Joint Standing Orders

JOINT STANDING ORDERS

 

1       Communications between Houses

Communications between the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly will be by written message.

 

2       Transmission and receipt of messages

(1)    Messages from one House to the other will be signed by the relevant Presiding Officer and be transmitted by an officer of the Legislative Council or of the Legislative Assembly, as the case may be.
(2)    Messages will be received at the Bar of the House, and if the House receiving the message is not sitting, by the Clerk of that House and be reported to the House by the relevant Presiding Officer as soon as convenient.

 

3       Long title

Every Bill must begin with a long title which sets out in general terms the object and scope of the Bill.

 

4       Bills to be reprinted, if amended

When a Bill has been amended by the originating House, the Bill, as amended, will be reprinted.

 

5       Changes to calendar year citations in Bills

Where a Bill has passed both Houses and the citation of the Bill includes a reference to a calendar year earlier than that in which the passage of the Bill was completed, the Clerk of the Parliaments is authorised to alter the calendar year reference in the citation of the Bill, and any corresponding reference within the Bill itself, to the year in which the passage was completed.

 

6       Errors in Bills

(1)    The Clerk of the Parliaments may correct literal typographical errors in Bills which have passed both Houses and will report the errors to both Houses.
(2)    Where a clerical error is discovered in a Bill which has passed both Houses but has not yet been presented for Royal Assent, the Clerk of the Parliaments will report the error to the House in which the Bill originated. The House may deal with the report in the same way as other amendments.

 

7       Consequential renumbering of Bills

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

 

8       Bills subject to a referendum

(1)    When a Bill has been passed by both Houses and is subject to the requirements of the Constitution Act 1975 s 18(1B), a referendum copy of the Bill as passed will be printed. The Clerk of the Parliaments will certify that the Bill is the Bill to which the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council have agreed, and will present the certified copy to the Governor.
(2)    Upon receipt of a message from the Governor confirming that a Bill has been approved by the majority of the electors voting at a referendum, copies of the Bill will be prepared for certification and presentation by the Clerk of the Parliaments under JSOs 9 and 10.

 

9       Certification by Clerk of the Parliaments

When a Bill has passed both Houses it will be printed on archive paper by the Government Printer who will provide two copies to the Clerk of the Parliaments, who will certify that the Bill is the Bill to which the Council and the Assembly have agreed.

 

10     Presentation for Royal Assent

(1)    Two copies of all Bills, except the Annual Appropriation Bill, will be presented to the Governor for Royal Assent by the Clerk of the Parliaments.
(2)    Annual Appropriation Bills will be presented to the Governor for Royal Assent by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

 

11     Absence of Clerk of the Parliaments

If the Clerk of the Parliaments is unavoidably absent, his or her duties will be undertaken by the Clerk of the other House or, in the absence of the both Clerks, by either of their deputies.

 

12     Bills returned by Governor with amendments

When the Houses have agreed to amendments proposed by the Governor to Bills that have passed both Houses, the Clerk of the Parliaments will endorse those amendments in the certified copy of the Bill and will order two copies of the Bill on archive paper, as amended, and will certify the same before they are presented for Royal Assent.

 

13     Custody of original Acts

After the Governor has given the Royal Assent to a Bill, the Clerk of the Parliaments will retain one signed copy in safekeeping and the other signed copy will be delivered to the Supreme Court.

 

14     Minister sitting in other House

A Minister sitting in the House of which he or she is not a Member under Constitution Act 1975 s 52, will be subject to the Standing Orders and practices of that House.

 

15     Joint Committees

(1)    Every proposal for a Joint Committee not provided for in these Joint Standing Orders will be by message, which will state the object of such Committee and the number of Members to be appointed.
(2)    A Joint Committee must consist of at least two Members of the Council and two Members of the Assembly.
(3)    Prior to the commencement of any other business, every Joint Committee will elect one of its Members to be the Chair of the Committee and may elect one of its Members to be Deputy Chair.
(4)    The quorum of a Joint Committee is a majority of the Members appointed to it and must not consist exclusively of Members of the Council or the Assembly.
(5)    In a Joint Committee all questions will be decided by a majority of Members present.
(6)    Each member of a Joint Committee has a deliberative vote. In the event of an equality of votes on any question, the Chair of a Joint Committee has a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote.
(7)    If the Chair and Deputy Chair are absent from any meeting the Members present may appoint any one of their number to be Chair for that meeting.
(8)    A Joint Committee may not sit while the Council or the Assembly is actually sitting, unless specifically empowered to do so by that House.
(9)    Without limiting the effect of anything contained in this Joint Standing Order, the Standing Orders of the Assembly and the Council relating to Select Committees will be followed as far as they can be applied.

