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Parliament of Australia
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{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2019}}{{Use Australian English|date=July 2016}}







factoids
|border=darkgray}} Liberal (44){{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|LNP}}|border=darkgray}} LNP (23){{efn|17 LNP MPs sit in the Liberal party room and 6 sit in the National party room}}{{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|National}}|border=darkgray}} National (9)Opposition (68){{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Labor}}|border=darkgray}} Labor (68)Crossbench (7){{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|National}}|border=darkgray}} National (1){{efn|After Malcolm Turnbull lost the Liberal leadership, National MP Kevin Hogan (Page) left the government benches, but guaranteed confidence and supply and remained in the National party room.}}{{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Greens}}|border=darkgray}} Greens (1){{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Katter's Australian Party}}|border=darkgray}} Katter's Australian (1){{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Centre Alliance}}|border=darkgray}} Centre Alliance (1){{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Independent}}|border=darkgray}} Independent (3){{efn|Current independent MPs: Andrew Wilkie (Denison), Helen Haines (Indi), Zali Steggall (Warringah)}} |structure2 = File:Australian Senate (current composition).svg|structure2_res = 300pxGovernment of Australia>Government (31) Coalition {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Liberal}}|border=darkgray}} Liberal (25){{efn|Three Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) senators sit in the Liberal party room.}} {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|National}}|border=darkgray}} National (6){{efn|Two Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) senators and one Country Liberal Party (CLP) senator sit in the Nationals party room. Steve Martin, formerly an independent Senator for Tasmania, joined the Nationals on 28 May 2018.WEB,weblink Tasmanian Steve Martin joins the Nationals, boosting Coalition Senate numbers, 28 May 2018, afr.com, 9 August 2018, }} Opposition (26) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Labor}}|border=darkgray}} Labor (26) Crossbench (19) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Greens}}|border=darkgray}} Greens (9) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Centre Alliance}}|border=darkgray}} Centre Alliance (2) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|One Nation}}|border=darkgray}} One Nation (2) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|DHJP}}|border=darkgray}} Hinch's Justice (1) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Australian Conservatives}}|border=darkgray}} Conservatives (1) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Liberal Democrats}}|border=darkgray}} Liberal Democrat (1) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Palmer United Party}}|border=darkgray}} United Australia (1) {{Color box|#4169E1|border=darkgray}} Conservative National (1) {{Color box|{{Australian politics/party colours|Independent}}|border=darkgray}} Independent (1){{efn|The independent senator is Tim Storer (South Australia). He was declared elected by the High Court in place of Skye Kakoschke-Moore (Nick Xenophon Team). He did not sit with his original party.}}|voting_system1 = Instant-runoff voting2019 Australian federal election>18 May 2019Next Australian federal election>By 2022|voting_system2 = Single transferable vote2019 Australian federal election>18 May 2019 (half)Next Australian federal election>By May 2022|session_room = Parliament_House_at_dusk,_Canberra_ACT.jpgParliament House, Canberra>Parliament HouseCanberra, Australian Capital TerritoryAustraliaaph.gov.au}}}}{{Politics of Australia sidebar}}The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It consists of three elements: the Crown (represented by the Governor-General), the Senate and the House of Representatives.Constitution of Australia, section 1.Constitution of Australia, section 2. The combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modelled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, however, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system.BOOK, Williams, George, Brennan, Sean, Lynch, Andrew, 2014, Blackshield and Williams Australian Constitutional Law and Theory: Commentary and Materials, 6, Leichhardt, NSW, Federation P, 978-1-86287-918-8, 2, .The upper house, the Senate, consists of 76 members: twelve for each state, and two each for the territories, Northern Territory (including Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands) and the Australian Capital Territory (including Norfolk Island and the Jervis Bay Territory). Senators are elected using the single transferable vote proportional representation system and as a result, the chamber features a multitude of parties vying for power.WEB,weblink Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Fourteenth Edition Chapter 4 – Elections for the Senate, 2017, 25 March 2017, The governing party or coalition has not held a majority in the Senate since 1981 (except between 2005 and 2008) and usually needs to negotiate with other parties and Independents to get legislation passed.BOOK, Williams, George, Brennan, Sean, Lynch, Andrew, Blackshield and Williams Australian constitutional law and theory : commentary and materials, 2014, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW, 9781862879188, 415, 6th, The lower house, the House of Representatives, currently consists of 151 members, each elected using full-preference instant-runoff voting from single-member constituencies known as electoral divisions (and commonly referred to as "electorates" or "seats").WEB,weblink House of Representatives Practice, 6th Ed – Chapter 3 – Elections and the electoral system, 2015, 25 March 2017, WEB, A Short History of Federal Election Reform in Australia, Australian electoral history, Australian Electoral Commission, 8 June 2007,weblink 1 July 2007, This tends to lead to the chamber being dominated by two major political groups, the centre-right Coalition (consisting of the Liberal and National Parties) and the centre-left Labor Party. The government of the day must achieve the confidence of this House in order to gain and remain in power.Although elections can be called early, every three years the full House of Representatives and half of the Senate is dissolved and goes up for reelection. A deadlock-breaking mechanism known as a double dissolution can be used to dissolve the full Senate as well as the House in the event that the Upper House twice refuses to pass a piece of legislation passed by the Lower House.WEB,weblink Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Fourteenth Edition Chapter 21 – Relations with the House of Representatives, 2017, 22 March 2017, The two Houses meet in separate chambers of Parliament House (except in a rare joint sitting) on Capital Hill in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

