Guidelines for Debate

Legislative Council Adjournment Debate Guidelines — Summary of Standing Orders and Practice

The Adjournment debate is an opportunity for members to request action from Ministers on matters relating to their portfolio. Standing Order 4.12 details the rules for the Adjournment Debate.

When raising adjournment debate matters members should:

  • indicate to whom the matter is being directed;
  • briefly outline the facts;
  • set out the request, query or complaint; and
  • suggest the action sought.

Additionally, Members must:

  1. be brief;
  2. raise issues with the appropriate Minister;
  3. raise specific issues;
  4. seek specific action from the Minister; and
  5. only raise issues related to Victorian Government Administration.

During the adjournment debate Members should not:

  1. continue or repeat Question Time;
  2. refer to matters outside the Government’s or the Minister’s portfolio responsibilities;
  3. ask for one Minister or the Premier to respond for the whole of Government on an issue;
  4. criticise the Opposition or make allegations against other Ministers or members;
  5. refer to internal party working or party-political affairs;
  6. request legislation be introduced;
  7. request a Minister explain actions taken by another Minister;
  8. request a Minister consult with a federal counterpart;
  9. use set speeches;
  10. refer to unsourced or anonymous material;
  11. present overly detailed contributions;
  12. refer to police operational matters;
  13. reflect on a Statute; or
  14. merely urge a Minister to continue certain action already being undertaken.

Members may only raise one matter per day during the Adjournment debate.

Adjournment debate matters are not able to be directed to the President. Typically matters of parliamentary administration or other matters directed to the President are taken up privately.

Format

Ideal formats for matters raised on the adjournment are:

  • Indicate to whom the matter is being directed
  • Briefly outline the facts
  • Set out the request, query or complaint
  • Suggest the action sought

OR

  • Indicate to whom the matter is being directed
  • Suggest the action sought
  • Set out the request, query or complaint and briefly outline the facts

I raise a matter for the Minister for [Portfolio] concerning…[briefly detail the adjournment matter and relevant supporting information]

The action I seek from the Minister is…[detail action sought]

OR

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for [portfolio] and the action I seek is [detail action sought].
[briefly detail the adjournment matter and relevant supporting information]

Example

My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is that the Government provide funding for the next stage of development of the local Secondary College in my electorate. The old school facilities are well past their use-by date. A rebuilding of the whole school is required to deliver the world-class education that students deserve. When the rebuilding program is complete, staff and students will have all the facilities they need on one campus, however, in the meantime the school has to operate on more than one site.