Agency VA 2585
Legislative Assembly
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Date Range: 1856 - cont
 
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
Powers, Functions and History

For a description of the Legislative Assembly's powers, functions and history, see VRG 17 Executive and VRG 20 Parliament.

Electoral and Membership Qualifications

There were originally gender and property qualifications for the Assembly for both members and electors. By 1857 the property qualifications had been abolished and male adult suffrage was granted for the Legislative Assembly. Adult suffrage for women was not granted until 1908, and women were not eligible to stand as candidates for election until 1923. Voting was made compulsory for the Legislative Assembly elections in 1926.

In 1858 membership of the Assembly was increased to seventy-eight and extended again in 1876 to eighty-six members, with a corresponding increase in the number of electoral districts. By 1888 membership had risen to ninety-five with Legislative Assembly electoral districts numbering eighty-four. This upward trend was reversed in 1903 with a reduction in membership to sixty-eight. Two members were appointed as representatives of the Railway Department and another was to represent public servants. However this departmental representation lasted only until 1906 when the membership was further reduced to sixty-five - one member for each of the sixty-five electoral districts. By 1976 membership had risen to eighty-one and by 1987 it was eighty-eight.

Procedures

The duration of each Parliament is determined by the life of the Legislative Assembly (limited to three years) but it may be dissolved by the Governor on the advice of the Premier before the expiration of that period. The Legislative Council (VA 471) cannot be dissolved except in special circumstances arising from disagreement between the two Houses.

Procedure of the Assembly is governed by Standing Orders, Rules and practice, based initially on the procedures of the House of Commons, and administered by the presiding officers: the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the Chairman of Committees. The principal innovations in Assembly procedure are time limits on speeches and the elaborate ballot procedure at the opening of a new Parliament for the election of the Speaker.

The sittings of the House commence with the reading of the Lord's Prayer by the presiding officer. Before the business of the day, as set down on the Notice Paper, is called on, Ministers may be questioned on matters under their administrative control; notices of motion, such as motions for the introduction of Bills, or motions of a substantive or abstract nature are given; petitions are presented; papers are laid on the Table; and messages from the Governor and from the other House are read. At this stage, members have the opportunity of moving a motion "that the House do now adjourn" which under the Standing Orders enables discussion on matters of urgent public importance to take place.

Location of Records

Substantial holdings of records are in the custody of the Public Record Office Victoria.

See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 11.1.0.


** Special Access Conditions **

Although records transferred from this agency are available for public inspection, special access conditions apply. The records have been transferred to the Public Record Office on the understanding that they remain the property of the Parliament of Victoria. Parliamentary records are transferred on condition that all requests for access will be referred to the Clerk of the Legislative Council/Legislative Assembly as appropriate, for determination in each case.

Application to inspect the records should be made to the appropriate officer** and written authorisation must be presented at Public Record Office Reading Rooms before records can be made available for inspection.

** An application to inspect the records is not required for the following series:
- VPRS 3253 Original Papers Tabled in the Legislative Assembly
 
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Record series created by this AgencyRecord series created by this Agency
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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
? 1856 - ? 1870 Index to Outward Letter Book VPRS 14943 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1856 - ? 1885 Index to VPRS 14945 Register of Inward Correspondence VPRS 14946 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1856 - 1924 Summary of Progress of Enactment of Bills VPRS 14947 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1856 - 1956 Records Collected/Received VPRS 14819 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1886 - ? 1895 Inward Correspondence Register, Numerical, and Index to VPRS 14942 Inward Correspondence Register, Self Indexed VPRS 14944 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1886 - ? 1961 Register of Inward Correspondence, Self- Indexed VPRS 14942 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1891 - ? 1905 Report on Bills by Clerk Assistant VPRS 6874 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1892 - ? 1900 Register of Parliamentary Papers Issued VPRS 5156 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1905 - ? 1914 Outward Letter Books (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly 1905-1910, Clerk of the Parliaments 1910-1914) VPRS 5173 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1988 - cont General Subject Files, Speaker VPRS 11212 North Melbourne Restricted
1851 - 2014 Signed Votes and Proceedings VPRS 18285 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - ? 1885 Register of Inward Correspondence VPRS 14945 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - ? 1991 Unregistered Maps and Plans VPRS 7664 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - 1864 Acts Withheld from Royal Assent VPRS 14559 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - 1919 Select Committee Records, Sessional Arrangement VPRS 11878 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - 1981 Private Bill Committee Records VPRS 13580 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - cont Original Papers Tabled in the Legislative Assembly VPRS 3253 North Melbourne Open
1856 - cont Members' Rolls VPRS 14107 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - cont Certified Bills VPRS 14108 North Melbourne Restricted
1856 - cont Acts of Parliament VPRS 14558 North Melbourne Restricted
Functions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
1856 - cont Parliament VF 400
Functions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibility
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Subordinate AgenciesSubordinate Agencies
Displaying 1 to 20 of 45  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 3 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1856 - 1921 Parliament Buildings Committee [also known as Joint Select Committee on Parliament Buildings] VA 2894
1856 - 1996 Printing Committee [Legislative Assembly] VA 4108
1856 - cont Legislative Assembly Standing Orders Committee VA 4110
1857 - 1921 Joint Select Committee on the Refreshment Rooms VA 4885
1890 - 1935 Railways Standing Committee (also known as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways) VA 4059
1890 - cont Elections and Qualifications Committee [also known as Select Committee] VA 2901
1892 - 1892 Select Committee on Roll-Stuffing at Avoca VA 2900
1895 - 1979 Committee of Public Accounts (also known as Public Accounts Committee 1968-1979) VA 4046
1899 - 1901 Royal Commission on Technical Education VA 4089
1913 - 1913 Joint Committee on the Housing of the People VA 4890
1916 - 1982 Statute Law Revision Committee VA 2895
1931 - 1931 Joint Select Committee on the Unemployment Relief Amendment Bill VA 4894
1935 - 1982 Public Works Committee VA 4091
1943 - 1982 State Development Committee VA 3943
1956 - 1982 Subordinate Legislation Committee VA 4052
1959 - Distribution of Population Committee VA 2896
1965 - 1970 Joint Select Committee on Drainage VA 4053
1967 - 1982 Road Safety Committee I VA 3127
1974 - 1976 Public Servants Ethical Conduct Committee VA 4060
1974 - cont Legislative Assembly Privileges Committee VA 4109
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1856 - cont Parliament VRG 20