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Chapter summaries - House of Representatives Practice 7th Edition



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Chapter summaries

1    The Parliament and the role of the House  1

Composition  1

The Queen  1

Governor-General  1

Appointment  2

Historical  2

Administrator and Deputies  2

Official Secretary  4

Powers and functions of the Governor-General  4

Prerogative powers  4

Dissolution  6

New Government commissioned without dissolution  10

Advice to dissolve not accepted  10

No advice to dissolve  11

Simultaneous dissolution of both Houses  12

Functions in relation to the Parliament  12

Functions in relation to the Executive Government  13

Functions in relation to the Judiciary  14

Powers and jurisdiction of the Houses  14

Non-legislative powers  14

Section 49  14

Section 50  15

Legislative power  16

The courts and Parliament  18

Constitutional provisions  18

Removal of justices from office  19

Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry  20

The meaning of ‘misbehaviour’ and ‘incapacity’  20

Parliamentary Commission to investigate misbehaviour or incapacity  22

The courts as a check on the power of Parliament  22

Jurisdiction of the courts in matters of privilege  24

The right of Parliament to the service of its Members in priority to the  

claims of the courts 25

Attendance of parliamentary employees in court or their arrest  25

Parliament and the courts—other matters  26

1  The Parliament and the role of the House continued

Constitution alteration  26

Constitution alteration bills passed by one House only  27

Constitution alteration bills not submitted to referendum  28

Referendum  28

Distribution to electors of arguments for and against proposed  

constitutional alterations 29

Dispute over validity of referendum  30

Referendum results  30

National votes for other purposes—plebiscites  32

Review of the Constitution  32

Aspects of the role of the House of Representatives  34

Independence of the Houses  36

Functions of the House  37

The Government—making and unmaking  37

The initiation and consideration of legislation  39

Seeking information on and clarification of government policy  39

Surveillance, appraisal and criticism of government administration  39

Consideration of financial proposals and examination of public accounts  40

Inquiry by committee  40

Ventilation of grievances and matters of interest or concern  41

Receiving petitions  41

Examination of delegated legislation  41

Prerequisites for fulfilling functions  41

2    House, Government and Opposition  43

Government and Parliament  43

Relationships  43

A note on separation of powers and checks and balances  44

The Government and House proceedings  45

The Constitution and Executive Government  46

Constitutional conventions  48

Aspects of ministerial responsibility  49

Collective Cabinet responsibility  49

Individual ministerial responsibility  50

Political parties  52

Leaders and office holders  53

Party whips  55

Party committees and meetings  56

Parties and their effect on the House  57

The Ministry  58

Number of Ministers  58

Composition of the Ministry  58

The two-level Ministry  59

Coalition Ministries  59

Interim Ministries  60

Caretaker conventions  60

The Ministry and the Senate  60

Prime Minister  61

Treasurer  63

Attorney-General  64

Leader of the House  65

Cessation of ministerial office  66

Resignation  66

Dismissal  68

Leave of absence  69

Ministerial assistance  70

Parliamentary Secretaries  70

Assistant Ministers  72

Ministerial salaries  72

Office of profit  73

Personal or pecuniary interest and related matters  73

Declarations of interests  73

Ministerial standards  74

Standards for ministerial staff  75

Register and code of conduct for lobbyists  75

Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme  75

Cabinet  75

Select Cabinets  76

Federal Executive Council  77

The (official) Opposition  79

Composition  79

Leader of the Opposition  80

Shadow Ministry  81

Role of the Opposition  82

3    Elections and the electoral system  85

The first election  85

The Commonwealth Electoral Act  85

Review of electoral arrangements  86

Electors  86

3  Elections and the electoral system continued

Number of Members  87

Territorial representation  88

The growth of the House  89

Electoral divisions  89

Determination of divisions  89

Redistribution  91

Parliamentary procedure  92

Limited redistribution  93

Improper influence  93

General elections  93

By-elections  94

Senate elections  96

Method of voting  97

Preferential voting  97

Senate voting  98

The election process  98

Issue of writs  98

Close of electoral rolls  99

Nomination of candidates  99

Electoral offences  101

Polling day  101

Scrutineers  101

Counting  102

Recount  102

Declaration of the poll  102

Return of writs  102

Meeting of a new Parliament  103

Public funding and financial disclosure  103

Public funding for elections  103

Financial disclosure  103

Disclosure threshold  104

Unlawful gifts and loans  104

Offences  104

Disputed elections and returns  104

4    Parliament House and access to proceedings  107

The Parliament buildings  107

Meetings in Melbourne and provisional Parliament House in Canberra  107

The permanent Parliament House  108

The layout of the building  108

The Chamber  109

The Mace  111

Seating  112

Bar of the House  113

Galleries  114

Strangers and visitors  115

Strangers ordered to withdraw  115

Wartime private meetings  116

Senators  116

Distinguished visitors invited to the floor of the House  117

Access to proceedings  118

Relations with the media  118

