STANDING ORDERS CHAPTER 6

 BUSINESS

34 Precedence of government business

 

Government business takes precedence over all other business except:

 

(1)

Motions of no confidence in the government; and

 

(2)

In relation to:

 

 

(a)

the election of Speaker (SO 6);

 

 

(b)

the election of Deputy Speaker (SO 18);

 

 

(c)

the election of an Acting Deputy Speaker (SO 22);

 

 

(d)

other business during MPI time (SO 37);

 

 

(e)

the grievance debate (SO 38);

 

 

(f)

matters of public importance (SO 39);

 

 

(g)

statements by members (SO 40);

 

 

(h)

statements on parliamentary committee reports (SO 41);

 

 

(i)

condolences (SO 42);

 

 

(j)

question time (SO 55);

 

 

(k)

disallowance motions (SO 151).

35 Business not on opening day

 

On the opening day of a new Parliament or session the order of business is as provided in SOs 2 to 5. Business set or given precedence by SOs 37 to 42 and SO 55 is subject to those provisions and relates only to other sitting days.

36 Order of business

 

Unless a matter concerning the privileges of the House arises, or an election of a Speaker is held under SO 6, the order of business will be:

 

Tuesdays

 

Question time

 

Formal business

 

Statements by members (SO 40)

 

Government business

 

General business

 

Wednesdays

 

Formal business

 

Disallowance motions (SO 151)

 

Statements by members (SO 40)

 

Matter of public importance (SO 39) or grievance debate (SO 38)

 

Statements on parliamentary committee reports (SO 41)

 

Government business

 

Question time (at 2.00 pm)

 

Government business continued

 

General business

 

Thursdays (and Fridays)

 

Formal business

 

Statements by members (SO 40)

 

Government business

 

Question time (at 2.00 pm)

 

Government business continued

 

General business

 

37 Other business during MPI time

 

(1)

Despite the provisions of these standing orders, a member may propose that any item or items listed on the notice paper should be called on in total or partial substitution of a discussion of a matter of public of importance under SO 39.

 

(2)

A member making a proposal must:

 

 

(a)

obtain the prior agreement of the leaders of the government, opposition and third party, as the case may be, or their nominees;

 

 

(b)

give details of the agreed item/s in writing to the Speaker by 4.00 pm on the day before the day set for the discussion.

 

(3)

The Speaker will, by 5.30 pm on the day before the discussion, confirm details of the agreed item/s to the leader of each party and any independent members.

 

(4)

Any business under discussion at the end of the time allocated for the matter of public importance will be listed on the notice paper for the next sitting day.

38 Grievance debate

 

(1)

Subject to paragraph (2), a debate on the question 'That grievances be noted' will take place on the first sitting Wednesday of each Autumn and Spring sitting period and every subsequent third sitting Wednesday.

 

(2)

For the first sitting period only of a new Parliament or session, the debate will take place on the second sitting Wednesday and every subsequent third sitting Wednesday.

 

(3)

The debate will be the first item of business after statements by members and will last for two hours, or until eight members have spoken, whichever is the shorter.

 

(4)

Subject to paragraph (3), any member may speak in the debate for a maximum of 15 minutes.

39 Matters of public importance

 

(1)

Precedence will be given to matters of public importance immediately after statements by members each sitting Wednesday except on grievance days set under SO 38.

 

(2)

A member may propose to the Speaker a definite matter of public importance to be submitted to the House for discussion. In considering which proposals to accept the Speaker will:

 

 

(a)

alternate between those made by non-government members and those by government members;

 

 

(b)

accept proposals from non-government members on a pro-rata basis according to the non-government representation in the House, the Speaker having full discretion in making and putting into effect the apportionment.

 

(3)

A member proposing a matter must give the Speaker a written statement of the proposal by 4.00 pm on the day before the day of the discussion.

 

(4)

If more than one member proposes a matter for discussion on the same day, the Speaker will decide which one to consider under paragraph (5).

