Legislative Council Standing Orders - Chapter 15

CHAPTER 15 - COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE COUNCIL

 

15.01  Appointment of Committee

When the Council resolves itself into Committee of the whole the President will leave the Chair without putting any question and the Deputy President will preside over the Committee.

 

15.02  Quorum of Committee of the whole

(1)    The same number of Members will be required to form a quorum* in Committee of the whole as are required to form a quorum of the Council.
* To constitute a quorum there must be present (inclusive of the President) one-third at least of the Members of the Council [See Section 32(1) of the Constitution Act 1975]

(2)    If notice is taken in Committee of the whole that a quorum of Members is not present the bells will be rung as for a division and if, at the expiration of three minutes or on a division, it appears that a quorum of Members is not present, the Deputy President will leave the Chair and the President will resume the Chair.

(3)    If a quorum of Members is present when the Council is counted by the President, the Council will again resolve itself into the Committee of the whole without a question being put.

 

15.03  Committee to consider only matters referred

A Committee of the whole will consider such matters only as have been referred to them by the Council.

 

15.04    Member may assist at the Table during Committee of the whole

(1)     During Committee of the whole a Member may sit at the Table to assist the Minister or Member in charge of the Bill.

(2)     A Member assisting at the Table under Standing Order 15.04(1) —

         (a)   will not answer questions that have been put to the Minister or Member in charge of the Bill; and

         (b)   may only participate in debate during Committee of the whole by seeking the call and speaking from their place.

(3)     If a Member assisting at the Table under Standing Order 15.04(1) is a Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility in a portfolio area that is covered by the Bill, the Minister in charge of the Bill may, subject to leave being granted, request that the Member be allowed to answer a question or questions on the Bill and participate in debate at the Table.

 

15.05  Proceedings in Committee

(1)    Except as provided by these Standing Orders, the same rules as to the conduct of Members, or of debate, procedure or general conduct of business, will be observed in Committee of the whole as in the Council itself.

(2)    Every question in Committee of the whole will be decided by a majority of voices.

(3)    Divisions will be taken in Committee of the whole in the same manner as in the Council itself.

(4)    The Deputy President or Acting President when in the Chair will in all cases vote by stating to the Committee whether they vote with the "Ayes" or "Noes".

(5)    A motion may be proposed during Committee of the whole "That the Deputy President report progress and ask leave to sit again".

(6)    No motion "That this question be not now put" will be allowed in Committee of the whole.

(7)    A resolution "That the Deputy President do now leave the Chair" will supersede the proceedings of a Committee of the whole.

 

15.06  Rules of debate in Committee

(1)    Debate on clause 1 of a Bill will be limited to the purposes of the Bill.

(2)    Debate will be strictly relevant to any other clause, schedule, preamble, amendment or new clause which is under consideration and no general debate will be permitted.

(3)    In Committee of the whole a Member may speak more than once on any question.

(4)    A Member must not refer to the proceedings of a Council committee or other parliamentary committee on a Bill until the proceedings have been reported.

 

15.07  Instruction to Committee

(1)    An instruction empowers a Committee of the whole to consider matters not otherwise referred to them.

(2)    No instruction may be moved to order a Committee of the whole to make provision in a Bill or to empower a Committee to make provision if they already have that power.

(3)    Notice will be required of an instruction, which will be moved when the Council is about to first resolve itself into a Committee of the whole and before the President leaves the Chair.

 

15.08  Disorder arising in Committee

(1)    Disorder in a Committee can be censured only by the Council upon receiving a report thereof.

(2)    If any sudden disorder arises in Committee of the whole, the President may resume the Chair without any question being put.

(3)    Any Member —


        (a)   using objectionable words in Committee of the whole and not explaining or retracting the same; or

        (b)   behaving offensively to the Committee or any Member and not making an apology to the satisfaction of the Committee when required —


       will have his or her conduct reported to the Council by the Deputy President, who will suspend the proceedings of the Committee.