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Legislation Procedures - Senate Select Committee - Report, 1 December 1988


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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

Senate Select Committee on Legislation Procedures-Report

1 December 1988

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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Paper

No. 398 of 1988 Ordered to be printed ISSN 0727-4181

'

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON

LEGISLATION PROCEDURES

REPORT

1 December 1989

Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra

© Commonwealth of Australia 1990

ISBN 0 644 09960 7

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the Director, Publishing and Marketing, AGPS. Inquiries should be directed to the Manager, AGPS Press, Australian Government Publishing Service, GPO Box 84, Canberra ACT 2601. (A)

Printed in Australia by R. D. RUBIE, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

Senator

Senator

Senator

Senator

Senator

Senator

M. A. Colston (Chairman)

B. Collins

D. J. Hamer, D.S.C.

G.N. Jones

M. J. Macklin

M.E. Reid

iii

.

CONTENTS

PAGE

Reference of bills to committees 2

Choice of bills to be referred 5

Method of referring bills 8

Appropriate committees 9

Stage at which bills should be referred 10

Matters to be considered by committees 12

Procedures of committees 13

Time for committees to meet 14

Treatment of bills returned from committees 15

Expediting proceeding on some bills 17

Estimates Committees and consideration of

appropriation bills 19

Divisions 21

Motions for suspension of standing orders 22

Quorum 22

Avoidance of an excessive concentration

of bills at the end of a period of sittings 23

Summary of recommendations 24

Conclusion 26

Appendices

1 Bills referred to Senate Standing or

Select committees 1970-88 28

2 Comparative table of sitting days and

Acts passed in the legislatures of

Australia, Canada, Britain and the

United States 39

3 Time spent on unopposed bills from

House of Representatives - Second

reading debates 41

V

42

Proposed sessional orders and amendments

4 Reference of bills to committees

5 Motions and amendments to refer bills

to committees - time limits 49

6 Wednesdays to be reserved for committee

meetings 50

7 Debate on bills received from the

House of Representatives 52

8 Consideration of appropriation bills

in committee of the whole 53

9 Powers of estimates committees 55

10 Motions for suspension of Standing

Orders - limitation of debate 56

vi

1.

THE SENATE

SELECT COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION PROCEDURES

REPORT TO THE SENATE

The Senate appointed this Committee on 25 August 1988 to

inquire into and report upon:

(a) the referral of bills introduced into the

Senate to committees for examination of

the provisions of the bills;

(b) the allocation of one day each sitting

week for meetings of committees to

consider bills;

(c) the avoidance of an excessive

concentration of bills to be dealt with

towards the end of a session; and

(d) any changes to:

(i) procedures of the Senate,

(ii) the structure of committees of

the Senate, and

(iii) procedures of committees,

to facilitate the referral of bills

by committees and the expediting of

Senate consideration of bills.

2.

Reference of bills to committees

The reference of bills to committees was envisaged as an

essential part of the committee system established by the

Senate in 1970. The standing order under which the

legislative and general purpose standing committees are

established (Standing Order 36AA, at paragraph (2))

explicitly refers to the reference of bills to the

committees.

Notwithstanding this intention, the reference of bills to

committees has occurred only occasionally. Attached as

Appendix 1 to this report is a list of all bills referred to

committees by the Senate since 1970, showing subsequent

action taken in relation to the bills, particularly

amendments made to them. The list shows that 31 bills have

been referred to committees by the Senate since that time.

This does not include the 16 bills relating to corporations

referred to the Joint Select Committee on Corporations

Legislation formed on 19 October 1988.

The reference of more bills to committees on a regular basis

has been frequently discussed in recent years. It has been

seen as a valuable addition to the parliamentary work of the

Senate. It has also been regarded as the next step in the

development of the committee system and of the system for

the scrutiny of legislation.

On 23 August 1979 the Senate adopted a sessional order,

which has since been renewed and is still in force,

providing for the consideration of bills by committees as a

substitute for the committee of the whole stage on bills.

This sessional order has not been used, the Senate

preferring to refer bills to committees under older

procedures, by way of amendment to the motion for the second

reading or a motion after the second reading. Both of these

methods allow the committees more flexibility in the

procedures they adopt in considering bills.

3.

There have been other schemes proposed for the regular

reference of bills to committees, including that contained

in a paper circulated by an informal committee of Senators

in February 1985 and a notice of motion given by the Leader

of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Chaney, on 10 May

1985. The Committee took these previous proposals into

consideration in formulating its conclusions.

When bills have been referred to committees in the past, the

results have been recognised as an improvement in the

legislative process in that they have led to more effective

legislation. The instance often cited is the extensive

scrutiny of proposed Freedom of Information legislation by

the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs

in 1979. The Freedom of Information Act which emerged from

that process was guite different from the legislation

originally proposed, and is acknowledged to have been vastly

improved by committee scrutiny. The list contained in

Appendix 1 also indicates that legislation has often been

significantly changed as a result of committee examination.

The desire for more effective scrutiny and consideration of

proposed legislation, however, has not been universally

accepted. It has often encountered a traditional fear on the

part of governments of excessive delay in the enactment of

legislation and undue interference with the execution of

government-determined policies. Governments have usually

seen the reference of bills to committees as a form of

procrastination in the consideration of legislation and a

loss of control by the government over the content of

legislation. This is understandable as with many cases of

bills being referred to committees by the Senate, the

necessary motion has been passed by a non-government

majority against the wishes of the government. Moreover,

governments appear to consider that the passage of

legislation through the Senate is an unnecessarily

4 .

protracted and painful process. There is often a large

backlog of legislation in the Senate at the end of each

period of sittings, a matter to which the Committee was

required to give its attention. Although this is usually

regarded as a result of slowness on the part of the

government and the public service in introducing

legislation, there can be no doubt that it creates a

government perception of dilatoriness on the part of the

Senate in dealing with legislation.

The supposed conflict between more thorough examination of

legislation and expeditious enactment of government policy

may be an imagined problem rather than a real one. The

effective examination of legislation and a greater

expedition in legislating may be perfectly compatible

goals. Intensive committee consideration of bills may help

to avoid the faulty execution of policy and policy failures

by revealing defects in proposed legislation. The

consideration of bills by a number of committees may also

speed up the overall legislative process, because, while the

consideration of each individual bill may be extended, a

number of bills can be considered simultaneously.

The Committee approached its task on the assumption that it

should pursue both aims of more thorough examination of

legislation and more efficient processing of legislation.

The Committee's terms of reference, particularly in

paragraphs (c) and (d), indicate that this is what the

Senate expected the Committee to do.

-1

5.

Recommendation 1(a):

The Committee recommends that more bills than at present be

referred to committees.

Against the background of recommendation 1, the Senate may

wish to consider whether its times of sitting are sufficient

to cope with its legislative workload. Attached as Appendix

2 is a table which shows that comparable legislatures sit

more days per year and pass fewer statutes. These figures

could suggest that a significant extension of sitting times

is necessary to enable thorough examination of legislation.

