Legislative Council Standing Orders - Chapter 14

CHAPTER 14 - BILLS

 

14.01  Bills initiated in Council

A Bill must be initiated by a motion moved without notice to introduce a Bill, specifying its intended title.

 

14.02  Irregular Bill

A Bill not prepared according to the Standing Orders and practices of the Council will be ordered to be withdrawn by the President.

 

14.03  Bills received from Assembly

A message transmitting a Bill from the Assembly seeking the Council's agreement will be read to the Council by the President.

 

14.04  First reading

On the introduction of a Bill by a Member pursuant to Standing Order 14.01 or transmitted from the Assembly pursuant to Standing Order 14.03 the question "That the Bill be now read a first time" will be proposed immediately and decided without amendment or debate.

 

14.05  Day fixed for second reading

When a Bill has been read a first time its second reading will be made an Order of the Day for a future day, unless leave is granted to the contrary.

 

14.06  Second reading

When the Order of the Day is read for the second reading of a Bill -

(a)    a Minister or Member in charge of the Bill will lay on the Table the statement of compatibility with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, if required.

(b)    a Minister or Member in charge of the Bill will move "That the Bill be now read a second time"; or

(c)    a Minister may move for the incorporation into Hansard of the second reading speech pursuant to Standing Order 14.07, following which the question "That the Bill be now read a second time" will then be proposed.

  

14.07  Incorporation of second reading speech in Hansard

(1)    If the Bill has originated in the Council, the Minister may make introductory remarks on the contents of the Bill and may move a motion for the incorporation of the second reading speech of that Bill into Hansard only with the leave of the Council.

(2)    If the Bill originated in the Assembly and has passed that House and is transmitted and introduced into the Council, the Minister may make introductory remarks on the contents of the Bill, including a statement of any amendments made by the Assembly to the Bill which have been reflected in the second reading speech and may move a motion without notice for the incorporation of the second reading speech of that Bill into Hansard. Such motion may not be amended or debated.

 

14.08  Adjournment of second reading

After the second reading speech has been given or incorporated into Hansard under Standing Orders 14.06 and 14.07, respectively, debate on the question “That the Bill be now read a second time” will then be adjourned and made an Order of the Day for a future day, unless leave is granted to the contrary.

 

14.09  Reasoned amendment to question for second reading

(1)    An amendment may be moved to the question "That the Bill be now read a second time".

(2)    Such amendment -

        (a)    must be strictly relevant to the Bill;

        (b)    may propose to omit words from the question in order to substitute other words;

        (c)    must not propose the addition of words to the question; and

        (d)    must not anticipate an amendment which may be moved during Committee of the whole.

(3)    When debate on the reasoned amendment is concluded, the question "That the reasoned amendment moved by (Member) be agreed to" will be put.

(4)    If the question in sub-clause (3) is negatived, the question "That the Bill be now read a second time" will be put immediately.

(5)    If the question in sub-clause (3) is agreed to, the Bill will be regarded as having been rejected unless the reasoned amendment seeks to delay the passage of the Bill.

 

14.10  Circulation of amendments

(1)    During the debate on the question "That the Bill be now read a second time" a Minister or Member may announce amendments to that Bill to be proposed during Committee of the whole and ask that they be circulated.

(2)    The announcement and request to circulate will not require leave, may not be made when another Member is speaking and may not be debated.

(3)    Following circulation, the Member may discuss the principles of the amendments during the second reading debate.

(4)    If the amendments are proposed to a specified Bill under the Government Business Program pursuant to Standing Order 11.01, the amendments must be circulated two hours before the expiration of the completion time set under that Standing Order.

 

14.11  Procedure following second reading

When a Bill has been read a second time, the Council will immediately consider the Bill in Committee of the whole unless the Council -

(a)    refers the Bill to a Council committee or any other parliamentary committee; or

(b)    gives leave for the Bill to proceed immediately to the third reading; or

(c)    defers Committee of the whole until a later time.

