Chapter 12 - Matters of public importance and urgency

75 Proposal for debate

  1. A senator may:
    1. propose that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Senate for discussion; or
    2. move a motion, without notice—That in the opinion of the Senate the following is a matter of urgency: [here to be specified the matter of urgency].
  2. The senator proposing the matter of public importance or the motion to debate the matter of urgency shall hand to the President, not later than 12.30 pm on the day to which the proposal relates, a written statement of the proposed matter of public importance or urgency.
  3. If the proposal is in order, the President shall read it to the Senate at the time provided.
  4. In order to proceed the proposal must be supported by 4 senators, not including the proposer, rising in their places.
  5. If more than one proposed matter of public importance or urgency is presented for the same day, priority shall be given to that which is first handed to the President. If 2 or more proposals are presented simultaneously, the proposal to be reported shall be determined by lot. No other proposal shall be read to the Senate that day.
  6. A motion to debate a matter of urgency may not be amended.
  7. Debate on a matter of public importance or urgency motion shall not exceed 60 minutes, or, if no motions are moved after question time to take note of answers, 90 minutes, and a senator shall not speak to such a matter or motion for more than 10 minutes. At the expiration of the time for a debate the question on a matter of urgency shall be put.
  8. At any time during the discussion of a matter of public importance, a motion may be made by any senator, but not so as to interrupt another senator speaking, that the business of the day be called on. No amendment, adjournment or debate shall be allowed on such motion, which shall be put immediately by the President, and if the motion is agreed to, the business of the day shall be proceeded with immediately.

(amended 13 February 1997)