Second reading

I move that this bill be now read a second time

A motion for the second reading is usually moved immediately after the first reading. During the second reading stage, members debate and decide if a bill should be proceeded with in principle.

The responsible minister makes a speech in favour of the bill and the policy it implements, and then the debate is adjourned to allow others to research the bill. Parliamentarians are given access to a range of information about new legislation, including a copy of the bill as introduced, a plain English explanation of the bill, called an explanatory memorandum, and a copy of the minister's second reading speech.

Amendments may be moved to the motion for a second reading debate of a bill, but only to express views relating to the policy expressed by the bill, or to propose some administrative outcome, such as postponing consideration for some reason, or referring the bill to a committee for detailed consideration.

By agreement, speaking time is divided between the members of parties represented in the Parliament. Strict time limits are placed on individual speeches for each stage, according to the rules of each house.