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Section 3 - Standing orders

Handbook Section 3 – Standing orders

Amended 2019.


3.1 Order of business

The order of business shall be:

3.1.1 Attendance and apologies

3.1.2 Reading and confirmation of minutes

3.1.4 Motions of which due notice has been given at a previous Council meeting

3.1.5 Correspondence

3.1.6 Business arising from correspondence

3.1.7 Financial statement and report

3.1.8 Executive report

3.1.9 General reports

3.1.10 Association reports

3.1.11 General business

3.1.12 Elections

3.1.13 Receipt of notices of motion

3.2 Quorum

A quorum shall consist of nine (9) Councillors provided that no less than six (6) regions are represented.

Should no quorum be present within thirty (30) minutes of the time set down for the meeting, the meeting shall lapse.

3.3 Length of meeting

The monthly meetings shall commence at 11.00am and conclude no later than 3.00pm. General business should commence no later than 2.00pm.

3.4 Members must rise and address the chair

Any member desiring to propose a motion or amendment or to discuss any matter under consideration must arise and address the Chairperson.

All motions or amendments, except formal motions such as for adjournment, must be handed to the Chairperson, if he/she so desires, in writing, prior to the mover speaking thereon.

3.5 Members may speak only once to a motion or an amendment

No member shall speak more than once to a motion or amendment without the consent of the meeting, and then only provided that he/she address himself/herself to the removal of a misunderstanding in regard to some material part of his/her speech, but no new matter may be introduced therein. Any member proposing a motion or amendment pro forma shall be held to have spoken.

3.6 One amendment only at a time

Only one amendment upon any motion shall be received at a time and such amendment must be disposed of before any further amendments can be received. The Chairperson shall ask after each amendment the question: "Are there any further amendments?"

3.7 Right of reply

The mover of the original motion shall have the right of reply and, in the event of any amendment, shall exercise it prior to the submission of the first amendment.

3.8 Further discussion

No further discussion shall be allowed, or questions asked, after the Chairperson has put the motion to Council.

3.9 Point of order

No member, when speaking, shall be interrupted unless called to order, when he/she shall sit down and the member calling to order shall state his/her point of order and the Chairperson may then hear that member on the point, hear further discussion, or decide at that stage, but such point shall be decided before debate proceeds.

3.10 Seconding a motion or amendment

Any motion or amendment not seconded shall not be further debated but shall lapse.

3.11 Amendment

The question having been proposed may be amended by leaving out, substituting or adding words.

3.12 Amendment as a negative

No amendment shall be received by the Chairperson which shall be a direct negative of the motion or which does not preserve the substance of such motion.

3.13 Division

Immediately the debate on the question is concluded the Chairperson shall submit it and it shall be resolved in the affirmative or negative on the voices or by show of hands if demanded.

No member shall speak on any motion after the same has been put by the Chairperson.

3.14 Chairperson rising to speak

When the Chairperson rises during debate the member then speaking shall sit down so that the Chairperson shall be heard without interruption.

3.15 Times for speakers

In debate the mover shall be allowed five minutes, subsequent speakers three minutes and the mover three minutes in reply. The time of discussion for each question shall be limited to twenty minutes unless extended by expressed resolution.

3.16 Motion proposed and seconded

When a motion has been duly proposed and seconded the Chairperson shall at once proceed to take the vote unless some member rises to oppose it or to propose an amendment.

3.17 Question be now put

It shall be in order to move without discussion at any time that "the question be now put" which on being duly seconded and carried, shall entail the submission of the motion at once to the Council after the mover has replied. This motion may not be moved by any member who has previously spoken upon the question under discussion.

3.18 Next business

It shall be in order for a member to move "that we proceed to the next business". If this motion is carried the matter under discussion shall lapse.

3.19 Dissent from chairperson's ruling

Any member dissatisfied with the Chairperson's ruling may move a motion of dissent in the following terms: "The Chairperson's ruling be dissented from". In such cases only the mover shall be permitted to speak, except that the Chairperson may subsequently state his/her reasons for the ruling given. No seconder to the motion is required.

The motion shall be put to the meeting by the Chairperson without further discussion in the following form: "The motion is that the Chairperson's ruling be upheld".

The Chairperson may vacate the chair during the discussion of this motion.

3.20 Suspension of standing orders

Any member may move the suspension of the Standing Orders to discuss a definite matter, such to be submitted in writing to the Chairperson prior to the meeting and the Chairperson is empowered to rule on the matter of urgency.

3.21 Incompleted business

Meetings shall be of not more than three hours duration. Any business not completed within this period shall be implemented by the Executive, which shall report its acts to the next meeting of the Council.

3.22 Recommit a motion

It shall not be in order to recommit any motion at the same meeting unless assent thereto is given by two-thirds of those eligible to vote.

3.23 Method of voting

All motions at all meetings of the Association or Council shall be decided by a majority vote, except in special cases provided for in these rules of Standing Orders. Voting shall be on the voices or by show of hands. Any member may demand a recount.

3.24 Voting for election of officers

 Voting procedure for the election of officers shall be preferential and the procedure to be followed, when electing more than one candidate in the same ballot for similar positions, be that set out by instructions to officers-in-charge of counts for the New South Wales Teachers Federation.

3.25 Returning Officer

All Council elections shall be conducted by a Returning Officer appointed at the first Council meeting of the year.

3.26 Summary of vital aspects of meeting procedure
To do this You say this May you interrupt the speaker? Is a seconder needed? Is your motion debatable? Is your motion amendable? Vote needed?
Introduce new business for discussion "I move that. . ." No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Amend a motion "I move that the motion be amended by. . ." No Yes Yes No Yes
End debate and prevent a vote being taken "I move that question be not now put" or "I move the previous question" No Yes Yes No Yes
End debate and bring the matter to a vote "I move that the question be now put" Yes. Unless Chairperson declares otherwise Yes No No Yes
Suspend debate on a matter for the present meeting "I move tat the meeting proceed to the next business" No Yes No No Yes
Suspend a debate on a matter either indefinitely or until later in meeting "I move that the question lie on the table" No Yes Yes No Yes
Reintroduce debate on a matter lain on the table "I move that the question of. . . be raised from the table" No Yes Yes No Yes
Adjourn debate on a matter until a later time or later meeting "I move that the debate on this matter be adjourned until. . . " No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjourn a meeting "I move that this meeting adjourn until. . ." No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ensure that a matter is placed on the agenda for a later meeting "I wish to give notice of motion to be moved when . . . that . . . ." No No No No No
Draw attention to a breach of procedure Address the chair, "Point of order," e.g. "There is no quorum present." Yes No No No No
Strike out or cancel a motion previously passed "I move that we rescind the motion that . . . " No Yes Yes No Yes
Withdraw a motion "I request leave to withdraw the motion" No No Yes No Yes
Have a matter investigated further "I move we refer this matter to a committee" No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Prevent a speaker from continuing "I move that the speaker be no longer heard." Yes Yes No No Yes


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