The time which Senators are able to spend in Canberra,

however, is severely limited by electoral expectations

imposed upon them, and the committee has assumed that a

considerable extension of sitting times is not a

possibility.

The Committee therefore assumes that a scheme for more

regular reference of bills to committees necessarily entails

committee consideration of bills being in some way in

substitution for, and not in addition to, time spent by the

Senate on consideration of bills. The Committee thus looked

for ways whereby committee consideration of bills may be

accompanied by more expeditious Senate consideration of

bills, subject to safeguards of the rights of individual

Senators and of the ability of the majority to prevail in

the Senate in relation to all questions concerning

legislation.

Choice of bills to be referred

Having supported the proposal that more bills be referred to

committees, the first question considered by the Committee

was whether all bills should be referred to committees by

some self-operating process, or whether there should be some

selection of bills to be referred.

6.

The Senate could provide in its procedures that all bills

stand referred to committees at a particular stage, and the

committees could then determine which bills require

scrutiny. This would have the advantage that committees

could begin their examination of bills, or at least prepare

for such examination, before the bills reach the Senate.

The Committee considers, however, that a scheme whereby all

bills are automatically referred to committees would be

wasteful of the Senate's and of committees' time. There are

many bills passed by the Senate which are not in any way

contentious. This is not to say that such bills are not

debated. Often debate on them is about the subject matter

with which they deal rather than the provisions of the bills

themselves. A good indicator of whether the provisions of

bills require consideration and examination in themselves is

whether there is debate in the committee of the whole stage,

and many bills pass through that stage without debate. It

may be expected, therefore, that if all bills were referred

to committees many would be reported to the Senate without

any comment on them.

The Committee therefore believes that it is necessary to

have some selection process to determine which bills require

or would benefit from committee scrutiny, and to determine

which bills should be referred to committees. The Committee

considers that the Senate must make the actual decision as

to which bills are to be referred to committees, and should

not delegate that decision to any other body. A selection

process, however, entails some type of selection committee

such as was proposed in Senator Chaney's 1985 notice of

motion. The alternative is to leave the process of selection

entirely to the Senate itself on a motion or amendment moved

by a Senator, but this would be no addition to the current

procedures, which permit a second reading amendment and a

motion without notice after the second reading to refer a

bill to a committee.

7.

Recommendation 1 (b):

The Committee recommends that a Selection of Bills Committee

be constituted to make recommendations to the Senate as to

which bills should be referred to committees.

Recommendation 1(c):

The Committee recommends that the Selection of Bills

Committee be: the Government Whip and two Deputy Government

Whips, the Opposition Whip and the Deputy Opposition Whip,

the National Party Whip and the Australian Democrat Whip.

The Committee suggests this membership because it is

virtually that of a group which meets informally on each day

of sitting and which, amongst other tasks, monitors the

progress of legislation. The Committee considers that it

would be economical of Senators' time to make use of this

existing informal body.

It would be open to the Senate to prescribe some criteria to

guide the Selection of Bills Committee in determining

whether a bill should go to a committee, but the Committee

considers that, at least for the time being, the selection

committee should be left to develop its own criteria based

on an assessment by Senators of whether a bill requires

committee scrutiny.

The Committee realises that the legislative and general

purpose standing committees may adopt the practice of

examining bills and identifying those which they consider

would benefit by committee scrutiny. The standing committees

could then convey to the Selection of Bills Committee

suggestions, if they so wish, for bills to be referred to

them. The Selection of Bills Committee could take those

suggestions into account in formulating its recommendations.

8.

It is also suggested that the Selection of Bills Committee

make recommendations as to the time for committees to report

on bills and that reporting times be included in the motions

referring bills to committees.

Method of referring bills

Recommendation 1(d):

The Committee recommends that, unless the Selection of Bills

Committee has no report to present, it report its

recommendations relating to bills to be referred to

committees at an appropriate time each sitting day.

A motion could then be moved for the adoption of the

Selection of Bills Committee's report, and the passage of

that motion would have the effect of referring bills to

committees at the stage specified by the selection committee

without any further question being put. This motion would be

open to amendment, so that Senators could, in effect, move

any modification of the selection committee's

recommendations, including the reference to a committee of

any bill in respect of which the selection committee has

not made any recommendation for referral.

Recommendation 1(e):

The Committee recommends that a total limit of 30 minutes

and 5 minutes for each speaker apply for debate on a report

of the Selection of Bills Committee.

If, at the expiration of the total time limit, a Senator has

an amendment not then moved, that amendment would be moved

and determined without further debate.

9.

The Committee suggests that the rights of Senators and of

the Senate be further preserved by retaining the existing

procedures for the referral of bills to committees during or

after the second reading debate.

Recommendation 2:

The Committee recommends that the same time limits as

outlined in recommendation 1(e) apply to other motions and

amendments to refer bills to committees.

The Committee has made this recommendation to make the

different methods of referring bills to committees subject

to similar limitations.

Appropriate committees

The Committee suggests that bills should normally be

referred to the legislative and general purpose standing

committees.

This was envisaged when those committees were established.

The legislative and general purpose standing committees are

specialised by subjects and their members have an interest

and expertise in their subject areas. The Senate has already

put in place, in the sessional orders relating to standing

committees agreed to on 22 September 1987, a scheme for

allocating matters relating to ministerial portfolios among

the committees. This would provide a ready-made method of

determining the committee to which a bill should be

referred. The information and evidence gathered by the

standing committees in their general inquiries could be

useful in the consideration of legislation, and the

committees could consider bills and other matters referred

to them concurrently, thereby saving the time of the

committee members and witnesses.

10.

It may be argued that committee consideration of legislation

should be kept separate from the consideration of other

matters referred to committees, so that the legislative and

general purposes standing committees would not be distracted

from their general inquiries. Adding to the sum total of

committee work to be done, however, is certain to require

some reordering of priorities among various inquiries,

because the number of available Senators and the amount of

available time remain the same.

The establishment of another layer of committees would mean

that the available Senators would be distributed even more

thinly over the total number of committees and different

committees would be competing for meeting times and the

attention of their members. That might be overcome by

overlapping membership and common secretariats, but such an

arrangement would amount to employing the same committees

with a change of name for their different tasks.

The Committee therefore considers that the case for using

the legislative and general purpose standing committees

rather than setting up further committees is overwhelming.

The Committee considers that bills should be referred to

committees other than the legislative and general purpose

standing committees in special circumstances only.

The membership of the standing committees may need to be

adjusted to provide more opportunity for the Australian

Democrat and independent senators to be members of

committees. The existing procedures allow for such

adjustments to be made.

Stage at which bills should be referred

The procedures of the Senate already allow bills to be

referred to committees before or after the second reading,

11.

that is, before or after the Senate has agreed in principle

to bills. The bills may be referred by means of a motion on

notice, an amendment to the motion for the second reading,

or a motion without notice after the second reading under

standing order 196A. The Committee considers that it should

be open to the Senate to refer a bill to a committee at any

stage, and that these existing procedures should remain in

place to allow the maximum flexibility in dealing with

bills, subject to the debating time limit which the

Committee has recommended in recommendations 1(e) and 2.