History

Temporary home in Melbourne (1901–1927)

The Commonwealth of Australia came into being on 1 January 1901 with the federation of the six Australian colonies. The inaugural election took place on 29 and 30 March and the first Australian Parliament was opened on 9 May 1901 in Melbourne by Prince George, Duke of Cornwall and York, later King George V.BOOK, M., Simms (ed.), 2001, 1901: The forgotten election, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 0-7022-3302-1, The only building in Melbourne that was large enough to accommodate the 14,000 guests was the western annexe of the Royal Exhibition Building.The western annexe was demolished in the 1960s. After the official opening, from 1901 to 1927 the Parliament met in Parliament House, Melbourne, which it borrowed from the Parliament of Victoria (which sat, instead, in the Royal Exhibition Building until 1927).{| align=centerthumbThe Big Picture (painting)>The Big PictureThe Big Picture (painting)>The Big Picturethumb|Victorian Parliament House, where the Federal Parliament met until 1927)

Old Parliament House (1927–1988)

It had always been intended that the national Parliament would sit in a new national capital.Constitution of Australia, section 125: "The seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be determined by the Parliament, and shall be within territory which shall have been granted to or acquired by the Commonwealth, and shall be vested in and belong to the Commonwealth, and shall be in the State of New South Wales, and be distant not less than one hundred miles from Sydney. Such territory shall contain an area of not less than one hundred square miles, and such portion thereof as shall consist of Crown lands shall be granted to the Commonwealth without any payment therefor. The Parliament shall sit at Melbourne until it meet at the seat of Government." This was a compromise at Federation due to the rivalry between the two largest Australian cities, Sydney and Melbourne, which both wished to become the new capital. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital city in 1908.BOOK, Wendy, Lewis, Simon, Balderstone, John, Bowan, Events That Shaped Australia, 106, New Holland, 2006, 978-1-74110-492-9, Wendy Lewis, A competition was announced on 30 June 1914 to design Parliament House, with prize money of £7,000. However, due to the start of World War I the next month, the competition was cancelled. It was re-announced in August 1916, but again postponed indefinitely on 24 November 1916. In the meantime, John Smith Murdoch, the Commonwealth's Chief Architect, worked on the design as part of his official duties. He had little personal enthusiasm for the project, as he felt it was a waste of money and expenditure on it could not be justified at the time. Nevertheless, he designed the building by default.NEWS, Robert, Messenger, ""Mythical thing" to an iced reality" in "Old Parliament House: 75 Years of History", supplement, The Canberra Times, 4 May 2002, The construction of Old Parliament House, as it is called today, commenced on 28 August 1923WEB,weblink Australia's Prime Ministers: Timeline, National Archives of Australia, 4 May 2002, 14 December 2015, and was completed in early 1927. It was built by the Commonwealth Department of Works, using tradesmen and materials from all over Australia. The final cost was about £600,000, which was more than three times the original estimate. It was designed to house the parliament for a maximum of 50 years until a permanent facility could be built, but was actually used for more than 60 years.(File:Old Parliament House Canberra NS.jpg|thumb|center|350px|Old Parliament House as viewed from the front)The building was opened on 9 May 1927 by the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother). The opening ceremonies were both splendid and incongruous, given the sparsely built nature of Canberra of the time and its small population. The building was extensively decorated with British Empire and Australian flags and bunting. Temporary stands were erected bordering the lawns in front of the Parliament and these were filled with crowds. A Wiradjuri elder, Jimmy Clements, was one of only two aboriginal Australians present, having walked for about a week from Brungle Station (near Tumut) to be at the event.NEWS,weblink Power of occasion best expressed by the names of those who were not there, Tony, Wright, 13 February 2008, 13 February 2008, Melbourne, The Age, Dame Nellie Melba sang the National anthem (at that time God Save the King). The Duke of York unlocked the front doors with a golden key, and led the official party into King's Hall where he unveiled the statue of his father, King George V. The Duke then opened the first parliamentary session in the new Senate Chamber.WEB,weblink Museum of Australian Democracy: The Building: Events, Museum of Australian Democracy, 15 March 2017,

New Parliament House (1988–present)

