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About petitions

About petitions

Petitions allow members of the public to directly place their issues before the Parliament. A petition helps raise awareness of an issue in the community and lets Members of Parliament know what action the community wants the Parliament to take, but it doesn't compel the Parliament to take action.

Standing orders 119 - 125  contain the rules for petitions, summarised below. Petitions that do not conform with the rules are 'out of order' and will not be accepted. Contact the Legislative Assembly Table Office on 9230 3505 before you begin a petition, to make sure it is in order.

Petitions can only be presented by Members of the Legislative Assembly. Petitioners should contact their local Member to request presentation of their petition. Members' contact details are available on our website in the Members' section.

A petition must:

  • be addressed to 'the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly'.
  • set out the facts which the petitioners are bringing to the attention of the Legislative Assembly (sometimes called 'the grievance').
  • have a clear request that the Assembly do something (sometimes called 'the prayer').
  • be 'respectful, decorous and temperate' in language.
  • be presented by a Member of the Legislative Assembly on behalf of the petitioners.
  • Contain the names and addresses of the petitioners and their own original signatures.
  • Contain at least one signature:
    • Every signature must be original hand-writing, and signatures must not be pasted on, photocopied or transferred in any way.
    • Every person signing a petition must write their full Australian address after their signature.
  • Be clearly written, typed or printed and not have anything attached to it.
  • Be in English, or be accompanied by a translation certified to be correct by the Member presenting the petition.
  • Not be altered in any way from the petition as signed by the petitioners.

 

A petition must not:

  • have letters, affidavits or other documents attached.
  • make reference to any debate in Parliament.
  • be signed (as a petitioner) by the Member presenting the petition.


Lodgment

A petition must be lodged with the Clerk (in the Legislative Assembly Table Office) by the Member presenting it by 12 noon on the day it is to be reported in the House. Petitions lodged after 12 noon will be reported on the following sitting day.

What will happen next?

  • The Clerk will announce receipt of petitions to the House after Question Time. Petitions with more than 10,000 signatures will be announced by the Speaker.
  • The subject matter of the petition and the Member who lodged it will be published in the Votes and Proceedings and the terms of each petition will be printed in Hansard.
  • A copy of every petition received is forwarded to the Minister responsible for the subject of the petition.
  • Ministers are required to lodge, with the Clerk, a response to a petition signed by 500 or more persons. The response must be received within 35 calendar days from the date a petition is received. The response is also reported and published.
  • Petitions of more than 10,000 signatures will be scheduled for debate in the House. Dates for petition debates are published on the Parliament's website and in the Business Paper.

 

 Click here for a sample petition form

For further information about petitions see: