Fact Sheet A3

Fact Sheet A3: Finding information about Parliament

 

Summary: This fact sheet will help you find the information you want about Victoria's Legislative Assembly and Parliament. We show you when to visit www.parliament.vic.gov.au or contact the Assembly Procedure Office.

Sources of information Tabled documents
Different roles of Victorian and Commonwealth Parliaments Record of debates
Your local members of Parliament Assembly procedure
Visiting Parliament House Parliamentary committees
Legislation  

 

Sources of Information

The best starting points to find information about Parliament and the Legislative Assembly are:

web

www.parliament.vic.gov.au

email

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follow

@VicParliament on Twitter

like

facebook.com/VicParliament

phone

Assembly Procedure Office: 03 9651 8563

visit or write

Legislative Assembly, Parliament House, Spring Street, East Melbourne, Vic 3002

 

For Legislative Council queries:

email

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phone

03 9651 8678

 

Different roles of Victorian and Commonwealth Parliaments

Before you start searching for information, keep in mind the different roles of the Commonwealth Parliament in Canberra (also known as the Parliament of Australia or Federal Parliament) and the Parliament of Victoria.

Commonwealth Parliament's responsibilities

The Commonwealth Parliament makes laws in areas such as taxation, defence, foreign trading, divorce, immigration and industrial relations.

Contact the Commonwealth Parliament by calling 02 6277 7111 or visiting their website.

Victorian Parliament's responsibilities

The Victorian Parliament makes laws in areas such as roads, public transport, police and gaming.

While the Victorian Parliament may make laws on any subject relevant to Victoria, any overlapping Commonwealth law overrides state law.

Your local members of Parliament

Every Victorian is represented by one member in the Legislative Assembly and five members in the Legislative Council. To find out who your Victorian parliamentary members are:

web

Browse or search member information

Find your electorate

email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

phone

Assembly Procedure Office: 03 9651 8563

visit

Legislative Assembly, Parliament House, Spring Street, East Melbourne, Vic 3002

 

Visiting Parliament House

Take a free guided tour

You can take a free guided tour of Parliament House on any weekday when Parliament is not sitting. On Tuesdays during a sitting week, tours take place in the mornings. On other sitting days, no normal tours are run, but you can come in to watch Parliament sitting. See 'Parliament sitting dates' below for more.

Tours at Parliament are usually held at these times:

9.30 am, 10.30 am, 11.30 am, 1.00 pm (Express Tour), 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm, 3.30 pm and 4.00 pm (Express Tour).

We also offer architecture tours.

If you cannot visit in person, try our excellent virtual tour.

Book a group tour

Groups of six or more people must book for tours of Parliament House. To book a tour, call the Tour Booking Office on 03 9651 8568 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

School and group tours are usually conducted on non-sitting days at 9.00 am, 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 noon, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm. On sitting days, tours can also be arranged for school and other groups. As these tours are very popular, book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Educational programs

School groups can participate in the Parliament and VCE Role Play programs. This allows students to act out roles in the Chamber and pass their own laws.

If students are unable to visit Parliament, we can bring Parliament to them. Experienced tour guides can give information sessions to students at their own school.

These programs are currently available to students in years 5, 6, 7 and VCE in weeks when the Parliament is not sitting.

web

Visit Parliament or Education Zone for details of public events and student programs

email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

phone

Tour Booking Office: 03 9651 8568

Community Engagement and Education Unit: 03 8682 2655

 

Parliament sitting dates

Parliament sits throughout the year, with a break over the Christmas period. However, it does not sit every week and sometimes the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council sit on different days or weeks. Sitting dates are usually issued in advance for the following year. To find sitting dates:

web

View Parliament Calendar

email

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phone

Assembly Procedure Office: 03 9651 8563

visit

Procedure Office and ask for details

 

Anyone can watch question time

In the Assembly, question time is normally at 12.00 noon on Tuesdays and at 11.00 am on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

For student groups, we prioritise secondary students over primary school students.

If you cannot make it to Parliament House, watch question time on our website.

