The three sandglasses located on the centre Table
of the Chamber are used to time the bells that are rung for divisions
When a division is called in the House, a Clerk at
the Table presses a button to ring the division bell, which calls
Members to the
House to vote. The bells usually ring for four minutes,
except where another
division is called immediately after the first, in which
case the bell only rings for one minute. To time the bells,
four-minute sandglasses and a one-minute sandglass.
sandglasses were made at the Australian National University’s
scientific glass works. From time to time, they have
to be checked and adjusted because the grains of sand are gradually
by rubbing against the glass. This can cause small changes
to the accuracy of the timing.