In 1978 the Fraser Government decided to proceed with a new building on Capital Hill, and the Parliament House Construction Authority was created.NEWS, Parliament forced to build new Parliament House in Canberra, Max, Blenkin, 1 January 2009, Herald Sun, A two-stage competition was announced, for which the Authority consulted the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and, together with the National Capital Development Commission, made available to competitors a brief and competition documents. The design competition drew 329 entries from 29 countries.BOOK, Contemporary Trends in Landscape Architecture, Cantor, Steven L., 1996, John Wiley & Sons, 0-471-28791-1, 160–166,weblink 5 August 2013, The competition winner was the Philadelphia-based architectural firm of Mitchell/Giurgola, with the on-site work directed by the Italian-born architect Romaldo Giurgola,Tony Stephens, "Like his work, he'll blend into the landscape", The Sydney Morning Herald, {{Nowrap|3 July}} 1999 with a design which involved burying most of the building under Capital Hill, and capping the edifice with an enormous spire topped by a large Australian flag. The façades, however, included deliberate imitation of some of the patterns of the Old Parliament House, so that there is a slight resemblance despite the massive difference of scale. The building was also designed to "sit above" Old Parliament House when seen from a distance.Construction began in 1981, and the House was intended to be ready by Australia Day, {{Nowrap|26 January}} 1988, the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia. It was expected to cost {{Nowrap|A$220 million}}. Neither the deadline nor the budget was met. In the end it cost more than A$1.1 billion to build.NEWS, Dunkerley, Susanna, Parliament House to mark 20th birthday,weblink 13 March 2017, The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 May 2008, The New Parliament House was finally opened by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia on {{Nowrap|9 May}} 1988,BOOK, Lovell, David W, Ian MacAllister, William Maley, Chandran Kukathas, The Australian Political System, Addison Wesley Longman Australia Pty Ltd, 1998, South Melbourne, 737, 0-582-81027-2, the anniversary of the opening of both the first Federal Parliament in Melbourne on {{Nowrap|9 May}} 1901BOOK, Cannon, Michael, Australia Spirit of a Nation, Curry O'Neil Ross Pty Ltd, 1985, South Melbourne, 100, 0-85902-210-2, and the Provisional Parliament House in Canberra on {{Nowrap|9 May}} 1927.BOOK, Cannon, Michael, Australia Spirit of a Nation, Curry O'Neil Ross Pty Ltd, 1985, South Melbourne, 146, 0-85902-210-2, (File:Parliament House, Canberra, Pano jjron 25.9.2008-edit1.jpg|thumb|centre|800px|New Parliament House, opened in 1988, was built into Capital Hill behind Old Parliament House)

Composition and electoral systems

{{see also|Electoral system of Australia}}The Constitution establishes the Commonwealth Parliament, consisting of three components: the Queen of Australia, the Senate and the House of Representatives.Most of the constitutional functions of the Crown are given to the Governor-General, whom the Queen appoints on the advice of the Prime Minister to act as her representative in Australia. Specifically, the Constitution gives the Governor-General the power to assent to legislation, refuse to assent, or to reserve a bill for the Queen's pleasure. However, by convention, the Governor-General does not exercise these powers, other than in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.

Senate

(File:Victorian-senate-paper-folded-01.png|440x440px|thumb|left|Senate ballot paper used in Victoria for 2016)The upper house of the Australian Parliament is the Senate, which consists of 76 members. Like the United States Senate, on which it was partly modelled, the Australian Senate includes an equal number of Senators from each state, regardless of population. Unlike it, however, the Australian Senate has always been directly elected. (The US Senate has been directly elected only from 1913.)JOURNAL, Bybee, Jay S., Jay Bybee, 1997, Ulysses at the Mast: Democracy, Federalism, and the Sirens' Song of the Seventeenth Amendment, Northwestern University Law Review,weblink Northwestern University School of Law, 91, 1, 0029-3571, The Constitution allows Parliament to determine the number of Senators by legislation, provided that the six original states are equally represented. Furthermore, the Constitution provides that each original state is entitled to at least six Senators. However, neither of these provisions applies to any newly admitted states, or to territories. Pursuant to an Act of Parliament passed in 1973, Senators are elected to represent the territories.WEB,weblink Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1973. No. 39, 1974, Austlii.edu.au, 22 March 2017, Currently, the two Northern Territory Senators represent the residents of the Northern Territory as well as the Australian external territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The two Australian Capital Territory Senators represent the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory and since 1 July 2016, Norfolk Island.WEB,weblink Norfolk Island Electors, Australian Electoral Commission, 2016, 13 August 2016, While only half of the State Senate seats go up for re-election each three years (except in the case of a double dissolution) as they serve six-year terms, all of the Territory Senators must face the voters every three years.Until 1949, each state elected the constitutional minimum of six Senators. This number increased to ten from the 1949 election, and was increased again to twelve from the 1984 election. The system for electing Senators has changed several times since Federation. The original arrangement used a first-past-the-post block voting or "winner takes all" system, on a state-by-state basis. This was replaced in 1919 by preferential block voting. Block voting tended to produce landslide majorities and even "wipe-outs". For instance, from 1920 to 1923 the Nationalist Party had 35 of the 36 Senators, and from 1947 to 1950, the Australian Labor Party had 33 of the 36 Senators.BOOK, Sawer, Marian, Miskin, Sarah, yes, Papers on Parliament No. 34 Representation and Institutional Change: 50 Years of Proportional Representation in the Senate, Department of the Senate, 1999,weblink 0-642-71061-9, In 1948, single transferable vote proportional representation on a state-by-state basis became the method for electing Senators. This change has led to the rise of a number of minor parties such as the Democratic Labor Party, Australian Democrats and Australian Greens who have taken advantage of this system to achieve parliamentary representation and the balance of power. From the 1984 election, group ticket voting was introduced in order to reduce a high rate of informal voting but in 2016, group tickets were abolished to avoid undue influence of preference deals amongst parties that were seen as distorting election resultsWEB,weblink Senate voting changes explained in AEC advertisements, 26 April 2016, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3 February 2017, and a form of optional preferential voting was introduced.In 1984, legislation was passed with the intention of changing the way long and short term seats are allocated following a double dissolution election, however the method has not been used, despite two bipartisan senate resolutions in favour of change.Section 15 of the Constitution provides that a casual vacancy of a State Senator shall be filled by the State Parliament. If the previous Senator was a member of a particular political party the replacement must come from the same party, but the State Parliament may choose not to fill the vacancy, in which case Section 11 requires the Senate to proceed regardless. If the State Parliament happens to be in recess when the vacancy occurs, the Constitution provides that the State Governor can appoint someone to fill the place until fourteen days after the State Parliament resumes sitting. The State Parliament can also be recalled to ratify a replacement.