Broadcasting of proceedings  119

Radio broadcasts  119

Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings  120

Televising  120

Resolution on broadcasting of proceedings  121

Legal aspects  122

Photographs and films of proceedings  123

Televising, recording and photographs of committee proceedings  123

Photography, filming, etc inside Parliament House  123

Promoting community awareness  124

Internet access to the House  124

Parliamentary Education Office  125

Parliamentary precincts and the exercise of authority  125

The parliamentary precincts  125

The parliamentary zone  126

The security of the parliamentary precincts  127

Entry to Parliament House and galleries  128

Disorder and disturbances  128

Application of the law in Parliament House  129

Powers of police in Parliament  130

Demonstrations  131

5    Members  133

The Member’s role  133

Parliamentary  133

Constituency  134

Party  134

The Member and the House in the democratic process  135

Qualifications and disqualifications  136

Constitutional provisions  136

Electoral Act provisions  137

Challenges to membership  137

Section 44(i) of the Constitution  137

Citizenship Register  139

Subsequent referrals  139

Section 44(ii) of the Constitution  140

Section 44(iv) of the Constitution  140

Section 44(v) of the Constitution  141

Section 45(ii) of the Constitution  143

Section 163 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act  143

Swearing-in  144

New Members  145

First speech  146

Valedictory speech  147

Pecuniary interest  147

Personal interest in committee inquiry  149

Professional advocacy  150

Lobbying for reward or consideration  150

Registration—Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests  151

Proposed code of conduct  153

Members’ remuneration and expenses  153

Salaries  153

Parliamentary work expenses framework  155

Parliamentary Business Resources Act  155

Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority  155

Work expenses and use of public resources  155

Superannuation benefits  156

Attendance  157

Leave of absence  157

Vacancy  158

Resignation  158

Absence without leave  158

Ineligibility  159

Penalty for sitting while ineligible  159

Consequences of Member sitting while ineligible  160

Death  160

Expulsion  161

Members’ titles  161

MP (Member of Parliament)  161

Honourable  161

Academic and other titles  162

Longest serving Member  162

Dress and conduct in the Chamber  162

Use of electronic devices  164

Service on non-parliamentary organisations  164

6    The Speaker, Deputy Speakers and officers  165

The Office of Speaker  165

Origins  165

The Speaker today  166

Impartiality of the Chair  167

Period in office  169

Party  169

Election of Speaker  170

Powers, functions and duties  174

Constitutional  174

Ceremonial and traditional  175

Statutory  176

Procedural  177

Powers and functions under the standing orders  178

Discretionary powers  178

Participation in debate  180

Questions  181

Administrative  181

Control over Parliament House  181

Parliamentary administration  182

Services to Members  183

Ex officio membership of committees and associations  183

Absence of Speaker and vacancy in office  184

Vacancy  184

Acting Speaker  184

Deemed Speaker  185

6    The Speaker, Deputy Speakers and officers continued

The Speaker’s vote  186

Exercise of the casting vote  186

To enable a further decision of the House  187

To enable debate to continue  187

To decide a matter before the House  188

Speaker voting in committee  190

Sources of procedural authority  190

Constitution  190

Standing orders  191

Traditional practice  191

Speaker’s rulings  192

Points of order  193

Dissent from rulings  194

Interpretation of the Constitution or the law  196

Criticism of Speaker’s actions and conduct  197

Criticism of Speaker in the House  197

Reflections on Speaker made outside the House  201

Speaker’s authority not supported by the House  203

Deputy Speaker  204

Election of Deputy Speaker  204

Deputy Speaker as Chair of House  205

Resignation and vacancy  206

Second Deputy Speaker  206

Speaker’s panel  207

Staff of the House and administration  208

The Parliamentary Service Act  208

Principal staff of the House  209

The Clerk of the House  209

Role and functions of the Clerk  211

Deputy Clerk and senior staff  212

Serjeant-at-Arms  212

The Department of the House of Representatives  213

The other parliamentary departments  213

Department of the Senate  214

Department of Parliamentary Services  214

Parliamentary Budget Office  214

Bodies advising the Presiding Officers  215

Parliamentary finances  215

House Appropriations and Administration Committee  215

7    The parliamentary calendar  217

Terminology  218

A Parliament  220

Summoning Parliament  220

Proceedings on opening day  221

Welcoming ceremony  221

House assembles and Parliament opened  221

Deputy appointed by Governor-General  222

Members sworn  222

Election of Speaker  223

Presentation of Speaker to Governor-General  223

Governor-General’s speech  223

Formal business  224

Report of Governor-General’s speech and Address in Reply Committee  225

Other business  225

Proposed new arrangements for opening day  226

Dissolution  226

Effects of dissolution  227

Expiry  228

Prolongation  228

A Session  228

Opening of a new session  229

‘Opening’ by the Sovereign  231

First Session  231

New Session  231

Prorogation  231

Effects of prorogation  234

Prorogation and meetings of the two Houses  234

The Address in Reply  235

Presentation to House  235

Debate  236

Amendments  236

Presentation to Governor-General  237

