Chapter 5 - Standing and Select Committees

General committee provisions

39    Proceedings on report

  1. Subject to standing order 62(4), on the presentation of a report of a committee no discussion shall take place, but the report and any documents accompanying it may be ordered to be printed.

  2. Any proceeding on a report of a committee shall be by motion after notice.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SOs 308 and 309 (corresponding to paragraphs (1) and (2)) but renumbered as SOs 304 and 305 for the first printed edition

1989 revision: Old SOs 316 and 317 combined into one, restructured as two paragraphs and renumbered as SO 39; repositioned from old chapter XXII on select committees; language simplified


A motion that the report of a committee, and any documents presented with it, be printed is the only motion that may be moved without notice at the time of presentation (except when a report is presented under SO 62(4)). The printing motion does not allow general debate on the contents of the report because the rule of relevance requires debate to be confined to the question.[1] The question does not go to the issue of publication as such, which is already covered by SO 167, but to whether the report should be published as a parliamentary paper. In the unusual event that a motion to print the report was not moved at the time of presentation, the issue would be considered by the Publications Committee (see SO 22).

The most common motions moved in relation to reports are “That the Senate take note of the report” or “That the Senate adopt the report [or specific recommendations]”. Because of the opportunities to move motions (other than the printing motion) at the time of presentation, either pursuant to SO 62(4) or by leave, notices of motion for proceedings on a report of a committee are relatively rare. For an example, see 26 August 2008 (J.683) in relation to an estimates report of the Community Affairs Committee.

See SO 62 for the main commentary on consideration of committee reports.