Bills may be referred to committees at any stage for inquiry and report. The provisions of many bills are referred before the bill is received from the House of Representatives to maximise the time available for the committee inquiry.
Committees may table reports on any sitting day, or may present them when the Senate is not sitting, in which case the report is tabled on the next available sitting day.
Brief Guide to Senate Procedure No. 13- Referring matters to committees
Brief Guide to Senate Procedure No. 16 - Consideration of Legislation
Senate Brief No. 8- The Senate and Legislation