Speaking in Parliament - Legislation

When Parliamentarians speak in support or opposition of legislation and amendments they are given fifteen minutes to do so. This is the longest time I have spoken in the parliament. The speaking lists are pinned in the whips office and members nominate to speak.

This is a debate and speakers from each side; government and opposition take it in turns. Members from the minor parties and independents go on the opposition speakers' list.

The time allocated for the debate is determined by the government and generally begins in the House of Representatives Chamber but may be moved up to the second chamber called The Federation Chamber. Debate continues until the lists are finished or until a motion to suspend the debate is moved and supported. This is often when the bells ring for a division (a vote) and all members make their way to the chamber and sit on the yea or the no side of the chamber and their vote is recorded.

This is also when oppositions often argue that debate is being gagged or stopped before it has been exhausted.

At the end of a debate when all speakers have spoken a vote will also often occur to either support the legislation or amendment and again a division may be called to record the votes.




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