Sitting and non-sitting periods  238

Statistics  238

Sitting periods  238

Pattern of sittings  238

History of sitting pattern  239

Days and hours of meeting  239

Special adjournments  240

Special reassemblies of the House  241

8   Order of business and the sitting day  243

Sittings  243

Definition  243

Two sittings commencing on the one day  244

Length of sittings  244

Joint sittings  245

Joint meetings  245

Addresses to both Houses by foreign heads of state  246

Secret sittings and meetings  246

Suspension of sittings  247

Pursuant to standing orders  247

Election of Speaker and deputies  247

Meeting of a new Parliament  247

Grave disorder  248

Lack of quorum  248

Pursuant to resolution of the House  248

Practice of the House  248

Meal breaks  249

Other occasions  249

Meeting of the House  251

Preliminaries to meeting—the Daily Program  251

Meetings at hour other than pursuant to adjournment  252

Meeting when House has not adjourned the previous sitting  252

Acknowledgement of country and Prayers  253

Order of business  254

Business on Mondays  254

Motions to set or vary the order of business  254

Ordinary order of business  256

Government business  256

Notices and orders of the day  256

Determination of precedence  256

Postponement of notices and orders of the day—re-arrangement  

of items of business 256

Member absent or failing to rise when notice called on  258

Orders of the day referred to the Federation Chamber  258

Discharge of orders of the day  258

Notices and orders of the day not called on  258

90 second statements  258

Question Time  259

Presentation of documents  259

Matter of public importance  260

Ministerial statements  260

Matters accorded precedence  261

Censure or no confidence motions and amendments  261

Matters of privilege  262

Motions of thanks or condolence  262

Motions for leave of absence to a Member  263

Announcements of ministerial arrangements  263

Swearing-in of Members and announcements of returns to writs  263

Other matters that can interrupt the ordinary order of business  263

Personal explanations  263

Acknowledgment and admission of distinguished visitors  263

Announcements and statements by the Speaker  264

Committee reports and documents  264

Matter of special interest  264

Suspension of standing orders  264

Points of order  265

Disorder  265

Absence of a Minister  265

New business rule  266

Adjournment  267

Standing orders provisions  267

Motion moved by a Minister  268

Automatic adjournment  268

Adjournment of the House  269

Adjournment of the House for special reasons  271

Quorum  271

Standing orders provisions  271

Quorum at time of meeting  271

Quorum during sitting  272

Lack of quorum in division  272

Lack of quorum noticed  272

Quorum count deferred  275

Resumption of proceedings after count out  275

Divisions  275

Determination of questions arising  275

Recording dissent  275

Vote recorded when no dissentient voice  276

Number of divisions  276

Entitlement of Members to vote  276

Divisions not proceeded with  277

Request for division withdrawn  277

Discretion of Chair  277

8   Order of business and the sitting day continued

Procedure during divisions  277

Ringing of bells and locking of doors  277

Four or fewer Members on a side  278

Appointment of tellers  278

Members to be within area of Members’ seats to vote  279

Members not to move places during vote  280

Recording the vote  280

Requirement to vote a certain way  280

Points of order and Members’ remarks during a division  281

Successive divisions  281

Deferred divisions  282

Record of divisions  282

Division repeated  283

Pairs  283

Proxy voting  284

Free votes  284

Proposals for change in division procedure  286

Electronic voting  287

Balloting  288

9    Motions  289

Definition of a motion  289

Notice  291

Motions requiring notice  291

Motions moved without notice  291

Giving notice  293

Member absent  293

Member suspended  293

Notices of matters sponsored by more than one Member  293

Need for seconder  294

Contingent notice  294

Order on the Notice Paper  294

Notice amended or divided by Speaker  295

Notice altered by Member  295

Withdrawal or removal of notice  296

Postponing of notice  296

Form and content of motions  296

Authority of the Speaker to amend or disallow  296

Length  297

Wording  297

Rules regarding subject matter  298

Unparliamentary words  298

Frivolous or rhetorical content  298

Sub judice  298

Same motion rule  298

Progress of motion in House  300

Motion moved  300

Motion seconded  300

Motion dropped or lapsed  301

Question proposed—motion in possession of House  302

Withdrawal of motion  303

Question superseded or dropped  303

Question deferred  304

Consideration of question interrupted  304

Motion declared urgent  304

Complicated question divided  305

Question put and result determined  305

Amendments to motions  306

How to move  306

Restrictions on Members in moving and speaking to amendments  306

Seconder required  307

Closures and expiry of time during moving of amendment  307

Amendment in possession of House  308

Form and content of amendment  308

Relevancy  308

Intelligible and legible  308

Length  308

Consistency  308

Same amendment  309

Amendment to earlier part of question  309

Amendment to words already agreed to  309

Direct negative  309

Omission of all words  310

Alternative propositions  310

Other restrictions  311

Order of moving amendments  312

Withdrawal of proposed amendment  312

Amendment to proposed amendment  312

Putting question on amendment  313

Question on amendment—traditional forms  313

Main question put as amended  314