 

14.12  Sequence in which Bill to be considered in Committee of the whole

(1)    Each Bill must be considered in the following order -

        (a)    clauses separately and in numerical order;

        (b)    proposed new clauses where they occur in the sequence of clauses;

        (c)    the schedules separately and in numerical order;

        (d)    proposed new schedules;

        (e)    the preamble (if any);

        (f)     long title;

        (g)    short title.

(2)    Consideration of a clause may be postponed, although it has already been considered and amended.

(3)    After debate on a clause has concluded, the question must be put "That the clause (or the clause as amended) stand part of the Bill".

(4)    Clauses may be considered together, with the question being put "That clauses XXXXX and/to XXXXX stand part of the Bill".

(5)    Following consideration and, if necessary, amendment of the preamble, the question must be put "That the preamble (or the preamble as amended) stand part of the Bill".

 

14.13  Amendments during Committee of the whole

(1)    Any amendment may be moved during Committee of the whole to any part of the Bill, provided it is relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill or pursuant to an instruction to a Committee of the whole to extend the scope of the Bill.

(2)    An amendment to a Bill must be delivered in writing to the Clerk.

(3)    An amendment will only be proposed in any part of a clause after a later part has been amended, by leave of the Committee.

(4)    Immediately the Council considers a Bill in Committee of the whole, on the consideration of clause 1, a Minister may circulate and move any number of Government amendments proposed to be made in the Bill. The Minister only may speak to those amendments on clause 1. Consideration of the amendments will be in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order 14.12.

(5)    When an amendment (or amendments) have been proposed to the Bill the question must be put "That the amendment/s be agreed to".

(6)    If an amendment has been made in the Bill necessitating an amendment to the long title, the question must be put "That the long title, as amended, be the long title of the Bill".

 

14.14  New clauses proposed during Committee of the whole

(1)    New clauses must be relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill or pursuant to an instruction to a Committee of the whole.

(2)    When a new clause has been proposed, the question must be put "That the new clause stand part of the Bill".

 

14.15    Suggested amendments subject to section 64(2) of the Constitution Act 1975 during Committee of the whole

(1)     When considering a Bill and/or proposed amendments during Committee of the whole that are subject to section 64(2) of the Constitution Act 1975, Standing Orders 14.12, 14.13 and 14.14 will apply to the consideration of the Bill and/or amendments to the extent that they are not inconsistent with this Standing Order.

(2)     Any clause (or other provision) of a Bill that is subject to section 64(2) of the Constitution Act 1975 and to which no form of amendment is proposed may be considered in Committee of the whole, but no question will be put.

(3)     If an amendment (including any amendment to the amendment) is agreed to it will be a ‘suggested’ amendment to the Assembly and the relevant clause (or other provision) of the Bill will stand postponed.

(4)     If a Member proposes to omit the clause (or other provision), the question will be put “That the clause [or other provision] be agreed to”.

(5)     If a question put in accordance with Standing Order 14.15(4) is negatived, any previous amendments to that clause (or other provision) already agreed to will be superseded and the clause (or other provision) will stand postponed.

(6)     When consideration on all clauses and other provisions of a Bill is completed, if any suggested amendments (including to omit a clause or other provision) have been agreed to, the Deputy President will report progress and a Message will be sent to the Assembly suggesting that they make the amendments agreed to by the Council.

 

14.16  Report from Committee of the whole

(1)    When the Bill has been fully considered in Committee of the whole, the Deputy President will report the Bill (or the Bill as amended) to the Council without any question being put.

(2)    Every report from a Committee of the whole will be brought up without any question being put.

(3)    When a Bill is reported from Committee of the whole, the Council may -

        (a)    adopt the report immediately, or at a future day fixed for that purpose;

        (b)    postpone the further consideration of the report; or

        (c)    recommit the Bill to the Committee.

(4)    If the Committee has not completed its consideration of a Bill, the Deputy President will be directed to report progress and ask leave to sit again.

  

14.17  Reconsideration in Committee of the whole

At any time before the passage of the third reading, a Member may move without leave that a Bill be reconsidered in Committee of the whole, in whole or in part, by the Council.

 

14.18  Third reading

(1)    When the report from Committee of the whole has been adopted, the question will be put "That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass".

