Fact Sheet F3
Summary: The Votes and Proceedings (the Votes) are the official minutes of the Legislative Assembly. The clerks prepare the Votes, which are a legal document and may be used as evidence in court. Members’ speeches are not included in the Votes, but can be found in Hansard. We put the Votes on our website at the end of a sitting day. Use Assembly Abridged for an alternative, easy-to-read summary of the minutes.
The Votes and Proceedings record the Legislative Assembly’s decisions and actions. They show which debates started, what decisions were made and whether the Assembly adjourned debate to another day.
If you want to read what members actually said in debates, you need to look at Hansard. The Votes do not include speeches or any details of arguments for and against a bill.
The Votes record:
• question time
• reports, petitions and other tabled documents
• messages from the Governor and the Legislative Council
• statements by members
• statements on committee reports
• matters of public importance or grievance debates
• ministerial statements
• motions debated
• divisions (including how each member voted)
• bills introduced, debated and passed
• adjournment debate at the end of the day.
Find out more about the Assembly's work on sitting days: Fact Sheet A1: A Typical Sitting Day in the House.
The Votes and Proceedings are the legal record of action taken by the Legislative Assembly. They are used as a reference and research tool, and we index them at the end of each parliament. The Votes have been produced since the Assembly first met in 1856.
Parties in court proceedings can use the Votes as evidence of decisions made by the Assembly.
Initially, we produce separate Votes for each sitting day. After further proofreading, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly publishes the final version consisting of the Votes for the entire sitting week. These ‘weekly’ Votes replace the daily versions.
The Clerk and the Speaker sign a copy of the weekly printed Votes. At the end of each parliament, we bind the signed Votes and keep them as permanent records in our archives.
When the Legislative Assembly debates a bill clause by clause (consideration in detail), we record the Assembly's decisions in the weekly Votes and Proceedings. This includes the text of any amendments members move.
Find out more about amending bills: Fact Sheet C4: Amendments to Bills — A Practical Guide.
Initially we prepare daily editions which are proof copies. These are available at the end of each sitting day from our website. After further proofreading, we publish weekly Votes and Proceedings online.
Assembly Abridged is a convenient summary of what has taken place in the Legislative Assembly each sitting day. This is the easiest way to check quickly for new bills, debate on current bills and which bills were passed.
- Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2017 09:58