Legislative Council Standing Orders - Chapter 10




10.01  Petitions may be presented by Members

Petitions can be presented to the Council by a Member only, and no Member can present a petition from himself or herself.


10.02  Content of petitions

A petition will —
(1)    Be legible.

(2)    Be addressed to the Legislative Council of Victoria.

(3)    Be in English or accompanied by an English translation certified to be true and correct by the Member who presents it.

(4)    Be respectful and temperate in its language.

(5)    State the action or remedy sought from the Council on the top of every sheet.

(6)    Contain at least one signature.

(7)    Contain the original signatures, names and addresses of the petitioners. Only a petitioner incapable of signing may get someone else to sign for him or her.

(8)    Not contain signatures which have been pasted or in any other way transferred or attached to the petition.

(9)    If from a corporation, be made under its common seal.


10.03  Forgery of signatures

Any person forging the name of any other person on any petition or adding any fictitious name may be declared guilty of contempt.


10.04  Restrictions on petitions

A petition will not —
(1)    Have letters, affidavits, or other documents attached to it.

(2)    Make application for or request a direct grant of public money to be paid to an individual.


10.05  Time for presenting petitions

A petition may only be presented during formal business. No petition will be presented during any debate, nor after the Council has proceeded to the Notices of Motion or Orders of the Day.


10.06  Procedure for presenting petitions

(1)    Every Member presenting a petition will acquaint himself or herself with its contents, and lodge it with the Clerk.

(2)    The Clerk must certify that every petition when presented is in conformity with the Standing Orders and practices of the Council.

(3)    A Member presenting a petition will read the request, the subject-matter of the petition and the number of signatures attached to it and sign the front sheet. The terms of the petition will be printed in Hansard.

(4)    If desired by the Member presenting the Petition, the full text of a petition may be read to the Council by the Clerk.


10.07  Questions on presentation

Subject to Standing Order 10.08, the President will not allow any debate upon or in relation to a petition. The only questions which may be moved on the presentation of a petition will be “That the petition do lie on the Table” and, if desired, “That it be taken into consideration (on a future day to be named)”, which will be decided without amendment or debate.


10.08  Petitions complaining of grievances

The Council may consider a petition immediately if it concerns a personal grievance which may require an urgent remedy.


10.09  Clerk to refer copy of petition to Minister

The Clerk will refer a copy of the terms of every petition presented to the Council to the Minister responsible for the administration of the matter that is the subject of the petition.


10.10 E-Petitions

(1)   Standing Orders 10.01 to 10.09 apply except in relation to the requirement for a petitioner's signature.

(2)   A principal petitioner may lodge an e-petition with the Clerk for publication on the Parliament's website.

(3)   The Clerk will decline to publish an e-petition not in conformity with Standing Orders.

(4)   (a)   The posted period for an e-petition is to be nominated by the principal petitioner and is to be a minimum of one week and a maximum of six months from the date of publication.

        (b)   At the conclusion of the posted period, the principal petitioner may extend the posted period up to a maximum of six months on request to the Clerk.

        (c)   The principal petitioner may close the posted period of an e-petition prior to the nominated conclusion date on request to the Clerk.

        (d)   In the event that the Council is due to expire pursuant to section 28(2) of the Constitution Act 1975 within six months from the date of publication of an e-petition, the maximum posted period will be determined by the Clerk.

(5)   Once published an e-petition cannot be altered.

(6)   Persons may become signatories to (join) an e-petition by electronically providing their name, address and signifying their intention to join the petition.

(7)   For the duration of the posted period of an e-petition, signatories may be progressively presented as a petition to the House.

(8)   Upon progressive presentation of signatories to the House, the publicly displayed number of persons who have joined that e-petition will re-set to zero.

(9)   For the purposes of the records of the House, each progressive presentation of an e-petition will be recorded as a separate petition.

(10)  On any occasion of progressive presentation and once the posted period for an e-petition has elapsed, a paper copy of the petition shall be printed by the Clerk in full for presentation by a Member.