Committee of the whole—Consideration

The second reading debate is a policy debate relating to the principles of a particular bill. A senator may speak for up to 20 minutes and make a further contribution if a second reading amendment is moved. The second reading debate is opened by a minister who outlines the policies of the bill, and is usually closed by a minister who may respond to issues raised during the debate. The debate culminates in a vote signifying that the bill is agreed to, or rejected, in principle.

Second reading amendments do not affect the text of a bill. The amendment is moved to the motion for the second reading ("That this bill be now read a second time"), and is generally used to express an opinion about the bill or related policy issues; to propose the reference of the bill or related matters to a committee; or to delay further consideration of the bill. In some circumstances the effect of the amendment, if agreed to, is to defeat the bill.

Consolidated statistics

Related links

Brief Guide to Senate Procedure No. 16 - Consideration of Legislation

Senate Brief No. 8- The Senate and Legislation