The Committee's proposals provide an additional method for

referring bills to committees whereby it may be determined

which bills are to be referred to committees and the stage

at which they are to be referred, without prejudice to a

decision by the Senate to refer a bill at another stage.

The Committee considers that bills should normally be

referred to committees after the second reading. It must

remain the prerogative of the whole Senate to determine

whether a bill will proceed, and the consideration by a

committee of the question of whether a bill should be

approved in principle could result only in a recommendation

to the Senate. If the policy of a bill is contentious a

committee's recommendation in that regard may well be

overturned by the Senate, which would mean that the time

spent by a committee in considering the policy of such a

bill would be largely wasted. The Committee therefore

believes that consideration of a bill by a committee would

be most profitable after the Senate has determined the

question of whether the bill should be agreed to in

principle and should proceed.

While concluding that the Senate should not normally

delegate to a committee the question of whether a bill

should proceed, the Committee considers that there is scope

12.

for expediting proceedings on the second reading of

non-contentious bills, both as an adjunct to the referral of

more bills to committees and as a means of saving time in

the Senate to allow committees more time to meet on bills.

The Committee therefore makes recommendations in relation to

second reading debates in a subsequent section of this

report.

Matters to be considered by committees

The referral of bills after the second reading implies that

committees should consider the details of the provisions of

bills rather than the question of whether their policy is to

be approved in principle, which question is determined by

the Senate on the motion for the second reading.

The Committee considers, however, that the standing

committees should be left free to consider any aspects of

bills referred to them. It may well be appropriate for the

committees to consider matters relating to the policy of

bills other than the question of whether the policy is to be

approved in principle. The committees may consider, for

example, questions such as whether the policy of bills is

internally consistent and consistent with other legislation,

whether the policy is coherent and whether the provisions of

bills are effective, and the most effective means, in

carrying out the stated policy. The committees may also wish

to consider the views of interested and affected individuals

and organisations in relation to the policy of bills.

The standing committees should also perform the task for

which committees are best suited, the consideration of the

details of the provisions of bills. In this regard it should

be competent for the committees to recommend amendments to

bills. The Committee does not consider that the standing

committees should be given the power actually to amend

bills. That must remain the prerogative of the Senate.

13.

The Senate may, when referring a bill to a committee,

confine the committee to a consideration of particular

matters, and this option would would remain open to the

Senate under the recommendations of this Committee. The

proposed Selection of Bills Committee could make a

recommendation in that connection, and the Senate could

incorporate a particular restricted charter for a committee

in the motion referring a particular bill to it.

Procedures of committees

The Committee suggests that all the procedures currently

available to the standing committees should remain available

to them in their consideration of bills, and, in particular,

it should be for a committee to decide whether it should

call for public submissions and hold hearings for the taking

of oral evidence.

In respect of some bills it may be appropriate for the

committees to take evidence only from the responsible

Minister and department, or from particular individuals or

groups affected by the bills. In some cases it may be

appropriate for a committee to go through a bill clause by

clause and to consider amendments in a manner similar to the

committee of the whole. These are matters which should

normally be left to each committee to determine in relation

to each bill.

In special circumstances the Senate could confine the

committee to particular procedures when referring a

particular bill, and the proposed Selection of Bills

Committee could make recommendations to this effect.

It is suggested that Ministers make available to each

committee considering a bill an appropriate departmental

officer to provide, on request, advice to the committee

14.

concerning the technical aspects and background of the bill.

It would be for each committee to determine the use it made

of such an officer.

The Committee has been advised that the Parliamentary

Reporting Staff would be able to report the committees, if

necessary, so long as transcripts were not required to be

produced by the following day or produced in typeset form.

Time for committees to meet

The Committee endorses the suggestion contained in the

reference to the Committee, that one day each sitting week

be set aside for committees to meet, in order to provide

time for the committees to consider legislation referred to

them. The committees should be free to consider other

matters at that time and to consider legislation at other

times.

Without this provision of time, the committees would be

hard-pressed to find time to deal with bills referred to

them without almost entirely abandoning their other

inquiries.

Recommendation 3:

The Committee recommends that, subject to any change in the

pattern of the sittings of the Senate, and subject to an

appropriate adjustment of broadcasting arrangements,

Wednesday of each sitting week be set aside for committee

meetings.

This arrangement would allow several bills to be considered

simultaneously by committees.

15.

The Committee does not recommend that the Senate change its

long-standing policy of not permitting meetings of

committees, other than private deliberative meetings (an

exception made in the new sessional orders adopted in

September 1987), while the Senate is sitting.

Treatment of bills returned from committees

The question of how bills are to be dealt with after they

have been returned from standing committees raises some

difficult issues of principle as well as matters of

procedure.

The first and most fundamental question is whether standing

committee consideration of bills is to be regarded as

substituting for Senate consideration of bills, or whether

it should be regarded as supplementing Senate consideration

of bills. To put the question in another way, is the

reference of a bill to a committee to result in the

curtailment of the consideration of that bill by the Senate?

The Senate could provide in its procedures that where a bill

is referred to a committee the subsequent Senate proceedings

on the bills could be expedited, subject to safeguards of

the rights of individual Senators and of the majority of the

Senate.

For example, it would be possible to provide that, where a

committee has considered and made a recommendation in

relation to the policy of a bill and whether it should be

passed, the question for the second reading would be put

without debate, subject to any motion without notice that

debate occur, or subject to the right of any individual

Senator to speak to the second reading. It could also be

provided that the second reading debate on such a bill would

be subject to a special total time limit and a special

speaking time limit, say an hour for the whole debate and 10

minutes for each Senator.

16.

Similar streamlining could be applied to the committee of

the whole stage where a committee has considered the details

of a bill. This is slightly more complicated, in that there

must be some mechanism for the Senate to consider any

amendments recommended or considered by a committee, and

there must always be an opportunity for the Senate itself to

amend a bill.

The Senate could make a provision such that, if a committee

has considered the details of a bill and no amendments are

recommended, either in the report of the committee or in any

dissenting report, and if the Scrutiny of Bills Committee

has not suggested any amendments or referred to any possible

defects, the committee of the whole stage would be dispensed

with, subject to any motion without notice that the

committee of the whole stage take place. It could also be

provided that any recommendation by a committee, or any

members of a committee, that further explanation be provided

of the provisions of a bill, would also entail consideration

in committee of the whole.

Provision may also be made for some expeditious method of

considering amendments recommended by a committee. This

could be done by way of a motion for the adoption of a

committee's report, as provided in the sessional order of

1979 relating to the referral of bills to committees and in

Senator Chaney's 1985 notice of motion. This would be useful

where amendments recommended by a committee are not

contentious and do not require substantial consideration,

but where neither of those conditions apply, normal

committee of the whole consideration could occur.

