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Appendix B – Overview of procedural changes

Item 42nd Parliament 43rd Parliament Comments/
Relevant standing orders
Acknowledgement
of country
No acknowledgement of country Speaker to make acknowledgement of country every morning before prayers

Introduced for the first time in 43rd Parliament
(SO 38)
Question Time
  • No time limits for questions or answers

  • Answers must be relevant to the question
  • Time limits of 45 seconds for questions and 4 minutes for answers

  • Answers must be ‘directly
    relevant’ to the question

  • Only one point of order on relevance allowed for each answer

  • (SOs 86, 100, 104)
    Matter of public importance (MPI)
  • After Question Time, documents and ministerial statements on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

  • Duration, 1 hour

  • Speaking times – 15 mins for proposer and Member next speaking, 10 mins for next two Members speaking and 5
    mins for any other Member

  • After Question Time and documents on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays


  • Duration, 1 hour 30 mins


  • Speaking times – 15 mins for proposer and next Member speaking and 10 mins for any other Member
  • Duration of MPI extended to 1 hour 30 minutes. MPI to follow Question Time (and documents).
    (SOs 1, 34, 46)
    Private Members’ business
  • Total time allocated for committee and delegation business and private Members’ business on Mondays in Chamber,
    1 hr, and in Main Committee, 1 hr 35 mins

  • Government and Opposition Whips schedule private
    Members’ business on Mondays

  • 5 mins speaking time on presentation of private Members’ bills
  • Total time allocated for
    committee and delegation business and private Members’ business on Mondays in Chamber,
    3 hrs 30 mins, and in Main Committee, 5 hrs

  • Selection Committee schedules private Members’ business on Mondays

  • 10 mins speaking time on
    presentation of private Members’ bills

  • Selection Committee recommends items of private Members’ business to be voted on

  • Additional time for private Members’ business in Chamber and Main Committee

  • Role for Selection Committee in scheduling private Members’ business and in recommending items to be voted on

  • Increase in speaking time for presentation of private Members’ bills from 5 to 10 mins

  • (SOs 1, 34, 41, 141, 192, 222)
    Adjournment debate Chamber
    Monday: 9.30pm–10pm
    Tuesday: 8.30pm–9pm
    Wednesday: 7.30pm–8pm
    Thursday: 4.30pm–5pm
    Main Committee
    Thursday: 12.30pm–1pm
    Chamber
    Monday: 9.30pm–10.30pm
    Tuesday: 9.30pm–10.30pm
    Wednesday: 7pm–8pm
    Thursday: 4.30pm–5pm
    Main Committee:
    Thursday: 12.30pm–1pm

    Length of adjournment debate in Chamber increased from 30 mins to 1 hour on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

    (SOs 1, 29, 31, 34, 192)
    90 second statements In Main Committee on Mondays (6.40pm-6.55pm). In Chamber on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, immediately prior to Question Time (1.45pm-2pm).

    (SOs 1, 43)
    House committees
    (general purpose standing)
  • 12 committees

  • Membership of committees is 10

  • 2 supplementary members allowed on an inquiry
  • 9 committees

  • Membership of committees is 7

  • 4 supplementary members allowed on an inquiry

  • Selection Committee to refer controversial bills/bills requiring additional
    consultation to relevant committee

  • Provision for Chairs and Deputy Chairs to make statements in House regarding inquiries during time for committee business on Mondays

  • Number of committees and membership of committees reduced

  • Number of supplementary members allowed increased

  • Referral of bills to committees by Selection Committee and provision for statements in the House regarding inquiries are new reforms

  • (SOs 39(a), 143, 215, 222(iii))
    Government
    responses to House/Joint
    committee reports
    No formal time limit for
    government responses
  • Six month time limit for
    government responses

  • When time limit not met, statement of reasons for delay to be presented in House by relevant Minister and possibility of Minister being required to appear before relevant committee

  • Resolution of the House
    (adopted 29 September 2010)
    Time limits for second reading speeches 20 min limit for second reading speeches
    (Excludes speeches by Mover, Leader of Opposition or Member representing for government bills; and Mover, Prime Minister or Member representing and Leader of Opposition or Member representing for private Members’ bills)
    15 min limit for second reading speeches, or lesser time determined by Selection Committee.(Excludes speeches by Mover, Leader of Opposition or Member representing for government bills; and Mover, Prime Minister or Member representing and Leader of Opposition or Member representing for private Members’ bills)

    Time limit for most second reading speeches reduced from 20 to 15 minutes. Selection Committee may reduce time-limit further.

    (SOs 1, 222(a)(iv))
    Questions during second reading debate No provision for questions during second reading debate
  • For 5 mins at conclusion of second reading speech, Member may be questioned in relation to their speech

  • Time limit of 30 secs for questions and 2 mins for replies

  • Members not obliged to take questions

  • Does not apply to Minister’s second reading speech, speech of main Opposition speaker and Minister’s speech closing debate

  • (Sessional order 142A)
    Recommittal of votes No provision for recommittal of vote where Member accidentally absent If a division has miscarried by a Member being accidentally absent or similar incident, a Member may move a suspension of standing orders to enable the House to divide again. If agreed to, the question is put again.

    A suspension motion moved without notice can be carried only by an absolute majority of Members

    (SOs 47, 132(b))
    House Selection Committee No House Selection Committee Established to:

  • Arrange timetable and order of committee and delegation business and private Members’ business on Mondays

  • Recommend items of private Members’ business to be voted on

  • Select bills for referral to relevant committee


  • Subject to SO 1, set speaking times for

  • Selection Committee reintroduced with wider role than Selection Committees established in 41st and previous parliaments

    (SO 222)
    House Appropriations and Administration Committee No House Appropriations and Administration Committee Established to consider:

  • estimates of funding for the Department of the House of Representatives (DHR)

  • proposals for administrative changes and variation to
    service provided by the DHR

  • administration and funding of security measures affecting the House

  • proposals for works in the parliamentary precincts requiring parliamentary approval Committee will make an annual report to the House
  • Established for the first time in 43rd Parliament

    (SO 222A)
    Hours of sitting Chamber
    Monday: 12 noon–10pm
    Tuesday: 2pm–9pm
    Wednesday: 9am–8pm
    Thursday: 9am–5pm

    Main Committee
    Monday: 4pm–6.40pm (if
    required), and 6.40pm-9.30pm
    Tuesday: 4pm–8.30pm (if
    required)
    Wednesday: 9.30am–1pm, and
    4pm–7.30pm (if required)
    Thursday: 9.30am–1pm

    Chamber
    Monday: 10am–10.30pm
    Tuesday: 2pm–10.30pm
    Wednesday: 9am–8pm
    Thursday: 9am–5pm

    Main Committee
    Monday: 10.30am–1.30pm, and 4pm–10pm
    Tuesday: 4pm–10pm (if required)
    Wednesday: 9.30am–1pm, and 4pm–7.30pm (if required)
    Thursday: 9.30am–1pm
    Sitting hours extended on Mondays and Tuesdays in Chamber and Main Committee

    (SOs 29, 34, 192)

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