9   Motions continued

Motions agreed to—resolutions and orders of  

the House 314

Duration  314

Effect  316

Resolution or vote of the House rescinded or varied  317

Resolution expunged from records  319

Motions of no confidence and censure  319

The Government  319

Withdrawal of confidence shown by defeat on other questions  320

Prime Minister and other Ministers  323

Censure of Minister or Government by Senate  325

Censure of a Member or Senator  325

Censure of the Opposition  326

Addresses  326

To the Sovereign  327

To members of the Royal Family  328

To the Governor-General  328

Resolutions to Sovereign and Governor-General  328

Presentation of Addresses  329

Reply  329

Address to the Presiding Officers  329

Motions of condolence  330

Motions of thanks  332

Motion of apology  333

Motion to discuss matter of special interest  334

Motions relating to the standing orders  334

Motions to make or amend standing or sessional orders  335

Leave of the House  335

Motion to suspend standing or sessional orders  335

Pursuant to notice  336

Debate management motion on notice  337

By leave of the House  337

Without notice  337

Without notice as a tactical measure  338

Debate on motion  339

Combined motions  340

Absolute majority  340

Constitutional validity  340

10   Legislation  343

Constitutional provisions  343

Bills—the parliamentary process  343

Form of bill  344

Long title  344

Preamble  345

Enacting formula  345

Clauses  345

Short title  346

Commencement provision  347

Activating clause  348

Definitions  348

Substantive provisions  348

Schedules  348

Associated documentation  349

Table of contents  349

Headings and notes  349

Explanatory memorandum  349

Statement of compatibility with human rights  350

Comparative memorandum (black type bill)  350

Preparation of bills—the extra-parliamentary process  350

Synopsis of major stages  351

Classification of bills  356

Ordinary bill procedure  356

Initiation and first reading  356

The application of the same motion rule to bills  357

Referral to Federation Chamber  358

Referral to a committee  359

Referral for advisory report  359

Bill referred to select committee  360

Bill referred directly by Minister  361

Attempted referral by second reading amendment  361

Second reading  361

Moving and second reading speech  361

Resumption of debate  363

Nature of debate—relevancy  364

Second reading amendment  365

Relevancy and content  366

Length  367

Anticipation of detail stage amendment  367

Addition of words  367

Direct negative  367

Form of amendment  368

10   Legislation continued

Moving of amendment  368

Seconding  368

Debate and questions put  369

Effect of agreeing to reasoned amendment  369

Reasoned amendment in the Federation Chamber  371

Amendment to dispose of bill  371

Determination of question for second reading  371

Bill reintroduced  371

Bill not proceeded with  371

Proceedings following second reading  372

Reference to legislation committee  372

Leave to move third reading or report stage immediately  372

Former committee of the whole  373

Consideration in detail  373

Moving of motions and amendments  374

Debate  374

Questions put  375

Inadmissible amendments  375

Bill considered clause by clause  377

Clauses  377

New clauses  377

Schedules  378

Postponed clauses  378

Preamble  379

Title  379

Reconsideration of part of bill during detail stage  379

Bill considered as a whole, or by parts  380

Report stage (for bills considered by Federation Chamber)  381

Reconsideration of bill before third reading  381

Third reading and final passage  383

Rescission of third reading  384

Procedural variations for different categories  

of bills 385

Private Members’ bills  385

Constitution alteration bills  385

Absolute majority  385

Disagreements between the Houses  386

Senate bills  386

Introduction and first reading  386

Subsequent proceedings  387

Procedures to speed the passage of bills  388

Cognate second reading debate  388

Bills considered together  389

All stages without delay  390

By leave at each stage  390

Following suspension of standing orders  391

Contingent notices  391

Debate management motions  392

Bills declared urgent (guillotine)  393

Division of a bill  394

Lapsed bills  394

Bills lapsed because of lack of quorum  396

Administrative arrangements  396

Printing and distribution  396

Introduced copy  396

Third reading print  397

Deputy Speaker’s amendments  397

Clerk’s certificate and transmission to the Senate  397

Error in certificate  398

Presentation of bills for assent  399

Preparation of bills for submission for assent  399

Presentation of first bill for assent  400

Governor-General’s assent  400

Bills reserved for the Queen’s assent  400

Presentation of double dissolution bills  401

Presentation of constitution alteration bills  402

Amendment recommended by Governor-General  403

Errors in bills assented to  404

Acts  405

Publication of Acts  405

The interpretation of Acts  405

Construction of Acts subject to the Constitution  405

Regard to purpose or object of Act  405

Use of extrinsic material in the interpretation of an Act  405

Delegated legislation  406

Legislative Instruments Act  408

Legislation Act  408

Making and registration of legislative instruments  408

Notification of intention and consultation  408

Federal Register of Legislation  408

Sunset provisions  408

Parliamentary scrutiny and control  409

Presentation to the House  409

10   Legislation continued

Disallowance  410

Action in the House—giving notice of disallowance  411

Reckoning of time  411

Notice to disallow before presentation  412

