Powers, practice and procedure

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House of Representatives Practice (6th Edition)

House of Representatives Practice is the comprehensive and authoritative text on the procedure and practice of the House of Representatives.

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House of Representatives Standing Orders

The rules of procedure for the House of Representatives as at 13 September 2016.

Resolutions relating to the operation of the House are also published in the standing orders.


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Guide to Procedures
(6th Edition)

Guide to Procedures is a concise introduction to the procedures of the House of Representatives, intended for participants in and observers of proceedings in the Chamber of the House and the Federation Chamber.


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This series of 22 Infosheets contains detailed information about the workings of the House. The information is suitable for students and people who want to know more about how the Parliament works. 


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Procedural Digest 

The Procedural Digest is a record of selected procedural events in the House of Representatives Chamber and the Federation Chamber. It includes Speaker's rulings, precedents and unusual situations.

The Procedural Digest is published at the conclusion of a House sitting week or fortnight.

Work of the Session

Work of the Session

A periodic summary of the business of the House and its committees. Published twice a year.







House of Representatives information

Absolute majority

An absolute majority, as defined by the standing orders of the House of Representatives, is a majority of the membership of the House (including the Speaker). The current membership of the House is 150 Members, therefore the absolute majority is 76 Members. 

An absolute majority is required to carry a motion to suspend standing orders without notice (standing order 47), and on the third reading of a bill which proposes an alteration of the Constitution (standing order 173; Constitution, s.128). 

A simple majority is a majority of Members present and voting and this is sufficient for most decisions of the House.

House of Representatives Statistics

Contains statistics on the work of the House of Representatives in relation to legislation, questions, petitions and various other items of business.

Procedural publications and research papers

Papers and transcripts on various aspects of Parliamentary process and administration.

Committee information

Further information about House of Representatives Committees and Joint Committees managed by the House of Representatives. 

Parliamentary library collection

The publications are prepared by the Parliamentary Library’s Research Branch for the purpose of supporting the work of the Australian Parliament.  The Parliamentary Library researchers also write short, sharp, factual pieces on issues of current interest to the Parliament and post them on FlagPost, the Parliamentary Library blog.

Parlinfo Search

Parllinfo Search enables visitors to the Parliament of Australia website to search and obtain Australian Parliamentary information resources including Hansard, Bills, Senate Journals, Votes and Proceedings, Notice Papers, Parliamentary Handbook and much more.


Seminar program

The House of Representatives is where governments are formed and where most proposed Commonwealth laws are introduced. Through its seminar program, the House offers people interested in its work an opportunity to find out how the House actually works. Our seminars range from the basic to the very detailed – something for everyone.

Parliamentary Education Office

The Parliamentary Education Office provides parliamentary education services to schools, teachers and students by teaching how parliament works through experiential learning programs, producing resources and publications and running a comprehensive, interactive website with resources for all ages and levels of knowledge.