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

Orders of the Senate


Address-in-reply—Suspension of standing order 3(4)

That standing order 3(4) be suspended to enable the Senate to consider business other than that of a formal character before the address-in-reply to the Governor-General’s opening speech has been adopted.

( Agreed to 30 August 2016 )


Allocation of departments/agencies

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

Community Affairs


Social Services, including Human Services


Industry, Innovation and Science


Education and Employment

Education and Training


Environment and Communications

Communications and the Arts

Environment and Energy

Finance and Public Administration



Prime Minister and Cabinet

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Defence, including Veterans’ Affairs

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Legal and Constitutional Affairs


Immigration and Border Protection

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Agriculture and Water Resources

Infrastructure and Regional Development.

( Agreed to 31 August 2016 )


Committees—Determination of 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

(1)      That the 2016-17 supplementary Budget estimates hearings be scheduled as follows:

Monday, 17 October and Tuesday, 18 October 2016 ( supplementary hearings—Group A )

Wednesday, 19 October and Thursday, 20 October 2016 ( supplementary hearings—Group B ).

(2)      That, pursuant to the order of the Senate of 26 August 2008 and 23 June 2015, cross portfolio estimates hearings on Indigenous matters be scheduled for Friday, 21 October 2016.

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

(4)      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


Education and Employment

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

( Agreed to 30 August 2016 )



Estimates—Unanswered questions on notice


                          (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 30 August 2016 )


First speeches

That consideration of the business before the Senate on the following days be interrupted at approximately 5 pm, but not so as to interrupt a senator speaking, to enable senators to make their first speeches without any question before the chair, as follows:

Wednesday, 31 August 2016—Senator Hume

Thursday, 1 September 2016—Senators Dodson and Duniam

Monday, 12 September 2016—Senator Hinch

Tuesday, 13 September 2016—Senators Roberts and Watt

Wednesday, 14 September 2016—Senators Hanson and McCarthy

Tuesday, 11 October 2016—Senator Kakoschke-Moore

Wednesday, 12 October 2016—Senator Chisholm.

( Agreed to 31 August, 1 September, 12 September and 15 September 2016 )


Legislation—Exemption of bills from the cut-off order

That the provisions of paragraph (6) of standing order 111 not apply to the following bills, allowing them to be considered during this period of sittings:

Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016

Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Bill 2016

Corporations Amendment (Auditor Registration) Bill 2016

Customs Tariff Amendment (Tobacco) Bill 2016

Excise Tariff Amendment (Tobacco) Bill 2016

Statute Law Revision (Spring 2016) Bill 2016

Statute Update Bill 2016

Treasury Laws Amendment (Income Tax Relief) Bill 2016 .

( Agreed to 13 September 2016 )



Meeting of Senate

That the days of meeting of the Senate for the remainder of 2016 be as follows:

Spring sittings :

Thursday, 1 September

Monday, 12 September to Thursday, 15 September

Spring sittings (2) :

Monday, 10 October to Thursday, 13 October

Spring sittings (3) :

Monday, 7 November to Thursday, 10 November

Monday, 21 November to Thursday, 24 November

Monday, 28 November to Thursday, 1 December.

( Agreed to 31 August 2016 )


Ministerial statements—Consideration—Temporary order

That the following amendment to standing order 169 operate as a temporary order until 30 June 2017:

At the end of standing order 169, add:

(3) If a ministerial statement is presented to or tabled in the Senate other than in accordance with standing order 61, it shall be in order for a senator to move a motion without notice to take note of the statement. On any such motion, a senator may speak for not more than 10 minutes and paragraph (2) applies to the total time limit for individual or successive motions.

( Agreed to 31 August 2016; originally agreed to 11 November 2015 upon adoption of recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s third report of 2015 )


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 )