While a key part of being a member of the House of Representatives or a senator is to give speeches and debate bills—proposed laws for Australia—not everyone has to speak on every issue. What is important is that every member or senator has the opportunity to speak about the issues which matter most to them and the people of their electorate.
As there are many bills debated each year—more than 120—members and senators will prioritise the proposed laws and prepare speeches on the bills they consider most relevant.
If a bill is particularly complex or controversial, there may be many members or senators that wish to speak so it can take some time to debate the bill.
However, as everyone doesn’t have to speak, there may be other bills with only a few speakers which means they can be debated and voted upon quite quickly.