Having considered all of these possibilities, the Committee

is of the view that it would not be advisable to try to

restrict second reading debate or committee of the whole

consideration of a bill merely on the basis that the bill

17.

has been to a committee. Contentious, complicated or

significant bills are likely to attract debate at the second

reading and consideration in committee of the whole

regardless of how thoroughly a standing committee has

considered them. The more consideration a bill has attracted

in a standing committee, the more likely it is to attract

consideration at various stages in the Senate itself.

The Committee considers that it should be possible for a

bill referred to a committee to go through the normal stages

after it is returned. On the other hand, if a committee has

recommended amendments and no other amendments are

circulated in relation to the bill before the committee of

the whole stage, the recommended amendments may be passed by

means of a motion for the adoption of the report, as is

already provided in the existing sessional order. The

Committee would prefer the latter procedure to be used

wherever possible. If there is disagreement with amendments

proposed by a standing committee, however, the committee of

the whole stage would follow its usual course.

Expediting proceedings on some bills

In order po save time in the Senate which may be devoted to

consideration of bills in committees, the Committee proposes

a scheme for expediting proceedings on non-contentious

bills, a scheme which would operate independently of the

reference of bills to committees.

The Committee believes that one obvious way to save time on

legislation in the Senate is to streamline the debate on

bills which are received from the House of Representatives

and which are not opposed. Figures for two recent periods of

sittings, which are contained in Appendix 3 of this report,

indicate that up to 30 hours per period of sittings are

spent on debate on the second reading of unopposed bills.

18.

Recommendation 4(a):

The Committee recommends that in relation to a bill received

from the House of Representatives, when no Senator indicates

to the Chair, either in writing before the second reading of

the bill is called on or orally at that time, that the

Senator requires to debate the bill, the motion for the

second reading of that bill be put without debate.

The suggestion that any Senator be allowed to indicate that

he or she wishes to debate a bill would preserve the right

of individual Senators to participate in a debate.

For the purposes of this recommendation, the Whips could

seek an indication from their parties whether a debate on a

bill is desired. The right of Senators and the Senate to

consider any such bill as it has emerged from committee

would be preserved by the opportunity for debate on the

third reading.

It will be noted that the Committee's proposal does not

refer to unopposed bills as such. It may be that there would

be agreement to dispense with debate on a bill which is

opposed, but it is assumed that the suggested procedure

would normally apply to unopposed bills. The determining

criterion, however, would be whether Senators wish to have

debate, not whether they oppose the bill.

Recommendation 4(b):

The Committee recommends that when the motion for the second

reading of a bill is put without debate, a time limit of

five minutes be imposed on any third reading speech.

19.

The Committee recognises that on special occasions, Senators

may wish to make a contribution on a bill on which there

have been no second reading speeches. The Committee believes

that necessary comments could be made on the third reading

in 5 minutes. If the normal 30 minutes were allowed, that

would defeat the purpose of dispensing with second reading

speeches.

Estimates Committees and consideration

of appropriation bills

Another way of using the Senate's time to the best advantage

would be to alter the consideration of the annual and

additional appropriation bills in committee of the whole.

The Estimates Committees provide an opportunity for Senators

to examine in detail and in depth the proposed expenditure

of departments and authorities.

Recommendation 5:

The Committee recommends that debate on appropriation bills

in the committee of the whole be confined to matters

referred to in Estimates Committee reports for further

examination.

This procedure would ensure that the original intention of

Estimates Committees, as implied in paragraph (17) of

Standing Order 36AB, is more closely adhered to, namely,

that the committees focus the attention of the Senate on

particular matters which they believe require further

examination. The reference to reports in this recommendation

includes any reservations attached to the reports.

The reports of the Estimates Committees should include

schedules of questions not answered at the time of

reporting, with a recommendation to the effect that those

20.

questions are referred to the Senate for further

consideration until they are answered. This would allow

questions still unanswered at the time of the committee of

the whole debate to be referred to at that time.

The Committee considers that the committee of the whole

procedures on the appropriation bills should not be regarded

as a further opportunity for questions to be put to

Ministers and officers, other than the unanswered questions

referred to in the previous paragraph. Ministers should not

otherwise have officers in attendance, Senators should

direct their remarks to the matters contained in the

Estimates Committees' reports, and any responses which may

be necessary should normally be given by the chairmen of the

committees or the authors of any reservations to elucidate

or supplement the material contained in the committee

reports or reservations.

Recommendation 6:

The Committee recommends that the Estimates Committees be

given the power to recommend the approval by the Senate of

proposed expenditure, with or without amendments or requests

for amendments.

Under this proposal, the consideration of the proposed

expenditure in committee of the whole would then proceed by

way of motions for the adoption of the recommendations of

the Estimates Committees. Amendments could be moved to those

motions for the purpose of substituting some level of

expenditure other than the one proposed, or no expenditure,

for particular departments and authorities, or for

expressing opinions about matters referred to by the

Estimates Committees. The resolutions of the committee of

the whole would then be reported as approving the

expenditure contained in the bill, or as approving the

expenditure with amendments or subject to requests for

amendments, as the case may be.

21.

The Committee also suggests that Estimates Committees be

confined to examining the expenditure of those departments

and authorities for which appropriations are proposed. For

example, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's

expenditure is included in appropriation bills and therefore

would be examined by an Estimates Committee. On the other

hand, the expenditure of an agency such as QANTAS is not

normally part of the proposed expenditure referred to the

Estimates Committees and thus ought not be examined by them.

The legislative and general purpose standing committees are

the appropriate committees to examine the expenditure of

such self-funding bodies and already receive their annual

reports. It is open to a Senator to move a motion or

amendment to direct a committee to inquire into a particular

report, and to attend the meetings at which the inquiry is

conducted.

Special appropriations should be expressly referred to the

Committees for examination. Special appropriations are those

which continue without annual renewal under special Acts of

Parliament, for example, the Social Security Act 1947, which

appropriates the money for benefits payable under the Act.

Divisions

The Committee suggests that use be made of the practice of

party leaders or whips asking that it be recorded that their

parties vote for or against a question without proceeding to

a division.

The Committee proposes that when any Senator states: "I wish

to record that I [or all members of a party] support [or

oppose] this motion", the Journals and Hansard record that

the Senator, or all members of the party, voted accordingly.

In the case of such an indication by a party leader or whip,

22.

all the members of the party present in Parliament House

when the vote is taken would be recorded as voting, and for

this purpose the whips would provide a list of members who

are present.

Motions for the suspension of standing orders

Recommendation 7:

The Committee recommends that the Senate adopt the sessional

order proposed by the Procedure Committee that debate on

motions for the suspension of standing orders be limited to

30 minutes and the time allowed for each speaker on the

motions be limited to 5 minutes.

A recommendation to that effect was made by the Procedure

Committee in its report dated 26 November 1987.

Quorum

Recommendation 8:

The Committee recommends that legislative action be taken to

reduce the quorum of the Senate from one third to one

quarter of the Senators.

Section 22 of the Australian Constitution states that "Until

the Parliament otherwise provides, the presence of at least

one-third of the whole number of the senators shall be

necessary to constitute a meeting of the Senate for the

exercise of its powers". A similar provision for the House

of Representatives is contained in Section 39.

