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Snapshots – Passing a Bill

Video duration: 8 min 35

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Opening credits showing images of Parliament in action. Title: Snapshots of Parliament - Passing a Bill

Music

Presenter stands in the House of Representatives and speaks to the camera.

Title: First reading – House of Representatives

The Hon Warren Truss MP, the Minister for Transport, stands at the Despatch Box in the House of Representatives.  The Speaker, Clerks and other members of parliament are also shown.

Presenter: The Parliament of Australia has the power to make laws for the whole nation. To become a law, a bill must go through several stages of debate and decision-making.

All bills must be passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and be signed by the Governor-General.

Most bills start in the House of Representatives, although they can also be introduced in the Senate.

To begin with, the minister presents the bill and a written explanation of the bill. The Clerk then reads the title of the bill. Each time the bill is read by the Clerk the bill moves to the next stage.

Clerk stands to read the title of the bill.

Clerk: First reading, a Bill for an Act to amend the Qantas Sale Act 1992, and for other purposes.

Footage of the House of Representatives.

Presenter: The minister moves, or requests, that the bill be read a second time and then makes a speech explaining what the bill is about.

Mr Truss stands and speaks at the Despatch Box.

 Mr Truss: Madam Speaker, I move that the bill be now read a second time. This bill is a key part of the government's commitment to ensuring a strong Australian-based aviation industry in, and for, this country.

Presenter stands in the House of Representatives and speaks to the camera.

Presenter: The debate is then usually adjourned to allow members of parliament to examine the bill and decide what they think about it. On a later day, the second reading debate begins. This gives members of parliament a chance to speak about the main idea of the bill.

Various members of the House make speeches about the bill.

Mr Scott Morrison: ...And so the question for us today is: how do we make Qantas stronger? How do we equip it to be able to combat the challenges that they face in the future and succeed—as they always have succeeded?

Mr Bill Shorten: ...And we hear this nonsense about a level playing field. What a load of rubbish. A level playing field for Qantas? It’s a level playing field for Australia's national carrier to be purchased by either government in China or governments in the Middle East.

Mr Dan Tehan: Getting rid of the Qantas Sale Act is in the national interest. Qantas thinks it’s a good idea, Virgin thinks it’s a good idea, the government thinks it’s a good idea.

Mr Chris Bowen: Because if there was a change in the ownership of Qantas, and if Qantas were broken up as the government themselves accept would be the inevitable consequence of the passage of this bill...

Footage of the House of Representatives.

Presenter: At the end of the debate, members vote on whether the bill should be read a second time. This indicates whether they agree with the main idea of the bill.

The Deputy Speaker in the chair in the House of Representatives.

Deputy Speaker: The question is that this bill be now read a second time.

Footage of the House of Representatives.

Title: Second Reading – House of Representatives

The Deputy Speaker in the chair.

The Clerk stands to read the title of the bill.

Presenter: If the House agrees, the Clerk reads out the title of the bill a second time and it moves onto the next stage.

Deputy Speaker: The question is therefore resolved in the affirmative. Clerk.

Clerk: Second reading, a Bill for an Act to amend the Qantas Sale Act 1992, and for other purposes.

Presenter stands in the House of Representatives and speaks to the camera.

Presenter: At this time, the House can examine the different parts of the bill in more detail. Members of parliament can also look at making changes to the bill to improve it. This stage is called consideration in detail.

Mr Albanese stands and speaks at the Despatch Box.

Mr Anthony Albanese: If the minister can respond to the challenge which if this bill is passed will be what occurs in terms of the breakup of Qantas.

Presenter stands in the House of Representatives and speaks to the camera.

Presenter: If the House decides not to consider the bill in detail this stage can be skipped. Next, members of parliament vote on whether the bill should be read a third time.

Title: Third reading – House of Representatives

Mr Truss stands at the Despatch Box. The Speaker in the chair.

Mr Truss: Madam Speaker, I move that the bill be read a third time.

The Speaker: The question is now that the bill be read a third time. All those in favour please say ‘Aye’, to the contrary ‘No’. I think the ‘Ayes’ have it. Division required. Ring the bells for one minute.

Footage of the division, or vote, in the House. The Speaker announces the result of the division.

The Speaker: The result of the division is ‘Ayes’ 83, ‘Noes’ 53. The question is therefore resolved in the affirmative.

The Clerk stands to read the title of the bill.

Some members leave the chamber.

Presenter: If the House agrees, the Clerk reads out the title of the bill a third time.

Clerk: Third reading, a Bill for an Act to amend the Qantas Sale Act 1992, and for other purposes.

Presenter: This signals that the bill has been passed by the House of Representatives.

 Presenter stands in the Senate and speaks to the camera.

