scrutinise To examine something closely.
secondary legislation (also known as delegated legislation)
Regulations or rules made by executive government or an executive office-holder under an Act of Parliament ( law), to put in place a further law related to the existing Act.
(see Federation Chamber)
second reading The second stage of a
bill’s passage through the Parliament, in which members of parliament debate and vote on the main idea of the bill.
select committee A group of
members of parliament who inquire into and report to the Parliament on a specific issue, and who disband when they have reported.
Senate One of the two houses of the
Australian Parliament, also known as the upper house.
Senate estimates hearings Meetings of Senate committees that examine government spending and related actions and decisions.
senator A person elected to the
(see also grievance debate)
A weekly discussion in the Senate in which a senator may speak on any matter of concern to them or their constituents.
separation of powers The principle that the power to govern should be distributed between the Parliament that makes the
law, the Executive that puts the law into action and the Judiciary that interprets the law, to avoid one group having all the power, and to act as a check on the possible misuse of power.
(see also Usher of the Black Rod)
A parliamentary officer who assists the Speaker in the House of Representatives to maintain order and run the chamber, as well as providing services to members of the House of Representatives.
session A period which starts on the first sitting day after an
election or prorogation (formal ending of a session) and ends either by prorogation, a dissolution of the House of Representatives, or at the conclusion of three years from the first sitting of the House.
(see also temporary order)
A temporary rule used to manage the work of the House of Representatives, which may be adopted as a permanent rule.
shadow Cabinet The key group of decision-makers in the
opposition, consisting of the Leader of the Opposition and top-level shadow ministers.
shadow minister A
member of the opposition who scrutinises (closely examines) the work of a particular minister or government department, and explains opposition policies.
shadow ministry The entire group of
shadow ministers who scrutinise (closely examine) the work of government ministers.
shire An area of
local government, usually rural.
short title The commonly-known name of a
(see also absolute majority)
More than half of the total votes of members of parliament present in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.
sitting A meeting of a
house of parliament.
(see also President)
A member of the House of Representatives chosen by other members to run meetings of the House and to make sure the standing orders (parliamentary rules) are followed.
standing committee A group of
members of parliament who meet regularly throughout the life of a Parliament to inquire into and report on bills and issues relating to particular subjects.
standing orders The rules used to manage the work of the
House of Representatives and the Senate.
state A region with certain law-making powers, which may join with other states to make up a
state government The level of government that puts state
law into action, delivers government services and makes decisions on behalf of the people of that state.
state parliament Elected
representatives that make state laws.
statute A written
law made by a parliament.
suffrage The right to vote in an
suspend To remove a
member of parliament from the House of Representatives or the Senate, usually because of their disorderly conduct.
swinging voter A voter who transfers their support from one
political party or candidate to another at different elections.