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A Sitting Day in the Parliament

A Sitting Day in the Parliament

The Houses of Parliament do not sit every working day of the year. Ministers and Members have full roles outside sitting times and the business of Parliament does usually not require more than 50-60 sitting days each year.

Annual sittings are divided into two sessions - the Budget Session (from February to early July) and the Spring Session (from September to December).

Most sitting weeks are three days, sometimes four, usually Tuesday to Thursday and often Friday as well.

Sitting hours vary between the two Houses, usually beginning at 12.00pm (2.30 in Legislative Council) on Tuesdays and 10.00am (11.00am in Legislative Council) on other days. Sittings usually end around 10.30 in the evening but will sometimes go beyond this into the early hours of the next day (particularly in the Legislative Council).

Details of sitting day programs are provided for each Chamber but the agenda below gives a generalised view of the routine of a sitting day.

A Typical Sitting Day:
    • Presiding Officer takes the Chair
    • The Prayer
    • Ministerial Statements
    • Notices of Motions
    • Tabling of Papers (eg Departmental Reports)
    • Presentation of Petitions
    • Placing or Disposal of Business (allows Members to withdraw or postpone any item of business they have put up)
    • Tabling of Reports from Parliamentary Committees
    • Question Time
    • Motions for Urgent Consideration
    • Matters of Public Importance
    • Government Business (Legislation)
    • Private Member's Statements (Members may make brief speeches on matters of particular concern to them)
    • Adjournment