A petition is basically a request for action. The right to petition Federal Parliament has been one of the rights of citizens since federation, and it is the only way an individual can directly place grievances before the Parliament.
The presentation of a petition to the Senate is a proceeding in Parliament and is protected by parliamentary privilege. The publication of a petition before presentation is not similarly protected. (See Chapter 2, Australian Senate Practice, Parliamentary Privilege, Circulation of petitions.)
A petition to the House of Representatives (the House) is a request for action on something that the House is responsible for.
The House Standing Committee on Petitions receives and processes petitions on behalf of the House.
Petitions to the House must follow the rules and can be presented by a Member of Parliament or the Committee Chair.
Learn more about petitioning the House
Individuals and organisations may seek to have petitions presented to the Parliament. A petition expresses a point of view, usually on matters of public policy, and contains a request for action, or in some cases, not to take action. The right to petition Parliament has been one of the rights of citizens since Federation.
Each house of the Parliament has its own rules that documents must follow in order to be accepted as petitions.
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