Chapter 10 | Legislation

Constitutional provisions

Bills—the parliamentary process

Form of bill 

Long title


Enacting formula


Short title

Commencement provision

Activating clause


Substantive provisions


Associated documentation

Table of contents

Headings and notes

Explanatory memorandum

Statement of compatibility with human rights

Comparative memorandum (black bill type)

Preparation of bills—the extra-parliamentary process

Synopsis of major stages

Classification of bills

Ordinary bill procedure

Initiation and first reading

The application of the same motion rule to bills

Referral to Federation Chamber

Referral to a committee

Referral for advisory report

Bill referred to select committee

Bill referred directly by Minister

Attempted referral by second reading amendment

Second reading

Moving and second reading speech

Resumption of debate

Nature of debate—relevancy

Second reading amendment

Relevancy and content


Anticipation of detail stage amendment

Addition of words

Direct negative

Form of amendment

Moving of amendment


Debate and questions put

Effect of agreeing to reasoned amendment

Reasoned amendment in the Federation Chamber

Amendment to dispose of bill

Determination of question for second reading

Bill reintroduced

Bill not proceeded with

Proceedings following second reading

Reference to legislation committee

Leave to move third reading or report stage immediately

Former committee of the whole

Consideration in detail

Moving of motions and amendments


Questions put

Inadmissible amendments

Bill considered clause by clause


New clauses


Postponed clauses



Reconsideration of part of bill during detail stage

Bill considered as a whole, or by parts

Report stage (for bills considered by Federation Chamber)

Reconsideration of bill before third reading

Third reading and final passage

Rescission of third reading

Procedural variations for different categories of bills

Private Members’ bills

Constitution alteration bills

Absolute majority

Disagreements between the Houses

Senate bills

Introduction and first reading

Subsequent proceedings

Procedures to speed the passage of bills

Cognate second reading debate

Bills considered together

All stages without delay

By leave at each stage

Following suspension of standing orders

Contingent notices

Debate management motions

Bills declared urgent (guillotine)

Division of a bill

Lapsed bills

Bills lapsed because of lack of quorum

Administrative arrangements

Printing and distribution

Introduced copy

Third reading print

Deputy Speaker’s amendments

Clerk’s certificate and transmission to the Senate

Error in certificate

Presentation of bills for assent

Preparation of bills for submission for assent

Presentation of first bill for assent

Governor-General’s assent

Bills reserved for the Queen’s assent

Presentation of double dissolution bills

Presentation of constitution alteration bills

Amendment recommended by Governor-General

Errors in bills assented to


Publication of Acts

The interpretation of Acts

Construction of Acts subject to the Constitution

Regard to purpose or object of Act

Use of extrinsic material in the interpretation of an Act

Delegated legislation

Legislative Instruments Act

Legislation Act

Making and registration of legislative instruments

Notification of intention and consultation

Federal Register of Legislation

Sunset provisions

Parliamentary scrutiny and control

Presentation to the House


Action in the House—giving notice of disallowance

Reckoning of time

Notice to disallow before presentation


Regulations and Ordinances Committee