Approval  413

Regulations and Ordinances Committee  414

11   Financial legislation  415

Constitutional provisions  415

Parliament’s control of government finances by means of legislation  415

The Consolidated Revenue Fund  415

Financial initiative of the Executive  415

Limits on the Senate’s powers in respect of financial legislation  416

Initiation  416

Amendment  418

Former financial procedures  419

Bills containing special appropriations  419

Procedures peculiar to special appropriation bills  420

Introduction  420

Second reading amendment  421

Proceedings following second reading  421

Message recommending appropriation  421

Message for amendment  422

Consideration in detail  423

Appropriation and supply bills  424

Summary of annual financial legislation  424

Ordinary annual services of the Government  425

The components of the annual Budget  426

Appropriation Bill (No. 1)—the main appropriation bill  426

Message recommending appropriation and introduction  426

Second reading—Budget speech and debate  427

Reasoned amendment  427

Consideration by estimates committees  428

Consideration in detail  428

Amendments  429

Proposed improvements to procedures for consideration of estimates  429

Appropriation Bill (No. 2)  430

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill  431

Budget papers and related documents  431

Explanatory memorandums for appropriation bills  432

Additional appropriation bills  432

Additional appropriation bills for special purposes  432

Supply bills  433

Advance to the Finance Minister  434

Advances to the Presiding Officers  434

Taxation bills  435

Procedures peculiar to taxation bills  437

Introduction  437

Second reading amendment  438

Consideration in detail  439

Customs and excise tariff proposals  440

Consolidation and validation of tariff proposals  441

12    Senate amendments and requests  443

Procedure following Senate consideration  443

Limitations on Senate power of amendment  443

Certain amendments viewed as initiation  443

Agreement by Senate without amendment or requests  443

Senate amendments  444

Further and non-relevant amendments by House  446

Rescission of agreement to Senate amendments  446

Reconsideration of Senate amendments—rescission of resolution  

to lay bill aside 447

Reasons  447

Senate requests for amendments  447

Bills which the Senate may amend, in parts, and must request, in parts  448

Senate amendments which, in the view of the House, should be  

made as requests 449

Increases in proposed charges or burdens on the people  449

Inquiries into the interpretation and application of the 3rd paragraph  

of s. 53 450

Amendments requiring a Governor-General’s message  452

Variation of the destination of an appropriation  453

Bills imposing fees amounting to taxation  453

Question on requested amendments  454

Requested amendments made  454

Requested amendments not made  455

Requested amendments not made, but replacement bills introduced  455

Pressed requests  456

Pressed requests and s. 57 of the Constitution  461

Division of a House bill by the Senate  461

Proceedings in case of continued disagreement  462

Senate bills amended by House  463

Conferences  464

Unofficial conference  465

13    Double dissolutions and joint sittings  467

section 57 of the Constitution  467

Double dissolutions  469

The 1914 double dissolution  470

The 1951 double dissolution  472

The 1974 double dissolution  475

The 1975 double dissolution  477

Significance of the constitutional crisis of 1975  481

Tensions in the system of Cabinet government in a State-represented  

federal system 482

Impact of the ‘supply’ provisions  483

The 1983 double dissolution  484

The 1987 double dissolution  486

The 2016 double dissolution  487

Joint sitting  488

The 1974 joint sitting  489

High Court cases relating to the joint sitting  491

14    Control and conduct of debate  493

Manner and right of speech  494

When Members may speak  494

Matters not open to debate  494

General rule—a Member may speak once to each question  494

Moving and seconding motions  495

Moving and speaking to amendments  495

Leave to speak again  496

Speaking in reply  496

Misrepresentation of a speech  497

Personal explanations  497

Other matters by indulgence of the Chair  498

Statements by indulgence referred to Federation Chamber  500

Statements by indulgence—Speech time limits  500

Statements by leave  500

Ministerial statements  501

Leave requirement for ministerial statements  502

Statements on a topic following suspension of standing orders  502

Allocation of the call  502

List of speakers  503

Manner of speech  504

Remarks to be addressed to Chair  504

Place of speaking  504

Reading of speeches  505

Language of debate  505

Incorporation of unread material into Hansard  505

Display of articles to illustrate speeches  508

Citation of documents not before the House  510

Rules governing content of speeches  510

Relevancy in debate  510

General principles and exceptions  510

Cognate debate  511

Persistent irrelevance or tedious repetition  512

Anticipation  512

Allusion to previous debate or proceedings  513

References to committee proceedings  513

References to Members  514

Offensive or disorderly words  514

Reflections on Members  515

Reflections on the House and votes of the House  517

References to the Senate and Senators  518

References to the Queen, the Governor-General and State Governors  518

References to other governments and their representatives  519

Reflections on members of the judiciary  520

Sub judice convention  521

Right to legislate and discuss matters  522

Discretion of the Chair  522

