The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has issued a proclamation summoning the Parliament to meet on November 12.
The proclamation is issued under Section 5 of the Constitution, which empowers the Governor-General to “appoint such times for holding the sessions of the Parliament as he thinks fit”.
As in all such matters, the proclamation is issued on the advice of the Prime Minister. It is the government that has decided when Parliament is to meet, not the Governor-General.
Section 5 of the Constitution also says: “After any general election the Parliament shall be summoned to meet not later than thirty days after the day appointed for the return of the writs.”
The “day appointed” is November 13 but all the writs for the elections have already been returned. The Parliament is expected to meet for four weeks before Christmas, so Section 5 has been satisfied.
Text of the Governor-General’s proclamation summoning Parliament.
I, QUENTIN ALICE LOUISE BRYCE AC CVO, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting under section 5 of the Constitution:
• appoint Tuesday, 12 November 2013, at 10.30 am as the day and time for the Parliament to meet at Parliament House to hold a session of the Parliament; and
• summon all Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to meet at that day, time and place.
Signed and sealed with
the Great Seal of Australia on
1 November 2013
By Her Excellency’s Command