Monday, 7 December 2020
Questions to the Speaker
House of Representatives: Procedure
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?
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.