Chapter 5 - Standing and Select Committees

General committee provisions

31    Chairman

A committee, before transacting any business, shall elect one of its members to be chairman, who, unless it is otherwise provided, shall have a deliberative vote only.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SO 290 but renumbered as SO 286 for the first printed edition.

1989 revision: The first part of old SO 298 was renumbered SO 31 and repositioned from old chapter XXII on select committees; language modernised


Senator Trish Crossin

Chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Senator Trish Crossin (ALP, NT) (Photo courtesy of AUSPIC)

Standing order 31 is retained as a general provision although for most committees the position is “as otherwise provided”. Resolutions of appointment commonly provide for the chair to have a casting vote when the votes are equally divided. The second part of old SO 298, providing for the question to be negatived when the votes were equally divided, was removed to SO 32 in the 1989 revision as it relates more closely to the proceedings of a committee.