Chapter 8 | Order of business and the sitting day

This chapter outlines the proceedings on a normal sitting day, from the meeting of the House to adjournment, under the ordinary order of business provided for in standing order 34. It also details the many interventions which can occur under specific standing orders and by way of tactical moves. The chapter also encompasses the division procedures and quorum provisions, which often play a significant part in the daily routine of the House.



Two sittings commencing on the one day

Length of sittings

Joint sittings

Joint meetings

Addresses to both Houses by foreign heads of state

Secret sittings and meetings

Suspension of sittings

Pursuant to standing orders

Pursuant to resolution of the House

Practice of the House

Meeting of the House

Preliminaries to meeting—the Daily Program

Meetings at hour other than pursuant to adjournment

Meeting when House has not adjourned the previous sitting

Acknowledgement of country and Prayers

Order of business

Business on Mondays

Motions to set or vary the order of business

Ordinary order of business

Government business

90 second statements

Question Time

Presentation of documents

Matter of public importance

Ministerial statements

Matters accorded precedence

Censure or no confidence motions and amendments

Matters of privilege

Motions of thanks or condolence

Motions for leave of absence to a Member

Announcements of ministerial arrangements

Swearing-in of Members and announcements of returns to writs

Other matters that can interrupt the ordinary order of business

Personal explanations

Acknowledgement and admission of distinguished visitors

Announcements and statements by the Speaker

Committee reports and documents

Matter of special interest

Suspension of standing orders

Points of order


Absence of a Minister

New business rule


Standing orders provisions

Motion moved by a Minister

Automatic adjournment

Adjournment of the House

Adjournment of the House for special reasons


Standing orders provisions

Quorum at time of meeting

Quorum during sitting 

Resumption of proceedings after count out


Determination of questions arising

Recording dissent

Vote recorded when no dissentient voice

Number of divisions

Entitlement of Members to vote

Divisions not proceeded with

Request for division withdrawn

Discretion of Chair

Procedure during divisions

Ringing of bells and locking of doors

Four or fewer Members on a side

Appointment of tellers

Members to be within area of Members’ seats to vote

Members not to move places during vote

Recording the vote

Requirement to vote a certain way

Points of order and Members’ remarks during a division

Successive divisions

Deferred divisions

Record of divisions

Division repeated


Proxy voting

Free votes

Proposals for change in division procedure

Electronic voting