Anticipating the move to the new Parliament House, the House

of Representatives introduced legislation to reduce its

quorum from one-third to one-fifth of its members. This

23.

requires the passage of legislation through both houses. The

legislation has subsequently passed all stages in the House

of Representatives and is currently before the Senate.

It may be useful at this stage to review the quorum for the

Senate. The current quorum of one-third requires twenty-six

Senators to be present. A one-fifth quorum would require the

presence of sixteen Senators. A quorum based on one-quarter

would require the presence of nineteen Senators. This seems

to be more reasonable than one-fifth.

Avoidance of an excessive concentration of

bills at the end of a period of sittings

The reference to the Committee asks it to consider the

avoidance of an excessive concentration of bills to be dealt

with towards the end of a session.

The concentration of government bills which remain to be

dealt with towards the end of a period of sittings is partly

a result of the date of introduction of those bills into the

Senate. The Senate has attempted to deal with this situation

by setting a "cut-off date" after which bills received from

the House of Representatives or introduced by Ministers are

automatically adjourned to the next period of sittings. This

would appear to be the only possible solution to the problem

of late introduction of bills which the government wishes to

have passed before the end of a period of sittings.

Many of the bills which remain at the end of a period of

sittings, however, have been received well before the

"cut-off date". It is clear that a more expeditious handling

of those bills is the only way of preventing an accumulation

of them. The Committee suggests that the Senate adopt the

proposals of this report as a first step towards eliminating

an excessive concentration of bills towards the end of a

period of sittings.

24.

Summary of recommendations

The Committee recommends that:

1(a) More bills than at present be referred to committees.

1(b) A Selection of Bills Committee be constituted to make

recommendations to the Senate as to which bills should

be referred to committees.

1(c) The Selection of Bills Committee be: The Government

Whip and two Deputy Government Whips, the Opposition

Whip and the Deputy Opposition Whip, the National

Party Whip and the Australian Democrat Whip.

1(d) Unless the Selection of Bills Committee has no report

to present, it report its recommendations relating to

bills to be referred to committees at an appropriate

time each sitting day.

1(e) A total time limit of 30 minutes and 5 minutes for

each speaker apply for debate on a report of the

Selection of Bills Committee.

2 The same time limits as outlined in recommendation

1(e) apply to other motions and amendments to refer

bills to committees.

3 Subject to any change in the pattern of the sittings

of the Senate, and subject to appropriate adjustments

of broadcasting arrangements, Wednesday of each

sitting week be set aside for committee meetings.

4(a) in relation to a bill received from the House of

Representatives, when no Senator indicates to the

Chair, either in writing before the second reading of

25.

the bill is called on or orally at that time, that the

Senator requires to debate the bill, the motion for

the second reading of that bill be put without debate.

4(b) When the motion for the second reading of a bill is

put without debate, a time limit of 5 minutes be

imposed on any third reading speech.

5 Debate on appropriation bills in the committee of the

whole be confined to matters referred to in Estimates

Committee reports for further examination.

6 Estimates Committees be given the power to recommend

the approval by the Senate of proposed expenditure,

with or without amendments or requests.

7 The Senate adopt the sessional order proposed by the

Procedure Committee that debate on motions for the

suspension of standing orders be limited to 30 minutes

and the time allowed for each speaker on the motions

be limited to 5 minutes.

8 The quorum of the Senate be reduced from one third to

one quarter of the Senators.

Attached as Appendices 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are proposed

new sessional orders and amendments to existing sessional

orders to give effect to the Committee's recommendations.

The Committee recommends that the Senate adopt these

sessional orders and amendments. The only recommendation not

given effect by them is recommendation 8, relating to the

quorum of the Senate, which requires legislation.

i.

26.

The Committee also suggests use of the following practices:

. Bills should normally be referred to

legislative and general purpose

standing committees, (p.9)

. Bills should normally be referred to

committees after the second reading.

(p.ll)

. Recording Senators as voting on a

question without proceeding to a

division, (p.21)

Conclusion

The proposals which the Committee has made would:

(a) provide for more bills to be

referred to committees and for more

regular referral of bills, thereby

allowing more thorough examination

of legislation;

(b) allow committees more time to meet

to consider legislation;

(c) by saving time in the Senate to

compensate partly for the time

allocated to committee meetings,

avoid any significant extension of

the sitting times of the Senate;

(d) allow the maximum flexibility in

dealing with bills generally and in

referring bills to committees; and

J

(e) ensure that the Senate remain in

control of proposed legislation, of

its progress and of the form in

which it is finally passed, and

particularly preserve the Senate's

right to determine whether a bill is

desirable in principle and should

proceed, and to determine the speed

with which proposed legislation is

passed.

The Committee believes that its proposals do not involve a

radical change in the way in which the Senate operates, but

only a shift in the allocation of time spent on legislation

from the Senate itself to committees. The rights of

individual Senators and of the majority of the Senate would

be fully preserved.

Mai Colston

Chairman

28.

APPENDIX 1

BILLS REFERRED TO SENATE STANDING OR SELECT COMMITTEES 1970-1988

This Appendix contains the following information:

1. List of Bills referred to Committees with date referred,

name of Committee, date of report presented and

subsequent Senate action.

y

Note:

- Freedom of Information, Archives and Plant Variety

Rights Bills were introduced in following Parliaments

and took note of recommendations included in the

Reports.

- The Income Tax Assessment Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1984

was overtaken by a Private Senator's Bill (Income Tax

Assessment Amendment Bill 1984) which removed a

retrospective date and was subsequently passed. All

other provisions were the same.

2. List of Bills including the number of amendments or

requests recommended by Committees to each of the

Bills.

Note:

- In many cases this lists general conclusions or

recommendations concerning principles contained in

the Bill.

3. List of Bills with the number of amendments agreed to

each Bill following further consideration of the Bill

after the Committee had reported.

4. Total number of Bills amended by the Senate by calendar

year.

ft

29.

List of Bills referred to Committees with date referred, name of Committee, date report presented and subsequent action

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Referred Report Presented

Evidence (Australian Capital Territory) Bill 1972 - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (lapsed) 12. 4.72 7.11.77

Compensation (Commonwealth Employees) Bill 1973 - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (lapsed) 12. 4.73 10. 5.73

(Australian Industry Development ( Corporation Bill 1973 (lapsed - new ( Bill introduced) (National Investment Fund Bill 1973 (lapsed)

- Foreign Ownership and Control Select Committee 28.11.73

(same Bills (cited 1974) referred 19.3.74)

4. 3.75

Constitution Alteration (Simultaneous Elections) Bill 1974 [1973] - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (lapsed) 4.12.73 No report

Family Law Bill 1974 - clauses - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (3°:27.11.74 ) 16. 8.74 15.10.74

National Compensation Bill 1974 - clauses - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (lapsed) 31.10.74

Corporation and Securities Industry Bill 1975 - Select Committee on Securities and Exchange

(lapsed) 10. 4.75

22. 7.75

20. 8.75 10. 4.75 20. 8.75

30.

Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Bill 1977 - clauses - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (lapsed)

Freedom of Information Bill 1978 - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (lapsed - new Bill introduced)

Archives Bill 1978 - Education and the Arts (lapsed - new Bill introduced)

Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Amendment Bill 1980 - Finance and Government Operations (3°:18.3 .80)

Broadcasting and Television Amendment Bill 1980 - Education and the Arts (3°:17.9.80am)

(Conciliation and Arbitration Amendment ( Bill 1982 (Commonwealth Employees (Voluntary ( Membership of Unions) Bill 1982

- Select Committee (Not restored to NP)

31. 3.77 26. 4.77

28. 9.78 6.11.79

28. 9.78 11.10.79

6. 3.80 18. 3.80

22. 5.80 19. 8.80

5. 5.82 26.10.82

Honey (Export Inspection Charge) Bill 1982 - Finance and Government Operations (Discharged from NP:24.8.82) 25. 3.82 19. 5.82

Student Assistance (Loans Guarantee and Subsidy) Bill 1982 - Education and the Arts (3°:1.12.82) 14.10.82 16.11.82

Plant Variety Rights Bill 1982 - National Resources (lapsed - new Bill introduced) 15. 9.82 3. 5.84

(National Crime Authority Bill 1983 (National Crime Authority (Consequential ( Amendments) Bill 1983 - Constitutional and Legal Affairs

(3°:6.6.84 ) 17.11.83 1. 5.84

Income Tax Assessment Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1984 - Finance and Government Operations (Deferred 12 months) 4. 5.84 31. 5.84

31.

Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 1985 - Finance and Government Operations (Disposed of at 3°) 8. 5.85 15. 5.85

(Broadcasting Amendment Bill 1986 ( (3°:2.6 .87) (Television Licence Fees Amendment Bill 1986 - Select Committee

(3°:28.4.87 ) 4.12.86 23. 3.87

Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1986 - Finance and Government Operations (lapsed) 4.12.86 14. 5.87

Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No. 5) 1986 - Finance and Government Operations (3°:1.6.87) 19. 3.87 14. 5.87

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Amendment Bill 1987 - Legal and Constitutional Affairs (2° Negatived) 17. 9.87 29.10.87

Australia Card Bill 1986 [No.3] - Legal and Constitutional Affairs (Bill laid aside) 23. 9.87 9.10.87

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1987 - proposed amendment of Acts Interpretation Act - Regulations and

Ordinances - proposed amendments of Audit Act -Finance and Public Administration (omitted amendments reinstated in

House of Representatives)

Cash Transaction Reports Bill 1987 - Legal and Constitutional Affairs (3° s 25.5.88) 15.12.87 28. 4.88

War Crimes Amendment Bill 1987 - Legal and Constitution Affairs (matters relating to the Bill)

7.10.87 25.11.87

7.10.87 23.10.87

15.12.87 17. 2.88

32.

PRIVATE SENATORS' BILLS

Death Penalty Abolition Bill 1970 - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (3°:9.3 .72)

Banking Amendment Bill 1981 - Finance and Government Operations (lapsed)

National Service Amendment Bill 1983 - Constitutional and Legal Affairs (Bill not proceeded with)

Human Embryo Experimentation Bill 1985 - Select Committee (lapsed)

Constitution Alteration (Democratic Elections) Bill 1985 - Joint Select Committee on Electoral Reform

(lapsed)

Referred

13.10.71

25.11.81

31. 5.83

17.10.85

6.12.85

Constitution Alteration (Democratic Elections) Bill 1987 - Joint Committee on Electoral Matters (lapsed)

Report Presented

2.12.71

9.12.82

28. 5.85

8 .10.86

Included in later report

28.10.87 17. 5.88

33.

Number of amendments/requests to Bills recommended by Committee

GOVERNMENT BILLS

. The Evidence (Australian Capital Territory) Bill 1972 13 recommendations specific to the Bill 9 recommendations on the general principles of the Bill and related matters 22 Total recommendations

. Compensation (Commonwealth Employees) Bill 1973 No recommendations are made

. Australian Industry Development Corporation Bill 1973 National Investment Fund Bill 1973 No recommendations made in relation to the Bill

. Family Law Bill 1974 47 recommendations relating specifically to the Bill 4 general recommendations 51 Total

. National Compensation Bill 1974 1 recommendation with 15 sudsidiary recommendations

. Corporation and Securities Industry Bill 1975 subsumed into the wider scope of inquiry

. Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Bill 1977 4 recommendations relating specifically to the Bill

. Freedom of Information Bill 1978 49 Recommendations dealing specifically to the Bill 57 General Recommendations 106 Total

. Archives Bill 1978 5 recommendations specific to the Bill

. Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Amendment Bill 1980 No recommendations but conclusion no amendments were required

. Broadcasting and Television Amendment Bill 1980 Recommends Bill be "not further proceeded with" and 4 subsidiary recommendations

34.

Conciliation and Arbitration Amendment Bill 1982 Commonwealth Employees (Voluntary Membership of Unions) Bill 1982 12 recommendations relating to Bill

3 general recommendations 15 Total

Honey (Export Inspection Charge) Bill 1982 5 recommendations leading to a further

recommendation that the Bill "be not proceed with"

Student Assistance (Loans Guarantee and Subsidy) Bill 1982 4 general recommendations

Plant Variety Rights Bill 1982 5 recommendations specific to Bill 19 general recommendations 24 Total

National Crime Authority Bill 1983 National Crime Authority (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1983 37 recommendations specific to the Bills

12 general recommendations 49 Total

Income Tax Assessment Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1984 1 recommendation relating to the Bill and 1

subsidiary recommendation

Superannuation Legislation Amendment Bill 1985 4 recommendations relating specifically to Bill 1 general recommendation

Broadcasting Amendment Bill 1986 Television Licence Fees Amendment Bill 1986 2 recommendations specific to the Bills 11 general recommendations

13 Total

Sales Tax (Exemptions and Classifications) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 1986 1 recommendation to pass the Bill

Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No. 5) 1986 1 recommendation to pass the Bill

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Amendment Bill 1987 1 recommendation relating specifically to the Bill

35.

Australia Card Bill 1986 [No. 3] No recommendation in accordance with Senate resolution

Cash Transaction Reports Bill 1987 1 recommendation relating specifically to the Bill 1 general recommendation 2 Total

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1987 proposed amendments of Acts Interpretation Act 2 recommendations in relation to the Act proposed amendments of Audit Act

1 recommendation relating to Bill

War Crimes Amendment Bill 1987 (matters) 3 recommendations relating specifically to the Bill 2 general recommendations 5 Total

36.

