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About Parliament – The House of Representatives

Video duration: 4 min 27

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Opening credits showing images of the Senate chamber, the House of Representatives chamber, the Australian Flag, the Governor General, and the Main Committee Room. Music.
Title: About Parliament, The House of Representatives. The House of Representatives.
The Presenter stands in the House of Representatives. Presenter: The federal Parliament has two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. This is the House of Representatives, which is often called the 'people's House'.
Members of the public stand in voting booths then one person places their vote in the House of Representatives ballot box. Presenter: At election time, the people of Australia vote in their local regions to elect one person to represent them in the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives chamber. Presenter: 150 people are elected as members in the House, many of them representing political parties.
The Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, speaks from the despatch box to members in the House of Representatives.

Prime Minister: But when Australians pull together, when they work together in a common cause, they can tackle anything.

Presenter: The House of Representatives is where government is formed.

A diagram of the seating plan of the House of Representatives demonstrates that more than half the total number of seats is required for a majority. Presenter: The political party or coalition that has the support of the majority of Members in the House, which means at least 76, forms the government. The leader of the government then becomes the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, speaks from the despatch box to members in the House of Representatives. Presenter: The political party or coalition that has the support of the majority of Members in the House, which means at least 76, forms the government. The leader of the government then becomes the Prime Minister.
The Leader of the Opposition, The Hon Bill Shorten MP, speaks from the despatch box to members in the House of Representatives. Presenter: The next largest party forms the Opposition or 'alternative government'.
The Presenter stands in the House of Representatives. Presenter: The House of Representatives has many traditions which date back to the early British Parliament. One such tradition is the use of green to represent the House and another is the ceremonial use of the Mace.
The Serjeant-at-Arms, carrying the mace, leads the Speaker, the Hon Tony Smith MP, into the House of Representatives chamber. Presenter: In the House of Representatives, each day begins with the Speaker entering the chamber preceded by the Serjeant-at-Arms holding the Mace. The Mace is then placed on the central Table, pointing to the government side.
The Speaker, the Hon Tony Smith MP, gives the acknowledgement of country from the Speaker's chair in the House of Representatives. Presenter: The Mace is an important symbol of the authority of the Speaker and of the House itself.
The Presenter stands in the House of Representatives. Presenter: The chamber of the House of Representatives is arranged in a horseshoe shape with the Speaker sitting at the front. Members sit in the surrounding seats to carry out the business of Parliament and represent the people of Australia.
Members of the House of Representatives participating in Question Time. Presenter: Members of the government sit to the right of the Speaker, and the Opposition, along with Independent and minor party members, sit to the left.
The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, the member for Bradfield, speaks from the despatch box to the members of the House of Representatives. Mr Paul Fletcher MP: I thank you Mr Deputy Speaker. I'd like to thank members who have contributed to the debate on the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Amendment Bill 2017.
The Hon Karen Andrews MP, the member for McPherson, speaks from the despatch box to the members of the House of Representatives. Presenter: Members spend a little over half their time considering ideas for new laws. Most new laws, or changes to old ones, begin in the House of Representatives.
The Presenter stands in the House of Representatives. Presenter: As well as debating laws, members can speak in the House of Representatives about important local and national issues.
Ms Lisa Chesters MP, the member for Bendigo, speaks from the despatch box to the members of the House of Representatives.

Ms Lisa Chesters MP: ...and many of our communities most in need of support. In my own electorate of Bendigo...

Presenter: In the chamber, members discuss a range of matters of national interest.

Ms Sarah Henderson, the Member for Corangamite, speaks to members in the House of Representatives. Ms Sarah Henderson MP: ...for nominating this wonderful part of the world. I've been a very big advocate, Mr Speaker, for this region and for National Heritage Listing.

Mr David Coleman, the Member for Banks, chairs a meeting of the House of Representatives Economics Committee in the Main Committee Room.

A witness gives evidence before the committee.

Presenter: In parliamentary committees, they listen to the views of the community and make recommendations for government action.

Witness: In my address to you in October I observed that a banking licence is a privilege.

Question Time in the House of Representatives.

The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Bill Shorten, questions the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.

The Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, responds to a question.

Presenter: During Question Time, members question government ministers about their actions and decisions.

Leader Of The Opposition: Thank you Mr Speaker. My question is to the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister: Mr Speaker, the speed of the reaction of the Australian Defence Force should make every single one of us so proud.

Members in the House of Representatives give 90 second statements.

Mr Adam Bandt, the member for Melbourne, speaks in the House of Representatives.

Presenter: Each member of the House of Representatives is also a spokesperson for their local region.

Mr Adam Bandt MP: ...in my electorate. Happy New Year to all those Melburnians celebrating the Year of the Rooster. And thank you for all that you do to make Melbourne the place that it is today.

The Hon Ken Wyatt, the member for Hasluck, speaks in the House of Representatives.

Ms Ann Sudmalis, the member for Gilmore, speaks in the House of Representatives.

Presenter: This means members of the House can consider how their decisions will impact on local regions around Australia.

Ms Ann Sudmalis MP: There have not been, nor will there be any cut to education funding in Gilmore.

Title: Parliamentary Education Office. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2017.

Parliamentary Education Office logo

Parliamentary Education Office website: www.peo.gov.au

Presenter: More information about the House of Representatives is available from the Parliamentary Education Office website.