House of Representatives

File:2016-ballot-paper-Higgins.png|thumb|right|2016 House of Representatives ballot paper used in the Division of HigginsDivision of HigginsThe lower house of the Australian Parliament, the House of Representatives, is made up of single member electorates with roughly the same population. As is convention in the Westminster system, the party or coalition of parties that has the majority in this House forms the Government with the leader of that party or coalition becoming the Prime Minister. If the government loses the confidence of the House, they are expected to call a new election or resign.Parliament may determine the number of members of the House of Representatives but the Constitution provides that this number must be "as nearly as practicable, twice the number of Senators"; this requirement is commonly called the "nexus provision". Hence, the House presently consists of 150 members. Each state is allocated seats based on its population; however, each original state, regardless of size, is guaranteed at least five seats. The Constitution does not guarantee representation for the territories. Parliament granted a seat to the Northern Territory in 1922, and to the Australian Capital Territory in 1948; these territorial representatives, however, had only limited voting rights until 1968.WEB, Northern Territory Representation Act 1922, Documenting a Democracy,weblink 22 March 2017, Federal electorates have their boundaries redrawn or redistributed whenever a state or territory has its number of seats adjusted, if electorates are not generally matched by population size or if seven years have passed since the most recent redistribution.WEB,weblink Electoral Redistributions during the 45th Parliament, Barber, Stephen, 25 August 2016, 22 March 2017, From 1901 to 1949, the House consisted of either 74 or 75 members (the Senate had 36). Between 1949 and 1984, it had between 121 and 127 members (the Senate had 60 until 1975, when it increased to 64). In 1977, the High Court ordered that the size of the House be reduced from 127 to 124 members to comply with the nexus provision.Attorney-General (NSW); Ex Rel McKellar v Commonwealth [1977] HCA 1; (1977) 139 CLR 527 (1 February 1977) In 1984, both the Senate and the House were enlarged; since then the House has had between 148 and 150 members (the Senate has 76).From the beginning of Federation until 1918, first-past-the-post voting was used in order to elect members of the House of Representatives but since the 1918 Swan by-election which Labor unexpectedly won with the largest primary vote due to vote splitting amongst the conservative parties, the Nationalist Party government, a predecessor of the modern-day Liberal Party of Australia, changed the lower house voting system to Instant-runoff voting, which in Australia is known as full preferential voting, as of the subsequent 1919 election. This system has remained in place ever since, allowing the Coalition parties to safely contest the same seats.WEB, Green, Antony, Antony Green, History of Preferential Voting in Australia, Antony Green Election Guide: Federal Election 2004, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2004,weblink 1 July 2007, Full-preference preferential voting re-elected the Bob Hawke government at the 1990 election, the first time in federal history that Labor had obtained a net benefit from preferential voting.WEB,weblink The Origin of Senate Group Ticket Voting, and it didn't come from the Major Parties, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3 February 2017,

Both Houses

File:Houses of Parliament viewed from Mount Ainslie.jpg|thumb|left|Canberra from Mount Ainslie: across the lake is Old Parliament House and behind it the new Parliament House ]]It is not possible to be simultaneously a member of both the Senate and the House of Representatives,Constitution of Australia, section 43. but a number of people have been members of both Houses at different times in their parliamentary career (see List of people who have served in both Houses of the Australian Parliament).Only Australian citizens are eligible for election to either house.Constitution of Australia, section 34(ii); Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth), section 163(1)(b), following the establishment of an Australian citizenship from 1949. They must not also hold citizenship of a "foreign power".Constitution of Australia, section 44(i). When the Constitution was drafted, all Australians were British subjects, so the word "foreign" meant non-British. But, in the landmark case Sue v Hill (1999), the High Court of Australia ruled that, at least since the Australia Act 1986, Britain has been a "foreign power", so that British citizens are also excluded.Section 44(i) extends beyond actual citizenship, but in Sue v Hill only the status of British Citizen was in question.Compulsory voting was introduced for federal elections in 1924. The immediate justification for compulsory voting was the low voter turnout (59.38%) at the 1922 federal election, down from 71.59% at the 1919 federal election. Compulsory voting was not on the platform of either the Stanley Bruce-led Nationalist/Country party coalition government or the Matthew Charlton-led Labor opposition. The actual initiative for change was made by Herbert Payne, a backbench Tasmanian Nationalist Senator who on 16 July 1924 introduced a private Senator's bill in the Senate. Payne's bill was passed with little debate (the House of Representatives agreeing to it in less than an hour), and in neither house was a division required, hence no votes were recorded against the bill.WEB,weblink "The case for compulsory voting"; by Chris Puplick, Mind-trek.com, 30 June 1997, 16 June 2010, The 1925 federal election was the first to be conducted under compulsory voting, which saw the turnout figure rise to 91.4%. The turnout increased to about 95% within a couple of elections and has stayed at about that level since.WEB,weblink Compulsory Voting in Australia, PDF, 16 January 2006, 4 February 2011, Australian Electoral Commission, Since 1973, citizens have had the right to vote upon turning 18. Prior to this it was 21.WEB, Australia's major electoral developments Timeline: 1900 – Present,weblink Australian Electoral Commission, 25 March 2017, Australian Federal Police officers armed with assault rifles have been situated in both chambers of the Federal Parliament since 2015. It is the first time in Australian history that a parliament has possessed armed personnel.WEB,weblink Armed guards now stationed to protect Australian MPs and senators in both chambers of Federal Parliament, James, Massola, 9 February 2015, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 2017,

