Chapter 5 - Standing and Select Committees

General committee provisions

32    Proceedings

  1. Unless it is otherwise provided, when the votes on any question before a committee are equally divided the question shall be negatived.

  2. An entry shall be made in the minutes of proceedings of the names of the senators attending each committee meeting, of every motion or amendment proposed in the committee and the mover, and the names and votes of the senators voting in any division.

  3. A committee may adjourn from time to time, and, by order of the Senate, from place to place, and may sit on those days over which the Senate is adjourned.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SOs 290 to 292 (corresponding to paragraphs (1) to (3)) but renumbered as SO 286 to 288 for the first printed edition

Amended: 5 October 1922, J.107 (minor amendment to provide for names of senators voting in divisions in committees to be recorded in the minutes)

1989 revision: Old SOs 298 (part), 299 and 300 combined into one, structured as three paragraphs and renumbered as SO 32; repositioned from old chapter XXII on select committees; language modernised and a consequential amendment made by sessional order on 22 September 1987 to delete a reference to meetings of select committees during sittings incorporated into the revision (see SO 33)


Standing order 32 contains important machinery provisions relating to committees. Paragraph (1) applies to committees the same constitutional rule applying to votes in the Senate by virtue of s.23. Paragraph (2) prescribes the minimum information to be recorded in committee minutes, while paragraph (3) provides generally when and where committees may meet. Note that an individual committee that is not specifically authorised to move from place to place is not empowered to do so by this standing order.