Title: ‘How Parliament makes laws’

Music: None

Length: 2 minutes 38 seconds

Note: Please see definitions at the end of the transcript for words highlighted in red.

Transcript begins

Description: Light orange screen. A cartoon image of a Parliament building sits on the top right hand corner of the screen. Three pieces of paper with the word ‘Law’ on the top appear next to the Parliament building.

Voiceover: One of the most important roles of Parliament is to make laws.

Description: Four stickers appear. The first sticker has an image of a mobile phone crossed out and the words ‘No texting while driving’. The second sticker has an image of someone putting their car seat belt one. The third sticker has an image of a cigarette crossed out. And the fourth sticker has the words ‘Pool area. Keep gate closed!’

Voiceover: Laws that effect every one of us in many situations each day.

Description: a moving cartoon animation of a factory machine where boxes go and come out as ‘Law’

Voiceover: But how many of us know how a law is made?

Description: an image of the Parliament of Victoria insignia appears at the top of the page. Underneath the words ‘Parliament of Victoria’ is written out in black font. ‘Explains’ is written out in red font. And ‘How Parliament makes laws’ is written out in grey font.

Voiceover: Parliament of Victoria explains how Parliament makes laws.

Description: a hand draws a light bulb. Cartoon men and women appear around the light bulb depicting the different types of people who can come up with ideas for laws.

Voiceover: It all starts with an idea. It can come from members of parliament, political parties, Ministerial advisers, public service, interest groups, media and members of the public.

Description: the same light bulb remains as the cartoon people fade out and a green arrow appears next to the light bulb. The arrow points to a parliament building. A piece of paper with the word 'Bill' at the top appears on top of the parliament building.

Voiceover: The Government chooses an idea it wants to make into a new law and puts it into a bill for the Parliament to consider.

Description: another green arrow appears next to the parliament building and points to a piece of paper with the word ‘Law’ at the top

Voiceover: And a bill that is passed by the Parliament, becomes a law.

Description: an image of the Australian flag on a pole, in between two parliament buildings. The building on the left becomes green and a yellow sign appears on top of it with the words ‘Legislative Assembly’. The building on the right becomes red and a yellow sign appears on top of it with the words ‘Legislative Council’.

Voiceover: Both houses of Parliament need to approve a bill for it to become a law. The legislative assembly and the legislative council

Description: a hand takes the red parliament building away and replaces it with a cartoon man holding a piece of paper with the words ’Bill introduction’ at the top and a red stamp at the bottom with the words ‘No public yet’. A piece of paper with the word ‘Bill’ at the top appears on top of the green parliament building.

Voiceover: Most bills start in the legislative assembly with a member, usually a Minister, introducing a bill.

Description: various cartoon people appear on screen with green ticks or red crosses next to them. A piece of paper appears at the left hand of the screen with the words ‘Bill first reading’ on it.

Voiceover: Members then vote whether to consider the bill. This is called the First Reading.

Description: a cartoon man appears holding a piece of paper with the words ‘Bill second reading’. Other cartoon people appear next to him.

Voiceover: Next, usually after a few days, the minister explains the bill. This is called the second reading speech.

Description: an image of someone at a computer, we see the back of their head and can see they are on the Parliament of Victoria website.

Voiceover: The bill is now public so everyone can read it.

Description: Two page appear with the words ‘The bill’ at the top of each page. A hand is pointing to the lines on the page.

Voiceover: After the second reading speech, members usually have two weeks to study the bill…

Description: a cartoon man appears on the right of screen holding a piece of paper with the words ‘Bill second reading’ on it. Various other people appear to the left of him. Speech bubbles appear over their heads. The speech bubbles turn into green ticks, or red crosses.

Voiceover: … and consult the community. Then members debate and vote to pass the second reading.

Description: the words ‘Consideration in detail stage’ appears on the screen. A hand holding a magnifying glass hovers over these words.

Voiceover: Members may then enter the consideration in detail stage…

Description: a hands showing ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ appears to the left and right of screen.

Voiceover: …where they debate and vote on each clause and any amendments.