 

16     Joint Committee documents and evidence not tabled

(1)    All joint parliamentary committee documents and evidence in excess of four years old which have not been tabled in the Parliament may be transferred to the Public Record Office, subject to the condition that they remain the property of the Parliament.
(2)    Subject to paragraph (4), access may be granted —
        (a)     by either Clerk, to any documents and evidence that have already been made public; and
        (b)     by the Presiding Officers, or their nominees, to any other documents or evidence.                                                                                                  
(3)    The Presiding Officers may approve, on such terms and conditions as they may determine, the reproduction or publication of the whole or any part of the documents and evidence for educational, historical or research purposes.
(4)    If the documents and evidence were accepted by the committee on a confidential or restricted basis, access will not be permitted unless they have been in the custody of the Parliament for at least 30 years and, in the opinion of the Presiding Officers, disclosure is appropriate.

 

17     Presentation of Joint Address

An Address agreed to by both Houses will be forwarded by the Presiding Officers or the Clerk of the Parliaments, unless otherwise ordered.

 

18     Changes to Joint Standing Orders

(1)    Changes to Joint Standing Orders will be considered by the Standing Orders Committees of both Houses meeting jointly.
(2)    A joint report of the Standing Orders Committees, incorporating any changes recommended, will be tabled in each House.

 

19     Appointment of Chair of joint sitting

(1)    For joint sittings held under the Constitution Act 1975 s 27A or s 65G —
        (a)    A Member addressing the Clerk, acting as Chair, may propose a Member to be the Chair of the joint sitting and any such proposal must be seconded. When a Member is proposed, the proposer must state that such Member is willing to accept nomination.
        (b)    If only one Member is proposed and seconded, the Clerk declares that Member appointed and such Member will take the chair.
        (c)    If more than one Member is proposed and seconded a ballot must be held. After the ballot and the declaration of the Member elected, he or she will take the chair.
(2)    For all other joint sittings the Chair will alternate between the Speaker and the President.

 

20     Clerks of a joint sitting

The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and the Clerk of the Legislative Council will act as joint Clerks of a joint sitting and either of them may exercise a function expressed to be exercisable by the Clerk.

 

21     Ballot during a joint sitting

(1)    When a ballot is required to be held, the Chair will announce the names of the candidates and every Member present at the joint sitting will be given a ballot paper initialled by the Clerk of each House. Each Member must write on the ballot paper the name of the candidate or candidates that he or she wishes to be elected and place the ballot paper in the ballot box provided for the purpose. If any ballot paper contains more than the appropriate number of names, it will be rejected.
(2)    The Chair, or Clerk when acting as Chair under JSO 19, will ask the proposer of each candidate to name a Member present to be a scrutineer. The scrutineers, with one of the Clerks, will count the votes.
(3)    In the case of more than one vacancy, the required number of candidates reported to have the greatest number of votes will be deemed to be elected. If the result cannot be determined because two or more candidates receive an equal number of votes, the result will be resolved by a special ballot. A special ballot is held only between those candidates who have received an equal number of votes. The candidate(s) receiving the greatest number of votes at the special ballot will be deemed to be elected. If, as a result of a special ballot, two or more candidates receive an equal number of votes a second special ballot will be held to resolve the matter. Where candidates still receive an equal number of votes after a second special ballot the open vote provisions in (6) to (8) will apply.
(4)    If only two candidates are proposed and seconded for a single vacancy, the candidate with the greater number of votes will be declared elected.
(5)    When more than two candidates are proposed and seconded for a single vacancy, the candidate who has the greatest number of votes will be declared elected, provided he or she has a majority of the votes cast. If no candidate has such a majority, the name of the candidate having the smallest number of votes will be excluded and a fresh ballot will take place. This will be done as often as necessary until one candidate is declared elected.
(6)    If, at a ballot at which no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, two or more candidates receive an equal number of votes and no candidate receives a lesser number of votes, another ballot will be held. If, in the further ballot, no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast but two or more candidates receive an equal number of votes and no candidate receives a lesser number of votes, an open vote will be conducted in accordance with Legislative Assembly Standing Orders to resolve the issue.
(7)    If, after an open vote, the candidates receive the same number of votes, the Chair, or Clerk when acting as Chair under JSO 19, will announce that fact, immediately adjourn the Sitting without any question being put and arrange for another meeting to take place within 10 days.
(8)    At a further Sitting another open vote will be held in relation to the candidates. This process will be repeated until the matter is resolved.
(9)    Informal votes will not be taken into account in any ballot. The Chair or Clerk when acting as Chair under JSO 19 will decide whether a vote is informal.