Procedure

File:Australian Senate - Parliament of Australia.jpg|left|thumb|The Australian SenateAustralian Senate(File:Senate, Old Parliament House, Canberra.JPG|right|thumb|The Senate chamber at Old Parliament House)File:Australian House of Representatives - Parliament of Australia.jpg|left|thumb|The Australian House of RepresentativesAustralian House of Representatives(File:House of Representatives, Old Parliament House, Canberra.JPG|right|thumb|The House of Representatives chamber at Old Parliament House)Each of the two Houses elects a presiding officer. The presiding officer of the Senate is called the President; that of the House of Representatives is the Speaker. Elections for these positions are by secret ballot. Both offices are conventionally filled by members of the governing party, but the presiding officers are expected to oversee debate and enforce the rules in an impartial manner.WEB,weblink House of Representatives Practice, 6th Ed – Chapter 6 – The Speaker, Deputy Speakers and officers, 2015, 23 February 2017, The Constitution authorises Parliament to set the quorum for each chamber. The quorum of the Senate is one-quarter of the total membership (nineteen); that of the House of Representatives is one-fifth of the total membership (thirty). In theory, if a quorum is not present, then a House may not continue to meet. In practice, members usually agree not to notice that a quorum is not present, so that debates on routine bills can continue without other members having to be present.{{cn|date=May 2018}} Sometimes the Opposition will "call a quorum" as a tactic to annoy the Government or delay proceedings, particularly when the Opposition feels it has been unfairly treated in the House. The session of the relevant House is suspended until a quorum is present.{{cn|date=May 2018}} It is the responsibility of the Government whips to ensure that, when a quorum is called, enough Government members are present to make up a quorum.Both Houses may determine motions by voice vote: the presiding officer puts the question, and, after listening to shouts of "Aye" and "No" from the members, announces the result. The announcement of the presiding officer settles the question, unless at least two members demand a "division", or a recorded vote. In that case the bells are rung throughout Parliament House summoning Senators or Members to the chamber. During a division, members who favour the motion move to the right side of the chamber, whereas those opposed move to the left. They are then counted by the "tellers" (Government and Opposition whips), and the motion is passed or defeated accordingly. In the Senate, in order not to deprive a state of a vote in what is supposed to be a states' house, the President is permitted a vote along with other Senators (however, that right is rarely exercised); in the case of a tie, the President does not have a casting vote and the motion fails.WEB,weblink Senate Brief – No. 6 – The President of the Senate, Department of the Senate, 29 March 2017, In the House of Representatives, the Speaker does not vote, except in the case of a tie (see casting vote).Most legislation is introduced into the House of Representatives and goes through a number of stages to become a law. At present, most of this process occurs in English, however there have been growing calls for parliamentary debate to become more multi-lingual, particularly with respect to Indigenous languages.WEB,weblink Goodwin, Timothy, Murphy, Julian R., Raised Voices: Parliamentary Debate in Indigenous Languages, AUSPUBLAW, 15 May 2019, 31 May 2019, The first stage is a first reading, where the legislation is introduced to the chamber, then there is a second reading, where a vote is taken on the general outlines of the bill. The legislation can then be considered by a House committee, which reports back to the House on any recommendations. This is followed by a consideration in detail stage, where the House can explore the bill in detail and make any amendments. This is finally followed by a third reading, where the bill is either passed or rejected by the House. If passed, the legislation is then sent to the Senate, which has a similar structure of debate and passage except that the consideration in detail stage is replaced by a committee of the whole. Once a bill has been passed by both Houses in the same form, it is then presented to the Governor-General for royal assent.WEB,weblink Fact Sheet – Making a Law, Parliamentary Education Office, 23 March 2017,

Functions

File:Constitution of Australia.jpg|left|thumb|The Constitution of AustraliaConstitution of AustraliaThe principal function of the Parliament is to pass laws, or legislation. Any Senator or Member may introduce a proposed law (a bill), except for a money bill (a bill proposing an expenditure or levying a tax), which must be introduced in the House of Representatives.Constitution, section 53. In practice, the great majority of bills are introduced by ministers. Bills introduced by other Members are called private members' bills. All bills must be passed by both Houses to become law. The Senate has the same legislative powers as the House, except that it may not amend money bills, only pass or reject them. The enacting formula for Acts of Parliament is simply "The Parliament of Australia enacts:".WEB,weblink House of Representatives Practice, 6th Ed – Chapter 10 – Legislation – BILLS—THE PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS, 2015, 23 February 2017, The Commonwealth legislative power is limited to that granted in the Constitution. Powers not specified are considered "residual powers", and remain the domain of the states. Section 51 grants the Commonwealth power over areas such as taxation, external affairs, defence and marriage. Section 51 also allows State parliaments to refer matters to the Commonwealth to legislate.WEB,weblink Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Fourteenth Edition Chapter 1 – The Senate and its constitutional role – Legislative Powers, 2017, 8 May 2017, Section 96 of the Australian Constitution gives the Commonwealth Parliament the power to grant money to any State, "on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit". In effect, the Commonwealth can make grants subject to States implementing particular policies in their fields of legislative responsibility. Such grants, known as "tied grants" (since they are tied to a particular purpose), have been used to give the federal parliament influence over state policy matters such as public hospitals and schools.WEB, Bennett, Scott, Webb, Richard,weblink Specific purpose payments and the Australian federal system, 1 January 2008, 3 March 2017, The Parliament performs other functions besides legislation. It can discuss urgency motions or matters of public importance: these provide a forum for debates on public policy matters.WEB,weblink BRIEF GUIDES TO SENATE PROCEDURE – No. 9 – Matters of public importance and urgency motions, 8 May 2017, Senators and Members can move motions of censure against the government or against individual ministers. On most sitting days in both Houses there is a session called Question time at which Senators and Members address questions to the Prime Minister and other ministers.WEB,weblink House of Representatives – Infosheet 1 – Questions, 8 May 2017, Senators and Members can also present petitions from their constituents.WEB,weblink Parliament of Australia – Petitions, 8 May 2017, Both Houses have an extensive system of committees in which draft bills are debated, evidence is taken and public servants are questioned. There are also joint committees, composed of members from both Houses.

