Chapter 13 - Notices of Motion

77    Alteration and withdrawal of notices

  1. A senator may change the day for moving a motion by giving notice of the motion for any day subsequent to that first named, but not earlier, subject to the same rules as other notices of motion.

  2. After a notice of motion has been given, the terms of it may be altered by the senator delivering at the table an amended notice, either on the same day or any day prior to that for proceeding with the motion.

  3. A notice may be withdrawn when called on or at any time before the motion is moved.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SOs 102 and 103 (corresponding to paragraphs (1) to (3))

1989 revision: Old SOs 108 and 109 combined into one, restructured as three paragraphs and renumbered as SO 77; language modernised and expression streamlined


A senator is said to “own” a notice of motion and, therefore, to control its contents and timing. Once it is moved, however, it is in the possession of the Senate and subject to the normal rules applying to motions (see Chapter 14). Before it is moved, a notice of motion may be altered or the day for moving it put back (but not brought forward) by means of a written notice pursuant to this standing order. It may also be withdrawn orally in the chamber at any time before it is called on.

The common form of a so-called “standing order 77 letter” is as follows:

Clerk of the Senate

Attention: Clerk Assistant (Table)


Pursuant to standing order 77, I wish to alter the notice of motion standing in my name and given earlier today, as follows:

<insert details of changes or amended version of notice>

(<insert senator’s name>)

Senator for <insert State/Territory>

The notice then appears on the Notice Paper in its amended form.

While unchanged in substance since 1903, SO 77 was augmented in 1979–80 by specific procedures for the withdrawal of disallowance notices, mooted 10 years earlier but not acted on (see SO 78).