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Time limits on debate

Time limits on speeches and for the consideration of particular items of business are provided for in a number of standing orders.

The following list consolidates these time limits and indicates where they can be located in this volume (SO – standing order).

1 Debate

 

General – 20 mins

SO 189(1)
Extension of time – 10 mins SO 189(1)
In committee – 15 mins SO 189(3)
In reply – 20 mins SO 189(2)
   

2 Bills

 
First reading of non-amendable bill – 15 mins SO 112(2)
Second reading – 20 mins SO 189(1)
In committee – 15 mins SO 189(3)
Third reading – 20 mins SO 189(1)
   
Selection of Bills Committee – adoption of report – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 24A(7)
   
Reference of a bill to committee – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 115(6)
   
3 Matters of public importance/urgency – 10 mins SO 75
(limit for debate 60 mins, or if no motions are moved after
question time to take note of answers, 90 mins)
SO 75(7)
   
4 Matters of public interest – 15 mins SO 57(2)
   
5 Questions  
Without notice: question – 1 min.; answer – 4 mins;
supplementary questions and answers – 1 min. each
SO 72(3)
   
Motions relating to answers – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 72(4)
   
6 Committee reports and government responses and
Auditor–General’s reports
 
Motions relating to committee report on Wednesday or
Thursday – 10 mins (limit for debate 60 mins)
SO 62(4)
   
Resumption of debate on motions for consideration
or adoption – 10 mins (limit for debate 60 mins)
SO 62(1)
   
7 Government documents  
Motion to take note, Tuesday and Wednesday – 5 mins
(limit for debate 30 mins)
SO 61(3)
   
Resumption Thursday – 5 mins (limit for debate 60 mins) SO 61(3)
   
8 General – documents  
Motions moved by leave – 10 mins  
(limit for debate 30 mins per motion, 60 mins for all motions) SO 169(2)
   
9 Suspension of standing orders – 5 mins  
(limit for debate 30 mins) SO 209(4)
   
10 Adjournment – 10 mins  
(limit for debate 40 mins, except Tuesdays) SO 54(5)

Note: Time taken to make or determine points of order and form a quorum is not deducted from the time for the senator to speak or ask a question or the time for a debate except the adjournment debate (standing orders 52(7), 197(6)).

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SENATE NUMBERS  
Quorum 19 (one-quarter)
Absolute majority 39

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