Time limits on debate

Time limits on speeches and for the consideration of particular items of business are provided for in a number of standing orders.

The following list consolidates these time limits and indicates the relevant Standing order.

1 Debate  
General – 15 mins SO 189(1)
In committee – 10 mins SO 189(3)
In reply – 15 mins SO 189(2)
2 Bills  
First reading of non-amendable bill – 15 mins SO 112(2)
Second reading – 15 mins SO 189(1)
In committee – 10 mins SO 189(3)
Third reading – 15 mins SO 189(1)
Selection of Bills Committee – adoption of report – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 24A(7)
Reference of a bill to committee – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 115(6)
3 Matters of public importance/urgency – 10 mins SO 75
(limit for debate 60 mins, or if no motions are moved after
question time to take note of answers, 90 mins)
SO 75(7)
4 Senators' statements  
Each day between 1.30 pm and 2 pm – 2 mins
SO 57(4)
Wednesday between 12.15 pm and 1.30 pm – 10 mins
SO 57(2)
5 Questions  
Without notice: question – 1 min; answer – 2 mins
2 supplementary questions – 30 seconds each; answers – 1 min each
SO 72(3)
Motions relating to answers – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 72(4)
6 Committee reports and government responses  
Motions to take note (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) – 10 mins
(limit for debate: 1 hr on Tuesday and Wednesday; Thursday*)
SO 62(4)
Resumption, including Auditor-General's reports (Thursday) – 5 mins
(limit for debate*)
SO 62(1)&(2)
Motion moved by leave - 10 mins
(limit for debate: 30 mins per motion, 1 hr for all motions)
SO 169(2)
7 Documents  
Motion to take note on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 61(3)
Resumption (Thursday) – 5 mins (limit for debate*) SO 61(3)
Motions moved by leave - 5 mins
(limits for debate 15 mins per motion, 30 mins for all motions)
SO 169(2)
8 Suspension of standing orders – 5 mins  
(limit for debate 30 mins) SO 209(4)
9 Adjournment  
Monday – 10 mins SO 54(5)
Tuesday – 5 mins | 10 mins SO 54(5)&(6)
Wednesday – 5 mins SO 54(5)
Thursday – 5 mins | 10 mins SO 54(5)&(7)
(limits for debate: 40 mins on Monday and Wednesday, no limit on Tuesday, 30 mins on Thursday)

* 1hr combined debate on Thursday

Note: Time taken to make or determine points of order and form a quorum is not deducted from the time for the senator to speak or ask a question or the total time for a debate except the adjournment debate (SO 52(7), 197(6)).

SENATE NUMBERS

Quorum 19
Absolute majority 39