Parliamentary Business

Bills and Legislation

A bill is a proposal for a law or a change to an existing law. A bill becomes law (an Act) when agreed to in identical form by both houses of Parliament and assented to by the Governor-General.

Hansard

The Hansard is the report of the proceedings of the Australian parliament and its committees. This includes the Senate, House of Representatives, the Federation Chamber and all parliamentary committees.

Senate Estimates

Estimates of government expenditure are referred to Senate committees as part of the annual budget cycle. This opportunity to examine the operations of government plays a key role in the parliamentary scrutiny of the executive.

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Chamber Documents

Documents used in the chamber to facilitate the conduct of business. The documents include the agenda for each sitting day (Senate Order of Business and House of Representatives Daily Program), the business currently before each chamber (the Notice Papers) and the minutes of meeting for each sitting day (Journals of the Senate and Votes and Proceedings for the House of Representatives).

Committees

A parliamentary committee is a group of Members of the House of Representatives or Senators (or both in the case of joint committees) who look into issues in a way that is not possible in the chambers. They then report their findings to parliament. Committees play a very important role in scrutiny of government administration.