(2)    When the question "That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass" is put, amendments may be moved as on the second reading.

(3)    The further proceedings on a third reading of a Bill may be adjourned to a future day.

 

14.19  Third reading requiring absolute or special majority

(1)    Where a Bill requires the third reading to be passed by an absolute or special majority of the whole number of the Members of the Legislative Council, the questions "That the Bill be now read a third time" and "That the Bill do pass" will be put.

(2)    Where an absolute or special majority is required on the third reading the bells will be rung as for a division.

(3)    When an absolute or special majority has been obtained on the third reading the President will declare that the third reading has been carried with the concurrence of an absolute or special majority of the whole number of the Members of the Legislative Council.

 

14.20  When absolute or special majority not obtained

(1)    If an absolute or special majority is not obtained on the third reading as required, except where a division has been called, the President will adjourn the Bill until the next day of meeting without any further question being put.

(2)    If an absolute or special majority is still not obtained when the question for the third reading is again proposed, the President will, if a simple majority of Members is in favour of the question, declare that the third reading has been carried and that an absolute or special majority has not been obtained as required.

 

14.21  Bill passed

When the third reading of a Bill is agreed to, it is passed without any further question being put.

  

14.22  Bill rejected

When a Bill which originated in the Assembly is rejected by the Council a Message will be sent to the Assembly informing them accordingly.

 

14.23  Certificate of Clerk

(1)    When the Bill has passed all stages the Clerk will sign the Bill to certify that it is the Bill as agreed to by the Council.

(2)    If a Bill has passed its third reading in the Council with the concurrence of an absolute or special majority of the whole number of the Members of the Council, the Clerk will certify the fact on the Bill accordingly.

 

14.24  Bill sent to Assembly

When a Bill which originated in the Council has been passed and then certified by the Clerk it will be transmitted to the Assembly with a Message requesting their agreement.

 

14.25  Assembly amendments

When a Bill is returned from the Assembly with amendments, the amendments will be printed and a time will be fixed for taking them into consideration.

 

14.26  Consideration of Assembly amendments

(1)    The amendments made by the Assembly may be -

        (a)    agreed to either with or without amendments; or

        (b)    disagreed with; or

        (c)    deferred indefinitely, in which case the Bill lapses.

(2)    After the Council has dealt with the amendments, a Message will be sent to the Assembly informing them accordingly, without a question being put.

 

14.27  Bill returned to Assembly

When a Bill which originated in the Assembly has been passed by the Council and certified by the Clerk it will be returned to the Assembly with a Message informing the Assembly that the Council has -

(a)    agreed to the Bill without amendment; or

(b)    agreed to the Bill subject to the amendments contained in the schedule attached and the Assembly agreement to such amendments is requested.

 

14.28  Assembly's consideration of Council amendments

(1)    Where a Bill is returned from the Assembly with a Message disagreeing with the amendments made by the Council, agreeing to the amendments with further amendments or making new amendments on the amendments, the amendments will be printed and a time fixed for taking the Message into consideration.

(2)    When the Council considers the Message from the Assembly it will ─

        (a)    insist or not insist on its amendments;

        (b)    agree or not agree with any further amendments made by the Assembly; or

        (c)    defer further consideration of the Bill indefinitely, in which case the Bill lapses.

 

14.29  Amendment proposed by Governor

Whenever the Governor proposes any amendment to be made in a Bill originated in the Council and presented to him or her for assent, and transmits such amendment by Message to the Council, the amendment will be agreed to or not agreed to by the Council, but no amendment may be proposed to that amendment.

 

14.30  Governor's amendment sent to Assembly

When the Council has agreed to any amendment proposed by the Governor pursuant to Standing Order 14.29, that amendment will be transmitted by Message to the Assembly for their agreement.

 

14.31  Governor's amendment transmitted by Assembly

Whenever the Assembly has agreed to any amendment proposed by the Governor to be made in a Bill originated in the Assembly, and transmit such amendment to the Council, the amendment will be agreed to or not agreed to by the Council, but no amendment may be proposed to that amendment.

