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Factsheet No. 8 - Petitions

Factsheet No. 8 - Petitions

​​​Petitioning the Parliament is one of the most traditional and direct ways that individuals can place their views or concerns about a matter before the Parliament. This factsheet explains the petitioning process in the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, including how individuals can have petitions presented to the Assembly and what happens after a petition has been received.

​Contents

  • What role do Members play?
  • How do individuals submit petitions?
  • What happens next?


​What role do Members Play?
In the Legislative Assembly petitions may only be presented by Members of the Assembly. Individuals seeking to have a petition presented should contact their local Member in the first instance to request the Member to present the petition on their behalf. Members' contact details are available on the Parliament's website.

It is the responsibility of Members to ensure that any petitions they present conforms to the Legislative Assembly's rules about petitions (see below).

Members must sign the front sheet of any petition that they present and, if applicable, certify that the petition has 500 or more signatures, or 10,000 or more signatures.

How do individuals prepare petitions?
The Legislative Assembly's rules state that all petitions must be set out in a particular way and contain specific information for them to be accepted. A sample form is available on the Parliament's website.

You may contact the Legislative Assembly Table Office on 9230 3505 before you begin a petition, to check that the petition is in order.

Rules for the content of petitions


​Petitions must
:

  • be addressed to "the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly in Parliament assembled".
  • contain the names and addresses of the petitioners and their own original signatures. Any additional requests for information not required under the Standing Orders, such as telephone numbers or e-mails, should be clearly listed as optional.
  • state the facts which the petitioners wish to bring to the notice of the Legislative Assembly.
  • conclude with a request that the House do, or do not do, something or take some course of action. Each page of a petition seeking signatures must be headed with the words of the request.
  • be clearly written, typed or printed and not have anything attached to them.
  • be respectful, decorous and temperate in their language.
  • be in English, or be accompanied by a translation certified to be correct by the Member lodging the petition.
  • be in an original document format, not a postcard, leaflet or the like.


Petitions must not:

  • contain irrelevant statements or information, including logos, photos, slogans etc.
  • include headings that refer to an individual Member, or which contain photographs of a Member or similar information judged as "additional" to the subject of the petition.
  • contain material of a political campaigning nature.
  • be altered in any way from the petition as signed by the petitioners.
  • be signed (as a petitioner) by the Member presenting the petition.


Signatures and other petitioner details​​

A petition must contain at least one signature, and every signature must be original hand-writing and must not be pasted on, photocopied or transferred in any way. Every person signing a petition must write their full address after their signature.

Lodging petitions

Members must lodge  petitions with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, via the Table Office, by 12 noon on the day it is to be reported in the House. Petitions lodged after 12 noon will be presented the following sitting day.


What happens next?
The Clerk announces receipt of petitions after Question Time each sitting day. Petitions with more than 10,000 signatures are announced by the Speaker.

The subject matter of petitions and names of the Members that lodge them are published in the Votes and Proceedings, and the terms of the petitions are printed in Hansard.

Petitions are Tabled Papers and are published on the website along with the Ministers' answers.

A copy of each petition received is sent to the Minister responsible for the subject matter of the petition.

Ministers are required to provide a response to petitions signed by 500 or more persons. Responses must be provided within 35 calendar days from the date a petition is received. The response is also reported to the House and published.

Petitions containing 10,000 or more signatures are discussed in the Legislative Assembly on sitting Thursdays at 4.30 pm. Dates for specific 10,000 signature petition discussions are published on the Parliament's website and in the Business​ Paper​.