House of Representatives Practice, 6th edition – HTML version

16 - Non-government business

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Committee and Delegation Business

The periods on Mondays from 10.10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 8 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. in the House, and from 11 a.m. to approximately 1.30 p.m. and from 6.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Federation Chamber, may be used for private Members business (see page 793), for the resumption of debate on orders of the day relating to parliamentary committee and delegation reports previously presented, and, in the House, for the presentation of these reports. Statements by the chair or deputy chair of a committee concerning a committee inquiry may also be made.[16] For presentation of committee reports at other times see ‘Presentation of reports’ in the Chapter on ‘Parliamentary Committees’.

Consideration in the House

Subject to any determination by the Selection Committee, the Member presenting a report and other Members may each make statements in relation to the report for a maximum of 10 minutes. After the statements the Member presenting the report may move without notice a specific motion in relation to the report (normally ‘That the House take note of the report’), and debate on the question is adjourned to a future day. The Selection Committee often allots five minutes for statements rather than the 10 minute maximum. However, Members have been permitted to speak again by leave[17] and Members have been given an extension of time.[18] When time has not been allocated for statements a Member has spoken by leave.[19] When reports scheduled for presentation are not available the House is informed and the next business is proceeded with.[20]

Following presentation of reports, orders of the day for resumption of debate on earlier reports may be debated according to the order of priority and times allotted for debate determined by the Selection Committee.[21] Each Member may speak for a maximum of 10 minutes or for any lesser period allotted.[22] If the consideration of any question has not concluded by the time appointed, the debate is interrupted and the resumption of debate made an order of the day for a future day. If debate concludes before the time allocated for the item has expired, and the Selection Committee has determined that consideration is to continue on a future day (the usual practice), the Chair informs the House that the resumption of debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting Monday. Standing orders have been suspended to enable debate to be resumed on the same day.[23]

After presentation of a report in the House and the moving of a motion to take note of the report, the order of the day for the resumption of debate on the motion may be referred to the Federation Chamber.

Consideration in the Federation Chamber

In the Federation Chamber during this period debate may occur on the deemed motion to take note on reports presented in the House by the Speaker earlier in the day[24] (see page 791). Debate may also be resumed on reports presented previously. Subject to any Selection Committee determination, Members may speak for up to 10 minutes each.

Removal of reports from the Notice Paper

Generally, debate on a motion to take note of a report is adjourned and the order of the day remains listed as House or Federation Chamber business on the Notice Paper, thus enabling further debate. If not called on for eight consecutive sitting weeks the order of the day is automatically removed from the Notice Paper.[25]

16. S.O. 39.
17. E.g. VP 1990–92/884.
18. E.g. VP 1990–92/566.
19. VP 2004–07/564.
20. E.g. VP 2002–4/1311.
21. Since there has been opportunity for debate of reports in the Main Committee/Federation Chamber the resumption of debate in the House has been rare.
22. S.O. 40, e.g. VP 1993–95/1343.
23. VP 2002–04/1311–2.
24. E.g. H.R. Deb. (21.6.2010) 5855, 6045–8.
25. S.O. 42.