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Standing Orders - Senate Standing Committee - Report of the Sixty-First Session - Third, dated 15 June 1984

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The Parliament o f the Commonwealth of Australia


Third Report for the Sixty-first Session

June 1984

Presented and ordered to be printed 15 June 1984

Parliamentary Paper No. 112/1984

Parliamentary Paper No. 112/1984

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia


Third Report for the

Sixty-first Session

June 1984

The Commonwealth Government Printer Canberra 1984

© Commonwealth of Australia 1984

Printed by Authority by the Commonwealth Government Printer




The Standing Orders Committee has the honour to report to

the Senate that it has considered the following matters and

agreed to the following report.


1. On 20 October 1983 the Senate passed a resolution

expressing the opinion that Senators should provide

statements of their private interests covering a number

of matters set out in detail in the resolution,

agreeing that a public register of Senators' interests

should be established and requesting the Standing

Orders Committee to consider and report upon:

(i) what changes in the Standing Orders may be

required to give effect to the matters contained in paragraphs (b) to (e) [of the resolution], and

(ii) the desirability of adopting other provisions relating to Members of Parliament contained in the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Public

Duty and Private Interest (except constitutional matters, but including, in particular, a Code of Conduct).

2. The Committee has considered the matters referred to it

by this resolution, and requires more time to determine

its report to the Senate. The Committee expects to be

able to report during the next period of sittings.

2 .


3. The Committee has given consideration to the

incorporation of unread matter into Hansard by leave of

the Senate, following a submission to the President by

the Principal Parliamentary Reporter. This submission

drew attention to the readiness with which leave is

granted by the Senate to incorporate material, the

effect of frequent incorporations on the cos’: o-r

Hansard and on the standing of Hansard as a record of

debate, the waste involved in reprinting previously

printed and published documents which are incorporated,

and the relatively strict control which is exercised

over the incorporation of material in the House of


4. The Committee considers that these matters raised by

the submission are not without weight, and that the

Senate should deal more circumspectly with requests for

the incorporation of material. The Committee suggests

that the Senate adopt and adhere to guidelines to

govern the incorporation of material, and a proposed

set of such guidelines is contained in the Appendix to

this Report. These guidelines should not and could not

be inflexible rules, nor formal procedures which the

Chair could uphold by rulings, but matters to which the

Senate should have regard and to which the Chair may

from time to time draw attention.

Douglas McClelland Chairman


Proposed Guidelines for the

Incorporation of Material in Hansard

(1) In principle, Hansard should be regarded as e. record of

what is spoken in the Senate, and thus any proposal to

incorporate unread matter should be treated with


(2) As a general principle material should not be

incorporated in Hansard unless it is closely related to

the speech of the Senator seeking its incorporation,

and i1]ustrates, complements or elucidates that speech.

(3) Material which is otherwise publicly and readily

available, for example, newspaper articles, government

papers tabled in either House of the Parliament and law

reports, or extracts therefrom, normally should not be

incorporated in Hansard.

(4) Subject to paragraph (7), speeches, or extracts

Lhere from, previously made in either House of the

Parliament, or material previously incorporated in the

Hansard of ejther House, normally should not be

incorporated in Hansard.

(5) Subject to paragraph (9), unpublished material such as

correspondence from constituents may be considered for

incorporation in Hansard.

(6) Subject to paragraph (9), material such as tables and

other printed matter, which needs to be reproduced in

visual form for comprehension, may be considered for

incorporation in Hansard.

(7) Paragraph (4) should not apply to speeches such as

Ministers' second reading speeches, statements made on

behalf of Parliamentary Committees, second reading

speeches of private Senators introducing bills,

Ministerial statements, and Government responses to

Parliamentary Committee reports: Provided that copies

of such speeches have been circulated in th- Chamber.

(8) The practice should be encouraged whereby Sen tors seek

leave to table, rather than incorporate i Hansard,

documents such as those mentioned in paragraphs (3),

(4), (5) and particularly (6), on the ground that

tabling is an effective method of making available to

other Senators and the public material required to

elucidate or explain points made in a speech.

(9) If the incorporation in Hansard of material is sought

contrary to the foregoing guidelines:

(a) the existing practices relating to prior

disclosure of material to Party Leaders or other

appropriate representatives should be observed;

(b) the Senator seeking leave to incorporate the

material in Hansard should indicate to the Senate

its length and the precise nature of its contents;


(c) the incorporation of material in Hansard should be

on the understanding that the final decision on

the practicability of the incorporation shall be

made by the President.