Making a law

Get an introduction to the law-making process of the Australian Parliament with this short video. It includes all the law-making steps in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Teachers can use this video to introduce the topic of law-making in the Australian Parliament to their students. This supports the Year 6 and Year 8 units of work and the Create political parties Classroom activity.

Duration: 3 min 18 sec




Opening credits showing images of the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Australian flag, the Governor- General, and the Main Committee Room. Music
Title: About Parliament: Making a Law. Making a Law.
Footage of people walking in a shopping area. Presenter: One of the main roles of the Parliament is to make laws for the people of Australia.
Footage of the front cover of the Constitution. The front cover opens to show section 51 of the Constitution.
Footage of a helicopter and a plane, international flags, coins and a wedding photo.
Presenter: Under Australia's Constitution, the federal Parliament makes laws on important national matters such as defence, immigration, taxation, and even marriage.
Footage of an Australian flag next to pictures of various bills: Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 Agriculture and Water Resources Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, National Cancer Screening Register Bill 2016; Farm Household Support Amendment Bill 2017, Counter- Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2016; Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Amendment Bill 2017.  Presenter: A proposal for a new law, or a change to an old one, is called a bill.
The presenter stands in the House of Representatives. Presenter: Most bills are introduced into the Parliament by government ministers and usually begin here in the House of Representatives.
The Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, speaks from the Despatch Box in the House of Representatives. Prime Minister: Following our re-election, we are therefore again seeking to honour our commitment to the Australian people by reintroducing the Fair Work Registered Organisations Amendment Bill.
The presenter stands in the House of Representatives. Presenter: Once a bill is introduced, members can debate the bill and then vote on it.
Members of the House of Representatives debate a bill in the House of Representatives. The Hon Chris Bowen MP: The Labor Party supports this bill and we support its expeditious passage through this place and the other place. I note that the government has provided a full briefing to the opposition, which the opposition appreciates and we understand the reasons why the government has moved in this direction.
The Hon Jenny Macklin MP: This is a very important piece of legislation.
Acting Deputy Speaker, Mr Steve Georganas MP, conducts a vote on the voices in the House of Representatives. Acting Speaker: All those of that opinion say 'aye', to the contrary 'no'. The ayes have it.
The presenter stands in the Senate. Presenter: If the bill is agreed to in one house, it is sent to the other house— in this case, the Senate— where a similar process is followed.
Footage of the Senate at work.
Temporary Chair of Committees, Senator Chris Back, receives a message from the House of Representatives forwarding a bill.
The minister moves that the bill be read a second time and the Senate votes.
Acting President: Order. The President has received a message from the House of Representatives forwarding the Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Media Reform Bill 2016 for concurrence. Minister?
Senator Canavan: I move that the bill be now read a second time and I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.
Acting President: Question agreed to. Those in favour say 'aye', to the contrary 'no'. I believe the ayes have it. The ayes have it. Clerk.
The Clerk stands and reads the title of the bill. Clerk: A Bill for an Act to amend the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 and for other purposes.
Footage of the Senate at work.
Senator Nick Xenophon speaks on an amendment to a bill in the Senate.
Acting Deputy Speaker, Mr Ian Goodenough MP, conducts a vote on amendments in the House of Representatives.
Presenter: Members and senators can suggest amendments to a bill, if they think it needs changing.
Senator Xenophon: Can I rise to speak on this amendment of my colleague Senator Griff, which is a very worthy amendment.
Acting Speaker: Order. The question is that the amendments be agreed to.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Sue Lines, conducts a vote on amendments in the Senate. Presenter: These amendments are also debated and voted on.
Deputy President: Those of that opinion say 'aye', those against say 'no'. I think the ayes have it.
The presenter stands in the Senate. Presenter: About half of all bills are investigated more closely through the work of parliamentary committees.
Footage of a committee meeting.
The chair of the committee, Senate Glenn Sterle, explains the terms of reference.
Presenter: Either house of Parliament can send a bill to a committee for detailed examination.
Senator Sterle: The committee is hearing evidence on the committee's inquiry into the Water Amendment Bill 2008.
Footage of committee reports being placed on a table.
Committee chairs present reports in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Presenter: A committee might suggest changes to a bill or make other recommendations.
Mr Andrew Laming MP: Mr Speaker, on behalf of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education, and Training, I present this report of the committee.
Senator McKenzie: Here we have the Finance and Public Administration Reference Committee report.
Presenter: This process helps the Parliament make better informed decisions.
The presenter stands in front of Government House in Canberra. Presenter: The final stage of making a law is approval by the Governor-General, on behalf of the Queen.
Minutes for signature by the Governor-General.
The Governor-General signing a bill.
Presenter: Before giving Royal Assent to a bill, the Governor-General must be satisfied that it has passed both houses of Parliament. After the bill is signed, it becomes a law—called an Act of Parliament.
Title: Parliamentary Education Office. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2017.
Parliamentary Education Office logo.
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