House of Representatives Committees

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Preliminary pages

Foreword

This is the fourth report of the Procedure Committee in respect of its inquiry into the procedural changes implemented in the House of Representatives in the 43rd Parliament.

This report adds to the findings of the Committee’s three previous reports on procedural changes brought about by the implementation of the reforms proposed in the Agreement for a Better Parliament: Parliamentary Reform. This report comes over two years after the implementation process began and provides an overview of the implementation process and an assessment of the success, or otherwise, of the changes.

The Committee has made two recommendations, one of which reiterates concerns the Committee has expressed in its previous reports.

Geoff Lyons MP

Chair



Membership of the Committee

Chair

Mr Geoff Lyons MP (from 15.03.12)

 

Deputy Chair

Mr Russell Broadbent MP

 

Members

Ms Sharon Bird MP (to 14.03.12)

Mr Ewen Jones MP

 

Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Mr Geoff Lyons MP (from 14.03.12)

 

Ms Jill Hall MP (from 07.02.12)

Ms Julie Owens MP (Chair to 15.03.12)

 

Mr Steve Irons MP

Mr Sid Sidebottom MP (to 07.02.12)



Committee Secretariat

Secretary

Ms Catherine Cornish (to 10.10.12)

Mr Peter Banson (from 10.10.12)

Inquiry Secretary

Mr Justin Baker (to 23.04.12)

Dr Narelle McGlusky (from 23.04.12)

Research Officers

Ms Naomi Swann

Ms Penny Branson



Terms of reference

To monitor and report on procedural changes implemented in the House of Representatives in the 43rd Parliament.

List of abbreviations

HR Deb

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard – House of Representatives)

MP

Member of Parliament

MPI

Matters of Public Importance

PBO

Parliamentary Budget Office

The Agreement

Agreement for a Better Parliament: Parliamentary Reform



List of recommendations

3 Increased participation by all Members

Recommendation 1 (para 3.41)

The Committee recommends that the maximum time allocated for the Matter of Public Importance discussion be reduced to one hour, with speaking times as follows:

5 The committee system and other issues

Recommendation 2 (para 5.66)

The Committee recommends that the House consider measures to manage the workload of Members during sitting weeks, having regard to the health and wellbeing of Members, their staff and parliamentary staff, including but not limited to:

  1. commencing at 12.00 noon on Mondays in the House and 12.30pm in the Federation Chamber;

  2. commencing at 12.00 noon on Tuesdays in the House;

  3. offsetting the reduction in sitting hours resulting from a) and b) by reducing the time allocated to private Members’ business each week by three hours;

  4. providing that divisions and quorums called for after 6.30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays be deferred until the following day; and

  5. rising half an hour earlier on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, by reducing the time allocated for adjournment debate.

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