Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 8 - Conduct of proceedings

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Notices of motion and orders of the day

Within each category of business listed on the Notice Paper, there are two types of business: notices of motion and orders of the day.

A notice of motion is a statement of intention by a senator that the senator intends to move a motion in the terms of the notice on the day for which the notice is given. Notices of motion are given at the time indicated in the routine of business, and may not be given at other times except by leave.[36]

There is an opportunity, at the time indicated in the routine of business, for motions of which senators have given notice to be put and determined without debate or amendment, if no senator objects to that course.[37] At that time the President asks whether there are any formal motions, and a senator may ask that a motion of which the senator has given notice be taken as formal. If no senator present objects to that course, the motion is then put and determined without amendment or debate. Motions which are not determined in this way are dealt with in accordance with the rules relating to the routine and order of business.

Further information on notices of motion and formal motions is contained in Chapter 9, Motions and Amendments.

Orders of the day are items of business which the Senate has ordered to be taken into consideration on a particular day. Most orders of the day consist of adjourned debates on matters which have been considered earlier, and most are listed for the next day of sitting.

Notices of motion and orders of the day listed for a sitting day which are not reached on that day are automatically deferred till the next day of sitting and are listed on the Notice Paper accordingly.[38]

A notice of motion may be withdrawn by a senator who has given the notice. As a notice of motion is simply a statement of intention by a senator to move a motion, it is entirely under the control of the senator who has given the notice, and who may choose not to carry out the stated intention.[39] A senator may also alter the terms of, or the day for moving, a motion of which notice has been given, provided that this is done at least a day before the motion is due for consideration.[40]

An order of the day, being a matter which the Senate has ordered for consideration on a particular day, can be removed from the Notice Paper only by a motion duly moved to discharge the order of the day.[41]


36. Except notices for references to legislative and general purpose standing committees: SO 25(11).
37. SO 66.
38. SO 80(2), 97(2).
39. Special provisions apply to the withdrawal of notices of motion for the disallowance of delegated legislation: SO 78; see Chapter 9, Motions and Amendments, under Notice of motion.
40. SO 77.
41. SO 97(4).

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