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Routine of Business

Routine of Business

Following the lunch break on each sitting day, the House resumes at 2.15 pm. 

Before Question Time begins the Speaker has a number of other items of business to complete. The Speaker may report messages from the Governor, inform the House about special events or commemorations as well as acknowledge visiting delegations and invited guests.

The House then proceeds to consider formal business:

Ministerial Statements

Ministers may make statements in relation to the Government's policies, major incidents or other matters for which they have ministerial responsibility. Ministerial statements may be made at times indicated in the Routine of Business, or at any other times by leave of the House (Standing Order 103). Ministerial statements do not have a time limit, and the Leader of the Opposition or any Member deputed may respond for the same period of time (Standing Order 104).

Giving of Notices of Motions

The Speaker then asks for Notices of Motions for Government Business. Notices of Motions for Government Business are made by Ministers who must hand a written copy of the notice to the Clerks at the Table - Standing Order 134.

The Speaker then asks if there are Notices of Motions for Private Members' Bills, followed by Notices of Motions for Business which takes Precedence.

Business with Precedence (under Standing Order 118)

Certain matters are accorded precedence over other business. Such business includes: 

  • no confidence motions in the Government, 
  • no confidence in a Minister or the Speaker; 
  • censure of a Member or the Speaker; 
  • dissent from a Speaker's ruling; 
  • matters of privilege or contempt; 
  • expulsion of a Member; 
  • arrangement of business of the House; 
  • days and hours of sitting; 
  • disallowance of statutory rules; 
  • votes of thanks or condolence; 
  • printing of papers; 
  • or other business accorded precedence by the House.

The Speaker calls the Clerk to read items o
f business with precedence if any have been identified - Standing Order 118.

Placing and Disposal of Business

The Speaker informs the House of General Business Notices of Motions which have lapsed because they have not been commenced or completed within three months of being placed on the Business Paper - Standing Order 105 (six months for bills). 

The Speaker then gives Members an opportunity to postpone, withdraw or discharge any other business standing in their name on the Business Paper - Standing Order 100.

For more information on the Placing or Disposal of Business see pages 54-57 of A Short Guide to the Procedures of the Legislative Assembly.

Question Time

The House proceeds to Question Time, when questions are asked of Ministers (or Committee Chairs - although this happens rarely) without prior notice.

Footage of Question Time is often broadcast as part of News and Current Affairs programs and it is streamed live around Parliament House.  ‚Äč

Public Interest Debate

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, prior to Question Time, the Speaker announces the topic of the Public Interest Debate, which is conducted at 5 pm the same day. The debate is forty minutes in duration, with up to seven Members speaking, including the mover of the motion who speaks for seven minutes with a three minute reply, and six other Members speaking for five minutes each. At least one Member must be from the Crossbench.

Tuesday topics are submitted by the Government; Wednesday topics submitted by the Opposition two out of three Wednesdays; and by the Crossbench one out of three Wednesdays - Standing Order 109.