Chapter 26 - Tabling of documents

165  Documents from the Governor-General

  1. When the royal prerogative is concerned in any document required by the Senate an address shall be presented to the Governor-General requesting that the document be laid before the Senate.
  2. A motion for the production of correspondence addressed to the Governor-General shall be in the form of an address.

Amendment history

Adopted: 19 August 1903 as SOs 349 and 350 (corresponding to paragraphs (1) and (2)) but renumbered as SOs 345 and 346 for the first printed edition

1989 revision: Old SOs 359 and 360 combined into one, structured as two paragraphs and renumbered as SO 165; language and terminology modernised and expression considerably streamlined


Extract from the Journals of the Senate, 17 June 1914

In this address, the Senate asked the Governor-General to disclose the advice on which he had relied to grant the Commonwealth's first double dissolution undewr Section 57 of the Constitution (Extract from the Journals of the Senate, 17 June 1914)

Based on standing orders of the Victorian and South Australian legislative assemblies and agreed to without debate in 1903, SO 165 has been invoked only once, in 1914, when the Senate, by address to the Governor-General, sought access to correspondence between the Governor-General and his advisers relating to the first simultaneous dissolution under s.57 of the Constitution. The request was declined, on advice.[1]

The overwhelming majority of requests for government information are made by way of orders for production of documents under SO 164. See Australian Senate Practice, 6th edition, pp.911 –12, for an historical view of the principles involved in determining when an order for production of documents should be made to ministers or an address made to the Governor-General.