Role of the Committee

The Selection Committee is appointed under standing order 222 (PDF 736KB, page 9) to:
  1. arrange the timetable and order of committee and delegation business and private Members’ business for each sitting Monday (in accordance with standing orders 39 and 41 PDF 736KB, page 28-30,  and standing order 40, PDF 369KB, page 29);
  2. select private Members' notices and other items of private Members' and committee and delegation business for referral to the Federation Chamber, or for return to the House; and
  3. select bills that the committee regards as controversial or as requiring further consultation or debate for referral to the relevant standing or joint committee (in accordance with standing order 143. PDF 736KB, page 61)

The Committee endorsed general principles relating to the selection of private Members’ business.  The principles are:

 1. In formulating the priority to be given to items of private Members’ business the Selection Committee shall have regard to:
(a) the importance of the subject;
(b) the current level of interest in the subject;
(c) the extent of the current discussion on the subject both in the Parliament and elsewhere;
(d) the extent to which the subject comes within the responsibility of the Commonwealth Parliament;
(e) the probability of the subject being brought before the House by other means within a reasonable time; and
(f) whether the subject is the same, or substantially the same, as another item of business which has been debated or on which the House has already made a decision in the same period of sittings and, if so, whether new circumstances exist.

2. The Committee shall accord priority to private Members’ business:
(a) with regard to the numbers of Members affiliated with each party in the House;
(b) in a way which ensures that a particular Member or the Members who comprise the Opposition Executive do not predominate as the movers of the items selected; (c) in a way which seeks to ensure balance is achieved over each period of sittings;
(d) in a manner that ensures appropriate participation by non-aligned Members.

3. When a private Member has the responsibility for the carriage of a bill transmitted from the Senate for concurrence, the bill shall be accorded priority following the question for the second reading being put to the House in the same way as a private Member’s bill originating in the House is accorded priority by standing order 41.

4. Priority shall not be accorded to any item of private Members’ business if the matter should be dealt with by the House in another, more appropriate, form of proceeding.

5. The general principles set out above shall be observed by the Selection Committee but nothing in the general principles shall be taken to prevent the Selection Committee departing from those general principles in order to meet circumstances, which, in its opinion, are unusual or special.

6. These general principles shall continue in effect until altered by the House following a report from this or a future Selection Committee.

Previous committees

In the Forty-second Parliament, a meeting of whips undertook the selection of committee and delegation business and private Members' business, while in the Forty-first, Forty-third and Forty-fourth Parliaments, a Selection Committee performed this function. A full list of reports tabled by the Committee and its predecessors is available online together with reports completed since 2004.