Chapter 01 : Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction
Purpose of the short guide
This Guide provides a brief explanation and practical overview of the practices and procedures of the Legislative Assembly. It is not intended to be a comprehensive authority. Where appropriate, references to further information have been provided.
In addition to the resources mentioned, Members are able to contact the Clerks and staff from the Table Office for assistance with procedural queries.
Ronda Miller, 9230 2222
Mark Swinson, 9230 2223
Clerk-Assistant, Table & Serjeant-at-Arms
Les Gönye, 9230 2224
Clerk-Assistant, Committees & Corporate
Helen Minnican, 9230 2225
Level 8, 9230 2216
Procedural authorities and sources
- Constitution Act 1902 and other Acts such as the Parliamentary Evidence Act 1901, Parliamentary Papers (Supplementary Provisions) Act 1975, and Defamation Act 2005.
- Standing Orders – the main rules by which the House operates, which regulate its conduct, procedures and modes of communication with the Legislative Council. There are 370 standing orders which have been agreed to by the Legislative Assembly and approved by the Governor. They are binding and of force. Standing Orders can be suspended to allow for something not provided in, or contrary to, the standing orders. Copies are available from the Table Office.
- Sessional Orders – temporary rules that vary the existing rules or introduce new procedures. Sessional orders are agreed to by the House but do not require the Governor's approval. They are only valid for the session of Parliament for which they have been adopted.
- Precedents set by rulings from the Chair – during debates, the Chair makes rulings on the conduct of debate which assist in the interpretation of standing orders and are used as precedents for future rulings. The rulings of the Chair are contained in the publication Decisions from the Chair: Consolidated Rulings, which is updated on an annual basis and is available from the Clerk.
- New South Wales Legislative Assembly Practice, Procedure and Privilege.
- Precedents from other Parliaments – most commonly we refer to House of Representatives Practice and May's Parliamentary Practice relating to the United Kingdom House of Commons.
Parliament: the period between an election and the dissolution or expiration of the House.
Session: A Parliament can be divided into more than one session. A session begins when the Parliament meets in accordance with a proclamation issued by the Governor, and ends when the Parliament is prorogued by the Governor or when the Assembly is dissolved or expires by effluxion of time.
Sittings: a group of sitting weeks between recesses. There are usually two distinct sitting periods each year the Autumn or Budget sittings and the Spring Sittings with a winter recess.
Leave: the consent of the House to do something that is different to that provided for in the standing and sessional orders. The Chair asks "Is leave granted?" and if any Member objects, leave is automatically refused. Members must seek the leave of the Speaker to make a personal explanation, speak from the Member's seat, or incorporate material in Hansard.
Notice of motion: a notice given by a Member of a motion that they intend to move on a future day.
Order of the day: an item of business not yet concluded which the House has ordered to be taken into consideration for a future day or in some cases for a later hour of the same day.
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