Conflict between the Houses

File:Joint Sitting of the Australian Parliament of 1974.jpg|thumb|right|The Joint Sitting of the Australian Parliament of 1974Joint Sitting of the Australian Parliament of 1974In the event of conflict between the two Houses over the final form of legislation, the Constitution provides for a simultaneous dissolution of both Houses – known as a double dissolution. Section 57 of the Constitution states that, "If the House of Representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same or the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously."Constitution of Australia, section 57.In an election following a double dissolution, each state elects their entire 12-seat Senate delegation, while the two territories represented in the Senate each elect their two senators as they would in a regular federal election. Because all seats are contested in the same election, it is easier for smaller parties to win seats under the single transferable vote system: the quota for the election of each senator in each Australian state in a full Senate election is 7.69% of the vote, while in a normal half-Senate election the quota is 14.28%.WEB, Damon, Muller,weblink FlagPost – (Almost) everything you need to know about double dissolution elections, Australian Parliamentary Library, 2016, 29 March 2017, If the conflict continues after such an election, the Governor-General may convene a joint sitting of both Houses to consider the bill or bills, including any amendments which have been previously proposed in either House, or any new amendments. If a bill is passed by an absolute majority of the total membership of the joint sitting, it is treated as though it had been passed separately by both Houses, and is presented for royal assent. With proportional representation, and the small majorities in the Senate compared to the generally larger majorities in the House of Representatives, and the requirement that the number of members of the House be "nearly as practicable" twice that of the Senate, a joint sitting after a double dissolution is more likely than not to lead to a victory for the House over the Senate. This provision has only been invoked on one occasion, after the election following the 1974 double dissolution.WEB,weblink House of Representatives Practice, 6th Ed – Chapter 13 – Disagreements between the Houses – JOINT SITTING, 2015, 3 March 2017, However, there are other occasions when the two Houses meet as one: see Joint meetings of the Australian Parliament.

Committees

{{see also|Australian Senate committees|Australian House of Representatives committees}}
missing image!
- AustralianSenateCommitteeRm.JPG -
A Senate committee room in Parliament House, Canberra
(File:Australian Parliament Parliamentary Committees.webm|thumb|A short video on Australian Parliamentary Committees)In addition to the work of the main chambers, both the Senate and the House of Representatives also have a large number of committees which deal with matters referred to them by their respective Houses. They provide the opportunity for all Members and Senators to ask questions of ministers and public officials as well as conduct inquiries, examine policy and legislation.WEB,weblink Committees, aph.gov.au, 3 March 2017, Once a particular inquiry is completed the members of the committee can then produce a report, to be tabled in Parliament, outlining what they have discovered as well as any recommendations that they have produced for the Government to consider.WEB,weblink Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Fourteenth Edition Chapter 16 – Committees, 2017, 19 March 2017, The ability of the Houses of Parliament to establish committees is referenced in Section 49 of the Constitution, which states that, "The powers, privileges, and immunities of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, and of the members and the committees of each House, shall be such as are declared by the Parliament, and until declared shall be those of the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and of its members and committees, at the establishment of the Commonwealth."Constitution of Australia, section 49.Parliamentary committees can be given a wide range of powers. One of the most significant powers is the ability to summon people to attend hearings in order to give evidence and submit documents. Anyone who attempts to hinder the work of a Parliamentary committee may be found to be in contempt of Parliament. There are a number of ways that witnesses can be found in contempt, these include; refusing to appear before a committee when summoned, refusing to answer a question during a hearing or to produce a document, or later being found to have lied to or misled a committee. Anyone who attempts to influence a witness may also be found in contempt.WEB,weblink Infosheet 4 – Committees, aph.gov.au, 22 February 2017, Other powers include, the ability to meet throughout Australia, to establish subcommittees and to take evidence in both public and private hearings.Proceedings of committees are considered to have the same legal standing as proceedings of Parliament, they are recorded by Hansard, except for private hearings, and also operate under Parliamentary privilege. Every participant, including committee members and witnesses giving evidence, are protected from being prosecuted under any civil or criminal action for anything they may say during a hearing. Written evidence and documents received by a committee are also protected.Types of committees include:Standing Committees, which are established on a permanent basis and are responsible for scrutinising bills and topics referred to them by the chamber; examining the government's budget and activities (in what is called the budget estimates process); and for examining departmental annual reports and activities.Select Committees, which are temporary committees, established in order to deal with particular issues.Domestic Committees, which are responsible for administering aspects of the Parliament's own affairs. These include the Selection Committees of both Houses that determine how the Parliament will deal with particular pieces of legislation and private members business and the Privileges Committees that deal with matters of Parliamentary Privilege.Legislative Scrutiny Committees, which examine legislation and regulations to determine their impact on individual rights and accountability.Joint Committees are also established to include both members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Relationship with the Government