Find out more: Fact Sheet B2: Question Time

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Legislation

How a law is made

A bill must be passed by both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council to become law. To find out more:

web

How a law is made

visit

Procedure Office and ask for:

Information Sheet: How a Law is Made in Victoria, or

Fact Sheet C1: How a Bill Becomes Law

 

Copies of current bills

A bill becomes public when the minister in charge of it makes a second reading speech. The bill includes clause by clause explanatory notes. For copies of bills:

web

Bills (list of bills introduced this year)

follow

 @VicParliament on Twitter

visit

Procedure Office and ask for a copy

 

Track progress of a bill

Information is updated on the internet each sitting day:

web

Assembly Live - updated throughout a sitting day. Use it to see what bill the members are debating.

Bills Status List (overview of all bills) or Bills (list of bills introduced this year)

Assembly Abridged. This daily summary lists bills considered each day.

follow @VicParliament on Twitter

visit

Procedure Office and ask for details

 

Copies of the second reading speech

The second reading speech is made by the minister responsible for the bill and is a useful overview of its contents. To get a copy:

web

Bills (choose your bill and click on the second reading speech link)

Search Hansard. In Debate text field, type in the name of your bill. In Activity field, select the activity 'second reading'

visit

Procedure Office and ask for a copy of the speech

 

Copies of the human rights statement

A statement of compatibility under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 must accompany every new bill. It addresses how the bill is compatible with the human rights outlined in the Act. To get a copy:

web

Bills Choose your bill and click on the Statement of Compatibility link.

Search Hansard. In Debate text field, type in the name of your bill. In Activity field, select the activity 'Statement of Compatibility'

visit

Procedure Office and ask for a copy of the statement of compatibility for your bill

 

Get copies of Acts

Printed copies of Acts are not publicly available from Parliament House. You can download Acts for free from the internet or buy Acts from SAI Global. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 131 242. The same applies for statutory rules and regulations.

For the latest version of an Act or regulation which includes all amendments:

web

Victorian Law Today Choose 'Acts' or 'Statutory Rules' and click the relevant letter. Then choose your Act or Statutory Rule

 

For the original version of an Act:

web

Victorian Statute Book Choose your year in the list of Acts by Title (select year). Then choose the name of your Act

 

Tabled documents

What tabling means

Some documents must be formally presented to the Legislative Assembly. This process is known as tabling. The most common documents tabled are annual reports from government departments and agencies such as hospitals and universities.

Other documents tabled include parliamentary committee reports, Ombudsman and Auditor-General's reports, petitions, statutory rules and notices of amended planning schemes.

A record of all documents tabled appears in the Votes and Proceedings (minutes) and in Hansard.

Find out what documents have been tabled

web

Tabled documents database

Votes and Proceedings

follow

@VicParliament on Twitter

email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

phone

Assembly Procedure Office: 03 9651 8563

visit

Procedure Office and ask for details

 

For more about tabled documents generally, see Fact Sheet F1: Documents Tabled in the Assembly and Fact Sheet G1: Petitions

Copies of reports

When a document has been tabled it is publicly available, either for inspection or online. If stocks permit, you can get copies from the Assembly Procedure Office.

web

 Tabled documents database

visit

Procedure Office and ask for a copy

Record of debates

Hansard is the official printed report of the debates in the Chamber. To find out what has been said in debate:

web

Learn more about Hansard

Download Hansard by date in Adobe Reader (pdf) format

Search Hansard

 

Assembly procedure

Parliamentary procedure can be complex and difficult to follow. The Legislative Assembly Procedure Office has produced a number of fact sheets to help you understand what happens in Parliament. They are grouped to help you find the topics you are most interested in. To find out more:

web

Fact Sheets

email

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phone

Assembly Procedure Office: 03 9651 8563

visit

Assembly Procedure Office to pick up the relevant fact sheets

 

Parliamentary committees

What they do

Many members of Parliament work on parliamentary committees that examine issues of interest or significance to Parliament. Committees inquire into a wide range of topics, from economic development to road safety. When a committee finishes a report, it is tabled in Parliament and made publicly available.

List of the committees and their functions

web

List of committees

follow

@VicParliament on Twitter

like facebook.com/VicParliament

email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

phone

Parliamentary Committees Inquiries: 03 8682 2800

 

For more about committees, see Fact Sheet G2: Parliamentary Committees

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