ACT Legislative Assembly


Chapter 5

Sitting and Adjournment of the Assembly

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

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

Members not to leave before quorum present

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

Prayer or Reflection

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

Members, at the beginning of this sitting of the Assembly, I would ask you to stand in silence and pray or reflect on our responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory. (Amended 1 June 1995)

The Speaker shall also acknowledge, at the beginning of each sitting day, that the Assembly is meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians. (Amended 6 March 2008, 2 April 2009 and 10 May 2018)

Quorum during sitting

Vote indicating lack of 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)

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

All Members to remain while bells rung

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)

Adjournment and next meeting

Adjournment of Assembly

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

provided that:

  1. (a) if a vote is in progress at the time for interruption, that vote, and any vote consequent upon that vote, shall be completed and the result announced;

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

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

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

  5. (e) if the question – That the Assembly do now adjourn – is negatived, the Assembly shall resume the proceedings at the point at which they had been interrupted; and

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

Minister may move adjournment

35. A motion for the adjournment of the Assembly 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.

Footnotes

[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).

Return to footnote 7 referrer

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Page last updated on 16 May 2018
2015 Legislative Assembly for the ACT