Passing a bill

Follow a bill from its introduction in the House of Representatives to its signing into law by the Governor-General with this in-depth video about the law-making process of the Australian Parliament.

Teachers can use this video to explore law-making in the Australian Parliament with their students. This supports the Year 8 unit of work.

Duration: 8 min 35 sec

 Transcript

Vision

Audio

Opening credits showing images of Parliament in action. Title: Snapshots of Parliament - Passing a Bill. Music.
The presenter stands in the House of Representatives. 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.
Footage of the House of Representatives at work.
Title: First reading – House of Representatives.
Presenter: 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.
The Clerk stands to read the title of the bill. Clerk: First reading, a Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.
A freeze frame of the House of Representatives, showing the Speaker, the Clerks, and members. 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.
The Hon Karen Andrews MP, the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, stands and speaks at the Despatch Box. The Hon Karen Andrews MP: I move that this bill be now read a second time. On 2 May, the Turnbull government announced an extra $18.6 billion in recurrent schools funding.
The presenter stands in the House of Representatives. 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.
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, stands and speaks at the Despatch Box. The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP: As a community we should make sure you get a great education. It’s the promise that we make to every Australian child at their birth. Like John Dewey said, 'What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children. '
Mr Julian Leeser MP, the Member for Berowra, stands and speaks. Mr Julian Leeser MP: The government's Quality Schools, Quality Outcomes document released in May 2016 proposes a range of practical reforms to reverse Australia's declining performance. And that’s why I am so pleased to see that part of the package that was put together at the announcement is what’s known as Gonski 2.0.
Mr Adam Bandt MP, the Member for Melbourne, stands and speaks. Mr Adam Bandt MP: Our commitment to public schools is rock solid. We understand that all governments have a responsibility to guarantee every child access to a high quality, funded public education.
Mrs Ann Sudmalis MP, the Member for Gilmore, stands and speaks. Mrs Ann Sudmalis MP: However, there is a great deal more to education than having well-maintained buildings and increased funding: it’s the quality of our teachers and their efforts in every way to help each and every child reach their individual potential.
Footage of the House of Representatives at work.
Caption: Division in progress.
The Hon Tony Smith MP, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, conducts a vote.
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 Speaker: The question now is that this bill be now read a second time.
Footage of the House of Representatives at work.
Caption: Division in progress.
The Hon Tony Smith MP, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, announces the result of the vote.
The Clerk stands and reads 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 on to the next stage.
The Speaker: Order. The result of the division is 'Ayes' 75, and 'Noes' 70. The question is therefore resolved in the affirmative. The Clerk.
The Clerk: Second reading. A Bill for an Act to amend the Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.
The presenter stands in the House of Representatives. 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.
The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, the Member for Gorton, stands and speaks at the Despatch Box. The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP: We are in a knowledge-based globalised economy where skills and knowledge will be the most important indicator as to whether or not a country prevails or not in terms of competition.
The presenter stands in the House of Representatives. 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.
The Hon Tony Smith MP, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, conducts a vote.
Title: Third Reading, House of Representatives.
The Speaker: The question now is that this bill be now read a third time. All those of that opinion say 'aye', to the contrary 'no'. I think the 'Ayes' have it. Division required. Ring the bells for one minute.
Footage of the House of Representatives at work.
Caption: Division in progress.
The Hon Tony Smith MP, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, announces the result of the vote.
The Clerk stands and reads the title of the bill.
Presenter: If the House agrees, the Clerk reads out the title of the bill a third time.
Speaker: Resolved in the affirmative. I call the Clerk.
Clerk: Third reading. A Bill for an Act to amend the Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.
Members moving around the House of Representatives. Presenter: This signals that the bill has been passed by the House of Representatives.
The presenter stands in the Senate. 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.
Senator Sue Lines, the Deputy President of the Senate, in the President's chair in the Senate.
Title: First reading, Senate.
The Clerk of the Senate stands and reads the title of the bill.
Deputy President: I call the Clerk.
Clerk: A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.
Footage of the Senate at work.
Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins stands and speaks.
Caption: ALP, Hon. Jacinta Collins, Senator for Victoria.
Title: Second Reading, Senate.
Presenter: Then the second reading debate begins. This gives senators the chance to debate the main idea of the bill.
Senator Collins: Labor opposes both the principles and the practical effect of this legislation.
Senator Nick Xenophon stands and speaks.
Caption: NXT, Nick Xenophon, Senator for South Australia.
Senator Xenophon: It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this bill because, whatever the outcome of our consideration, it will have a far-reaching effect on a generation of children and their educational outcomes.
Senator David Fawcett stands and speaks.
The Black Rod is visible in the background.
Senator Fawcett: It’s important to realise that, whilst there is the independent sector, the Catholic sector and the state sector, that it’s not only the federal government who provides funds to these schools.
Senator Jacqui Lambie stands and speaks. Senator Lambie: As an independent, it is frustrating to see funds invested into a lengthy evidence based report and for the government of the day to bastardise the recommendations or cherry-pick recommendations to suit its political agenda.
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 the Hon Stephen Parry, the President of the Senate, conducts a vote. President: The question is that the bill be now read a second time.
Footage of the Senate at work. 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 the Hon Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Education and Training, stands and speaks.
Caption: LP, Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training.
Senator Birmingham: These amendments provide for the establishment of a national school resourcing body.
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young stands and speaks.
Caption: AG, Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator for South Australia.
Senator Hanson-Young: However, the Greens have circulated amendments to this amendment from the government, because we believe that what is currently in the amendments circulated by the government is a pale imitation of what needs to be implemented.
Senator Cory Bernardi stands and speaks. Senator Bernardi: Are there educational measurable statistics attached to your amendment, because I’d really like to consider it if there were.
Footage of the Deputy President and Clerks at the table in the Senate. Deputy President: The question is that the bill as amended be agreed to, subject to requests for amendments.
Footage of the vote in the Senate. The Deputy President and Clerks at the table.
Caption: Division in progress.
Deputy President: Order. There being 34 'Ayes' and 31 'Noes', the matter is resolved in the affirmative.
The presenter stands in the Senate. 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 conducts a vote.
Footage of the Senate at work.
Caption: Division in progress.
The Clerk stands to read the title of the bill.
President: The question is that the bill be now read a third time. Those of that opinion say 'aye', those against say 'no'. I think the 'Ayes' have it. Division required. Ring the bells.
Order. There being 34 'Ayes' and 31 'Noes', the matter is resolved in the affirmative, and I call the Clerk.
Clerk: A Bill for an Act to amend the Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.
The House of Representatives at work.
The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, the Leader of the House, stands and speaks at the Despatch Box.
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 Hon Christopher Pyne MP: Mr Speaker, I move that the amendments be agreed to.
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, stands and speaks at the Despatch Box. The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP: Mr Speaker, as the only thing before us at the moment is tipping slightly more money into this inadequate school funding bill, we accept it. We won’t oppose.
The Speaker conducts a vote. The Speaker: The question is that the requested amendments be made. All those of that opinion say 'aye', to the contrary 'no'. The Ayes have it.
The presenter stands in the Senate. 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.
Title: Parliamentary Education Office. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2015.
www.peo.gov.au
Parliamentary Education Office logo
Music.