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Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 10 - Debate

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Reply

A senator who has moved a substantive motion may speak in reply, and this reply closes the debate.[165] There is no right of reply in relation to a procedural motion or in relation to an amendment.

Motions which are open to debate but regarded as procedural in character and therefore not subject to the right of reply include motions for the suspension of standing orders, for an instruction to a committee of the whole and for the recommittal of a bill.[166] Two of the elements of the composite motion under standing order 113(2) are regarded as procedural.[167]

Where two or more senators are joint movers of a motion, any one of them, but only one of them, may exercise the right of reply by speaking for a second time.

The chair will not call a senator to speak in reply if there is any other senator who has not spoken and who seeks the call to speak.

While the purpose of the reply is to respond to matters raised in debate, a senator speaking in reply can introduce relevant matter which has not been referred to in debate.[168]

A senator who speaks in reply on behalf of another senator does not close the debate.[169] A senator who moves a motion on behalf of another, however, may also speak in reply, and the mover of a motion may reply where another senator has moved the motion on the mover's behalf. Thus a speech by the minister in charge of a bill in response to the debate on the second reading is regarded as closing the debate, even though another minister moved the motion for the second reading. In this circumstance, it is the minister who moves the motion who acts on behalf of another.

Where motions are moved together, or items of business are taken together, by leave or by special order, each of the movers of motions so amalgamated may speak in reply.[170]


165. SO 192.
166. Ruling of President Gould, SD, 1/10/1909, p. 4021.
167. See Chapter 12, Legislation, under Initiation.
168. Ruling of President Baker, SD, 2/6/1904, p. 1854.
169. Ruling of President Brown, SD, 11/4/1946, p. 1358.
170. 14/4/1988, J.628; 23/11/1988, J.1143-4; 27/11/2000, J.3584-6.