The Powers of Second Chambers in Australia
The following is taken from Table 2 of the Constitution
Unit's briefing, Second Chambers Overseas: A Summary, Constitution
Unit (June 1999):
|Ordinary legislation||Bills are introduced in either house, Upper house may amend or reject any legislation.
||Bills are introduced in either house. Upper house may amend or reject any legislation.
|Financial legislation||Must be introduced in lower house. Upper house may not amend but may "suggest" amendments, or reject.
||Must be introduced in lower house. Upper house may amend but not increase costs.
|Dispute resolution||Only means of resolving disputes is to dissolve both Houses of Parliament.
||No means of resolving disputesbills may shuttle indefinitely.
|Constitutional amendments||Must pass at least one house with absolute majority and then pass referendum by majority and with support in at least half the states.
||Can only be blocked by Senate for 180 days, but must also be agreed by legislative assemblies in 2/3 of provinces, comprising 50 per cent of population.
The powers of these Senates formed part of the analyses in
Meg Russell's Reforming the House of Lords: Lessons from Overseas
(Constitution Unit, 2000), which studied the powers and composition
of a number of chambers overseas. I enclose a copy of chapter
6 (pp 120-164) on the legislative role of second chambers.
Ev not printed. Back