Civil or criminal matter  523

Chair’s knowledge of the case  523

Matters before royal commissions and other bodies  524

Interruptions to Members speaking  525

Interventions  526

Interjections  526

Curtailment of speeches and debate  527

Curtailment of speeches  527

Time limits for speeches  527

Extension of time  528

Closure of Member  529

Adjournment and curtailment of debate  530

Motion for adjournment of debate  530

Leave to continue remarks  531

Closure of question  532

Guillotine  534

Other provisions for the interruption and conclusion of debates  534

Powers of Chair to enforce order  535

Sanctions against disorderly conduct  535

Direction to leave the Chamber  535

14   Control and conduct of debate continued

Naming of Members  537

Proceedings following the naming of a Member  537

Gross disorder by a Member  540

Removal by Serjeant-at-Arms  541

Grave disorder in the House  541

Disorder in the Federation Chamber  541

Other matters of order relating to Members  541

15 Questions  543

Question Time  543

Some historical features  543

Duration of Question Time  545

Number of questions  546

Allocation of the call  546

Supplementary questions  547

Rules governing questions  547

Questioners  548

Private Members  548

Ministers  548

Parliamentary Secretaries  548

Speaker  548

Direction of Questions  549

To Ministers  549

Rostering of Ministers  549

To Parliamentary Secretaries  549

To private Members  550

To committee chairs, etc  551

To the Speaker  552

Length of questions  553

Form and content of questions  553

To relate to Minister’s public responsibilities  553

Statutory authorities  555

Questions to seek factual information or press for action  555

Debate, argument, etc.  555

Inferences, etc.  556

References to debates  556

References to committee proceedings  556

Information, comment, etc. in questions  557

References to newspaper reports, etc.  557

Questions seeking opinions  558

Announcement of government policy  559

Questions regarding persons  559

Questions concerning the Crown  560

The sub judice convention  561

Language  561

Repetition of questions  561

Question without notice similar to question on Notice Paper  562

Personal interest  562

Questions requiring detailed response  562

Questions in writing  563

Notice of question  563

Form and content  564

Printing of questions on Notice Paper  564

Removal of questions from Notice Paper  564

Answers  564

No obligation to answer  564

Answers to questions put to Ministers representing Senate Ministers  565

Answers to questions without notice  565

Addition to or correction of an answer  566

Content of answers and relevance  567

Length of answers  569

Answers and the authority of the Chair  569

Answers to questions in writing  569

Unanswered questions  571

16    Non-government business  573

Private Members’ Mondays  574

Order of business on Mondays  574

Selection and programming of business—role of the Selection Committee  574

Referral of business to the Federation Chamber  575

committee and delegation BUSINESS  576

Consideration in the House or Federation Chamber  576

Removal of reports from the Notice Paper  577

Private Members’ business  577

One private Member acting for another  577

Removal of private Members’ business from the Notice Paper  578

Consideration in government time  578

Voting on private Members’ business  578

Private Members’ motions  579

Private Members’ bills  580

Drafting  582

Financial initiative  582

Impact  584

Grievance debate  586

Programming and scope of the debate  586

16   Non-government business— continued

Members’ 90 second statements  587

Constituency statements  588

Adjournment debate  588

Time limits  589

Debate  589

Call of the Chair  590

Adjournment debate in the Federation Chamber  591

Matters of public importance  591

Proposal of matter to Speaker  592

Discretionary responsibility of the Speaker  592

Whether matter in order  592

More than one matter proposed  593

Criteria for determining a matter in order  593

Matter must be definite  593

Public importance  594

Ministerial responsibility  594

Anticipation  594

Current committee inquiries  594

Sub judice  594

Matter discussed previously  595

Matters involving legislation  595

Subject that can only be debated upon a substantive motion  596

Matter proposed withdrawn  596

Discussion  597

Matter read to House and supported  597

Matter amended  597

Relevance  598

Speaking times  598

Interruptions  598

Termination of discussion  598

Motion to call on business of the day  599

Suspension of MPI procedure  599

17    Documents  601

Documents presented to the House  601

Method of presentation  602

Time of presentation  602

By the Speaker  602

Pursuant to statute  604

At government initiative  604

Deemed to have been presented  605

By leave  605

By private Members  605

Ministers  606

Pursuant to standing order 201  606

Presented by the Clerk  607

Returns to order  607

Election petitions  608

Returns to writs  608

Parliamentary committee and delegation reports  608

Ministerial statements  609

Orders and resolutions in relation to documents  609

Motion that a document be made a Parliamentary Paper  609

Motion to take note of document  610

Resolutions authorising the production of documents and attendance  

of House employees in court or other proceedings 611

Distribution and printing of documents  611

Custody and availability of original documents  612

Release prior to presentation  612

Presentation when Parliament not sitting  612

Parliamentary Papers Series  613

Role of the Publications Committee  614

The parliamentary paper function  614