 

22     General procedure for joint sittings

Scope
(1)    This Joint Standing Order applies to all joint sittings except a joint sitting held under the Constitution Act 1975 s 27A or s 65G.

Application of Standing Orders
(2)    In any matter of procedure not provided for in these Joint Standing Orders the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly, in force for the time being, will be followed as far as they can be applied.

Relief of Chair
(3)    A Presiding Officer, the Deputy Speaker or the Deputy President will take the chair as Acting Chair whenever requested so to do by the Chair without any formal communication.

Time limit on speeches
(4)    No Member may speak for more than five minutes on any question.

Entitlement to vote
(5)    On every question arising in a joint sitting each Member of the Legislative Assembly and of the Legislative Council, including the Chair, will have one vote.

Sitting and adjournment
(6)    A motion for the adjournment of the joint sitting may be moved by a minister and will be put immediately without amendment or debate.
(7)    A motion for the purpose of fixing the next meeting of the joint sitting may be moved by a minister at any time provided that there is no question before the Chair.

Voting on questions
(8)    Questions will be decided by a simple majority of the Members present and voting.
(9)    In the event of an equality of votes on a question, the question is taken to have been defeated.

Divisions
(10)   
        (a)    Whenever the Chair states, on putting a question, that the ‘ayes’ or ‘noes’ (as the case may be) have it, the Chair’s opinion may be challenged by a Member calling for a division.
        (b)    When a division is requested, the Clerk will ring the bells for three minutes as indicated by the timer.
        (c)    When the bells have stopped ringing, the Chair calls for the doors to be locked. After that a Member must not leave the Chamber until after the division has been completed.
        (d)    When successive divisions are taken without any intervening debate, the Chair will direct that the bells be rung for one minute.
        (e)    After the doors are locked the Chair restates the question and directs the ayes to the right side of the Chamber and the noes to the left side of the Chamber. The Chair appoints two or more tellers for each side.
        (f)     Votes may only be cast by Members present in the Chamber and every Member present must vote.
        (g)    If two tellers cannot be found for one side of the question, the Chair must immediately declare the resolution of the joint sitting.
        (h)    The tellers count the votes and record the Members’ names. On receiving a report from the tellers, the Chair announces the result to the joint sitting.

Records of proceedings
(11)   The records of the proceedings and the ballot papers will be retained by the Clerk of the Parliaments who will destroy the ballot papers after one year.

 

23     Joint sittings under Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Acts 15

(1)    A Member, addressing the Chair, may propose a person to hold the vacant place in the Senate and any such proposal must be seconded. When a person is proposed, the proposer must state that such person is willing to accept nomination and whether he or she is a Member of the same political party as that subscribed to by the Senator when last elected by the people in whose place the vacancy has occurred.
(2)    If only one person is proposed and seconded, the Chair will declare that that person has been chosen to hold the vacant place in the Senate.
(3)    If more than one person is proposed and seconded in accordance with (1), the person to hold the vacant place will be elected by ballot.
(4)    After the ballot, the Chair will declare the person chosen to hold the vacant place in the Senate.
(5)    The Chair will advise the Governor of the name of the person chosen to fill the vacancy.

 

24     Joint sittings under the Tobacco Act 1987 s 21

(1)    A Member, addressing the Chair, may propose a Member or Members to be elected to the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and any such proposal must be seconded. When a Member is proposed, the proposer must state that such Member is willing to accept nomination.
(2)    If no more than the required number of Members are proposed and seconded, the Chair will declare such Members as having been elected.
(3)    If more than the required number of Members are proposed and seconded in respect of the vacancies, the Members will be elected by ballot.
(4)    After the ballot, the Chair will declare the Member or Members elected to the Foundation and will advise the responsible minister of the result of the election.