliamentary Papers upon their presentation to the Senate/House of Representatives:

§   substantive reports of parliamentary committees;

§   annual reports of Commonwealth entities;

§   a report of a royal commission;

§   a report of the Productivity Commission;

§   a report of the Auditor-General;

§   a report of the Australian Human Rights Commission;

§   a report of the Australia Law Reform Commission;

§   a report of the Australian Electoral Commission on the redistribution of electoral division boundaries;

§   Australian Government white papers;

§   a report in a series that has previously been included in the Parliamentary Papers Series on the recommendation of a Publications Committee; and

§   budget papers and ministerial statements presented following the presentation of the appropriation bills.

( Agreed to 8 February 2018 )

 

Rotation of senators

That, pursuant to section 13 of the Constitution, the senators chosen for each state be divided into two classes, as follows:

(1)         Senators listed at positions 7 to 12 on the certificate of election of senators for each state shall be allocated to the first class and receive 3 year terms.

(2)         Senators listed at positions 1 to 6 on the certificate of election of senators for each state shall be allocated to the second class and receive 6 year terms.

( Agreed to 31 August 2016 )

 

That—

                          (a)      as soon as practicable, after the High Court orders a special count of the ballots from the 2016 Senate election for any state and makes an order declaring that a person identified by that count is duly elected as a senator for that state, there be laid on the table a copy of the statement of results report for that count; and

                          (b)      if such a report is tabled, in relation to any state, then the order of the Senate of 31 August 2016, made pursuant to section 13 of the Constitution, have effect in relation to senators from that state as if a reference to the certificate of election were a reference to the most recent statement of results report.

( Agreed to 13 February 2018 )

 

Scrutiny of Bills Committee—Standing order 24—Amendment

That:

                          (a)      the Senate adopt the recommendation at paragraph 4.10 of Scrutiny Digest 13 of 2017 of the Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, proposing an amendment to standing order 24; and

                          (b)      the temporary order of the Senate of 29 November 2016, concerning an amendment to standing order 24, cease to have effect.

 

 

 

Accordingly, standing order 24 was amended, with immediate effect, as follows:

At the end of paragraph (1), add:

                 (d)   The committee shall maintain on its website a list of bills in relation to which the committee has sought advice from the responsible minister and not yet received a response.

                 (e)   Where the committee has not finally reported on a bill because a ministerial response has not been received, then:

                    (i)   immediately prior to the consideration of government business on any day; or

                   (ii)   immediately prior to the consideration of the bill,

                         any senator may ask the minister for an explanation of why the minister has not provided a response to the committee.

                  (f)   Where an explanation is sought under paragraph (e) and a minister provides an explanation, then at the conclusion of the explanation the senator may move, without notice, a motion:

                    (i)   relating to the consideration of the bill; or

                   (ii)   that the Senate take note of the explanation.

                 (g)   Where an explanation is sought under paragraph (e) and the minister does not provide an explanation, then the senator may, without notice, move a motion relating to:

                    (i)   the consideration of the bill; or

                   (ii)   the minister's failure to provide an explanation.

                 (h)   The procedures in paragraphs (e) to (g) may only be used once on any sitting day in respect of any bill or bills taken together.

( Agreed to 29 November 2017 )