Section 40 of the Constitution of Australia
Unlike in the Senate, tied votes in the House of Representatives are rare. From Federation until the end of 2004, there have been only 21 occasions on which a Speaker or Deputy Speaker has chosen to use their casting vote.
Aside from the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, Second Deputy Speaker or any other person elected to perform the Speaker's duties under section 36 of the Constitution has a casting vote in the case of a tie.
The Parliament of Victoria suggested that the Speaker should be able to vote on constitutional amendments even when the votes are not equal (but in the case of a tie, they would not get a second vote and the amendment would be rejected).
Section 128 of the Constitution says that constitutional amendments require an absolute majority in both houses to be passed - a majority of the total number of MPs, not just those present and voting. For this reason, the Victorian Parliament thought that the Speaker's vote might be necessary to achieve the required number of MPs.
- Section 23 of the Constitution of Australia (the equivalent section in the Senate)
- "The Speaker's Casting Vote", The Hon. Neil Andrew MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- "House of Representatives Practice", 5th edition, Chapter 6, "The Speaker's vote".
- Quick, John; Garran, Robert (1901). The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.