Chapter 21 - Committees of the Whole

145  Objection to chairman’s ruling

If objection is taken to a decision of the Chairman of Committees, such objection must be stated at once in writing. The chairman shall then leave the chair, and the Senate resume. The matter having been laid before the President, and senators having addressed themselves to it, shall be disposed of, and the proceedings in committee shall be resumed where they were interrupted.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SO 262 but renumbered as SO 258 for the first printed edition

1989 revision: Old SO 270 renumbered as SO 145; expression streamlined


The Chairman of Committees rules on questions of order in committee of the whole (SO 144(7)), but if a senator objects to a decision of the Chairman of Committees, this is reported to the Senate. The President then determines the matter by making a ruling, after hearing senators in relation to the objection, and, unless objection is taken to the President’s ruling, the committee of the whole resumes (SO 145).[1]

According to the 6th edition of Australian Senate Practice, debate on an objection to a decision of the Chairman of Committees cannot be adjourned. After hearing senators, the President must give a decision. The rationale is presumably to enable the committee of the whole to resume its work with as much expedition as possible while any difficulties are dealt with by the Senate.[2] This restriction does not apply to objections to rulings of the President (see SO 198).