The right of petitioning Parliament is a fundamental right of the citizen, allowing any individual or body of individuals to place grievances directly before the Parliament. The House of Assembly will receive petitions presenting public or individual grievances on matters over which it has jurisdiction.
A petition is presented to the House by a Member on behalf of the petitioners. It is traditional that the Member to whom the petition is sent for presentation will present it, irrespective of their personal views on its contents. However, the Member is not bound to do so.
Petitions are presented int he House after Question Time each day.
A petition for presentation must be lodged with the Clerk of the House at least one hour prior to sitting at which the petition is proposed to be presented.
Each petition lodged for presentation must be endorsed at the beginning of the petition by the Member presenting it with:-
¨ the Member's
signature (placed on the page where it cannot be confused with the signatures
of the petitioners);
¨ the name of the Member's electoral division; and
¨ the number of signatories to the petition.
It is not necessary for the Member to sign each page.
Any petition not in English must be accompanied by a translation certified to be correct. The Member must certify that the translation is correct.
FORM AND CONTENT OF PETITIONS:
Standing Orders 51 to 62 provide a number of rules associated with the format and presentation of petitions. These are designed to ensure that the authenticity of petitions is established and consequently provide protection of purpose for the petitioner and House alike. The main requirements are outlined below:-
¨ Petitions must be clearly written or printed, without any additions or alterations.
¨ Petitions should:
ü Be addressed to the Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly in Parliament assembled;
ü State the facts which the petitioners wish to bring to the notice of the House; and
ü Conclude with a request that the House do, or not do, something or take some course of action.
¨ No letters, affidavits or other documents may be attached to a petition.
LANGUAGE AND CONTENT:
¨ Petitions must be respectful and restrained in their language and must not contain irrelevant statements. In particular, reflections must not be cast upon the Queen, the Governor, members of the judiciary, or Members of Parliament.
¨ Petitions must not impugn the character or conduct of Parliament, the courts or any other tribunal or constituted authority.
¨ A petition must contain the signature and address of at least one person on the sheet on which the petition is printed.
¨ A petition must be signed by the person whose name appear, in their own handwriting, except in cases of incapacity by sickness.
¨ A petition must have the signatures and addresses written on the same page as the petition or on sheets containing the request of the petition and not be pasted on or otherwise transferred, for example, by photocopying.
¨ A petition is received only as a petition of the people signing it.
¨ A petition of a corporation aggregate is required to be made under its common seal. If it is not, but is otherwise in order, it may be presented simply as the petition of the individual(s).
In accordance with Standing Orders the text of all Petitions received by the House are sent to the Premier who forwards them to the responsible Minister who must table in the House a Government response to the Petition within 15 sitting days of it having been received by the Premier.
If further information or assistance is required, please contact the Clerk of the House of Assembly (Mr Donnelly) on (03) 6212 2374.
House of Assembly
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