Legislative Council Standing Orders - Chapter 4

CHAPTER 4 - SITTING AND ADJOURNMENT OF THE COUNCIL

 

4.01    Days and hours of meeting

(1)    Unless otherwise ordered by the Council the days and hours of meeting of the Council will be -

        (a)   Tuesday at 2.00 p.m.

        (b)   Wednesday at 9.30 a.m.

        (c)   Thursday at 9.30 a.m.

        (d)   Friday at 9.30 a.m.

(2)    At any time when no question is before the Chair a Minister may move without leave a motion to set the day and time of the next meeting.

 

4.02    President takes Chair when quorum present

The President will take the Chair as soon after the time appointed for the meeting of the Council as a quorum* of Members is present, and will read the Lord's Prayer.

 

4.03    Lack of quorum

(1)    If, after 30 minutes from the time appointed for the sitting of the Council or the resumption of the sitting after a suspension, there is not a quorum, the President will take the Chair and adjourn the Council to the next sitting day.

(2)    If at any time after the commencement of the business of the day any Member draws attention to the lack of a quorum or it becomes clear on the report of a division that a quorum of Members is not present, the President must order that the bells be rung as for a division, and after the bells have been rung count the Members present in the Chamber.

(3)    If after the Members have been counted and a quorum is not present the President will, without putting any question, adjourn the Council to the next sitting.

(4)    The doors of the Chamber will be unlocked when the President is engaged in counting the Council to determine whether there is a quorum present.

* 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]

 

4.04    Special meeting of the Council

(1)    If during any adjournment of the Council any emergency arises which in the opinion of the President renders it desirable that the Members of the Council should meet for the consideration of any matter before the time previously fixed for meeting, the President will appoint a day and hour for a special meeting to deal with such matter and to summon Members to such special meeting.

(2)    The special meeting will not be earlier than two days from the date of summons.

 

4.05       Regional sittings of the Council

The Council may meet from time to time at regional places fixed by the Governor in accordance with section 8 of the Constitution Act 1975. At these sittings —

(1)     The President will take the Chair as soon after the time appointed for the meeting of the Council as a quorum of Members is present, and the President, or a local religious leader, will read the Lord’s Prayer.

(2)     The Clerk will read the proclamation or other authorisation from the Governor varying and altering the place for the despatch of business of the Legislative Council.

(3)     The President may invite the local Mayor to address the House.

(4)     The Order of Business thereafter will be in accordance with Standing Order 5.02 unless otherwise ordered by the Council.

 

4.06   Motion to adjourn moved by Minister

A Minister may move at any time when there is no question before the Chair that the House do now adjourn. Such motion may not be amended.

 

4.07   Interruption of debate

(1)    Unless a motion to adjourn has already been moved by a Minister pursuant to Standing Order 4.06, the President will interrupt the business before the House —

         (a)   at 10.00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday;

         (b)   at 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday;

         (c)   at 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday if a joint sitting has been scheduled for 6.15 p.m. on that day;

         (d)   at 4.00 p.m. on Friday.

(2)    If the House is in Committee of the whole the Deputy President will report progress and the President will then interrupt such business.

(3)    If a division is taking place when business is due to be interrupted, it will be completed and the result announced before the President interrupts business.

(4)    The President will have discretion to extend the time for a maximum of ten minutes to allow for the completion of a speech on a motion for the second reading of a Bill within the allocated time.

(5)    The President will not be required to call the next speaker if a speaker completes his or her speech within three minutes prior to the time fixed for such interruption.

(6)    Providing no further debate is proposed, the remaining questions in relation to any business subject to interruption may be put.

(7)    Before proposing that the House do now adjourn pursuant to Standing Order 4.09 the President will read any Messages from the Assembly.

(8)    Any Bills transmitted from the Assembly will be read a first time and their second reading made an Order of the Day for the next day of meeting unless the Council grants leave for the second reading to be proposed forthwith.

 

4.08    Extension of sitting

(1)    Upon any interruption of business pursuant to Standing Order 4.07 and before a motion for the adjournment of the Council under Standing Order 4.09 is proposed by the President, a Minister may —

        (a)   move that the sitting be extended. The motion will be put forthwith without amendment or debate; or

        (b)   declare, without debate, that the sitting be extended by up to one hour; and —

                 (i)   at the conclusion of an extension of time declared under Standing Order 4.08(1)(b), a Minister may declare, without debate, that the sitting be extended by up to one further hour; and

                 (ii)   at the conclusion of an extension of time declared under Standing Order 4.08(1)(b)(i), a Minister may move that the sitting be extended. The motion will be put forthwith without amendment or debate.

(2)    If the Council is extended in accordance with Standing Order 4.08(1), proceedings will resume at the point at which they had been interrupted.

 

4.09   Adjournment proposed by President

Unless the sitting is extended under Standing Order 4.08, the President will propose to the Council "That the House do now adjourn". Such question may not be amended.

 

4.10    Business under consideration at time of adjournment

Any business under discussion and not concluded at the time of the adjournment will be listed on the Notice Paper for the next sitting and any Member speaking at the time of interruption may continue their speech upon the resumption of the debate.

 

4.11    Daily Adjournment Debate

(1)    On the question for the adjournment of the Council proposed by the President or moved by a Minister, Members may raise matters for consideration by Ministers.

(2)    Up to 20 Members (other than Ministers) may speak on the question on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

(3)    Members may speak once only on the question on each day.

(4)    At the conclusion of the debate, the President will adjourn the House until the time of the next meeting without putting any question.

 

4.12    Rules relating to the Daily Adjournment Debate

(1)    In speaking to the question for adjournment a Member must only raise matters which are within the administrative competence of the Victorian Government and may not raise a matter which has  been discussed in the previous six months of the same Session.

(2)    A Member speaking to the question “That the House do now adjourn” should —

        (a)   (i)   make a complaint; or

               (ii)   make a request; or

               (iii)   pose a query; and

        (b)   suggest the action sought.

(3)     A Member may only raise a matter for consideration by a single Minister.

(4)     Matters raised on the question for adjournment cannot be the subject of debate.

(3)    Any reply by a Minister to a matter raised on the question for adjournment should be as brief as possible.

 

4.13   Responses to matters raised on the daily Adjournment debate

(1)       When a Member raises a matter which requires a response from a Minister that response must be given at the time the matter is raised or provided in writing within 30 days.

(2)    When a response is provided in writing, before the daily Adjournment debate is concluded, a Minister will advise the Council of the responses being provided, including the date the matter was raised and the name of the Member who raised the matter.

(3)    A copy of the response will be given to the Member who raised the matter, and all responses will be incorporated in Hansard.

 

 4.14    Procedure when responses to daily Adjournment debate matters not provided

(1) If a required response is not provided within 30 days of the matter being raised and the relevant Minister does not, within that period, provide to the Member who raised the matter an explanation satisfactory to the Member as to why a response has not been provided -

        (a)   at the conclusion of the daily Adjournment debate the Member may ask the Minister for an explanation; and

        (b)   at the conclusion of any such explanation the Member may move, without notice, "That the Council take note of the explanation".

(2)    If a Minister does not provide an explanation, notice may forthwith be given of a motion regarding the Minister's failure to provide either a response or an explanation.