In 1901, the Senate adopted the standing orders of the South Australian House of Assembly on a temporary basis while it set about the task of developing its own rules. These were the standing orders that had been used at the Australasian Federal Conventions of 1897–98 and were familiar to the greatest number of senators, many of whom had been delegates to the conventions.
In 1903, the proposed standing orders were extensively debated and amended before being adopted on 19 August, with effect from 1 September. Over the years, new standing orders were added and existing ones were amended as the Senate adapted its procedures to deal with its expanding interests more effectively. In 1989, a major revision was undertaken to update and rationalise the standing orders, which have continued to evolve to meet emerging requirements.
These commentaries on the standing orders have been adapted from the book, Annotated Standing Orders of the Australian Senate, edited by Rosemary Laing. Each commentary provides the text of the standing order, its amendment history, and information about its origin, evolution, rationale and application. Cross references are included to significant commentary in Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice, edited by Harry Evans.
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