Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Standing Orders - Senate Standing Committee - Reports of the Sixtieth Session - First


Download PDF Download PDF

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

SENATE STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

First Report for the Sixtieth Session

October 1981

Presented and ordered to be printed 15 October 1981

Parliamentary Paper No. 361/1981

Parliamentary Paper No. 361/1981

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

SENATE STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

First Report for Sixtieth Session

October 1981

The Commonwealth Government Printer Canberra 1982

© Commonwealth of Australia 1982

ISBN 0 644 01713 9

Printed by Authority by the Commonwealth Government Printer

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

FIRST REPORT FOR THE SIXTIETH SESSION 1980-81

The Standing Orders Committee has the honour to report

to the Senate on the following matters in respect of

which the Committee has agreed to make recommendations

to the Senate.

1. MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE

1. The Committee has had difficulty in the past in

meeting, and this has been partly due to the difficulty

of finding a time for meeting convenient to the Leader

of the Government and the Leader of the Opposition, who

have been elected members of the Committee for some

years and who have many calls upon their time. As a

solution to this problem, the Committee recommends that

the Standing Order for the appointment of the Committee,

Standing Order 33, be amended to provide for the two

Leaders to be ex officio members and to allow them to appoint

other Senators to act in their place as memebers of the

Committee when they are not able to attend meetings. It is

accordingly recommended that Standing Order 33 be amended

as shown in Appendix A.

2. DEPUTY-PRESIDENT

2. The Committee considers that the title of the

Chairman of Committees is misleading, particularly

2.

because of the Senate's active Committee system and the

consequent confusion between the Chairman of Committees

of the Whole and Chairmen of Senate standing committees.

The Committee accordingly recommends that the role of

this important elected officer of the Senate be more

accurately recognised by the use of the title Deputy-

President, a title which already exists in the Standing

Orders. The Committee suggests that the official title

of the position be Deputy-President and Chairman of

Committees, that the title Deputy-President be generally

used and that the title Chairman of Committees be

restricted to the role of the position as Chairman of

Committees of the Whole. Amendments of the Standing

Orders which the Committee recommends to achieve this

usage are set out in Appendix B.

3. PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF GOVERNMENT REPORTS

3. The Committee has given consideration to the time

which is being taken, usually every sitting day, in

the moving and debating of motions to take note of

reports presented by Ministers. It is a matter of concern

that, virtually each sitting day, the business of the day

is delayed, often extensively, by the moving of motions

to take note of these reports. The Committee therefore

suggests that for a trial period, by Sessional Order, the

Senate adopt the following procedure, which, it is believed,

will allow the more orderly consideration of business without

unduly interfering with the right of Senators to comment upon

Government reports at the time of their presentation:

3.

(a) reports shall be presented by Ministers

on Thursdays only, unless there are exceptional

circumstances requiring the presentation of

particular reports on other days;

(b) no petitions shall be received on Thursdays;

(c) before the Discovery of Formal Business, it

shall be in order for Senators to move motions

to take note of reports presented by Minsters

and to speak for a time not exceeding ten

minutes to such motions;

(d) the consideration of such motions shall conclude

after one and a half hours or at 1.00 p.m.

whichever is the earlier, provided that,

if less than one and a half hours is available

for the consideration of such motions before

1.00 p.m., the balance of the one and a half

hours shall be available at 8.00 p.m.; and

(e) when motions to take note of Government reports

are again called on in the normal course of business,

Senators who have spoken under the special

arrangement may again speak to the motion in the

normal way ,

4. A sessional order incorporating this arrangement

is recommended by the Committee and appears in

Appendix C.

Harold Young Chairman

APPENDIX A

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF STANDING ORDER 33

That Standing Order 33 be amended to read as follows:

33. A Standing Orders Committee, to consist of

the President, the Deputy-President, the

Leader of the Government in the Senate, the

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and

six Senators, shall be appointed at the

commencement of each Parliament, with power

to act during Recess and to confer with a

similar Committee of the House of Representatives.

Provided that, if at any time the Leader of

the Government in the Senate or the Leader

of the Opposition in the Senate is unable

to attend a meeting of the Committee, he

may appoint a Senator to act in his place

as a member of the Committee at that meeting.

APPENDIX B

DEPUTY-PRESIDENT

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS OF STANDING ORDERS

That the Standing Orders be amended as follows:

(1) The heading of Chapter III - by inserting before the

words "Chairman of Committees" the words "Deputy-

President and".

(2) Standing Order 26 - by inserting before the words

"Chairman of Committees" the words "Deputy-President and".

(3) Standing Order 27 - by inserting before the words

"Chairman of Committees" the words"Deputy-President and".

(4) Standing Order 29 -(a) by leaving out the words "Chairman of Committees"

and inserting in their stead the words "Deputy-President"

(b) by leaving out the words "as Deputy-President".

(5) Standing Order 30 - by leaving out the words "Chairman

of Committees" and inserting in their stead "Deputy-President"

(6) Standing Order 31 -(a) by leaving out the words "Chairman of Committees" and

inserting in their stead the words "Deputy-President".

(b) by leaving out the words "as Deputy-President".

(7) Standing Order 31A - by leaving out the words "Chairman of

Committees" and inserting in their stead the words

"Deputy-President".

(8) Standing Order 166 - by leaving out the words "Chairman of

Committees" and inserting in their stead the words "Deputy-

President" .

(9) Standing Order 167 - by leaving out the words "Chairman of

Committees" and inserting in their stead the words "Deputy-

President" .

5 .

6.

(10) Standing Order 291 - by leaving out the words "Chairman of

Committees" and inserting in their stead the words "Deputy-

President" .

7 .

APPENDIX C

CONSIDERATION OF GOVERNMENT REPORTS

PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDER

That, unless otherwise ordered and notwithstanding anything

contained in the Standing Orders, on Thursdays no petitions

may be presented, and, prior to Formal Motions, Papers may

be presented by Ministers. Upon the presentation of such papers

a Senator may move, without notice, that the Senate take note of

one, or several, of the papers. Senators may not speak to any

such motion for more than ten minutes, and the consideration of

any such motion shall be interrupted after the expiration of

1*5 hours or at 1.00 p.m. , whichever is the earlier.

Provided that, if the consideration of all such motions has not

extended for 1% hours at 1.00 p.m., debate on any such motion

interrupted at 1.00 p.m. may be continued at 8.00 p.m. , and

further such motions may be moved and debated, and such debate

shall take precedence of other General Business until the

consideration of all such motions has extended for 1^ hours,

or until there is no further debate.

Where debates on motions moved under the provisions of this

Sessional Order are adjourned and are called on in the normal

course of business, Senators who have spoken to the questions

under the provision of this Sessional Order may again speak

for the time allowed under Standing Order 407A.

J