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Assembly Live

 

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Assembly Live lists the business currently before the House. It also includes a summary of what has already occurred that day.

It is updated regularly on sitting days - refreshing this page will provide you with the latest update.

Assembly Live is an unofficial guide only and is subject to revision. The official record of proceedings for the Legislative Assembly is the Votes and Proceedings.  

 

The next sitting day is Tuesday 24 July 2018, starting at 12.00 noon

 

 

 

 

Legislative Assembly Statistics 2015

Assembly Statistics 2015

 

8-10 December 2015 pdfPDF21.32 KB docxDocx42.23 KB
24-26 November 2015 pdfPDF21.7 KB docxDocx41.35 KB
10-12 November 2015 pdfPDF21.69 KB docxDocx41.33 KB
20-22 October 2015 pdfPDF21.6 KB docxDocx41.26 KB
6-8 October 2015 pdfPDF144.26 KB docxDocx41.18 KB
15-17 September 2015 pdfPDF21.52 KB docxDocx41.04 KB
1-3 September 2015 pdfPDF21.46 KB docxDocx40.95 KB
18-20 August 2015 pdfPDF21.54 KB docxDocx40.93 KB
4-6 August 2015 pdfPDF143.97 KB docxDocx40.71 KB
23-25 June 2015 pdfPDF20.92 KB docxDocx40.5 KB
9-11 June 2015 pdfPDF20.86 KB docxDocx40.4 KB
26-28 May 2015 pdfPDF143.26 KB docxDocx40.36 KB
5-7 May 2015 pdfPDF20.96 KB docx Docx40.2 KB
14-16 April 2015 pdfPDF20.99 KB docxDocx40.23 KB
17-19 March 2015 pdfPDF20.87 KB docxDocx40.23 KB
24-26 February 2015 pdfPDF21.85 KB docxDocx40.09 KB
10-12 February 2015 pdfPDF21.3 KB docxDocx39.52 KB

 

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Fact Sheet D1

Fact Sheet D1: Motions

 

Summary: Motions are proposals that the Assembly can make a decision on. Members can move motions on a variety of topics including parliamentary committees, to set the agenda for the week, or simply to note a certain event. This fact sheet gives members practical advice on moving, debating, and voting on motions in the Assembly.

Motions are how the Assembly makes a decision      
Giving notice of a motion
Moving a motion
Rules for motions

Debating a motion
Amending a motion
Adjourning or ending debate on a motion
Voting on a motion


Motions are how the Assembly makes a decision

The Legislative Assembly makes decisions by debating and voting on matters proposed by members. These proposals are called motions.
Even when members are debating a bill they are debating special types of motions.

To find out more about debating bills: Fact Sheet C1: How a Bill becomes Law.
This fact sheet focusses on the other types of motions the Assembly debates.

 

Giving notice of a motion

Usually, you must give notice to the Assembly that you plan to move a motion on a future sitting day. You can also ask for leave to move a motion immediately, see ‘Moving a motion — By leave’ below for more.
If you are not a minister you must give notice in writing. To do this, hand a copy of your notice of motion to the Clerks at the table before the Speaker calls for notices during formal business.
If you are a minister you must give notice of your motion verbally during formal business. You must also give a written copy of your notice to the Clerks at the table before the Speaker calls for notices. Once the Speaker calls for notices, seek the call to give your notice verbally, by reading it aloud.
All notices are published on the notice paper.


Moving a motion

You must move your motion in order for it to be debated. You can move your motion in one of two ways, explained below.

 

After giving notice

If you have given notice of your motion, it will be listed on the notice paper, and you may be able to move and debate it (see ‘Giving notice of a motion’ above for more on giving notice).
If you are a minister your notice of motion is listed on the notice paper as ‘Government Business’. If you are not a minister your notice of motion is listed on the notice paper as ‘General Business’.
General Business is only debated if all Government Business is completed. This rarely occurs, so if you are not a minister it is very unlikely that you will be able to move and debate your motion.
To move your motion you must wait until the Assembly has completed or adjourned any items before it on the notice paper. Once this happens, the Chair will call you to speak. You may stand and move your motion by reading it as it is printed in the notice paper. You can now debate your motion.

By leave

You can move a motion without notice on the condition that all members agree to allow it. This is called getting ‘leave’. You can only do this during formal business, or when the Assembly is moving from one business item to another (sometimes called a ‘break in business’).
To move a motion by leave, you must seek the call and ask for leave to move your motion immediately by saying:
I move, by leave, that [insert motion here] OR
I seek leave to move that [insert motion here].
The Chair will ask members present if leave is granted. Leave is granted if no members oppose you moving your motion immediately. If leave is granted you can move and debate your motion immediately.
If any member disagrees, leave is not granted, and you cannot move your motion.You may still give notice of your motion on the next sitting day.

