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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 2 July 2019 )


Allocation of departments/agencies

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

Community Affairs


Social Services, including Services Australia


Industry, Innovation and Science


Education and Employment


Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, including Industrial Relations

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

Attorney-General, excluding Industrial Relations

Home Affairs


Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport


Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

( Agreed to 4 July 2019 )


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—2019-20 supplementary Budget estimates

   (1)   That the 2019-20 supplementary Budget estimates hearings be scheduled as follows:

Monday, 21 October and Tuesday, 22 October 2019 (supplementary hearings—Group A)

Wednesday, 23 October and Thursday, 24 October 2019 (supplementary hearings—Group B).

   (2)   That cross portfolio estimates hearings on Indigenous matters and on Murray-Darling Basin Plan matters be scheduled for Friday, 25 October 2019, but not restricted to that day.

   (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 4 July 2019 )


Estimates questions (unanswered)—2019-20 Budget estimates


                          (a)      answers to outstanding questions taken on notice in relation to the 2018-19 additional estimates and the 2019-20 Budget estimates, and which remained unanswered at the beginning of the 46th Parliament, be provided to legislation committees by 31 July 2019; and

                          (b)      for the purposes of standing order 74(5), the day set for answering each of the unanswered questions is 31 July 2019.


First speeches and valedictory statements

(1)         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:

(a)         Tuesday, 23 July 2019—Senators McDonald and Chandler;

(b)         Wednesday, 24 July 2019—Senators Bragg and Ciccone ;

(c)         Tuesday, 30 July 2019—Senators Hughes, Ayres and O’Sullivan; and

(d)         Wednesday, 31 July 2019—Senators Sheldon and Green.

(2)         On Tuesday, 30 July 2019, immediately after Senator O’Sullivan’s first speech, valedictory statements may be made relating to Senator Fifield.

(Agreed to 22 July 2019)


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:

                          (a)      Tuesday, 10 September 2019—Senators Scarr, Van and Rennick;

                          (b)      Wednesday, 11 September 2019—Senators Marielle Smith and Walsh;

                           (c)      Tuesday, 17 September 2019—Senators Antic and Davey; and

                          (d)      Wednesday, 18 September 2019—Senator McMahon.

(Agreed to 23 July 2019)


Formal business—Suspensions of standing orders—Prohibition of debate

That, in accordance with the recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s first report of 2019, the temporary order prohibiting debate on suspension of standing order motions connected to formal business, that was in effect at the end of the 45th Parliament, be adopted on a permanent basis.

( Agreed to 4 July 2019 )


Meeting of Senate—2019

That the days of meeting of the Senate for the remainder of 2019 be as follows:

           Winter sittings:

                                Monday, 22 July to Thursday, 25 July

                                Monday, 29 July to Thursday, 1 August



Spring sittings:

                                Monday, 9 September to Thursday, 12 September

                                Monday, 16 September to Thursday, 19 September

                                Monday, 14 October to Thursday, 17 October

                                Monday, 11 November to Thursday, 14 November

                                Monday, 25 November to Thursday, 28 November

                                Monday, 2 December to Thursday, 5 December.

( Agreed to 4 July 2019 )