This week at a glance: 12-14 February 2008

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No. 1/2008

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On the first day of each sitting week the Senate Daily Summary outlines the business scheduled for consideration in the Senate. On subsequent days, it provides a convenient summary of the previous day's proceedings in the Senate, with links to official Senate records.

Another document useful in tracking the business of the Senate is the Dynamic Red, which records proceedings in the Senate as they happen.

42nd Parliament

The 42nd Parliament will be opened on 12 February by the Deputy of the Governor-General in the Senate chamber (see pages 3 and 4 for an outline of the program).

After the opening of the Parliament, Senators Humphries and Lundy (representing the Australian Capital Territory) and Crossin and Scullion (representing the Northern Territory) will be sworn in.

In the afternoon, His Excellency the Governor-General will address members and senators. The address-in-reply (the Senate's response to the Governor-General's speech) is programmed for debate in the Senate during the week.

National Apology to the Stolen Generations

The Government proposes to introduce into the Senate a motion offering a National Apology to the Stolen Generations. The debate is scheduled to take place in the morning of Wednesday, 13 February.

Other business

Since the prorogation of the 41st Parliament in October 2007, more than 200 government documents, primarily annual reports of departments and agencies, 15 Auditor-General's reports and 12 committee reports have been presented out of sitting. These will be tabled on 12 February. More than 1500 legislative instruments made in that time will also be tabled.

During the week the Senate is expected to establish its sitting pattern and dates for estimates hearings for 2008. The Senate is also expected to appoint members to Senate committees and move to reappoint joint committees. In keeping with the budget cycle, the Senate is also expected to refer particulars of additional estimates to committees for consideration during the week commencing 18 February. The programs for estimates hearings will be available online.


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The Senate Daily Summary is available on the Internet at

It is issued by the Senate Table Office as a convenient summary of each day's proceedings in the Senate. For a complete account see the official record, the Journals of the Senate , on the Internet at

Related resources

The Order of Business (or Senate Red') and the Dynamic Red (which updates the Order of Business throughout the sitting day) are also available on the Internet at

Contact details

Inquiries, comments and suggestions: phone 6277 3021




The events and approximate times associated with the Opening of Parliament on Tuesday, 12 February 2008, will be:

Morning Proceedings


Senators and members assemble in Members' Hall for Welcome to Country ceremony (duration approx. 45 mins) [restricted to senators and members and invited guests only televised in theatrette and on channel 15 of house monitoring system]

10.15 am

Forecourt/Foyer - arrival of the Deputy of the Governor-General, the Hon Murray Gleeson AC, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, and Mrs Gleeson.


Senate and House bells ring.

10.30 am

Senate and House assemble. Deputy directs Black Rod to request members to attend Senate Chamber.

10.40 am

Senate Chamber The Deputy addresses both Houses and opens the Parliament. Deputy and members retire.

10.45 am

Senate Chamber - Swearing-in of territory senators.

10.55 am

House of Representatives Chamber - Swearing-in of members by Deputy.

Senate suspends.

11.35 am

Foyer/Forecourt - The Deputy and Mrs Gleeson depart Parliament House.

House of Representatives Chamber - Election of Speaker. At conclusion House suspends.

For the morning proceedings staff and members of the public are welcome to view proceedings in the public galleries of the Senate. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. The public galleries in the House of Representatives will be occupied by invited guests but limited seating will be available in the first and second floor galleries.

Afternoon Proceedings

2.00 pm

Forecourt His Excellency the Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC arrives. The Governor-General receives the Royal Salute and inspects the Guard and Band.

2.25 pm

House bells ring.

2.30 pm

Members assemble and proceed to Members' Hall.

The Speaker and members of the House of Representatives are presented to the Governor-General.

2.55 pm

Senate bells ring.

3.00 pm

Senate Chamber The Governor-General directs Black Rod to request members to attend Senate Chamber.

The Governor-General addresses both Houses.

3.50 pm

At the conclusion of the Opening Speech a 19 Gun Salute is fired from Federation Mall.

After Governor-General is escorted from chamber, members return to their chamber.

4.00 pm

Members' Hall - Afternoon Tea is served to invited guests.

4.35 pm

Forecourt - The Governor-General departs Parliament House.

For the afternoon proceedings access to galleries in the Senate Chamber is restricted to invited guests. Events will be screened on the house monitoring system on channels 15 (full coverage), 1 (Reps), 2 (Senate) and in the theatrette.


Senate and House bells ring.

5.00 pm

Senate and House assemble (both chambers open to the public).

During the various events connected with the Opening, areas of the building will be closed to all but participants and invited guests. The public carpark will be open as usual. There will be short road closures on Parliament Drive. We ask for the co-operation of all occupants of the building when areas of the building are closed for ceremonies and processions.

Andrea Griffiths
Usher of the Black Rod
David Elder