ACT Legislative Assembly


CHAPTER 5

SITTING AND ADJOURNMENT OFTHE ASSEMBLY

This chapter sets out procedures relating to hours of meeting, quorumsand adjournment.

Hour of Meeting
Quorum at time of meeting
Prayer or Reflection
Quorum during sitting
Adjournment and next meeting

Hour of meeting

27.     Unless otherwise ordered, the Assembly shall meet at 10 am. (Amended 4 May 1995, 7 December 2004 and 6 March 2008) (Temporary order 9 December 2008. Adopted 22 March 2012)

Quorum at time of meeting

Chair taken, orAssembly adjourned

28.     The Chair shall be taken at the time appointed on every day fixed for the meeting of the Assembly, but if a quorum [7] is not present and if within 5 minutes, the bells having been rung, a quorum is still not present, the Speaker shall adjourn the Assembly.

If the Speaker is satisfiedthere is likely to be a quorum within a reasonable time, it shall be announcedthat the Chair will be taken at a stated time; if at that time there is not aquorum the Speaker shall adjourn the Assembly until the next sitting day.

Members not to leavebefore quorum present

29.     A Member shall not be permitted towithdraw from the Chamber within 5 minutes after the time appointed for themeeting of the Assembly unless a quorum is obtained.

Prayeror Reflection

30.     Upon the Speaker taking the Chair atthe commencement of each sitting, and a quorum of Members being present, thefollowing shall be read:

Members, at thebeginning of this sitting of the Assembly, I would ask you to stand in silenceand pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.  (Amended1 June 1995)

The Speaker shall alsoacknowledge, at the beginning of each period of sittings, that the Assembly ismeeting on the lands of the traditional custodians. (Amended6 March 2008 and 2 April 2009)

Quorumduring sitting

Vote indicating lackof a quorum

31.     If it appears from the result of a vote or ballot of the Assembly that a quorum is not present, the Speaker shall adjourn the Assembly; and no decision of the Assembly shall be considered to have been arrived at by such vote or ballot. (Amended 6 March 2008)

Ifthe Speaker is satisfied there is likely to be a quorum within a reasonabletime, it shall be announced that the Chair will be taken at a stated time; ifat that time there is not a quorum the Speaker shall adjourn the Assembly untilthe next sitting day.

Lack of quorum noticed

32.     If any Member takes notice that a quorum is not present the Speaker shall count the Assembly; if a quorum is not present within 4 minutes the Assembly shall be adjourned.

If the Speaker is satisfied there is likely to be aquorum within a reasonable time, the Speaker shall announce that the Chair willbe taken at a stated time; if at that time there is not a quorum the Speakershall adjourn the Assembly until the next sitting day.

All Members to remain while bellsrung

33.     When the attention of the Speaker has been called to the fact that there is not a quorum present and the bells are rung as in a vote, no Member shall leave the area within the seats allotted to Members until a quorum is present or 4 minutes have elapsed. (Amended 6 March 2008)

Adjournmentand next meeting

Adjournment ofAssembly

34.     Unless otherwise ordered, at 6 pm oneach sitting day, the Speaker shall propose the question – That the Assembly donow adjourn – which question shall be open to debate. No amendment may be moved to this question:

providedthat:

(a)     if a vote is in progress at the time for interruption, thatvote, and any vote consequent upon that vote, shall be completed and the resultannounced;

(b)     if, on the question – That the Assembly do now adjourn – beingproposed, a Minister requires the question to be put forthwith without debate,the Speaker shall forthwith put the question;

(c)     a motion for the adjournment of the Assembly may be moved by aMinister at an earlier hour;

(d)     any business under discussion and not disposed of at the time ofthe adjournment shall be set down on the Notice Paper for the next sitting;

(e)     if the question – That the Assembly do now adjourn – isnegatived, the Assembly shall resume the proceedings at the point at which theyhad been interrupted; and

(f)      at the conclusion of the time allotted for the adjournment, theSpeaker shall forthwith adjourn the Assembly until the time of its next meeting.(Amended 7 December 2004 and 6 March 2008)

Minister may moveadjournment

35.     A motion for the adjournment of theAssembly may be moved only by a Minister. An amendment may not be moved to this motion.

Motion to fix next meeting

36.     A motion for the purpose of fixing the next meeting of the Assembly may be moved by a Minister at any time without notice.


[7]  Subsection 18(1) of the Australian  Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 provides that a quorum is an absolute majority of the Members (i.e. 13 Members).

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Page last updated on 14 September 2017
2015 Legislative Assembly for the ACT