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Thursday, 10 March 1977
Page: 100

Mr SPEAKER -That indulgence is granted.

Mr SINCLAIR - The Sessional Orders proposed in notices Nos 2 to 8 flow from recommendations made in November 1976 by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Standing Orders. Members of this chamber will be aware that in part these proposals have been discussed in the chamber and, indeed, the first 2 notices-that is, those relating to the adjournment debate- have been in practice as sessional orders for some time. At the Standing Orders Committee meeting in November 1976, under your chairmanship, Mr Speaker, it was felt that whilst there was considerable accord in these changes and some support for their incorporation into the Standing Orders, their nature was such that it might well be more suitable to the needs of the House for us to adopt them as sessional orders. Indeed, it was the view of the Committee that the proposed changes should not be incorporated in the Standing Orders at that stage but that they should operate for a trial period or periods by way of sessional orders. This certainly will enable honourable members to make a judgment as to whether they ultimately should become a permanent part of the Standing Orders.

I commend each of the proposals to the House. I suggest that each of these proposals will assist more rapid consideration of proposals put by honourable members within this chamber. The adjournment practice certainly has been proved to give honourable members a wider opportunity to consider matters that are important to them. The other measures are self-explanatory. I am sure that honourable members will accord with the variation to procedures that they entail. The Standing Orders Committee recommended that they be adopted for the purpose of this session. I therefore commend them to the Parliament.

Mr Scholes -Does the Leader of the House intend moving a motion on each of the proposals?

Mr SPEAKER -I think the motions could be moved collectively rather than individually unless the honourable gentleman proposes a different course of action on any one of the proposals.

Mr Scholes - I do not intend any particular course of action but there are a couple of matters which I wish to raise.

Mr SINCLAIR -Perhaps I could move notices of motion Nos 3, 4, S, 6, 7 and 8 standing in my name on the notice paper in the terms in which they appear on the notice paper. This might open the matters up for discussion for the honourable gentleman.

Mr SPEAKER -Leave would be required. Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.


(   1 ) That, in lieu of the time limit specified in standing order 91 for speeches on the 'Motion for adjournment of House to terminate the sitting-', the following time limit shall operate:

Each Member ... 5 minutes (no extension of time to be granted):

Provided that, if no other Member rises to address the House, a Member who has already spoken to the motion may speak a second time for a period not exceeding S minutes'.

(2)   That, unless otherwise ordered, on those alternate sitting Thursdays when grievance debate is the first order of the day, government business, under standing order 106 or when general business has precedence on the Notice Paper under standing order 104, so much of standing order 101 (routine of business) be suspended as would prevent grievance debate or general business, as the case may be, following S. Ministerial statements, by leave, and preceding 6. Matter of public importance.

That, unless otherwise ordered, this sessional order shall operate for the remainder of this period of sittings.

(3)   That, unless otherwise ordered, for the remainder of this period of sittings, so much of standing order 343 be suspended as would prevent a protest or dissent being added to the report of a select committee of this House.

(4)   That, for the purposes of determining a quorum of Members, a Member who is in any of the lower galleries or official 's seats, behind the bar of the House or in either of the side alcoves at the time when the attention of the Speaker or the Chairman of Committees is called to the lack of a quorum or who remains in any of those areas after attention has been so called, shall not be counted to determine whether a quorum is present.

That, unless otherwise ordered, this sessional order shall operate for the remainder of this period of sittings.

(5)   That, unless otherwise ordered, for the remainder of this period of sittings, if it appears that a quorum of Members is not present following-

(a)   the report by the tellers of a division of the House (standing order 44),

(b)   the counting of the House after a Member has drawn attention to the want of a quorum (standing order 45),

(c)   the report by the Chairman of Committees that a quorum is not present in consequence of a report by the tellers of a division of the committee or the counting of the committee, and the Speaker orders the counting of the House (standing order 46)- the Speaker may, if he is satisfied that there is likely to be a quorum within a reasonable time, announce that he will take the Chair at a stated time; if at that stated time there be not a quorum present the Speaker shall adjourn the House to the next sitting day.

That the provisions of this resolution have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

(6)   That, unless otherwise ordered, for the remainder of this period of sittings, when successive divisions are taken, and there is no intervening debate after the first division, so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the division bells for the ensuing division being rung for 1 minute only.

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