Senate Routine of Business

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Senate Routine of Business as set out in standing order 57 and related orders, and including temporary orders and General times, and debating opportunities and time limits

Last updated: 24 September 2014

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

10 am Prayers and acknowledgement of country
° Documents
(Presented pursuant to order)
° Clerk’s documents
° Committees—authorisation to meet
Government business only

2 pm Questions
Motions to take note of answers
(Time limit: 30 mins)
Petitions
Notices of motion
Placing of business
Discovery of formal business
MPI or urgency motion
(Time limit: 1 hr, or if no motions to take note, 90 mins)
° Consideration of documents tabled earlier in the day
(SO 61—Time limit: 30 mins)
Ministerial statements
Committee memberships
Messages from House of Representatives
Order of business

6.30 to 7.30 pm Sitting suspended— (DINNER BREAK)

7.30 pm Order of business continued

9.50 pm Adjournment proposed
(Time limit: 40 mins)

12.30 pm Prayers and acknowledgement of country
° Documents
(Presented pursuant to order)
° Clerk’s documents
° Committees—authorisation to meet
Government business only

2 pm Questions
Motions to take note of answers
(Time limit: 30 mins)
Petitions
Notices of motion
Placing of business
Discovery of formal business
MPI or urgency motion
(SO 75—Time limit: 1 hr, or if no motions to take note, 90 mins)
° Consideration of documents tabled earlier in the day
(SO 61—Time limit: 30 mins)
° Tabling and consideration of committee reports
(SO 62(4)—Time limit: 1 hr)
Ministerial statements
Committee memberships
Messages from House of Representatives
Order of business

7.20 pm° Adjournment proposed
(Time limit: 2 hrs 10 mins)

9.30 am Prayers and acknowledgement of country
Documents
(Presented pursuant to order)
° Clerk’s documents
° Committees—authorisation to meet
Government business only

12.45 pm° Senators’ statements
(SO 57(2))

2 pm Questions
Motions to take note of answers
(Time limit: 30 mins)
Petitions
Notices of motion
Placing of business
Discovery of formal business
MPI or urgency motion
(SO 75—Time limit: 1 hr, or if no motions to take note, 90 mins)
° Consideration of documents tabled earlier in the day
(SO 61—Time limit: 30 mins)
Tabling and consideration of committee reports
(SO 62(4)—Time limit: 1 hr)
Ministerial statements
Committee memberships
Messages from House of Representatives
Order of business

7.20 pm Adjournment proposed
(Time limit: 40 mins)

9.30 am Prayers and acknowledgement of country
° Clerk’s documents
° Committees—authorisation to meet
‡   General business, orders of the day for consideration of bills
(SO 57(1)—Time limit: 2 hrs and 20 mins)
Petitions
Notices of motion
Placing of business
Discovery of formal business
Committee memberships
Messages from House of Representatives
Order of business

12.45 pm Non‑controversial government business only

2 pm Questions
Motions to take note of answers
(Time limit: 30 mins)
° Tabling and consideration of committee reports
(SO 62(4)Time limit: 1 hr)
Ministerial statements

Not later than 4.30 pm General business
(Notices of motion and orders of the day)

Not later than 6 pm General business, cont.
(SO 61(3)—Consideration of documents. Time limit:1 hr)

Not later than 7 pm Consideration of committee reports and government responses and Auditor- General’s reports
(SO 62—Time limit: 1 hr)

8 pm°  Adjournment proposed
(No time limit)

‡ Temporary order agreed to 22 November 2010 upon adoption of recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s 4th report of 2010; continuation agreed to 12 May 2011, 24 November 2011, 27 June 2012 upon adoption of recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s 1st report of 2012, 6 February 2013, 14 November 2013, and 24 June 2014 (amended).

° Temporary order agreed to 24 September 2014 upon adoption of recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s 2nd and 3rd reports of 2014.

SO Standing orders

 

General Times

Times of meetings of the Senate

Monday 10 am‡ to 6.30 pm, 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm

Tuesday📣 12.30 pm to 9.30 pm°

Wednesday📣 9.30 am to 8 pm

Thursday 9.30 am to adjournment°

Closing times

Documents—need to be received by the sub Table Office no later than 5 pm of the working day before the document is to be tabled.

Extensions of time for a committee to report (routine)—the form, signed by the chair of the committee, is to be lodged by hand with the sub Table Office by 3 pm on a sitting Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and by 11 am on a sitting Thursday.

Notifications authorising committees to meet during the sitting of the Senate—the form, signed by the chair of the committee, is to be lodged by hand with the sub Table Office no later than 30 mins prior to that sitting day commencing.

