Procedural orders and resolutions of the Senate of continuing effect

The following procedural orders and resolutions of the Senate are those which were clearly intended to be of continuing effect, and are significant in that they relate to the manner in which the Senate conducts its legislative and inquiry functions and exercises and upholds its constitutional powers.

The text of each order and resolution is followed by the date on which it was passed, the page number in the Journals of the Senate at which it appears and any necessary explanatory note.

The orders and resolutions have been grouped into 2 sections – procedural orders affecting the procedures of the Senate and resolutions expressing opinions of the Senate. Those orders and resolutions relating to similar subjects have been placed together.

The orders in this section were agreed to by the Senate up to 28 September 2022.

Procedural orders of continuing effect


  1. Circulation of requests


  1. Disclosure of minority or dissenting reports
  2. Unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings, documents or evidence
  3. Unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings
  4. Joint committee documents – disclosure
  5. Witnesses' expenses
  6. Reference of Tax Expenditures Statement to committees considering estimates
  7. Cross portfolio estimates hearing on Indigenous matters
  8. Fair Work Australia – consideration of estimates
  9. Estimates hearings—Additional hearings on Fridays
  10. Estimates hearings—Additional hearings generally
  11. Transcription of evidence heard in an Indigenous language
  12. Environment and Communications References Committee—Determination of committee chair
  13. Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee – Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020 – Reference of annual reports
  14. Standing Committee of Privileges – Independent Parliamentary Workplace Complaints Mechanism


  1. Public interest immunity claims
  2. Senate and Senate committees – claims of commercial confidentiality
  3. Public interest immunity claims – National Cabinet

Orders for documents

  1. Indexed lists of departmental and agency files
  2. Entity contracts
  3. Agency advertising and public information projects
  4. Departmental and agency appointments and vacancies
  5. Departmental and agency grants
  6. Shipping Grants Legislation Bill 1996
  7. Health – Assessment reports by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  8. Defence – Review of materiel acquisition projects – Report by the Auditor-General
  9. Trade – Free trade agreements
  10. Estimates hearings – Unanswered questions on notice 
  11. Former ministers – Meetings
  12. Report on outstanding orders for documents
  13. Australia's national Greenhouse Gas Inventory - Quarterly updates
  14. Protection visas
  15. Emissions projections
  16. Australian Research Council - grant recommendations
  17. Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines
  18. COVID-19 vaccination certificates


  1. Publications Committee – Inclusion of documents in the Parliamentary Papers Series


  1. Disallowed questions

Parliamentary secretaries

  1. Powers

Senate chamber

  1. Australian flag
  2. Seating
  3. Media representatives and advisers – dress code
  4. Storage of Senate documents 


  1. Indigenous Australians – Closing the Gap – report Parliamentary consideration
  2. Closing the Gap statement – Suspension of sitting

Resolutions expressing opinions of the Senate

Parliamentary appropriations and administration

  1. Parliamentary appropriations
  2. Parliamentary departments – structure and responsibilities
  3. Administration of parliamentary security

Appropriations – ordinary annual services of the government

  1. Appropriations – ordinary annual services of the government


  1. Witnesses – powers of the Senate
  2. Interference with witnesses
  3. Detention of senators
  4. Meetings after dissolution of House of Representatives
  5. Seizure of material by executive agencies

Opening of Parliament and meetings with House of Representatives

  1. Opening of Parliament – 'Welcome to Country' ceremony
  2. Joint meetings to receive addresses by foreign heads of state


  1. Casual vacancies - political party
  2. Casual vacancies - timing of filling
  3. COVID-19 and the Senate
  4. Quorum
  5. Committee reports – government responses
  6. Taxation bills – retrospectivity
  7. Division of bills


  1. Statutory bodies etc.
  2. Statutory bodies - councel's fees
  3. Public funds
  4. Public funds – duties of officers
  5. Inquiry powers and Freedom of Information Act provisions
  6. Australian Broadcasting Corporation – obligation to cooperate
  7. Training – accountability and privilege
  8. Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation – Engagement with ministers and agencies
  9. Delegated legislation – Disallowance and sunsetting


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics surveys
  2. Voluntary voting

Standing orders

Section 50 of the Constitution empowers the Senate to make rules and orders with respect to how its powers, privileges, and immunities may be exercised and upheld, and the order and conduct of its business and proceedings.