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Parliamentary Procedures, Rules And Occasions

The Parliament operates under a set of procedures that are deeply rooted in British parliamentary history.

Parliamentary procedure is often a mystery to the casual observer. Many arcane rituals and processes are followed every day. Curiously-named people officiate. The rules seem to be constantly under challenge from members.

From the ceremonial opening of the Parliament by the Governor-General, to the proclamation that dissolves each Parliament, there is a vast array of sometimes arcane procedures and occasions.

The procedures and processes of the Parliament are principally set down in the Standing Orders of each house.

House Procedures

Senate Procedures

Sitting Days

Opening Parliament

One of the main ceremonial duties of the Governor-General is to open the proceedings of the Commonwealth Parliament following each election. The Governor-General summons members of the House of Representatives to the Senate chamber and delivers a speech prepared by the government.

Archived Items


This is a set of factsheets issued by the Australian Parliament in 1996.

Archived News Items

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Malcolm Farnsworth
© 1995-2024