Presenter: The bill is then sent to the Senate, which may decide to refer it to a committee for further investigation. The committee reports to the Senate on its findings. In the Senate the bill also goes through three readings. The Clerk reads the title of the bill for a first time.

Title: First reading – Senate

The Clerk stands to read the title of the bill.

Clerk: A Bill for an Act to amend the Qantas Sale Act 1992, and for other purposes.

Title: Second reading – Senate

Various senators make speeches about the bill.

Presenter: Then the second reading debate begins. This gives senators the chance to debate the main idea of the bill.

Senator Doug Cameron: The legislation allows for Qantas international to be separated from Qantas domestic. Labor does not support these changes.

Senator Lee Rhiannon: The Greens are firmly committed to keeping Qantas Australian owned. We argue the case because we need a national carrier.

Senator Sean Edwards: The changes the government seeks to make to this Qantas Sale Act are for one purpose and one purpose only – to allow Qantas to compete with their other international carriers on a level playing field.

Senator Jacqui Lambie: I rise to make a short contribution to the Qantas Sale Amendment Bill 2014. Palmer United will oppose this government bill because it will enable the sale and greater foreign ownership of our national airline.

Presenter: At the end of the second reading debate, the Senate votes on the bill. This indicates whether senators agree with the main idea of the bill.

Senator Nova Peris in the President’s chair with the Clerks seated at the table in the Senate.

Senator Nova Peris: The question is that the Qantas Sale Amendment Bill 2014 be now read a second time.

Footage of the Senate.

Presenter: Once the Senate agrees to the main idea of the bill, it then examines the different parts of the bill in more detail. In the Senate, this stage is called Committee of the Whole. At this time, amendments, or changes, to the bill are also considered and voted on.

Senator Doug Cameron: The opposition has three amendments in relation to this bill.

Senator David Johnston: The government will support the Australian Labor Party's amendment to this bill.

Senator Lee Rhiannon: The Greens do not support Labor's amendments that, if passed, would clearly increase the level of foreign ownership.

Footage of the Deputy President and Clerks at the table in the Senate.

Deputy President: The question now is that this bill as amended be agreed to. Those of that opinion say ‘Aye’, those against say ‘No’. I think the ‘Ayes’ have it. The ‘Noes’ have it? Division required. Ring the bells for one minute.

Footage of the division, or vote, in the Senate. The Deputy President and Clerks are shown at the table.

Deputy President: Order. There being 40 ‘Ayes’ and 15 ‘Noes’, the question is resolved in the affirmative.

Presenter stands in the Senate and speaks to the camera.

Presenter: After this, the Senate votes on the bill in its final form. This includes any amendments agreed to by the Senate.

Title: Third reading – Senate

The President and Clerks are shown at the table. The minister stands to speak.

Footage of the division or vote.

The Clerk stands to read the title of the bill.

The President: Minister.

Senator Johnston: I move that the bill be read a third time.

The President: The question is that the bill be read a third time. Those of that opinion say ‘Aye’, those against say ‘No’. I think the ‘Ayes’ have it. Division required. Order. There being 44 ‘Ayes and 15 ‘Noes’, the matter is resolved in the affirmative. Clerk.

Clerk: A Bill for an Act to amend the Qantas Sale Act 1992, and for other purposes.

Speaker, Clerks and various members of parliament are shown at work in the House of Representatives.

Presenter: If the Senate amends the bill, it is returned to the House of Representatives. It can only become a law if the House accepts these changes.

The Speaker: I then call the Parliamentary Secretary.

Mr Steve Ciobo: I move that the amendments be agreed to. Madam Speaker.

Various members of parliament speak on the bill.

Mr Adam Bandt: The Greens support the amendments that have been made in the Senate. We are disappointed that changes have been made with respect to the ownership rules.

Mr Jamie Briggs: ... it was clear that the Senate would not accept the bill in its original form, and the government determined that the best course of action in the current circumstances would be to accept the opposition's amendments.

Mr Bill Shorten: I rise to speak in support of the amendments to the Qantas Sale Amendment Bill 2014... I am proud that on this issue this Parliament has been able to reach a consensus, a compromise.

Speaker, Clerks and various members of parliament are shown in the House of Representatives.

The Speaker: The question is that the amendments be agreed to. All those in favour please say ‘Aye’, to the contrary ‘No’. The ‘Ayes’ have it.

Presenter stands in the Senate and speaks to the camera.

Title: Parliamentary Education Office. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2015.

Parliamentary Education Office logo

If the House agrees to the Senate's amendments, the bill is then sent to the Governor-General, who signs it, giving Royal Assent on behalf of the Queen. Finally, the bill becomes an Act of Parliament – a law for Australia.

Music.

Note: This video was correct at time of production.