 

Rules for motions

Your motion must:

  • be framed in such a way that the Assembly can vote upon it
  • be a single sentence
  • refer to members by their proper titles
  • be no longer than 50 words (unless it is a complex procedural motion or a motion to establish, appoint members to, or refer a matter to, a committee).

 

Your motion must not:

  • relate to a matter before the courts
  • be a series of questions
  • be a statement
  • be the same in substance as a motion already resolved during the current session, or already listed on the notice paper
  • contain argument, evidence or statements supporting the substance of the motion
  • contain offensive, disorderly or unbecoming words
  • be frivolous or contain frivolous content.

 

The Clerks check notices of motion before they are published in the notice paper, and may amend notices at the Speaker’s direction.

 

Debating a motion

Once you have moved a motion the Assembly can debate it, amend it, postpone it, and vote on it. General business motions (motions moved by anyone other than a minister) are rarely debated.
The time you can speak depends on the type of motion. See the table over page.

Types of motions and speaking times

Type of motion
Maximum time for mover
Maximum time for other speakers
Substantive motions, for example:
  • take note motions
  • motions ratifying planning scheme amendments
  • motions adopting/amending Standing or Sessional Orders.
30 minutes, and 15 minutes to reply 30 minutes for responding lead speaker from government/opposition, 20 minutes for lead speaker from any other party, 10 minutes for any other member

Procedural motions, for example:

  • motions to adjourn debate
  • motions to postpone items of business
  • Motions setting the government business program
Five minutes

Five minutes

Total debate time limited to 30 minutes

Want of confidence motions Unlimited Unlimited for opposition lead speaker, one hour for lead speaker from any other party, 15 minutes for any other member
Address-in-reply to the Governor’s speech 20 minutes 20 minutes for seconder, 15 minutes for any other member

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Amending a motion

You can move to amend a motion once it is being debated. Your amendments must be a proposal to:

  • leave out certain words
  • leave out words and insert other words in their place, or
  • insert words.

You should give amendments to the Clerk in writing, and any amendment you propose must be relevant to the original motion.
If you wish to amend a motion please contact the clerks for advice.

See also for information on amending bills:
Fact Sheet C4: Amendments to Bills — A Practical Guide
Fact Sheet C5: Reasoned Amendments

 

Adjourning or ending debate on a motion

Adjourning debate

You can ask the Assembly to adjourn (postpone) debate on a motion by moving the following motion:
I move that the debate be adjourned.
You do not need to give notice, but you can only move this motion when no other member is speaking, and only if a motion to adjourn debate has not been defeated in the last 15 minutes. If you have already spoken on the motion, you cannot move to adjourn debate.
If the Assembly disagrees with the motion to adjourn, then debate continues on the original motion.
This type of motion is commonly used when a member wants to postpone the second reading debate on a bill.

 

Closure motion

If you want the Assembly to end debate and decide on a motion immediately you can move a closure motion. You can move a closure motion at any time without leave, even when another member is speaking.

The only restrictions are that the motion:
1. cannot be moved if a previous closure motion has been defeated in the last 15 minutes
2. can only be moved if the Speaker or Deputy Speaker is in the Chair
3. must not be an abuse of the rules of the Assembly
4. must not deny the rights of the minority
5. must not be used to obstruct business.

You can move a closure motion by saying:
I move that the question be now put.
The Chair will only accept the closure motion if it does not violate points three to five above. This is entirely at the Chair’s discretion.
If the closure motion passes, the Chair will immediately ask the Assembly to decide on the original motion. If the closure motion does not pass, debate on the original motion continues.

 

Voting on a motion

The Assembly decides on a motion by voting on it. The Chair will ask the Assembly to vote on a motion, called ‘putting the question’ if one of the following things occurs:

  • no member seeks the call to speak, that is, debate finishes
  • the mover of the original motion has spoken in reply to the other speakers
  • the Assembly agrees to a closure motion (see above)
  • the agreed time allotted for debate has ended
  • the government business program ‘guillotine’ time has arrived (see Fact Sheet A4: Government Business Program).

Find out more: Fact Sheet D2: Divisions


Voting on amendments to a motion

The Chair will put the question on each proposed amendment to the Assembly. For example, if an amendment sought to insert words the Chair would put the question:
That such words be inserted.
The Assembly decides on the amendment by voting on this question.
Once all amendments have been dealt with, the Chair puts the question on the original motion, including any amendments that were agreed to. Most often, this question is:
That the motion be agreed to.

