A guide to business - Tuesday

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12 pm

Prayers and acknowledgement of country


Documents (presented pursuant to order)
A list of documents to be tabled will be attached to the Red. These documents include:

  • annual reports of government departments and agencies (often referred to as "government documents"
  • reports of the Auditor-General
  • responses to Senate resolutions
  • reports relating to the administration of the parliamentary departments (excluding the Department of the House of Representatives).

Documents may be debated in the afternoon.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure Nos 10 - Tabling of documents and 11 - Opportunities for debating documents and reports


Clerk's documents
Tabling of documents required to be presented by Acts of Parliament (legislative instruments: eg regulations, determinations, rules, orders)

See also Guide to Senate Procedure Nos 10 - Tabling of documents and 11 - Opportunities for debating documents and reports


Committees - proposals to meet
Under standing order 33, a committee requires leave of the Senate to meet during sitting.  Proposals to meet are listed on the Red and unless objected to are deemed to be approved.


Government business only
Debate on motions moved by ministers - principally government bills.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure No. 16 - Consideration of legislation


2 pm

Questions
Time limit - approximately an hour

Motions to take note of answers
Opportunity to debate answers given during question time. Time limit - 30 minutes; 5 minute speeches

See also Guide to Senate Procedure No. 6 - Questions


Petitions
Presentation of petitions is announced by the Clerk.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure No. 7 - Petitions


Notices of motion given
All decisions of the Senate begin as motions moved by senators. The first step is usually for a senator to give notice of his or her intention to move a motion.

Placing of business
Consideration of a notice of motion may be postponed and business items may be rearranged. Routine committee matters and leave of absence for senators are also dealt with here.

Formal business
Motions are voted on without debate

See also Guide to Senate Procedure Nos 4 - Categories of business and 8 - Notices of motion


MPI or urgency motion
Discussion or debate on a matter lodged by letter to the President of the Senate. Time limit 1 hour or, if no motions to take note of answers, 90 minutes.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure No. 9 - Matters of Public Importance and Urgency


Consideration of documents tabled earlier in the day
Half an hour is set aside for debate on documents presented at the commencement of sitting.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure No. 11 - Opportunities for debating documents and reports


Tabling and consideration of committee reports
One hour is available for presenting and debating committee reports (other than those presented in response to a recommendation of the Selection of Bills Committee which are generally not available for debate) and government responses to committee reports.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure Nos 10 - Tabling of documents and 11 - Opportunities for debating documents and reports


Ministerial statements
A ministerial statement is used to inform the Senate of policy or other issues relating to the minister's portfolio. Statements may be given, or simply tabled.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure Nos 10 - Tabling of documents and 11 - Opportunities for debating documents and reports


Committee memberships
Letters to the President proposing changes to committee membership are reported and the relevant motion is moved by a ministers.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure No. 14 - Committee membership


Messages
Principally from the House of Representatives relating to bills or joint committee matters.

See also Guide to Senate Procedure no. 18 - Communication between the Houses - dealing with messages


Business of the Senate (if any)
Government business
Presentation of reports and debate on motions. Business is considered in the following order:

  • Matters of Privilege (if any) - proposals to refer matters to the Privileges Committee. An item will only fall into this category if the President has determined that the matter should have special priority under standing order 81
  • Business of the Senate (if any) - includes disallowance motions, motions to refer matters to standing committees, presentation of committee reports (reports presented at this point are generally not available for debate)
  • Government business - business initiated by a minister (principally government bills)

See also Guide to Senate Procedure No. 4 - Categories of business


By 7.20 pm

Adjournment proposed
The motion "That the Senate do now adjourn" is moved and may be debated. Senators may address any topic they choose. No time limit