File:Peter Cosgrove with Second Turnbull Ministry 2016.jpg|thumb|right|Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove with members of the Second Turnbull Ministry]]Under the Constitution, the Governor-General has the power to appoint and dismiss "Ministers of State" who administer government departments. In practice, the Governor-General chooses ministers in accordance with the traditions of the Westminster system. The Governor-General appoints as Prime Minister the leader of the party that has a majority of seats in or control of the House of Representatives and the Ministers are then appointed by the Governor-General as had been designated by the Prime Minister from his or her party or coalition of parties.These ministers then meet in a council known as Cabinet. Cabinet meetings are strictly private and occur once a week where vital issues are discussed and policy formulated. The Constitution does not recognise the Cabinet as a legal entity; it exists solely by convention. Its decisions do not in and of themselves have legal force. However, it serves as the practical expression of the Federal Executive Council, which is Australia's highest formal governmental body.WEB, Federal Executive Council Handbook,weblink Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 3 March 2017, In practice, the Federal Executive Council meets solely to endorse and give legal force to decisions already made by the Cabinet. All members of the Cabinet are members of the Executive Council. While the Governor-General is nominal presiding officer, she or he almost never attends Executive Council meetings. The Governor-General is bound by convention to follow the advice of the Executive Council on almost all occasions, giving it de facto executive power.WEB, Democracy in Australia – Australia's political system,weblink Australian Collaboration, 25 January 2014, A senior member of the Cabinet holds the office of Vice-President of the Executive Council and acts as presiding officer of the Executive Council in the absence of the Governor-General. The Federal Executive Council is the Australian equivalent of the Executive Councils and privy councils in other Commonwealth realms such as the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.BOOK, Hamer, David, The executive government,weblink Department of the Senate (Australia), 2004, 0-642-71433-9, 113, A minister is not required to be a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives at the time of their appointment, but their office is forfeited if they do not become a member of either house within three months of their appointment. This provision was included in the Constitution (section 64) to enable the inaugural Ministry, led by Edmund Barton, to be appointed on 1 January 1901, even though the first federal elections were not scheduled to be held until 29 and 30 March.WEB, Martha, Rutledge, Sir Edmund (1849–1920), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University,weblink 8 February 2010, After the 1949 election, John Spicer and Bill Spooner became ministers in the Menzies Government on 19 December, despite their terms in the Senate not beginning until 22 February 1950.AUSTRALIAN DICTIONARY OF BIOGRAPHY, Starr, Graeme, 2000, A160350b, Spooner, Sir William Henry (1897–1966), 7 January 2008, The provision was also used after the disappearance and presumed death of the Liberal Prime Minister Harold Holt in December 1967. The Liberal Party elected John Gorton, then a Senator, as its new leader, and he was sworn in as Prime Minister on 10 January 1968 (following an interim ministry led by John McEwen). On 1 February, Gorton resigned from the Senate to stand for the 24 February by-election in Holt's former House of Representatives electorate of Higgins due to the convention that the Prime Minister be a member of the lower house. For 22 days (2 to 23 February inclusive) he was Prime Minister while a member of neither house of parliament.WEB, John Gorton Prime Minister from 10 January 1968 to 10 March 1971, National Museum of Australia,weblink 3 March 2017, On a number of occasions when Ministers have retired from their seats prior to an election, or stood but lost their own seats in the election, they have retained their Ministerial offices until the next government is sworn in.

Role of the Senate

(File:Senate panorama.jpg|left|thumb|The Australian Senate)The Constitution of Australia established the Senate as part of the new system of dominion government in newly federated Australia. From a comparative governmental perspective, the Australian Senate exhibits distinctive characteristics. Unlike upper Houses in other Westminster system governments, the Senate is not a vestigial body with limited legislative power. Rather it was intended to play – and does play – an active role in legislation. Rather than being modelled solely after the House of Lords, as the Canadian Senate was, the Australian Senate was in part modelled after the United States Senate, by giving equal representation to each state. The Constitution intended to give less populous states added voice in a Federal legislature, while also providing for the revising role of an upper house in the Westminster system.WEB,weblink Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Fourteenth Edition Chapter 1 – The Senate and its constitutional role – The Senate, bicameralism and federalism, 2017, 17 March 2017, One of the functions of the Senate, both directly and through its committees, is to scrutinise government activity. The vigour of this scrutiny has been fuelled for many years by the fact that the party in government has seldom had a majority in the Senate. Whereas in the House of Representatives the government's majority has sometimes limited that chamber's capacity to implement executive scrutiny, the opposition and minor parties have been able to use their Senate numbers as a basis for conducting inquiries into government operations.BOOK, Bach, Stanley, Platypus and Parliament: The Australian Senate in Theory and Practice, Department of the Senate, 2003,weblink 352, 0-642-71291-3, The constitutional text denies the Senate the power to originate or amend appropriation bills, in deference to the conventions of the classical Westminster system. Under a traditional Westminster system, the executive government is responsible for its use of public funds to the lower house, which has the power to bring down a government by blocking its access to supply – i.e. revenue appropriated through taxation. The arrangement as expressed in the Australian Constitution, however, still leaves the Senate with the power to reject supply bills or defer their passage – undoubtedly one of the Senate's most powerful abilities.WEB,weblink Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Fourteenth Edition Chapter 1 – The Senate and its constitutional role – Legislative powers, 2017, 17 March 2017, }}The ability to block supply was the origin of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. The Opposition used its numbers in the Senate to defer supply bills, refusing to deal with them until an election was called for both Houses of Parliament, an election which it hoped to win. The Prime Minister of the day, Gough Whitlam, contested the legitimacy of the blocking and refused to resign. The crisis brought to a head two Westminster conventions that, under the Australian constitutional system, were in conflict – firstly, that a government may continue to govern for as long as it has the support of the lower house, and secondly, that a government that no longer has access to supply must either resign or be dismissed. The crisis was resolved in November 1975 when Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed Whitlam's government and appointed a caretaker government on condition that elections for both Houses of parliament be held. This action in itself was a source of controversy and debate continues on the proper usage of the Senate's ability to block supply and on whether such a power should even exist.BOOK, Bach, Stanley, Platypus and Parliament: The Australian Senate in Theory and Practice, Department of the Senate, 2003,weblink 300, 0-642-71291-3, The blocking of supply alone cannot force a double dissolution. There must be legislation repeatedly blocked by the Senate which the government can then choose to use as a trigger for a double dissolution.WEB, Green, Antony, An Early Double Dissolution? Don't Hold Your Breath!,weblink Antony Green's Election Blog, ABC, 19 May 2014, 1 August 2016,