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Legislative Assembly Statistics 2016

Assembly Statistics 2016

 

Assembly Statistics pages are produced for each Legislative Assembly sitting week. They summarise statistics such as the number of sitting days, petitions presented and bills passed for the sitting week, the current year and the current Parliament.

6-8 December 2016 pdfPDF214.05 KB docxDOCX38 KB
22-24 November 2016 pdfPDF214.73 KB docxDOCX37.95 KB
8-10 November 2016 pdfPDF214.71 KB docxDOCX37.77 KB
25-27 October 2016 pdfPDF214.28 KB docxDOCX37.78 KB
11-13 October 2016 pdfPDF214.09 KB docxDOCX37.72 KB
13-15 September 2016 pdfPDF214.27 KB docxDOCX37.52 KB
30 August-1 September 2016 pdfPDF21.6 KB docxDOCX44.88 KB
16-18 August 2016 pdfPDF21.63 KB docxDOCX44.97 KB
21-23 June 2016 pdfPDF21.51 KB docxDOCX44.8 KB
7-9 June 2016 pdfPDF21.55 KB docxDOCX44.72 KB
24-26 May 2016 pdfPDF21.48 KB docxDOCX44.21 KB 
3-4 May 2016 pdfPDF21.72 KB docxDOCX44.57 KB
27 April 2016 pdfPDF21.52 KB docxDOCX43.54 KB
12-14 April 2016 pdfPDF21.56 KB docxDOCX43.48 KB
22-24 March 2016 pdfPDF21.56 KB docxDOCX43.36 KB
8-10 March 2016 pdfPDF21.49 KB docxDOCX43.15 KB
23-25 February 2016 pdfPDF21.47 KB docxDOCX42.89 KB
9-11 February 2016 pdfPDF21.4 KB docxDOCX42.78 KB

 

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Fact Sheet B2

Fact Sheet B2: Question time

Summary: Question time is often seen as the highlight of a sitting day in Parliament.  It can be one of the few occasions when all members are in the Chamber at the same time.  The media and general public show great interest, with all galleries usually full, and others watching the webcast.  This fact sheet explains who takes part, the procedures and what you can see in the Chamber.

Purpose and history Where members sit
When is question time? Clerks' role
Almost all members attend The table and the mace
What happens in question time Viewing galleries
Questions without notice Filming and webcasting
Ministers' statements Printed record
Constituency questions Behaviour in the gallery
Language of questions and answers Taking notes in the gallery  
Speaker's role  

 

Purpose and history

Officially known as questions without notice, question time allows members to ask ministers about government administration.

It is a relatively new procedure.  The first question was asked in the Legislative Assembly on 30 April 1969.  Since then it has become one of the most well known parts of a sitting day.  Question time highlights topical issues and ministers come under scrutiny in a very public environment.

Ministers’ statements and constituency questions were added to question time in 2015. 

When is question time?

In the Legislative Assembly question time begins at 12.00 noon on Tuesday and at 11.00 am on Wednesday and Thursday each sitting week. Question time usually lasts for around one hour.

Almost all members attend

As question time is a very important part of the sitting day, all members usually attend, although it is not compulsory.  However, ministers are expected to attend.

If a minister cannot attend, the Premier makes an announcement at the start of question time. The Premier also explains which minister will answer questions for the absent minister.

What happens in question time

Question time has several parts:

  • questions without notice and supplementary questions
  • ministers’ statements
  • constituency questions.

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Questions without notice

Asking questions

At the beginning of question time, the Speaker says ‘Questions without notice — Are there any questions?’. Members stand up, to let the Speaker know they want to speak.

Members (except government members) ask ministers questions about government business. There are five main questions each question time. Ministers have up to three minutes to answer each question.

The Speaker decides who gets to speak, which is known as having the call. The Speaker gives the first call to the opposition, often the Leader of the Opposition. The Speaker allocates questions based on the size of the parties. This means, smaller parties and independent members might not get to ask a question every question time.

Supplementary questions

After the minister answers each main question, the questioning member can ask a supplementary question to the same minister. The supplementary question must be related to the main question or its answer. Ministers have up to a minute to answer each supplementary question.

Content of questions

Question time is a spontaneous time, as ministers have no prior notice of the questions members ask them. Members are tempted to emphasise matters which could embarrass the government.

Members ask ministers questions about government business within their individual areas of responsibility. Members may also ask questions about portfolios of ministers in the Legislative Council. A Legislative Assembly minister answers questions on behalf of the Council minister.

What happens if a minister does not answer

If a member thinks that a minister has not responded to a question, he or she can tell the Speaker. If the Speaker agrees, the Speaker directs the minister to provide a written answer. The minister has until 2.00 pm on the next sitting day to provide the written answer. The written answer is published in the questions and responses database.

