Legislative Council Guide to Petitions

What is a Petition?

A petition is a request for action. It is open to any citizen or resident, or group of citizens or residents, to petition the Legislative Council to take action. The matters raised in petitions vary from requests to change legislation to requests to review administrative decisions.

Drafting a Petition

Standing Order 100.  Form and Contents of Petitions

 

(1)    A petition shall –

(a)       be addressed to the President and Members of the Council;

(b)       state the action or remedy sought from the Council, which must be repeated at the top of every page of the petition;

(c)       be legible and unamended whether by insertion or deletion or inter-lineation;

(d)       be couched in reasonable language;

(e)       be in the English language, or be accompanied by a certified English translation;

(f)        contain the name, address, and original signature or mark of the petitioners;

(g)       be signed by the person or persons promoting the petition, who must reside in Western Australia or,

    if a corporation, have its registered office in Western Australia; and

(h)       if from a corporation, be made under its common seal.

(2)    A petition shall not –

(a)       have any documents attached to it;

(b)       be presented by a Member who has signed the petition as a petitioner;

(c)       reflect upon a vote of the Council in the same calendar year;

(d)       seek a direct grant of public money from the Council;

(e)       contain statements adverse to, or make allegations of improper, corrupt or illegal conduct against,

   a person whether by name or office; or

(f)        contain or disclose a matter in breach of a secrecy provision of, or order imposed or made under the authority of,

   a written law.

(3)    The Member presenting the petition shall sign the petition at the top of the front page of the petition.

(4)    The total number of petitioners shall be stated at the top of the front page of the petition.

(5)    The petition must be certified to conform with the Standing Orders by the Clerk before it may be presented to the Council.

 

Obtaining Signatures

Although only one signature is required to present a petition, those petitions with more signatures would naturally show that there is greater public concern about the issue in question.

The signatures must be original and written on the sheets bearing the petition. The signatures must not be pasted or otherwise transferred onto the petition. Photocopies of signatures will not be accepted.

 

Presentation of a Petition

A petition is presented to the Council by a member of the House tabling it. In other words, the principal petitioner must ask a member of the House to present the petition on his or her behalf. A member is not required to present a petition to the House and, if the rules relating to petitions are not followed, may not be able to present the petition to the House. Tabling means the member formally presents the petition to the House by reading it or a summary of it.

The member wishing to table the petition must sign or endorse his or her name on the first page and must present it to one of the Officers of the Council not less than 1 hour prior to the commencement of the sitting for that day.

 

What Happens to a Petition Following Tabling?

After the petition is tabled or presented it is referred to the Environment and Public Affairs Committee for consideration and report.

In considering the petition, the Committee usually seeks the advice of the member who presented the petition, the person who promoted it and the Minister(s) in whose area of responsibility the subject matter of the petition falls. The principal petitioner will be advised of the outcome of the Committee's consideration of a petition and the Committee may report on the petition to the Council.

 

Standard Layout of a Petition

 

Petition Layout


Download a Legislative Council Petition Proforma

For more information: Telephone +61 8 9222 7294; Fax: +61 8 9222 7819; Email: council@parliament.wa.gov.au