PRIVATE SENATORS' BILLS

. Death Penalty Abolition Bill 1970 3 general recommendations 5 specific to Bill

. Banking Amendment Bill 1981 1 general recommendation (Bill be not proceeded with)

. National Service Amendment Bill 1983 (included in wider report on "Conscientious Objection to Conscripted Military Service") 9 general recommendations (draft Bill to reflect

principles and recommendations appended

. Human Embryo Experimentation Bill 1985 19 general conclusions and recommendations (including not recommending the passage of the Bill) Dissenting report (Senators Crowley and Zakharov)

contains 8 general conclusions and

recommendations Qualifying comment by Senator Harradine

. Constitution Alteration (Democratic Elections) Bill 1987 (included in wider report "One Vote, One Value" which also considers 1985 Bill) 13 general conclusions

4 specific recommendations on 1987 Bill 1 general recommendation (views of Australian voters on one vote, one value be tested by way of referendum)

37.

Bills referred to Committees and subsequently amended after report and further consideration

No. of Amendments

Bill Agreed to

Death Penalty Abolition Bill 1970 5

Family Law Bill 1974 115

Broadcasting and Television Amendment Bill 1980 13

Student Assistance (Loans Guarantee and Subsidy) Bill 1982 1

National Crime Authority Bill 1983 72

National Crime Authority (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1983 1

Broadcasting Amendment Bill 1986 3

Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No. 5) 1986 6

Cash Transaction Reports Bill 1987 7

War Crimes Amendment Bill 1987 - still to be considered, Government amendments foreshadowed

Bills passed without amendment

Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Amendment Bill 1980

Television Licence Fees Amendment Bill 1985

38.

Bills amended by Senate

Total number of Bills by calendar year amended by the Senate or on which requests for amendments were made.

1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988

7

4

33 18 24 9

3

12 8

15 10 23 20

14 34 29 25 *19

* Autumn sittings only

NOTE: Figures extracted from Business of the Senate and Annual Reports.

39.

COMPARATIVE TABLE OF SITTING DAYS AND ACTS PASSED IN THE LEGISLATURES OF AUSTRALIA, CANADA, BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES

A P P E N D I X 2

Australian Parliament

Year Sitting

Senate Days Representatives

Acts passed

1981 72 62 182

1982 73 53 158

1983 63 49 152*

1984 63 52 175

1985 74 66 202

1986 86 79 168

1987 84 74 184

* includes constitutional alteration bills

Sources: Business of Work of the the Senate Session

Canadian Parliament

Year Sitting Days Acts passed

1981 ) 41

1982 ) 37

1983 ) 175 days average 28

1984 ) 38

1985 ) 55

Sources: Canadian Legislatures

United Kingdom Parliament

Year Sitting

Lords

Days Commons

Acts

1981 149 177 72

1982 147 175 57

1983 119 154 60

1984 149 174 62

1985 135 172 75

1986 156 167 66

Sources: House of Lords Hansard Sessional Information Digest

40

United States Congress

Year Sitting Days Acts passed

Senate Representatives

1981 165 163 145

1982 147 140 328

1983 150 146 215

1984 131 120 408

1985 170 152 240

1986 143 129 424

1987 170 168 242

Source: Congressional Quarterly Almanac

SUMMARY

COUNTRY NUMBER OF NUMBER OF BILLS PER DAY

1987 SITTING DAYS BILLS PASSED

CANADA 167 39 0.23

U.K. 167 66 0.39

U.S.A. 170 242 1.42

AUSTRALIA 84 184 2.19

41

TIME SPENT ON UNOPPOSED BILLS RECEIVED FROM HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - SECOND READING DEBATES

A P P E N D I X 3

AUTUMN BUDGET

Number of bills originating in House of Representatives debated

1984 1986

and passed by Senate ... 69 71

Number of bills opposed:

Second reading amendments moved ... 3 23

Without second reading amendments moved . . . 2 8

Total time for debate on unopposed bills . . . 32 hrs 20 hrs

22 mins 37 mins

42.

Recommendation

Number

1(a) 1(b)

REFERENCE OF BILLS TO COMMITTEES PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDER

A P P E N D I X 4

(1) That a Standing Committee, to be known

as the Selection of Bills Committee ,

be appointed to consider all bills

introduced into the Senate or received

from the House of Representatives,

except bills which contain no

provisions other than provisions

appropriating revenue or moneys, and to

report -

(a) in respect of each such bill,

whether the bill should be referred

to a Legislative and General

Purpose Standing Committee; and

(b) in respect of each bill recommended

for referral to a Standing

Committee:

(i) the Standing Committee to

which the bill should be

referred,

(ii) the stage in the

consideration of the bill at

which it should be referred

to the Standing Committee,

and

43.

Recommendation

Number

1(c)

1(d)

(iii) the day which should be fixed

for the Standing Committee to

report on the bill.

(2) That the following provisions apply to

the Committee -

(a) the Committee consist of the

Government Whip, the two

Deputy-Government Whips, the

Opposition Whip and Deputy

Opposition Whip, the National Party

Whip and the Australian Democrat

Whip.

(b) the quorum of the Committee be 4

members;

(c) the Chairman of the Committee be

the Government Whip, and the

Deputy-Chairman be a

Deputy-Government Whip; and

(d) in the event of votes on a question

before the Committee being equally

divided, the Chairman, or the

Deputy-Chairman when acting as

Chairman, have a casting vote.

(3) That, where the Committee reports on

any sitting day, the report be

presented after the presentation of

papers by Ministers pursuant to

Sessional Order.

A

Recommendation

Number

44.

1(e)

(4) That, following the presentation of a

report by the Committee, the Chairman

of the Committee, or a member of the

Committee on behalf of the Chairman,

may move without notice a motion for

the adoption of the report.

(5) That amendments may be moved to a

motion under paragraph (4), including

amendments to refer to a Standing

Committee any bill of the kind referred

to in paragraph (1) which is not the

subject of a motion moved pursuant to

paragraph (4).

(6) That an amendment of the kind referred

to in paragraph (5) shall specify -

(a) the Standing Committee to which the

bill is to be referred;

(b) the stage in the consideration of

the bill at which it is to be

referred to the Committee; and

(c) the day on which the Committee is

to report.

(7) That, upon a motion moved pursuant to

paragraph (4) or (5), a Senator shall

not speak for more than 5 minutes, and

at the expiration of 30 minutes, if the

debate be not sooner concluded, the

45.

President shall put the question on the

motion and any amendments before the

Chair, but if a Senator wishes to move

a further amendment at that time, that

amendment may be moved and shall be

determined without debate.

(8) That, where a motion moved pursuant to

paragraph (4) is agreed to with or

without amendment, at the conclusion of

the stage of the consideration of a

bill referred to in the report adopted

by that motion or in an amendment, the

bill shall stand referred to the

Standing Committee specified, and the

further consideration of the bill shall

be an Order of the Day for the day

fixed for the presentation of the

report of the Standing Committee.

(9) That, in considering a bill referred to

it pursuant to this order, a Standing

Committee shall have no power to make

amendments to the bill or requests for

amendments, but may recommend

amendments or requests for amendments

which would be in order if proposed in

a committee of the whole.

(10) That a report from a Standing Committee

relating to a bill referred to it under

this order shall be received by the

Senate without debate, and

consideration of the report deferred

until the Order of the Day relating to

the bill is called on.

46.

(11) That, when the Order of the Day

relating to a bill which is the subject

of a Standing Committee report pursuant

to this order is called on, the

following procedures shall apply -

(a) a motion may be moved without

notice that the report of the

Standing Committee be adopted (if

the Standing Committee has

recommended amendments to the bill,

this motion shall have the effect

of amending the bill accordingly,

but may not be moved if other

proposed amendments to the bill

have been circulated in the Senate

by a Senator);

(b) if a motion under sub-paragraph (a)

is moved, following the disposal of

that motion a motion may be moved

by a Minister, or, in respect of a

bill introduced into either House

of the Parliament other than by a

Minister, by the Senator in charge

of the bill, that consideration of

the bill be an Order of the Day for

a future day, or that the bill not

be further proceeded with;

(c) if no motion under sub-paragraph

(a) or (b) is agreed to, a motion

may be moved without notice that

the bill again be referred to the

Standing Committee for

reconsideration, provided that such

motion:

47.

(i) indicates the matters which

the Standing Committee is to

reconsider, and

(ii) fixes the day for the further

report of the Standing

Committee,

and if such motion is agreed to the

bill shall stand referred to the

Standing Committee, and the further

consideration of the bill shall be

an Order of the Day for the day

fixed for the of the further report

of the Standing Committee; and

(d) if no motion under sub-paragraph

(b) or (c) is agreed to,

consideration of the bill shall be

resumed at the stage at which it

was referred to the Standing

Committee, provided that, if the

consideration of the bill in

committee of the whole has been

concluded and the Standing

Committee has recommended

amendments to the bill or requests

for amendments, the bill shall

again be considered in committee of

the whole.

(12) That the foregoing provisions of this

resolution, so far as they are

inconsistent with the Standing and

Sessional Orders, have effect

notwithstanding anything contained in

the Standing and Sessional Orders

without limiting the operation

Standing Orders 36AA and 196A.

but

of

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO SESSIONAL ORDERS

(1) That this Order be in substitution for the Order

of 15 September 1987 relating to the reference of

bills to committees.

(2) That the Order of the Senate relating to the

routine of business be amended by inserting after

"(2) Notices of Motion" on each day

"(2A) Presentation of papers by Ministers,

pursuant to Sessional Order

(2B) Presentation and consideration of reports by

the Selection of Bills Committee, pursuant to

Sessional Order".

49.

MOTIONS AND AMENDMENTS TO REFER

BILLS TO COMMITTEES - TIME LIMITS

PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDER

A P P E N D I X 5

Recommendation

Number

2 That, in debate on a motion on notice and a motion

under Standing Order 196A to refer a bill to a

committee, and on an amendment for that purpose to

a question in respect of any stage in the passage

of a bill after its second reading, a Senator

shall not speak for more than 5 minutes, and at

the expiration of 30 minutes, if the debate be not

sooner concluded, the President shall put the

question on the motion and any amendments before

the Chair, but if a Senator wishes to move a

further amendment at that time, that amendment may

be moved and shall be determined without debate.

50.

A P P E N D I X 6

WEDNESDAYS TO BE RESERVED FOR COMMITTEE MEETINGS

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SESSIONAL ORDERS

Recommendation

Number

Sessional Orders:

3 NO. 1. DAYS AND HOURS OF MEETINGS

Paragraph (1), leave out the references

to Wednesday.

NO. 3. ROUTINE OF BUSINESS

(1) Leave out the references to Wednesday

in each week.

(2) In the routine of business for

Thursday of each week, after Item (9),

insert the following item:

"(9A) Consideration of Committee

Reports pursuant to Sessional Order”.

51.

NO. 5. GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL BUSINESS -

PRECEDENCE

After "consideration of Government Papers

pursuant to Sessional Order", insert:

"and consideration of Committee Reports

pursuant to Sessional Order".

NO. 10. CONSIDERATION OF COMMITTEE REPORTS

Paragraph (a), leave out "Wednesdays",

insert "Thursdays".

u

52.

DEBATE ON BILLS RECEIVED FROM

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDER

A P P E N D I X 7

Recommendation

Number

4(a) (1) That, when a motion for the second

reading of a bill received from the House

of Representatives is moved and no motion

for the adjournment of debate on that

motion is moved, or when an order of the

day for the consideration of a motion for

the second reading of such a bill is

called on, and no Senator indicates, by

writing provided to the President before

that time or orally at that time, that

the Senator requires debate on the motion

for the second reading, the question on

that motion shall be put forthwith

without debate.

4(b) (2) That, when the motion for the second

reading of a bill has been put without

debate in accordance with paragraph (1),

a Senator shall not speak for more than 5

minutes to the motion for the third

reading of that bill.

53.

CONSIDERATION OF APPROPRIATION BILLS IN COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDER

Recommendation

Number

5 (1) That, where an Estimates Committee

has recommended the approval by the

Senate, with or without amendment or

request for amendment, of

expenditure in accordance with

estimates considered by the

Committee, and that expenditure is

proposed for appropriation by an

appropriation bill, in the

consideration of that bill in

committee of the whole a motion may

be moved, that the recommendation of

the Estimates Committee be adopted,

and that motion shall have the

effect of approving the proposed

expenditure contained in the bill,

with any amendment or request for

amendment recommended by the

Committee. An amendment may be moved

to that motion for the purpose of

varying the recommendation to be

adopted, of amending, or making a

request for an amendment to,

expenditure proposed in the bill, or

expressing an opinion concerning a

matter referred to by the Estimates

Committee.

A P P E N D I X 8

54.

Recommendation

Number

5 (2) That, where proposed expenditure

contained in an appropriation bill

has been considered and reported

upon by Estimates Committees, debate

on that bill in committee of the

whole shall be confined to matters

in respect of which reports of

Estimates Committees, or

reservations attached to reports,

have made recommendations that the

matters be further examined by the

Senate.

(3) This order does not derogate from

the power of the Senate to amend, or

to request the amendment of, an

appropriation bill, or to negative a

question in respect of an

appropriation bill at any stage in

the passage of the bill.

55.

POWERS OF ESTIMATES COMMITTEES

PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDER

A P P E N D I X 9

Recommendation

Number

6 That, notwithstanding anything contained

in the Standing Orders, in reporting on

estimates of expenditure referred to an

Estimates Committee, the Committee may

recommend that proposed expenditure, in

accordance with the estimates referred to

the Committee, be approved by the Senate,

or that such proposed expenditure be

approved subject to amendment or request

for amendment.

56.

MOTIONS FOR SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDERS

LIMITATION OF DEBATE

PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDER

A P P E N D I X 10

Recommendation

Number

7 That, notwithstanding anything contained

in the Standing Orders, in a debate on a

motion for the suspension of any Standing

or Sessional Order a Senator shall not

speak for more than 5 minutes, and if the

debate is not concluded at the expiration

of 30 minutes after the moving of the

motion the guestion on the motion shall

then be put.

(As proposed by the Procedure Committee

in its report dated 26 November 1987)

h