 

(5)

The Speaker will decide whether the proposal is in order and, by 5.30 pm on the day before the discussion, will give details of the proposal which has been accepted to the leader of each party and any independent members.

 

(6)

Only one matter will be discussed on any one sitting day.

 

(7)

On the day of the discussion the Speaker will read the proposal to the House and will then call the member making the proposal to speak.

 

(8)

The discussion will be no longer than two hours, the first government and non-government speakers may each speak for a maximum of 15 minutes and any other member for a maximum of 10 minutes. The call is to alternate between government and non-government speakers.

 

(9)

At any time during the discussion, a motion may be moved by any member 'That the business of the day be called on'. The motion will be put immediately and decided without amendment or debate and, if agreed to, statements on parliamentary committee reports under SO 41 will be called on immediately. No other question seeking to end the discussion can be proposed.

40 Statements by members

 

(1)

After formal business each sitting day members may make statements on any topic of concern during a maximum period of 30minutes -- provided that precedence is given to a disallowance motion moved under SO 151.

 

(2)

Subject to paragraph (1), the time limit for each member making a statement is 90 seconds, the call being allocated between members according to party/individual representation in the House.

41 Statements on parliamentary committee reports

 

(1)

On each sitting Wednesday, immediately after the grievance debate or matter of public importance, as the case may be, members may make statements on any parliamentary committee reports, excluding reports by the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee under s 17(a), s 17(b) or s 17(c) of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, tabled in the House during the current Parliament.

 

(2)

The overall time period for such statements is a maximum of 30minutes or until six members have spoken, whichever is the shorter, the call being alternated between government and non-government members.

 

(3)

Subject to paragraph (2), the time limit for each member making a statement is five minutes.

42 Condolences

 

(1)

Subject to paragraph (2) precedence on a sitting Tuesday will be given to:

 

 

(a)

a condolence motion in the event of the death of:

 

 

 

(i)

a sitting member or a member from the preceding Parliament; or

 

 

 

(ii)

a past or present Governor, Premier, Presiding Officer, Leader of the Opposition, leader of a recognised political party, Leader of the Government or Opposition in the Legislative Council; or

 

 

 

(iii)

a person who had previous distinguished ministerial service or other distinguished service in Victoria; or

 

 

 

(iv)

any other person, subject to the agreement of the House.

 

 

(b)

an announcement by the Speaker in relation to the deaths of former members not referred to in sub-paragraph (a). After the announcement the Speaker will ask members to rise in their places as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased. The Speaker will then send a message of sympathy from the House to the relatives of the deceased --

 

(2)

During the first sitting week of a new Parliament or session condolences may, at the discretion of the government, be given precedence on any sitting day other than the opening day.

 

(3)

Where a condolence motion occurs under paragraph (1)(a), unless otherwise ordered, the House will adjourn for a period of one hour at the conclusion of the motion.   

43 Ministerial statements

 

A minister may make a statement during government business and without leave on the following basis:

 

(1)

During formal business, or at a break in business, the minister must give notice of intention to make a statement at a specified time later that sitting day, not less than two hours from the time notice is given.

 

(2)

The minister must, prior to or at the time of giving notice, provide a copy of the statement to the Speaker, the leaders of the opposition and the third party or their nominees, and any independent members.

 

(3)

The minister must hold discussions with the leaders, or their nominees about the number of members to speak in reply. Following those discussions the minister must determine the number and advise the Speaker. The Speaker will announce the decision prior to calling the minister to make the statement.

 

(4)

At the time specified by the minister for the statement to be made, the Speaker will interrupt the business before the House and call the minister, provided that, if at the specified time the House is not dealing with government business, the statement will be deferred until government business is called on and then dealt with as the first item of such business.

 

(5)

The business under discussion at the time of the interruption will be resumed immediately after all responses to the statement have been completed, and any member speaking at the time of the interruption may then continue his or her speech.

 

(6)

The minister may speak for no more than 20 minutes. In responding the lead speaker for the opposition may speak for a maximum of 20 minutes. Subject to the determination made under paragraph (3), any other member may speak for a maximum of 10minutes.