Most of the bills—proposed laws—introduced in the Australian Parliament are government bills. These bills are introduced by the minister with the portfolio or responsibility for the area the bill is about. For example, the Minister for the Environment would introduce a bill for the protection of marine parks.
The bill is first introduced in the Senate or House of Representatives depending on which chamber the minister sits in. Most ministers are members of the House, so most bills are introduced in this chamber. Money and taxation bills must begin in the House and cannot start in the Senate.
Individual members of parliament can also introduce non-government bills. In the Senate these are called private senators’ bills and in the House they are known as private members’ bills.
Regardless of which chamber a bill starts in, it must be passed by both houses and given the Royal Assent by the Governor-General if it is to become a law. To find out more about making a law, check out this Making a law video.