The investigatory function  615

Reports  615

House documents—agenda and record  615

Notice Paper  615

Items of business  616

Notices  616

Orders of the day  616

Contingent notices of motion  617

Questions in writing  617

General information  617

Votes and Proceedings  618

Accuracy and alterations  619

Hansard—the parliamentary debates  621

Control of publication  621

Correction, deletion and incorporation of material  621

Copyright  622

Parliamentary privilege relating to documents  623

Documents presented to the House  623

Committee documents  624

Hansard  624

Votes and Proceedings  624

Notice Paper  625

17  Documents— continued

Public interest immunity  625

The courts  625

The Parliament  626

Petitions  629

Definition of a petition  630

Rules for the form and content of petitions  632

Attachments  632

Moderate language  633

Rules for signatures—paper petitions  633

Rules for e-petitions  634

Forgery of signatures  634

Principal petitioner  634

Petitions Committee  635

Submitting a petition  635

Presentation  636

Presentation by the Petitions Committee  636

Presentation by a Member  636

Presentation of out of order petitions  637

Motion at time of presentation  637

Action taken on petitions  637

Referral to a Minister  637

Public hearing by Petitions Committee  638

Referral to another committee  638

Petitions from unusual sources  639

Abuse of the right of petition  639

Privilege attaching to petitions  640

18    Parliamentary committees  641

Authority for the appointment of committees  641

Types of committees and terminology  642

Parliamentary committees  642

Different definitions of standing and select committees  642

Unofficial committees  643

House standing committees  643

General purpose standing committees  643

Committees concerned with the operations of the House  644

Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests (S.O. 216)  644

House Committee (S.O. 218)  645

Publications Committee (S.O. 219)  645

Petitions Committee (S.O. 220)  645

Procedure Committee (S.O. 221)  645

Selection Committee (S.O. 222)  646

House Appropriations and Administration Committee (S.O. 222 a )  646

House select committees  646

Conferral with committees of the Senate  647

Joint committees  648

Joint committees appointed by resolution  649

Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library  649

Joint statutory committees  650

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit  650

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works  651

Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings  651

Other statutory committees  651

Appointment and duration  652

Committees of the House  652

Joint committees appointed by resolution  652

Joint committees established by legislation  653

Effects of dissolution and prorogation on committees  653

Dissolution  653

Prorogation  653

Different positions taken by the two Houses  654

Membership  656

Eligibility to serve on committees  656

Pecuniary and personal interest  656

Suspension from the House  658

Ex officio members  658

Number of members and party composition  658

Appointment of Members  659

Vacancies  659

Chair  660

Election or appointment  660

Chair elected  660

Chair appointed  661

Procedural authority  661

Administrative authority  662

Deputy chair  663

Powers of committees  663

Source of power  663

Derivation and extent of investigatory powers  665

Delegation of investigatory powers  667

Powers of joint committees  667

Statutory secrecy provisions  668

Subcommittees  668

18   Parliamentary committees— continued

Meeting procedures  670

First meeting  670

Time and place of meeting  671

Meetings during sittings of the House  671

Meetings of joint committees during sittings of the Senate  671

Meetings outside Parliament House  672

Meetings overseas  672

Meetings by means of video or teleconference  673

Quorum  674

Quorum—joint committees  674

Motions and voting  675

Voting—joint committees  675

Minutes of proceedings  676

Presence at meetings of Members who are not members of the committee  677

Visitors  677

Disorder  678

Confidentiality of committee records  679

Committee administration — staff and advisers  679

General principles for the administration of parliamentary committees  680

19    Committee inquiries  683

Referral of matters for inquiry  683

Avoidance of duplication of inquiries  683

Scope of inquiry and procedures  684

Change to scope of inquiry or procedures  685

documentary evidence  685

Invitation of submissions  685

Use of internet  685

Submissions and exhibits  686

Search for documents  687

Withdrawal, alteration, destruction or return of documents  687

oral evidence  688

Invitation to give oral evidence  688

Procedures at hearings  689

Less formal proceedings  691

Inspections  691

Seminars, informal discussions, public meetings and workshops  691

Hearings by video or teleconference  692

Televising, filming and recording of proceedings  693

Compulsory attendance  694

Witness in prison  696

Witnesses’ expenses  696

Swearing of witnesses  696

Private or in camera hearings  697

Answers to questions, provision of information  698

Evidence from Commonwealth public servants  700

Evidence from State public servants and State Members  701

Evidence from Members and Senators  702

Evidence from former Members and Senators  705

Evidence from parliamentary staff  705

Evidence as to proceedings  706

Evidence from judges  707

Witnesses  707

Protection of witnesses  707

Resolution on procedures for dealing with witnesses.  707

Privacy  707

Counsel or advisers  708

Protection in legal proceedings  708

