House debates

Monday, 7 December 2020

Questions to the Speaker

House of Representatives: Procedure

4:23 pm

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, I have a question for you in terms of the administration of the House. With respect to the use of the casting vote—given that we've just had a vote where the margin was one and given that at the very end of last week a new member joined us—can you confirm that when a vote is tied then at the second reading the casting vote would go with the government to allow further debate, but that at the third reading, a tied vote would, in fact, result in the defeat of the bill?

4:24 pm

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

It's certainly the case that the principles are outlined well in Practice, which is that you always allow further debate. That principle extends to if there were a motion to stop a member speaking et cetera, et cetera. But, ultimately, if, on a third reading, there is a tie, certainly, the bill doesn't progress any further. Whilst I've had a number of casting votes, I haven't been in that situation. It's outlined there in Practice.