Mathias Cormann and Penny Wong are putting in a motion to the Senate to limit how many motions the upper house can deal with each sitting day.
It would limit them to 12 –four for the government, four for Labor and four for the crossbench to share. That also includes motions for the production of documents.
There were more than 50 pages of motions lodged the other day, which has helped push this limiting motion along, but you have to question how this helps democracy.
Here’s the motion:
We give notice that, on the next day of sitting, we shall move
(1) That the following variations to the standing orders have effect as a temporary order until the last sitting day in June 2021:
(a) At the end of standing order 66, add:
(5) The following additional requirements apply to the consideration of general business notices of motion as formal motions:
(a) Senators may make (or have made on their behalf) only one request for formality in any sitting week.
No more than 12 motions may be dealt with as formal motions on any sitting day, comprising no more than four proposed by Government senators, four proposed by Opposition senators, and four proposed by minor party and independent senators.
(c) The motions to be considered shall be notified to the President.
(d) The allocation of motions to be taken as formal amongst minor party and independent senators each day shall be determined by the President and, across the course of a sitting week, shall be as nearly as practicable proportional to the numbers of those minor party and independent senators in the Senate.
(6) The restrictions in paragraph
(5) do not apply in respect of motions for the consideration of legislation (including the introduction of bills) or the conduct of Senate or committee business (including the appointment of a select committee).
(b) After standing order 76(7), insert:
(7A) A general business notice of motion shall not exceed 200 words, unless
it is a motion:
(a) for the consideration of legislation or the conduct of Senate or
committee business (including the appointment of a select committee), or (6) proposing an order for the production of documents.
(2) That the Procedure Committee review the operation of this order, and report to the Senate by the last sitting day in May 2021.