Petitions (see: Brief Guide No. 7 – Petitions*)—must be lodged with the Table Office by:

9.30 am on a day on which the Senate sits at 12.30 pm; and

5 pm of the working day prior to the Senate sitting at 9.30 am and 10 am‡.

Questions on notice (see: Brief Guide No. 6 – Questions*)—must be lodged with the Table Office no later than 5 pm on sitting days, and in non-sitting weeks by 2 pm on the Wednesday before the next day of sitting, to be registered in the next Notice Paper.

Senate Numbers

Quorum 19 (one-quarter)

Absolute majority 39

Debating Opportunities and Time Limits

(see: Brief Guide No. 2 – Rules of debate*)

Bills (see: Brief Guide No. 16 – Consideration of legislation*)

1° of non-amendable bill.......................................... 15 mins....................... SO 112(2)

2°................................................................................ 20 mins....................... SO 189(1)

In committee.............................................................. 15 mins....................... SO 189(3)

(+ possible extension of 15 mins)

3°................................................................................ 20 mins....................... SO 189(1)

Selection of Bills Committee—adoption of report... 5 mins....................... SO 24A(7)

(limit for debate: 30 mins)

Reference of a bill to committee................................ 5 mins....................... SO 115(6)

(limit for debate: 30 mins)

‡   Temporary order agreed to 22 November 2010 upon adoption of recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s 4th report of 2010; continuation agreed to 12 May 2011, 24 November 2011, 27 June 2012 upon adoption of recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s 1st report of 2012, 6 February 2013, 14 November 2013 and 24 June 2014 (amended).

📣 Broadcast day

* Brief Guides to Senate Procedure

 

Debating Opportunities and Time Limits—continued

Committee reports and government responses (see: Brief Guide No. 11 – Opportunities for debating documents and reports*)

Motions relating to report on Tuesday°, Wednesday or Thursday 10 mins............ SO 62(4)

(limit for debate: 1 hr)

Resumption, including Auditor-General’s reports (Thursday)...... 10 mins................ SO 62(1)

(limit for debate: 1 hr)

Debate

General............................................................................................... 20 mins.............. SO 189(1)

Extension of time (possible)........................................................ 10 mins.............. SO 189(1)

In committee....................................................................................... 15 mins.............. SO 189(3)

In reply............................................................................................... 20 mins.............. SO 189(2)

Documents (General)

Motions moved by leave................................................................... 10 mins.............. SO 169(2)

(limit for debate: 30 mins per motion, 1 hr for all motions)

Documents—consideration (see: Brief Guide No. 11 – Opportunities for debating documents and reports*)

Motion to take note (Monday°, Tuesday and Wednesday)............. 5 mins................ SO 61(3)

(limit for debate: 30 mins)

Resumption (Thursday)...................................................................... 5 mins................ SO 61(3)

(limit for debate: 1 hr)

Matters of Public Importance/Urgency (see: Brief Guide No. 9 – Matters of public importance and
urgency
*)

All speakers....................................................................................... 10 mins................ SO 75(7)

(limit for debate: 1 hr, or 90 mins if no motions are moved after question time to take note of answers)

Senators’ statements °...................................................................... 10 mins................ SO 57(2)

Questions (see: Brief Guide No. 6 – Questions*)

Without notice

Primary question............................................................................. 1 min................ SO 72(3)

Answering question...................................................................... 2 mins................ SO 72(3)

Supplementary questions (2)....................................................... 30 sec................ SO 72(3)

Answering supplementary.............................................................. 1 min................ SO 72(3)

Debate on motions relating to answers............................................ 5 mins................ SO 72(4)

(limit for debate: 30 mins)

Suspension of standing orders (see: Brief Guide No. 5 – Suspension of standing orders*)

...................................................... 5 mins.............. SO 209(4)

(limit for debate: 30 mins)

Debate for the election of the President of the Senate......... 15 mins.................. SO 6(2)

Adjournment of the Senate

....... Monday and Wednesday............ 10 mins................ SO 54(5)
..... Tuesday°....................... 5 mins | 10 mins.... SO 54(5) & (5A)
..... Thursday°..... 5 mins | 10 mins | 20 mins....... SO 54(5) & (6)

(limit for debate: 40 mins (Monday and Wednesday);  2 hours 10 mins (Tuesday), no limit on debate (Thursday)°)

° Temporary order agreed to 24 September 2014 upon adoption of recommendation in the Procedure Committee’s 2nd and 3rd reports of 2014.

SO Standing orders

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