Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that standing orders be amended to allow Members of the House of Representatives (outside of the membership of the Committee) to present petitions during the allotted petitions time at 10.00 am until 10.10 am on sittings Mondays, should any time remain following the Chair’s statement.

Recommendation 2

To reduce the number of out of order petitions, the Committee recommends that petitions be considered as ‘addressed to the House’ if they are either addressed to the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Federal Government, the Parliament, a federal Minister, or a Member of the House of Representatives.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the process of creating a petition be streamlined so that petitioners complete one online form hosted on the Australian Parliament House website, to create either an e-petition or paper petition.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that standing order 204 (e) should be updated so that a petition cannot include any Universal Resource Locators (URLs) or reference to specific web links.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that standing orders be amended to require that a person creating or signing a petition must either be a resident or citizen of Australia.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that Members be encouraged to give notice for debates on petitions during private Members’ business time.

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that:
petitions with at least 20,000 signatures be considered for debate during a dedicated period for petitions debates in the Federation Chamber;
The Procedure Committee consider the necessary changes to the standing orders to enable such debates; and
Should this measure be implemented, the Petitions Committee review the 20,000 signature threshold during the 46th Parliament.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that standing order 209 be amended to recognise any verbal responses to a petition given during a debate on that petition.

Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends exploring the opportunity for the Department of the House of Representatives, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Education Office, to develop educational resources about petitioning in the House, to be targeted at school-aged children.

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