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Ministers' statements

Ministers can make ministers’ statements to advise the House about matters related to their portfolio.

After each main question and its supplementary question, a minister may make a minister’s statement. Each minister’s statement can be two minutes long. There are up to five ministers’ statements each question time.

Constituency questions

After all the questions and ministers’ statements, members can ask constituency questions. The questions must relate to matters in members’ own electorates.

Ten members ask constituency questions each sitting day. Any member, except a minister, can ask a constituency question. Members have one minute to ask their question.

Like questions on notice, members ask constituency questions to ministers within their individual areas of responsibility. Ministers do not answer the question immediately. Instead, they must provide a written answer within 30 days. This gives the minister and the government department time to research the issue.

Constituency questions and their answers are published online in the questions and responses database.

Language of questions and answers

The Speaker can tell a member to change the language of a question. He or she does so if the wording is unbecoming, or breaks the standing orders (rules) and conventions of the Legislative Assembly.

Members are not allowed to give an opinion, or state any facts, except those necessary to explain the question. Ministers are not allowed to debate the question in their answers, nor may they introduce new information, irrelevant to the question.

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Speaker's role

The Speaker can tell a member to change the language of a question. He or she does so if the wording is unbecoming, or breaks the standing orders (rules) and conventions of the Legislative Assembly.

Members are not allowed to give an opinion, or state any facts, except those necessary to explain the question.  Ministers are not allowed to debate the question in their answers, nor may they introduce new information irrelevant to the question.

Find out more: Fact Sheet H2: The Speaker

Where members sit

Government members sit to the right of the Speaker.  Depending on how many government members there are, some may also sit to the left of the Speaker. Opposition members (currently the Liberal Party and Nationals) and any smaller parties and independent members sit to the left of the Speaker.

Ministers sit in the front row on the Speaker’s right, and speak at the table.  Opposition shadow ministers sit in the front row on the left of the Speaker, and ask questions from the table.  The Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the parties sit at the table. 

Clerks' role

The three clerks wear black gowns and sit at the table in front of the Speaker.  They advise the Speaker and members on parliamentary procedures and practices.  The clerks keep books on the table for reference, including standing orders (rules) and records of rulings made by Speakers.

Find out more: Fact Sheet H3: The Clerk.

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The table and the mace

The green folders along the table are a complete set of the Victorian statutes (laws).  The rosewood despatch boxes on the table were gifts from the House of Commons to celebrate 100 years of government in Victoria.  They contain parliamentary procedure manuals and documents.

The gold plated mace sits on the end of the table and is a symbol of the Speaker’s authority in the Legislative Assembly.  It is carried into the Chamber each sitting day by the Serjeant-at-Arms and must remain on the table while the Assembly is sitting. Find out more: Fact Sheet H4: The Serjeant-at-Arms.

Viewing galleries

The area above the Speaker’s chair is the press gallery. Newspaper, radio and television reporters watch and take notes from this gallery.

The public galleries are at the opposite end of the Chamber, both upstairs and downstairs. The front rows of the downstairs galleries are reserved for guests of the Speaker, and members of the Legislative Council.  The public galleries are often full during question time. 

Filming and webcasting

Debate in the Legislative Assembly, including question time, is broadcast through Parliament’s website.  Also, a television camera is usually filming question time, taking footage for news bulletins.

Strict guidelines determine when and how the Assembly and its members can be filmed.  Among other rules, the camera must focus on the member who is speaking, and operators cannot broadcast footage of the public and press galleries.

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Printed record

Hansard is the official printed report of the debates in the Legislative Assembly.  Its name comes from Thomas Curson Hansard, who first compiled and published reports of the debates for the United Kingdom House of Commons.

Parliament employs Hansard reporters to record the debates in the Assembly using audiodigital recording.  They sit in the corner of the Chamber to the Speaker's left.  Because of the pace of question time and production deadlines, they alternate every five to 10 minutes.  

Behaviour in the gallery

Visitors are welcome in the public gallery.  Reservations are not available, so you should arrive at least 15 minutes before question time to get a seat.

When in the gallery, you must not interject, attempt to communicate with members, display signs or cause a disturbance.  You are not allowed to take photographs or film the proceedings.

You should wear neat clothing, and footwear is essential. Your clothing must not display any messages designed to interfere with the business of the Legislative Assembly.  We do not allow hats, other than religious headwear.

You cannot eat, drink or smoke in the gallery. 

Taking notes in the gallery

You can take notes while in the public gallery. This has only allowed since 2000. Before then it was not allowed, following House of Commons’ practice going back to the seventeenth century.  Taking notes was banned there to keep debates secret from the monarch.

Do not publish any notes you take as they are not legally protected.  Hansard is the only official version of the debates in the Legislative Assembly.

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