Protection from improper interference, arrest and molestation  709

Protection of persons referred to in evidence  710

Public interest immunity  710

The Government’s strong position  710

Government guidelines  711

Committee practice  712

Sub judice convention  714

Charges against Members  715

Offences by witnesses  716

Publication of evidence  717

Authorisation for publication of evidence  717

Limited publication  717

Partial publication  718

Disclosure of private or in camera evidence  718

Disclosure of in camera evidence in dissenting reports  720

Disclosure of in camera evidence after 30 years  720

Resolution on disclosure of in camera evidence  720

Documents treated in confidence  721

Access to old evidence and documents  722

Unusual secrecy provisions  722

Unauthorised disclosure or publication of evidence  723

Expunging of material from evidence  724

Reports  724

Frequency of reporting  724

Drafting and consideration of reports  726

Protest or dissent  726

Presentation of reports  728

Oral reports  728

Presentation of reports and minutes—joint committees  729

19   Committee inquiries— continued

Amendment of presented reports  729

Premature disclosure or publication  729

Release to media under embargo  730

Release to Minister  730

Authority for release when House not sitting  731

Government responses to reports  731

20    Parliamentary privilege  733

Privilege defined  733

Distinction between breach of privilege and contempt  733

The Commonwealth Parliament’s privilege powers  734

Derivation  734

Reference to House of Commons practice  734

Statutory provisions  734

Judicial interpretation of section 49  734

No new privilege may be created except by legislation  736

The privilege of freedom of speech  737

Absolute and qualified privilege  738

Proceedings in Parliament  738

Search warrants where parliamentary privilege may be involved  740

Privilege attaching to Hansard reports  741

Use of Hansard and other documents in courts or other tribunals  741

Restriction on use of or reference to parliamentary records  742

Arrangements for the production of parliamentary records  744

Waiver of privilege by House not possible  745

Matters arising when House is not sitting  746

Precedents  746

‘Brisbane line’ Royal Commission  746

Sankey ‘Loans affair’ prosecution  746

Order of Mr Justice Begg in the case of Uren v. John Fairfax & Sons  747

Royal Commission into Australia’s Security and Intelligence Agencies  747

Cases involving Mr Justice Murphy and Judge Foord  748

Case involving charges against a Member  749

Freedom of information  749

Other privileges  749

Freedom from arrest  749

House to be informed of the detention of a Member  750

Extension of privilege to others  750

Exemption from jury service  751

Exemption from attendance as a witness  751

Acts constituting breaches of privilege and  

contempts 751

Misconduct  752

In the presence of the House or a committee  752

Disobedience to the rules or orders of the House  753

Abuse of the right of petition  753

Forged or falsified documents  753

Conspiracy to deceive  754

Deliberately misleading the House  754

Corruption in the execution of their office as Members  755

Lobbying for reward or consideration  755

Improper interference with and obstruction of Members and House  

employees 756

Attempts by improper means to influence Members in the performance  

of their duties 757

The offer of a benefit or bribe  757

Intimidation etc. of Members  757

‘Bankstown Observer’ (Browne/Fitzpatrick) Case  757

Case involving Hon. G. Scholes MP  758

Cases involving letters written by Members  758

Case involving Mr Katter MP  759

Brown Case (UK)  759

Chairman of the Sydney Stock Exchange Case  759

Offences against witnesses  759

Berthelsen Case and other cases  760

Acts tending indirectly to obstruct Members in the discharge of their duty  761

Reflections on Members  761

Premature publication or disclosure of committee proceedings,  

evidence and reports 761

Other offences  762

Interference with the administration of the Parliament  763

Penal jurisdiction of the House  763

Power and source  763

Commitment  764

Form of warrant  765

Imposition of a fine  765

Reprimand or admonishment  766

Apology  766

Exclusion of persons from precincts  767

Punishment of Members  767

Apology by Member  768

Suspension  768

Former power of expulsion  768

20   Privilege— continued

Manner of dealing with privilege and contempt  769

Raising of matter  769

Determination of whether a matter can be accorded precedence  770

Matter not accorded precedence  771

Matter arising in committee proceedings  772

Matter arising when the House is not sitting  772

Recommended changes  772

Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests  772

Membership  772

Authority and jurisdiction  773

Procedures  774

Reports  776

Proceedings following report  776

Records of the committee  777

Citizen’s right of reply  777

Submissions from persons referred to in debate  777

Limitations and safeguards in the use of privilege  779

21    The Federation Chamber  781

Introduction  781

Location and description  781

Meeting and adjournment  781

Quorum  782

Order of business  783

Business periods on Mondays  784

Business periods on other days  784

Other periods—opportunities for private Members  784

Constituency statements  784

90 second statements  785

Adjournment debate  785

Grievance debate  785

Presentation of petitions  786

Procedures  786

Motions  786

Unresolved questions  786

Legislation  787

Chair  788

Disorder  788

History of the Federation Chamber  790

Origin  790

Development  790

Status as a committee  791