Legislative Council Standing Orders - Chapter 5

CHAPTER 5 - BUSINESS

 

5.01    Business on opening day

On the opening day of a new Parliament or Session the order of business is as provided in Standing Orders 1.01 to 1.10.

 

5.02    Order of Business

Unless otherwise ordered by the Council, the order of business will be -

(1)    OnTuesday -

                     Messages
                     Questions
                     Answers to Questions on Notice
                     Formal Business
                     Members' Statements (up to 15 Members)
                     Government Business
                     At 10.00 p.m. Adjournment (up to 20 Members)

(2)    OnWednesday -

                     Messages
                     Formal Business
                     Members' Statements (up to 15 Members)
                     General Business
                     At 12 noonQuestions
                     Answers to Questions on Notice
                     General Business (continues)
                     At 5.00 p.m. Statements on reports and papers (60 minutes)
                     Government Business (maximum 30 minutes)
                     At 6.30 p.m. Adjournment (up to 20 Members)

(3)     On Wednesday, if a joint sitting has been scheduled for 6.15 p.m. on that day —

                     Messages
                     Formal Business
                     Members’ Statements (up to 15 Members) 
                     General Business
                     At 12 noon Questions
                     Answers to Questions on Notice
                     General Business (continues)
                     At 4.30 p.m. Statements on reports and papers (60 minutes)
                     At 5.30 p.m. Adjournment (up to 20 Members)

(4)    OnThursday -

                     Messages
                     Formal Business
                     Members' Statements (up to 15 Members)
                     Government Business
                     At 12 noonQuestions
                     Answers to Questions on Notice
                     Government Business (continues)
                     At 10.00 p.m. Adjournment (up to 20 Members)

(5)    On Friday -

                     Messages
                     Formal Business
                     Government Business
                     At 12 noon Questions
                     Answers to Questions on Notice
                     Government Business (continues)
                     At 4.00 p.m. Adjournment (maximum 30 minutes)

 

5.03    Time limits

The following time limits will apply to business before the Council -

Address in Reply (Standing Order 1.10)

Total time                                                                                   No limit
Main Government party lead speaker                                          60 minutes
Main Opposition party lead speaker                                            60 minutes 
Other lead speakers                                                                  45 minutes
Remaining speakers                                                                 15 minutes

Adjournment debate (Standing Order 4.11)

Each Member                                                                            3 minutes
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday —
Total time                                                                                  No limit (Maximum 20 Members)
Friday —
Total time                                                                                  30 minutes

Government business (Standing Order 5.06)

Total time                                                                                  No limit
Main Government party lead speaker                                         60 minutes
Main Opposition party lead speaker                                           60 minutes
Other lead speakers                                                                 45 minutes
Remaining speakers                                                                 15 minutes

Condolences (Standing Order 5.12)

In relation to current
Member, past or present Governor, Premier, Presiding Officer, Minister or party
leader in either House —

Total time                                                                                   No limit
In relation to a former
Member of the Council —

Total time                                                                                   60 minutes


Statements by Members (Standing Order 5.13)

Total time                                                                                   No limit (Maximum 15 Members)
Each Member                                                                             90 seconds 

Ministerial Statements (Standing Order 5.14)

Total time                                                                                   2 hours
Minister                                                                                      20 minutes
Lead speaker on motion to take note                                           20 minutes
Other speakers                                                                          15 minutes

Notices of motion (Standing Order 6.01)

Total time                                                                                  (Maximum 15 minutes)

Motions of urgent public importance (Standing Order 6.09)

Total time                                                                                 No limit
Main Government party lead speaker                                        60 minutes
Main Opposition party lead speaker                                          60 minutes
Other lead speakers                                                               45 minutes
Remaining speakers                                                               15 minutes

Procedural motions (Standing Order 6.13)

Total time                                                                               30 minutes
Each Member                                                                         5 minutes
Mover, in reply                                                                         2 minutes 

Questions without notice (Standing Order 8.04)

Each Member                                                                         1 minute
Minister's answer                                                                    4 minutes 

Supplementary questions (Standing Order 8.05)

Each Member                                                                         1 minute
Minister's answer                                                                    1 minute 

Presentation of Committee Reports (Standing Order 9.09)

Mover of motion to take note                                                   5 minutes
Member of Committee                                                            2 minutes each
By leave, 2 other Members                                                     2 minutes each 

Statements on reports and papers (Standing Order 9.10)

Total time                                                                               60 minutes
Each Member                                                                        5 minutes 

Government Bills - second reading debate

Total time                                                                               No limit
Main Government party lead speaker                                       60 minutes
Main Opposition party lead speaker                                         60 minutes
Other lead speakers                                                               45 minutes
Remaining speakers                                                              15 minutes

Budget debate

Total time                                                                              No limit
Main Government party lead speaker                                      60 minutes
Main Opposition party lead speaker                                        60 minutes
Other lead speakers                                                              45 minutes
Remaining speakers                                                             15 minutes

Inaugural speeches

Each Member                                                                        30 minutes

Explanation of reasons for granting leave (Standing Order 5.10)

Total time                                                                               4 minutes
Lead party speakers                                                                1 minute
Independent Members                                                             1 minute

 

5.04    Formal business defined

Formal business is deemed to include the presentation of petitions, the introduction and first reading of Bills, the presentation of papers, giving notices of motion and giving notices of intention to make a statement on a report or paper tabled in the Council.

