Legislative Council Standing Orders - Chapter 12

CHAPTER 12 - DEBATE

 

12.01  Order maintained by President

The President will maintain order in the Council.

 

12.02  Acknowledgement of Chair

All Members when entering or leaving the Chamber or passing in front of the Chair will acknowledge the Chair.

 

12.03  President to be heard

Whenever the President stands, Members must sit down and be silent, so that the President may be heard without interruption.

 

12.04  Members unable to stand

A Member unable to stand by reason of sickness or disability may be permitted by the President to speak while sitting.

 

12.05  President calls Member first observed

When two or more Members rise to speak the President will call the Member first observed by him or her, but a motion may be made without leave, That any Member who has risen “be now heard”.

 

12.06    Allocation of speaking rights

When allocating speaking rights the President should have regard to the proportionality of the political representation of the whole number of Members of the Council.

 

12.07  Members' speaking rights

(1)   A Member may speak once to a question or an amendment to a question before the Council except -

        (a)    in giving an explanation pursuant to Standing Order 12.08;

        (b)    in reply pursuant to Standing Order 12.09;

        (c)    at the Committee of the whole stage.

(2)    The President may participate in debate and speak from a place allocated on the floor of the Chamber.

(3)    When the President rises to speak in debate, the Deputy President will take the Chair.

 

12.08  Member speaking a second time in explanation

A Member who has spoken to a question before the Council may, by leave of the Council and after written notification to the President, speak a second time to explain some material part of his or her speech which has been misquoted or misunderstood, but will not introduce any new matter.

 

12.09  Member may speak in reply

A reply will only be allowed to a Member who has moved a substantive motion, the second reading of a Bill, a motion for the Government Business Program or a procedural motion.

 

12.10  Member moving adjournment of debate

(1)    A Member, unless he or she has already made a substantial contribution to the debate, while speaking to a question may move the adjournment of the debate.

(2)    A Member moving the adjournment of the debate on any question will, whether the adjournment is carried or not, be entitled to speak again on the main question, provided he or she has not discussed that question in moving the motion for adjournment.

 

12.11  Restriction on motion for adjournment of debate

(1)    If a motion for the adjournment of the debate is negatived the same motion cannot be moved again within 15 minutes.

(2)    If a similar motion is again moved during the same debate, the President may decline to propose the question on it to the Council or may decide to put the question forthwith without debate, if he or she is of the opinion that such motion is an abuse of the rules of the Council.

(3)    Any Member who moves such a motion will not be entitled to move any similar motion during the same debate.

 

12.12  No Member to speak after question put

No Member may speak to any question after it has been put by the President.

 

12.13  Point of order

A Member may at any time raise a point of order which will, until disposed of, take precedence over the consideration and decision of every other question.

 

12.14  Personal explanation

When there is no question before the Chair and with the consent of the President, a Member may explain how he or she has been misrepresented or explain another matter of a personal nature. A personal explanation will not be debated.

 

12.15  Relevance

A Member’s speech must be relevant to the question under discussion.

 

12.16  Irrelevance or tedious repetition

Any Member may call attention to continued irrelevance or tedious repetition on the part of a Member addressing the Chair, and the President or the Chair, as the case may be, may direct such Member to discontinue his or her speech.

 

12.17  Incorporation of material in Hansard

(1)    A Member may be granted leave to incorporate into Hansard material such as statistical tables, graphs and charts, to which a Member has referred in debate, that are not suitable for presentation in the ordinary course of a speech.

(2)    A Member desiring to incorporate material in Hansard must submit such material to the President for perusal prior to raising the matter in the Council.

(3)    In considering any request for incorporation the President must be satisfied that -

        (a)    the material is strictly relevant to the debate; and

        (b)    no matter is included which otherwise would be inadmissible in debate; and

        (c)     the source of the material is identified; and

        (d)    the information is not readily accessible elsewhere; and

        (e)    it is technically feasible to reproduce the material in Hansard.

(4)    If the President is satisfied that the pre-conditions for incorporation have been met -

        (a)    the Member will, at the appropriate stage of the debate, request the leave of the Council for the material to be incorporated; and

        (b)    the President will confirm to the Council that he or she has been consulted, and that the pre-conditions have been met.

(5)    The leave of the Council may then be determined and, if given, the Member will, at that time, provide copies for the benefit of subsequent speakers.

(6)    If the President is not satisfied that the pre-conditions have been met, the President will advise the Council and the matter will not proceed any further.

 

12.18  Reference to debates in same Session

No Member will refer to any debate during the previous six months of the same Session upon a question or Bill not being then under discussion, except when making a personal explanation.

 

12.19  Reference to debates in the Assembly

No Member will quote from any debate on a Bill or a substantive motion in the Assembly during the previous six months of the same Session.

 

12.20    Reference to deliberations of the Dispute Resolution Committee

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in these Standing Orders, a Council Member of the Dispute Resolution Committee may report to the Council on deliberations of the Committee.

 

12.21  Anticipating discussion

A Member may not anticipate the discussion of a subject listed on the Notice Paper and expected to be debated on the same or next sitting day. In determining whether a discussion is out of order the President should not prevent incidental reference to a subject.

 

12.22  Unparliamentary Expressions

(1)    No Member will use offensive words against either House of Parliament, any other Member of either House, the Sovereign, the Governor or the judiciary.

(2)    No Member will make an accusation of improper motives or a personal reflection on any other Member of either House.

(3)    If the President is of the opinion that words used in debate offend against this Standing Order, he or she may order the words to be withdrawn and may also require an apology.

 

12.23  Objection to words

If a Member objects to words used in debate pursuant to Standing Order 12.22 -

(1)    The objection must be taken immediately.

(2)    If the words relate to a Member of the Council and that Member finds them personally offensive, the Member may ask for a withdrawal. The President may require the words to be withdrawn and may also require an apology.

(3)    A withdrawal and an apology, must be made without explanation or qualification.

 

12.24  Interruption of debate

A Member may only interrupt another Member to —

(a)    call attention to a point of order;

(b)    call attention to a matter of privilege suddenly arising;

(c)    call attention to the lack of a quorum;

(d)    call attention to the unwanted presence of strangers; or

(e)    move that the question be now put pursuant to Standing Order 12.25.

 

12.25  Closure of debate

(1)    After any question has been proposed either in the Council or in Committee of the whole a Member may move without notice at any time "That the question be now put".

(2)    If six other Members rise in their places to support the motion, the question will be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.

(3)    During Committee of the whole when the Chair is satisfied that the debate on a clause or amendment is repetitious or frivolous, the Chair may accept a motion without notice from a Minister "That the question be now put".

(4)    The question on such motion will be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.

(5)    No other motion will be made or question of order raised until the disposal of any motion pursuant to this Standing Order.

  

12.26  Cognate debate

(1)    Leave may be given for subjects which are related to be debated cognately.

(2)    At the conclusion of the cognate debate, the questions will be put separately, unless the Council determines that a single question be put by the Chair.

(3)    At the conclusion of the cognate second reading debate on Bills, the question "That the Bill be now read a second time" will be put separately for each Bill unless the Council determines that a single question be put.

(4)    The Committee of the whole Council and third reading stages of cognate Bills will be taken separately, unless the Council determines otherwise.

   

12.27  Member called to order

A Member called to order will sit down, unless permitted to explain.