House of Representatives Practice

Seventh edition

CHAPTER 1—The Parliament and the role of the House

The Queen
Powers and Functions of the Governor-General
Powers and jurisdiction of the Houses
The courts and Parliament
Constitution alteration
Aspects of the role of the House of Representatives
Independence of the Houses
Functions of the House

CHAPTER 2—House, Government and Opposition

Government and Parliament
Political parties
The Ministry
Federal Executive Council
The (official) Opposition

CHAPTER 3—Elections and the electoral system

The first election
The Commonwealth Electoral Act
Number of Members
Electoral divisions
General elections
Senate elections
Method of voting
The election process
Public funding and financial disclosure
Disputed elections and returns

CHAPTER 4—Parliament House and access to proceedings

The Parliament buildings
The Chamber
Access to proceedings
Parliamentary precincts and the exercise of authority

CHAPTER 5—Members

The Member's role
The Member and the House in the democratic process
Qualifications and disqualifications
New Members
First speech
Valedictory speech
Pecuniary interest
Members’ remuneration and expenses
Member's titles
Dress and conduct in the Chamber
Service on non-parliamentary organisations

CHAPTER 6—The Speaker, Deputy Speakers and officers

The Office of Speaker
Election of Speaker
Powers, functions and duties
Absence of Speaker and vacancy in office
The Speaker’s vote
Sources of procedural authority
Speaker’s rulings
Criticism of Speaker’s actions and conduct
Deputy Speaker
Second Deputy Speaker
Speaker’s panel
Staff of the House and administration

CHAPTER 7—The parliamentary calendar

A Parliament
A Session
The Address in Reply
Sitting and non-sitting periods

CHAPTER 8—Order of business and the sitting day

Meeting of the House
Acknowledgement of country and Prayers
Order of business
New business rule

CHAPTER 9—Motions

Definition of a motion
Form and content of motions
Progress of motions in House
Amendments to motions
Motions agreed to—resolutions and orders of the House
Motions of no confidence and censure
Motions of condolence
Motions of thanks
Motion of apology
Motion to discuss matter of special interest
Motions relating to the Standing Orders

CHAPTER 10—Legislation

Constitutional provisions
Bills—the parliamentary process
Procedural variations for different categories of bills
Procedures to speed the passage of bills
Division of a bill
Lapsed bills
Administrative arrangements
Presentation of bills for assent
Delegated legislation

CHAPTER 11—Financial legislation

Constitutional provisions
Former financial procedures
Bills containing special appropriations
Appropriation and supply bills
Taxation bills

CHAPTER 12—Senate amendments and requests

Procedure following Senate consideration
Senate bills amended by House

CHAPTER 13—Double dissolutions and joint sittings

Section 57 of the Constitution
Double dissolutions
Joint sitting

CHAPTER 14—Control and conduct of debate

Manner and right of speech
Rules governing content of speeches
Interruptions to Members speaking
Curtailment of speeches and debate
Powers of Chair to enforce order

CHAPTER 15—Questions

Question Time
Rules governing questions
Questions in writing

CHAPTER 16—Non-government business

Private Members’ Mondays
Committee and delegation business
Private Members’ business
Grievance debate
Members’ 90 second statements
Constituency statements
Adjournment debate
Matters of public importance

CHAPTER 17—Documents

Documents presented to the House
Orders and resolutions in relation to documents
Distribution and printing of documents
House documents—agenda and record
Parliamentary privilege relating to documents
Public interest immunity

CHAPTER 18—Parliamentary committees

Authority for the appointment of committees
Types of committees and terminology
House standing committees
House select committees
Conferral with committees of the Senate
Joint committees
Appointment and duration
Powers of committees
Meeting procedures
Committee administration—staff and advisers

CHAPTER 19—Committee inquiries

Referral of matters for inquiry
Documentary evidence
Oral evidence
Publication of evidence

CHAPTER 20—Parliamentary privilege

Privilege defined
The Commonwealth Parliament’s privilege powers
The privilege of freedom of speech
Other privileges
Acts constituting breaches of privilege and contempts
Penal jurisdiction of the House
Punishment of Members
Manner of dealing with privilege and contempt
Citizen’s right of reply
Limitations and safeguards in the use of privilege

CHAPTER 21—The Federation Chamber