Fact Sheet C2
Summary: The Victorian Parliament's website can help you find out what laws the Parliament is proposing and track the progress of bills (proposed laws). You can check what stage a bill is up to, and what members say about a bill.
Parliament's website address is www.parliament.vic.gov.au.
The homepage includes links to both Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council information. You can see when Parliament will be sitting. The Quick Links section allows easy access to bills, committee reports and fact sheets. On sitting days, we regularly update information to reflect events in each Chamber.
To access Assembly content, click on the Legislative Assembly link at the top of the homepage. This gives you general information about the Assembly, as well as regular updates on debates and other events in the Chamber.
Government business program
Each sitting week the House lists a number of bills to be completed for the week. This is called the government business program. The time set to complete the bills is usually 5.00 pm Thursday. At the completion time, if any bills have not been voted on, members vote immediately whether to pass them or not.
The government business program for each sitting week is usually released on a Tuesday afternoon. This is on the Legislative Assembly webpage on sitting days.
Notice papers: the agenda
The business agendas for the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council are called notice papers.
The order of business items is not necessarily the order in which members will debate them. The order often changes at short notice during the day. Notice papers are available from the Assembly page.
Content of notice paper
For government bills and other matters ministers plan to debate, see headings 'Government Business' and 'Orders of the Day'.
For business other members wish to debate, see the heading 'General Business'.
For bills not to be considered immediately, see heading 'Business Listed for Future Days' near the back of the notice paper.
Extract of a notice paper
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS — ORDERS OF THE DAY
1 LEGAL PROFESSION UNIFORM LAW APPLICATION AMENDMENT BILL 2019 — Second reading — Resumption of debate (Mr Southwick).
2 MINERAL RESOURCES (SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT) AMENDMENT BILL 2019 — Second reading — Resumption of debate (Ms Staley).
3 PRIMARY INDUSTRIES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2019 — Second reading — Resumption of debate (Ms McLeish).
4 BUDGET PAPERS — That this House takes note of the 2019-20 budget papers — Resumption of debate (Ms Halfpenny).
A bill becomes public when the minister in charge of it makes a second reading speech. Each bill has an explanatory memorandum that explains the clauses in the bill. Both the bill and the explantory memorandum are available from our website. Choose bill from the alphabetical list, then click on the link to download either the bill or explanatory memorandum.
If amendments are made to the bill before it is sent to the second House, a separate amended print version is created (see image below).
If you are interested in tracking a particular bill, use the status report for that bill. Choose bill from the alphabetical list, and scroll down to see its progress.
We now explain the information you can find about each stage of a bill.
Introduction and first reading
The start of the report above, shows which House dealt with the bill first, and the date of its first reading. You can see the name of the minister responsible and a link to the statement of compatibility with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
In this part of the status report, you can click to the minister's second reading speech. You can see when a bill was placed on the government business program, the completion time, when proposed amendments were made public, and links to the amendments.
Consideration in detail
At this stage, members debate a bill and proposed amendments clause by clause. Only a small percentage of bills are considered in detail, as the stage can be skipped if there are no amendments and all members agree. The report shows whether the bill was amended.
The third reading is the last stage of a bill in the Legislative Assembly. In this part of the status report, you will find when a bill has been passed by a special or absolute majority of members. Finally, a message goes to the Legislative Council, asking them to agree to the bill.
For a detailed explanation of the stages of a bill, see Fact Sheet C1: How a Bill becomes Law. To find out when absolute and special majorities are needed, see Fact Sheet D4: Altering Victoria's Constitution.
The bills status list shows you the names and status of all bills at the end of each sitting day. It includes all bills for the current year.
Extract from a Bills Status List
Status in Assembly
Status in Council
Appropriation (2019–2020) Bill 2019
Appropriation (Parliament 2019–2020) Bill 2019
|Assisted Reproductive Treatment Amendment (Consent) Bill 2019||passed 20/6/19||passed 15/8/19|
Assembly Live lists the business currently being considered by the Legislative Assembly. It also includes a summary of what has already occured that day. Use it on a sitting day to check what bill the members are debating.
In the Legislative Assembly, these are called Votes and Proceedings and, in the Legislative Council, Minutes of the Proceedings. Both of these types of minutes are the official record of decisions made on a particular sitting day.
Find out more: Fact Sheet F3: Votes and Proceedings.
Assembly Abridged is a summary of each sitting day in the Legislative Assembly, listing key decisions, documents, progress on bills and debate. Use them to quickly find a list of new bills or bills which passed on a particular day.
When the Governor gives royal assent to a bill, it becomes an Act. The date the Act commences depends on its provisions. Often, an Act will come into effect in stages.
Commencement information is provided by the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel (the lawyers who draft legislation). For commencement information go to www.legislation.vic.gov.au click on 'Legislative Information' and then click on 'Commencement Information Acts'
If you want to monitor proclamations by the Governor you can track these through the Victorian Government Gazette.
After royal assent, the Act is available in the Victorian Statute Book. The Statute Book contains, by year, the original versions of Acts and statutory rules. Acts and statutory rules are listed by year.
Acts are amended frequently. To ensure you are using the latest version, use Victorian Law Today. Acts and statutory rules are listed alphabetically. Choose ‘Acts' or ‘Statutory Rules' then click the relevant letter to find your legislation. Or, you may wish to use the search function. See below.
Victorian Law Today
You can find bills from sitting periods back to 1996 using the parliamentary documents archive. Choose the year, then 'Bill' then bill name.
Hansard is the official printed report of the debates in each House. It is not an exact word for word account of everything that was said, but it is a valuable record of members' speeches.
Parliament produces three versions of the debates:
• progressive publishing, which is published throughout each sitting day
• daily Hansard, a proof version, is available online about four hours after the Legislative Assembly adjourns
• weekly Hansard, made up of the revised daily Hansard for the week, is available three working days after the end of the sitting week.
Hansard volumes from 1856 to 1999 are also available for download.
Hansard advanced search screen
- Created: Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:52
- Last Updated: Monday, 07 October 2019 16:21