How are acts of parliament made?

Thanks for asking this important question, Sean.

An Act of Parliament – a law – starts as a bill. A bill is a proposal for a new law or amendment – change – to an existing law. To become a law, a bill must be agreed to by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and then needs to be signed – given Royal Assent – by the Governor-General.

In both the House and the Senate, the bill passes through several stages to allow members of parliament and senators to discuss and vote on it. Most bills are introduced first in the House of Representatives but they can also start in the Senate. If the majority of members agree to the bill, it is then sent to the Senate where senators have a chance to consider it. If a bill starts in the Senate and the majority of senators agree to it, the bill is then considered by the the House of Representatives.