 

14.32  Consequential renumbering of Bills

Where a Bill has been amended, the Clerk is authorised to carry out any consequential renumbering required in it, except in relation to text being inserted or substituted in Principal Acts.

 

14.33  Correction of clerical or typographical errors

Clerical or typographical errors may be corrected in any part of a Bill by the Clerk after such Bill has been read a third time and passed, and the Clerk will inform the Council what errors he or she has corrected.

 

14.34  Urgent Bills

(1)    At any time following the introduction of a Bill, a Minister may without notice declare a Bill to be an urgent Bill and move "That the Bill be treated as an urgent Bill".

(2)    No amendment will be permitted to the question.

(3)    When a Bill has been declared urgent, the second reading debate and all subsequent stages may proceed immediately or at any time during any sitting.

  

14.35    Identical Bills

(1)     A Minister or
Member in charge of a Bill transmitted from the Assembly pursuant to Standing Order 14.03 may make a statement to the House that the Bill is identical in substance to a Bill already in the Council.

(2)     Such a statement may only be made —

         (a)   after the corresponding Council Bill has been read a second time and the Committee of the whole stage (if any) has been completed within the previous six months; and

         (b)   after the statement of compatibility with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 has been tabled and the second reading speech has been given pursuant to Standing Order 14.06 (or incorporated pursuant to Standing Order 14.07), for the identical Bill transmitted from the Assembly.

(3)     If the President is of the same opinion in relation to a statement made under Standing Order 14.35(1), the President will declare the Bill transmitted from the Assembly to be an identical Bill.

(4)     When a Bill is declared to be identical by the President under Standing Order 14.35(3) any further debate on the question “That the Bill be now read a second time” will be dispensed with and the question will be put immediately without amendment. No other question may then be proposed except “That the Bill be now read a
third time and do pass” which will be put without amendment or debate.

(5)     Standing Order 7.06 does not apply to Bills dealt with under this Standing Order.

 

14.36  President rules as to Private Bills

After the second reading speech on a Bill has been given, the President may rule the Bill is a Private Bill. The Council may order the Bill to be dealt with as a Public Bill.

 

14.37  Advertising of objects of Private Bill

(1)    Where a Private Bill has not been ordered to be dealt with as a Public Bill, the President will publish a statement about the general nature and objects of the Bill in a newspaper circulating generally in Victoria and, if applicable, in a newspaper circulating in the relevant locality.

(2)    Where any advertisement has been published, no further debate on the Bill will be permitted until a report has been made by the President pursuant to Standing Order 14.39 or until the expiration of time for objections pursuant to Standing Order 14.38.

 

14.38  Objection to Private Bill

(1)    A person or body who considers that a provision in the Bill has a direct and adverse effect on him or her may within 21 days after the publication of the statement pursuant to Standing Order 14.37, lodge a written objection to the Clerk.

(2)    The Clerk must notify the Council of any written objections during formal business at the next sitting and any such objections will be ordered to lie upon the Table.

 

14.39  Appointment of panel to consider objections to Private Bills

(1)    If a written objection is made to the Clerk pursuant to Standing Order 14.38, the President must appoint a panel of examiners of at least two Acting Presidents to consider the objection and to report to the President on whether it raises sufficiently important matters to justify the appointment of a select committee to consider the Bill.

(2)    The President must inform the Council of the recommendation made by the panel to each objection.

 

14.40  Cost of Private Bills

(1)    Unless the Council dispenses with fees, the promoter of a Private Bill must pay to the Department of the Legislative Council a deposit to be determined by the President before the Bill is read a second time and a receipt for that payment will be produced by the Member having charge of the Bill.

(2)    Before the Bill is further considered by the Council the promoter must then pay an amount, less the deposit, to reimburse all expenses involved in the preparation and passage of the Bill, including costs of -

        (a)    drafting and printing;

        (b)    circulation and advertising; and

        (c)    any select committee appointed to consider it.

 

14.41  Procedures for Private Bills

A Private Bill is dealt with in the same way as a Public Bill except for the procedures in Standing Orders 14.36 to 14.40.