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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 101.  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.

Drafting an ePetition

Temporary order to be in operation from 1 January 2022 until 31 March 2023.

E-Petitions

(1)      An e-petition is a petition –

(a)         in the correct form prescribed by Standing Order 101;

(b)         facilitated by a Member and lodged with the Clerk for publication on the Parliament’s website for a nominated period (“posted period”);

(c)         by which persons must indicate their support of (“join the petition”) by electronically providing their name, address (including postcode) and email address, and signifying their intention to join the petition.

(2)      The posted period for an e-petition is to be a minimum of one week and a maximum of six months from the date of publication on the Parliament’s website.

(3)      The Member facilitating the e-petition must provide the Clerk with the details of the petition in the correct form, the posted period and a signed acknowledgment that they are prepared to facilitate the e-petition.

(4)      Once published on the Parliament’s website an e-petition cannot be altered other than by order of the President.

(5)      Only one e-petition dealing with substantially the same grievance and requesting substantially the same action by the Council shall be published on the Parliament’s website at the same time.

(6)      Only residents of Western Australia will be eligible to join an e-petition.

(7)     Once the posted period for an e-petition has elapsed, a paper copy of the petition shall be printed by the Clerk in full (including the details of the persons who joined the petition) and presented to the Council by the Member that facilitated the e-petition.

(8)      An e-petition published on the Parliament’s website, but not presented to the Council prior to the prorogation of the Parliament or the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, may be presented to the subsequent Parliament and become a petition of the subsequent Parliament.

(9)      An e-petition may be facilitated during any adjournment of the Legislative Council and during any period of prorogation.

(10)     Persons must join an e-petition by filling out their correct details and personally agreeing to join the e-petition, and by no one else, except in the case of incapacity from sickness or disability.

(11)      A person cannot sign or join an e-petition more than once.

(12)     Only the name and address of the Principal Petitioner shall be made public on the Legislative Council’s website.

(13)      The Clerk may decline to publish an e-petition on the website not in conformity with these Orders and shall advise the facilitating Member accordingly.

(14)    The Clerk or any Member may seek a ruling from the President of the Legislative Council relating to the conformity or otherwise of any e-petition with these Orders.

(15)      The Clerk is authorised to create and maintain an appropriate website on which to publish e-petitions and other explanatory information and do all things necessary in order to give effect to these Orders.

(16)      The Clerk must dispose of all electronic personal data relating to the posting and joining of an e-petition within six months after an e-petition is printed and presented to the Legislative Council.

(17)     The Standing Orders for petitions have application to e-petitions insofar as they can be applied.

Template petitions

Petition Layout/LCPetitionLayout.gif


Download a Legislative Council Petition Template

Request an ePetition
For more information: Telephone +61 8 9222 7255;  Email: council@parliament.wa.gov.au

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.

An ePetition obtains signatures through the process of joining a petition. A person must signify their intention to join an ePetition by clicking on the button ‘Sign this petition’ and by accepting the conditions of use. A person can then provide their details and click a further button ‘Submit’. Once this process has been completed the number of signatures to an ePetition will be automatically updated to reflect the current number of signatures to that ePetition.

Presentation of a petition

A petition, whether a paper petition or an ePetition, 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, whether a paper petition or an ePetition, 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.