What is a Petition?

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.

Parliament House Calendar

January 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
30311 Public holiday2345
67891011 Senate12
131415161718 Senate19
2021 Senate22 Senate232425 House of Representatives26
2728 Public holiday2930 Other31 Both12
  • Senate
  • House of Representatives
  • Both
  • Public Holiday
  • Other
26 Dec 18
Lest we forget exhibition
26 Dec 18
5000 Poppies—a tribute
26 Dec 18
From War exhibition

Petitions

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.

  • Senate Petitions

    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.)

  • House of Representatives Petitions

    Petitions may be received by the House on public or individual grievances provided that they relate to matters on which the House has the power to act. Hundreds of petitions are received by the House every year on a variety of matters.

    The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Petitions receives and processes petitions on behalf of the House. It is able to inquire into and report on matters relating to petitions following their tabling in the House, and the petitioning system in general.

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