 

5.05    Order of the Day defined

An Order of the Day is a Bill or matter which the Council has ordered to be taken into consideration on a particular day.

 

5.06    Government Business

(1)    Government Business is business initiated by Ministers and other Members of the Government party or parties.

(2)    Government Business will take precedence over all other business in accordance with the order of business prescribed by Standing Order 5.02 except for the following business -

(a)    motions for the adoption of the Address in Reply to the Governor's Speech pursuant to Standing Order 1.10;
(b)    special business pursuant to Standing Order 5.08; and
(c)     motions of urgent public importance pursuant to Standing Order 6.09.

 

5.07    General Business

(1)    General Business is business initiated by Members who are not Members of the Government party or parties.

(2)    General Business will take precedence over all other business on Wednesdays in accordance with the order of business prescribed by Standing Order 5.02.

 

5.08    Special Business

Precedence will be given to -
(a)   a motion relating to a matter of privilege pursuant to Standing Order 21.01;
(b)   a motion of urgent public importance pursuant to Standing Order 6.09;
(c)   a motion for a vote of thanks of the Council;
(d)   a motion for leave of absence to a Member;
(e)   a motion relating to the qualification of a Member;
(f)   the inaugural speech of a new Member chosen to fill a casual vacancy and sworn in under Standing Order 3.03;
(g)   an Order of the Day for the consideration of a report of the Standing Orders Committee or, arising from any such report, a motion to vary or adopt Standing Orders of the Council;
and any such business will be taken according to the sequence set out in this Standing Order.

 

5.09    Points of order or privilege

Subject to the provisions of Standing Order 21.01, all points of order or questions of privilege which arise at any time will take precedence over the consideration and decision of every other question, but an adjourned debate on such questions will not be accorded precedence unless so ordered.

 

5.10       Explanation of reasons for granting leave

In any situation where the leave of the Council under Standing Order 24.05 is granted to allow business to be transacted, the leaders of parties other than the party of the Member who is seeking leave, and any independent Members, may give a brief explanation of their reasons for granting leave in accordance with the time limits prescribed by Standing Order 5.03.

 

5.11    Notice Paper

All business before the Council will be listed on the Notice Paper in accordance with the Standing or Sessional Orders and the Notice Paper will be published on each sitting day.

 

5.12    Condolences

(1)    Precedence will ordinarily be given by courtesy to a motion of condolence in the event of the death of -

(a)   a Member of the current Parliament; or
(b)   a past or present Governor, Premier, Presiding Officer, Minister, or party leader in either House.
(c)   former Members of the Council, subject to the agreement of the party leaders.

(2)    Precedence may be given by leave to a motion of condolence in the event of the death of a person who had previous distinguished service in Victoria.

(3)    At the conclusion of a condolence motion, Members will be asked to rise in their places for one minute's silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased.

(4)     Unless otherwise ordered, the Council will then suspend its proceedings -

(a)   for the remainder of the sitting in respect of a Member of the current Parliament; or
(b)   for one hour, in respect of all other persons referred to in Standing Order 5.12(1)(b).

(5)     The President will announce the death of former Members of the Council not referred to in Standing Order 5.12(1), and Members will rise in their places for one minute's silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased.

(6)     The President shall convey a message of sympathy from the House to the relatives of the deceased.

 

5.13    Statements by Members

(1)    From the conclusion of Formal Business on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, up to 15 Members may make statements on any topic of concern.

(2)    Each Member will be entitled to make only one such statement in each sitting week.

(3)    A Member may assign his or her single entitlement to another Member provided that no individual Member may be called more than once each day.

(4)    Members from a party will no longer be called if in so doing a single party would have in excess of 50 per cent of all the potential statements for that week.

 

5.14    Ministerial Statements

(1)    A Minister may make a Ministerial Statement without leave at any time in Government Business provided that there is no question before the Chair.

(2)    The Minister must provide a copy of the statement to the President at least two hours before it is proposed to be made.

(3)    The Minister must give not less than two hours notice to the party leaders and independent Members of his or her intention to make the statement.

(4)    At the conclusion of the Ministerial Statement, a motion may be moved without notice, "That the Council take note of the Ministerial Statement".

(5)    The time limits for debate on the motion are prescribed by Standing Order 5.03.

(6)    When the maximum time for debate on the motion to take note of a Ministerial Statement has been reached, unless otherwise ordered by the Council, the President must put the question.