Thanks for your question, Miranda.
Elected members of the House of Representatives meet to represent the views of Australians and discuss matters of national and international importance.
On average, they gather for 67 days—spread across 20 sitting weeks—for a total of 627 hours per year.
Before each new year, and after a federal election, a sitting calendar is distributed to let everyone know when the House of Representatives will be meeting. The usual practice is to have 3 meeting periods:
Sittings are generally held Monday to Thursday in 1 or 2 week blocks with a regular meeting timetable:
Many of the discussions in the House of Representatives are parliamentary debates about bills—proposed laws—which must go through various stages to become a law.
Times are set aside each sitting day for debating bills with members normally only getting one opportunity to make a speech at each stage. There are also time limits—ranging from 5 to 30 minutes—for each speech that are set in the Standing Orders which are the formal rules of Parliament.