Chapter 23 - Communication between the two Houses

152  Methods of communication

Communications with the House of Representatives may be by message, by conference, or by committees conferring with each other.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SO 324 but renumbered as SO 320 for the first printed edition

1989 revision: Old SO 334 renumbered as SO 152; terminology updated (a reference to “Select Committees” replaced with a reference to “committees”)


Agreed to without debate in 1903 and unamended since, SO 152 identifies methods for communication between the Houses. Of the three methods identified, only the exchange of messages is common. For conferences, see chapter 24 and Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice, 12th edition, pp. 541 –44. For committees conferring with each other, see SO 40 and Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice, 12th edition, pp. 411–12.

The majority of messages deal with the legislative process and the transmission of bills between the Houses. For details of messages required in particular circumstances, see SOs 125127, 129–133, and 140141.

A second category of messages deals with the appointment of joint committees and subsequent changes in membership. See SO 42.

Thirdly, resolutions of the Senate are transmitted to the House if required by the terms of the resolution or pursuant to a motion moved under SO 154.

Any request for a member or an officer of the other House to appear before the Senate or its committees is made by message (see SO 178), as is any request for a conference (see SO 156).