Who decides whether a bill will be introduced to the Lower or Upper house?

Most bills – proposed laws – introduced in the Australian Parliament are government bills. These bills are introduced by the minister with responsibility for the area the bill is about. For example, the Minister for the Environment would introduce a bill for the protection of marine parks.

The bill is first introduced in the Senate or House of Representatives depending on which the minister is a member of. Most ministers are members of the House, so most bills are introduced here. Money and taxation bills must begin in the House; they cannot start in the Senate.

Individual members of parliament can also introduce non-government bills. In the Senate these are called private senators bills and in the House they are known as private members bills.

To become a law, a bill must be passed by both houses and given the Royal Assent by the Governor-General