This note provides advice on House of Representatives proceedings affecting departments and agencies following the dissolution of both Houses under section 57 of the Constitution with effect from 9 am on Monday, 9 May 2016.
The dissolution brings to an end all proceedings of the House of Representatives and its committees, as well as joint committees.
Business is affected as follows;
There can be no presentation of documents to the Speaker until the House of Representatives meets in the new Parliament and a Speaker is elected.
- Documents required to be presented pursuant to statute may continue to be provided to the Clerk in the usual way and will be tabled in the new Parliament.
- Resolutions of the House of Representatives have continuing effect, including the resolution that requires government responses to House and joint committee reports within six months of their presentation to the House. The date from which the House of Representatives is dissolved to the date of the commencement of the new Parliament should not be included in determining the six month period.
- All business on the Notice Paper lapses but may be introduced in the new Parliament in the usual way.
- All unanswered questions in writing lapse but may be resubmitted in the new Parliament. Answers delivered to the Clerk after the dissolution of the House are not accepted. Answers received by the Clerk after the last sitting of the House but prior to dissolution are published if they are received in time to be included in the final weekly edition of Hansard for that Parliament (2.30 pm, 5 May 2016). Answers which missed this deadline are not published in the Hansard of the next Parliament.
All House of Representatives and joint committees cease to exist and therefore cannot meet after dissolution. Committee inquiries also cease, but may be re-referred in the new Parliament. A committee may make use of evidence and records of similar committees appointed during previous Parliaments.
- The time for giving notices of motion to disallow legislative instruments continues to run from one Parliament into the next. If a notice of a motion to disallow a legislative instrument lapses because of dissolution, the legislative instrument concerned is deemed to be presented to the House on the first sitting day after the dissolution, so allowing the full opportunity for the notice of disallowance to be given in the new Parliament.
Any queries concerning these or related matters may be directed to the relevant office:
Table Office 02 6277 4808
Committee Office 02 6277 4616
Serjeant’s Office 02 6277 4889
Clerk’s Office 02 6277 4113