Agency VA 471
Legislative Council
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Date Range: 1851 - cont
 
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency
Powers, Functions and History

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

Electoral and Membership Qualifications

There were originally gender and class (education and property) qualifications for both members and electors. Through successive stages the property and educational qualifications were reduced and by 1937 the property qualification was twenty-five pounds and the deposit required from a candidate for election was fifty pounds. In 1950 the property qualification for members of the Council was abolished and adult suffrage was applied to Legislative Council elections. Women who met the property qualifications were not eligible to vote before 1908 or be elected to the Council until 1923.

By 1881 membership of the Council numbered forty-two, with a consequent increase in the number of electoral provinces, and by 1888 it had risen again to forty-eight. In 1903 the number of electoral provinces rose from fourteen to seventeen and in 1906 a rationalisation of the membership saw a decrease of members to thirty-four, two for each of the seventeen provinces with one member retiring every three years. With the increase in population the number of Legislative Council members has steadily increased, and by 1987 there were forty-four.

Duration of Parliament and Presiding Officer in the Council

The duration of each Parliament is determined by the life of the Legislative Assembly (VA 2585), which is 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 cannot be dissolved except in special circumstances arising from disagreement between the two Houses. Its members are elected for six years, half of them retiring every three years, but eligible for re-election. The President of the Legislative Council is the presiding officer and holds office for the period during which she/he is a member and may be re-appointed upon re-election to the House. If the Council goes into Committee to consider a Bill the Chairman of Committees is then the presiding officer.

Procedures

Procedures of the Council are governed by Standing Orders, Rules and practice, based initially on the procedures of the House of Commons, and administered by the presiding officers, that is, the President of the Legislative Council and the Chairman of Committees.

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.

** 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 Search Rooms before records can be made available for inspection.

 
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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 - ? 1889 Postage Account Book VPRS 5148 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1856 - ? 1924 Salaries Cash Book VPRS 5159 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1856 - ? 1949 Minutes (Memoranda) Referred from Other Departments VPRS 5180 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1856 - ? 1951 Requisition Books VPRS 5163 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1856 - ? 1970 Register of Accounts VPRS 5161 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1859 - ? 1964 Private Bills Cash Book VPRS 5146 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1862 - ? 1880 Memorandum Book (Rusden, Clerk of the Parliaments) VPRS 5152 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1865 - ? 1886 Authority Book (Summary of Appropriations and Expenditure) VPRS 5154 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1871 - ? 1880 Members Payment Book VPRS 5139 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1881 - ? 1960 Unregistered Plans VPRS 7641 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1882 - ? 1916 Register of Papers Laid on the Table VPRS 5158 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1883 - ? 1893 Publications Received and Dispatched VPRS 5167 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1886 - ? 1888 Election Register VPRS 5145 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1888 - ? 1892 Outward Letter Book, President of the Legislative Council VPRS 5179 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1891 - ? 1911 Register of Deliveries VPRS 5140 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1891 - ? 1914 Outward Letter Books (Clerk of the Parliaments) VPRS 5182 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1891 - ? 1927 Outward Letter Books, Usher of the Legislative Council VPRS 5177 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1891 - ? 1966 Petty Cash Books VPRS 5160 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1892 - ? 1927 Outward Letter Books, President of the Legislative Council VPRS 5178 North Melbourne Restricted
? 1892 - ? 1929 Staff Leave Records VPRS 5150 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
1851 - 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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Superior AgenciesSuperior Agencies
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Subordinate AgenciesSubordinate Agencies
Displaying 1 to 20 of 71  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 4 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1856 - 1857 Select Committee on Penal Establishments VA 4881
1856 - cont Legislative Council Standing Orders Committee VA 4888
1857 - 1857 Select Committee on Railways VA 4882
1857 - 1857 Select Committee on Grants to the Corporation of Melbourne VA 4883
1857 - 1921 Joint Select Committee on the Refreshment Rooms VA 4885
1859 - 1921 Parliament Buildings Committee [also known as Joint Select Committee on Parliament Buildings] VA 2894
1864 - 1995 Printing Committee [Legislative Council] VA 4901
1865 - 1865 Select Committee on Markets VA 4911
1868 - Constitution Act Amendment Committee VA 2902
1877 - 1877 Select Committee on the Railway Construction Bill VA 4886
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
1901 - 1901 Select Committee on Electric Traction on Railways VA 4887
1910 - 1910 Select Committee on the State Coal Mine VA 4889
1913 - 1913 Joint Committee on the Housing of the People VA 4890
1914 - 1914 Select Committee on the Electrification of the Suburban Railways - Alleged Profits on Contracts VA 4891
1915 - 1915 Select Committee on Meat Export VA 4892
1916 - 1982 Statute Law Revision Committee VA 2895
1918 - 1918 Select Committee on the Nationality of the Late Dr Sachse VA 4893
1931 - 1931 Joint Select Committee on the Unemployment Relief Amendment Bill VA 4894
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Date of Relationship Group Title Group Number
1851 - cont Parliament VRG 20