About petitions

Petitions are one of the most traditional Parliamentary processes, being a means by which individuals can directly place requests of grievances before the Parliament. Each sitting day in the House, the Clerk reports the receipt of petitions from Members.

Important!
Petitions can only be presented by Members of the Legislative Assembly. Petitioners should contact their local Member to request presentation of their petition. Members' contact details are available on our website in the Members' section.

Rules regarding form and content of petitions
Standing orders 119 - 125 set out the form and content of petitions, and the procedure for lodgment and presentation. These rules ensure the authenticity of petitions and provide protection to the petitioners and the House.

Petitions that do not conform with the Standing Orders are 'out of order' and will not be accepted by the Legislative Assembly. Contact the Legislative Assembly table Office on 9230 3505 before you begin a petition, to make sure it is in order.

Form - a petition must:
        • Be addressed to "the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly in Parliament assembled".
        • Contain the names and addresses of the petitioners and their own original signatures. Any additional requests for information not required under the Standing Orders, such as telephone numbers or e-mails, should be clearly listed as optional.
        • State the facts which the petitioners wish to bring to the notice of the House (this is the 'grievance').
        • Conclude with a request that the House do, or do not do, something or take some course of action (this is known as the 'prayer'). Each page of a petition seeking signatures must be headed with the words of the request.
        • Be clearly written, typed or printed and not have anything attached to it
        • Be respectful, decorous and temperate in its language.
        • be in English, or be accompanied by a translation certified to be correct by the Member lodging the petition.
        • Be in an original document format, not a postcard, leaflet or the like.


Content - a petition must not:
        • Contain irrelevant statements or information, including logos, photos, slogans etc
        • Include headings that refer to an individual member, or which contain photographs of a member or similar information judged as 'additional' to the subject of the petition
        • Contain material of a political campaigning nature.
        • Be altered in any way from the petition as signed by the petitioners.
        • Be signed (as a petitioner) by the Member presenting the petition.

Signatures
        • A petition must contain at least one signature
        • Every signature must be original hand-writing, and signatures must not be pasted on, photocopied or transferred in any way.
        • Every person signing a petition must write their full address after their signature.

Members' responsibilities
        • It is the responsibility of the Member to ensure that the petition conforms with the rules.
        • Members do not have to agree with/support the subject matter of a petition.
        • Members must sign the front sheet of the petition they are presenting and if applicable, certify that the petition has 500 or more signatures.

Lodgment
Petitions must be lodged with the Clerk (in the LA Table Office) by 12 noon on the day it is to be reported in the House. Petitions lodged after 12 noon will be presented the following sitting day.

What will happen next?
        • The Clerk will announce receipt of petitions to the House after Question Time. Petitions with more than 10,000 signatures will be announced by the Speaker.
        • The subject matter of the petition and the Member who lodged it will be published in the Votes and Proceedings and the terms of each petition will be printed in Hansard.
        • A copy of every petition received is forwarded to the Minister responsible for the subject contained in the petition.
        • Ministers are required to lodge, with the Clerk, a response to a petition signed by 500 or more persons.The response must be received within 35 calendar days from the date a petition is received. The response is also reported and published.
        • Petitions of more than 10,000 signatures will be scheduled for discussion in the House. Dates for petition discussions are published on the Parliament's website and in the Business Paper.

Click here for a sample petition form

For further information about petitions see: