Explainer: Suspending members

A member of the House of Representatives was sent out of the House during Question Time and then ‘named’, but what does that mean?

Aug 26, 2021

What happens when members don’t follow the rules in the House of Representatives?

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is responsible for ensuring that members follow the rules of the House – the Standing Orders. Under Standing Order 94a, the Speaker has the power to send members out of the House for ‘disorderly conduct’. If sent out, a member cannot come back in for an hour. This power is usually only used during Question Time, when the House can get a bit lively.

What happens next?

Usually the member is allowed back in when their hour is up, but in more serious cases the Speaker has the option to ‘name’ the member, which triggers a vote in the House on whether or not to suspend the member for 24 hours. In this case, the Member for Bruce, Mr Julian Hill MP, was ‘named’ and the House decided that the Mr Hill would be suspended.

What about the Senate?

The Senate and the House of Representatives each make their own Standing Orders. In the Senate, the President does not have the power to suspend a senator, they can only be removed by a vote of the Senate.