Snapshots: Passing a Bill updated January 2018
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Snapshots: Passing a Bill updated January 2018

August 24, 2019


#Music# 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. ‘First reading, a Bill for an Act to
amend the Australian Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.’ The minister moves, or requests, that the
bill be read a second time and then makes a speech explaining what the bill is about. ‘I move that this bill be now read a second time. On the second of May, the Turnbull government
announced an extra $18.6 billion in recurrent schools funding.’ 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. ‘As a community we should make sure that you get a great education. It’s the promise 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.”‘ ‘The government’s Quality
Schools, Quality Outcomes document released in May 2016 proposes a range of practical
reforms to reverse Australia’s declining performance. That is why I am so pleased to see that part
of the package that was put together at the announcement is what is known as Gonski 2.0.’ ‘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.’ ‘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.’ 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 question now is that this
be now read a second time.’ If the House agrees, the Clerk reads out the
title of the bill a second time and it moves on to the next stage. ‘Order. The result of the division “ayes” 75, and
“noes” 70. The question is therefore resolved in the
affirmative. The Clerk.’ ‘Second reading. A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.’ 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. ‘We are in a knowledge-based
globalised economy where skills and knowledge will be the most important indicators as to whether
or not a country prevails in terms of competition.’ 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 question now is that this
bill be now be read a third time. Those of that opinion say “aye”, to the contrary “no”. I think the “ayes” have it. Division required. Ring the bells for one minute.’ If the House agrees, the Clerk reads out the
title of the bill a third time. ‘Resolved in the affirmative. I call the Clerk.’ ‘Third reading. A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian
Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.’ This signals that the bill has been passed
by the House of Representatives. 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. ‘I call the Clerk.’ ‘A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian
Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.’ Then the second reading debate begins. This gives senators the chance to debate the
main idea of the bill. ‘Labor opposes both the principles
and the practical effect of this legislation.’ ‘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.’ ‘It’s important to realise
that, whilst there is the independent sector, the Catholic sector, and the state sector, that
it is not only the federal government who provides funds to these schools.’ ‘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.’ 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. ‘The question is that the bill be
now read a second time.’ 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. ‘These amendments provide
for the establishment of a national school resourcing body.’ ‘However, the Greens
have circulated amendments to this amendment from the government, because we believe that
is currently in the amendments circulated by the government is a pale imitation of what
needs to be implemented.’ ‘Are there educational measurable statistics
attached to your amendment? I would really like to consider it if there
were.’ ‘The question is that the bill as amended be agreed to, subject to requests for amendments.’ ‘Order. There being 34 “ayes” and 31 “noes”, the matter
is resolved in the affirmative.’ After this, the Senate votes on the bill in
its final form. This includes any amendments agreed to by
the Senate. ‘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. I call the Clerk.’ ‘A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian
Education Act 2013 and for related purposes.’ 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. ‘Mr Speaker, I move
that the amendments be agreed to.’ ‘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 question is that the requested
amendments be made. All those of that opinion say “aye”, to the
contrary “no”. The “ayes” have it.’ 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#

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