Description: a cartoon man appears on the right of screen holding a piece of paper with the words ‘Bill third reading’ on it. Various other people appear to the left of him, green ticks or red crosses appear next to their heads.

Voiceover: Now the bill is ready for the final stage in the first house, the third reading. This is a last check to make sure members still approve the bill.

Description: The green parliament building appears with a yellow sign saying ‘Legislation assembly’ on it. Three blue panels appear next to the building. The first panel has the words ‘First reading’ and a green tick next to it. The second panel has the words ‘Second reading’ and a green tick next to it. And the last panel as the words ‘Third reading’ and a green tick next to it. Then a green tick appears, pointing to the red parliament building with a yellow sign saying ‘Legislative council’.

Voiceover: When the bill passes the third reading vote, it is sent to the second house…

Description: Red parliament building with a yellow sign saying ‘Legislative council’ remains on screen. A flow chart of blue panels appears next to it with the words ‘First reading: Introduction’, ‘Minister’s speech’, ‘Second reading: Community consultation and debate’, ‘Consideration in detail (in the legislative council, this is called the committee stage)’, ‘Third reading: Approval’

Voiceover: … and goes through the same stages as in the first house.

Description: both green (Legislative assembly) and red (Legislative council) parliament buildings appear with blue panels stating ‘First reading’, ‘Second reading’ and ‘Third reading’ in between. A blue arrow appears, pointing to the green parliament building.

Voiceover: Most bills start in the assembly, but sometimes a bill might start in the council and go the other way around. It doesn’t matter where the bill starts, when it passes all three readings in the second house it has successfully passed both houses of parliament.

Description: a grey parliament building appears to the left of screen, a piece of paper with the word ‘Bill’ appears on top of the parliament building. A green arrow appears next to the building, pointing to a piece of paper with the word ‘Law’ on it. A yellow question mark appears next to the ‘law’ paper.

Voiceover: So, is it a law yet? Almost. It just needs another very important thing.

Description: A piece of paper with the word ‘Bill’ appears in the centre of the screen. A red stamp appears and on the bottom right of the paper.

Voiceover: It needs the Governor to give it royal assent.

Description: a grey parliament building appears to the left of screen and a piece of paper with the word ‘Law’ appears next to it.

Voiceover: The bill is now a law, and called an Act of Parliament.

Description: Screen zooms into the word ‘Law’ on the piece of paper

Voiceover: But the law might not apply yet.

Description: an image of a hand holding a stopwatch

Voiceover: Sometimes the Government needs time to get ready for the new law

Description: An image of a computer screen showing the words ‘Road Safety Laws. Are you prepared for it?’ A red sign appears near the bottom of the computer screen with the words ‘Starts 31 May’.

Voiceover: For example, to inform the public. The law may include a start date, or it can be announced later. So, how does Parliament make laws?

Description: A flow chart appears in white and green boxes and squares, depicting the different stages for a bill to become law. A Bill – First house introduction and first reading – Second reading: members debate the bill – Third reading – Second house introduction and first reading – Second reading: members debate the bill – Third reading – Bill passed both houses – Royal assent by the Governor – A law.

Description: an image of the Parliament of Victoria insignia appears at the top of the page. Underneath the words ‘Parliament of Victoria’ is written out in black font. ‘Explains’ is written out in red font. The words ‘To find out more visit www.parliament.vic.gov.au appears below in grey font.

Transcript ends

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Act of Parliament a law made by Parliament; a bill which has passed all three readings in each house and has received the royal assent.

Bill a proposal for a new law which has been presented to Parliament.

Governor-General or Governor the representative of the Queen.

Legislative Assembly the lower house of Parliament in Victoria.

Legislative Council the upper house of Parliament in Victoria.

Member a government employee elected to represent voters in Parliament.

Minister a member of Parliament who is a member of the executive government, and who is usually in charge of a government department.

Parliament in Australia, an assembly of elected representatives, usually having an upper and lower house, which with the head of state (the Queen, represented by the Governor-General or Governor), makes laws for the country or state.

Royal assent the signing of a bill by the Governor-General, which is the last step in making a bill into an Act of Parliament, or law.