Chapter 12 - Matters of public importance and urgency

75 Proposal for debate

  1. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the time provided under standing order 57(1), up to two proposals under this standing order may be considered in an order to be determined by the President.
  2. 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].
  3. 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 8.30 am on the day to which the proposal relates, a written statement of the proposed matter of public importance or urgency.
  4. If a proposal is in order, the President shall read it to the Senate at the time provided.
  5. In order to proceed a proposal must be supported by 4 senators, not including the proposer, rising in their places.
  6. If three or more proposals are received on any day, the proposals to be considered will be determined by the President, having regard to the advice of the whips.
  7. A motion to debate a matter of urgency may not be amended.
  8. The individual and total speaking times on a matter of public importance or urgency motion shall be 5 minutes and 30 minutes respectively. The question on an urgency motion shall be put at the expiration of the time for debate.
  9. 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, 8 September 2022; with effect from the first sitting day in October 2022)