Privileges

Members of the Australian Parliament do not have legal immunity: they can be arrested and tried for any offence. They do, however, have Parliamentary privilege: they cannot be sued for anything they say in Parliament about each other or about persons outside the Parliament.WEB,weblink House of Representatives Practice, 6th Ed – Chapter 19 – Parliamentary privilege, 2015, 3 March 2017, This privilege extends to reporting in the media of anything a Senator or Member says in Parliament. The proceedings of parliamentary committees, wherever they meet, are also covered by privilege, and this extends to witnesses before such committees.From the beginning of Federation until 1987, Parliamentary privilege operated under Section 49 of the Constitution, which established the privileges of both Houses and their members to be the same as the House of Commons of the United Kingdom at the time of the Constitution's enactment. The Parliament was also given the power to amend its privileges. In 1987, the Parliament passed the "Parliamentary Privileges Act", which clarified the meaning and extent of privilege as well as how the Parliament deals with breaches.WEB,weblink Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Fourteenth Edition Chapter 2 – Parliamentary privilege: immunities and powers of the Senate, 2017, 19 March 2017, There is a legal offence called contempt of Parliament. A person who speaks or acts in a manner contemptuous of the Parliament or its members can be tried and, if convicted, imprisoned. The Parliament previously had the power to hear such cases itself, and did so in the Browne–Fitzpatrick privilege case, 1955. This power has now been delegated to the courts. There have been few convictions. In May 2007, Harriet Swift, an anti-logging activist from New South Wales was convicted and reprimanded for contempt of Parliament, after she wrote fictitious press releases and letters purporting to be from Federal MP Gary Nairn as an April Fools' Day prank.WEB, Activist contempt over April Fools stunt,weblink The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 May 2007, 1 June 2007,

Broadcasting

Radio broadcasts of Parliamentary proceedings began on 10 July 1946.WEB,weblink Parliamentary Library: Australian Political Records (Research Note 42 1997–98), 12 September 2008, unfit,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/19990203155622weblink">weblink 3 February 1999, They were originally broadcast on Radio National. Since August 1994 they have been broadcast on ABC News, a government-owned channel set up specifically for this function. It operates 24 hours a day and broadcasts other news items when parliament is not sitting.The first televised parliamentary event was the historic 1974 Joint Sitting.WEB,weblink The first joint sitting, Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University, 23 March 2017, Regular free-to-air television broadcasts of Question Time began in August 1990 from the Senate and February 1991 from the House of Representatives. Question Time from the House of Representatives is televised live, and the Senate Question Time is recorded and broadcast later that day. Other free-to-air televised broadcasts include: the Treasurer's Budget speech and the Leader of the Opposition's reply to the Budget two days later; the opening of Parliament by the Governor-General; the swearing-in of Governors-General; and addresses to the Parliament by visiting heads of state.In 2009, the Pay TV company Foxtel launched A-SPAN, now called Sky News Extra", which broadcasts live sittings of the House of Representatives and the Senate, parliamentary Committee meetings and political press conferences.NEWS, Rudd hails new A-Span TV network,weblink ABC News (Australia), ABC News, 8 December 2008, 8 December 2008, The Parliament House official website provides free extensive daily proceedings of both chambers as well as committee hearings live on the Internet.WEB,weblink Watch Parliament, aph.gov.au, 22 February 2017,

Current Parliament

{{see also|2016 Australian federal election|Members of the Australian Senate, 2016–2019|Members of the Australian House of Representatives, 2016–2019}}The current Parliament is the 45th Australian Parliament. The most recent federal election was held on 2 July 2016 and the 45th Parliament first sat on 30 August.The outcome of the 2016 election saw the first-term incumbent Liberal/National Coalition re-elected with 76 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives (a decrease of 14 seats), a bare one-seat majority government − the closest federal majority result since the 1961 election. The Shorten Labor opposition won 69 seats, an increase of 14 seats. On the crossbench, the Australian Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team, Katter's Australian Party, and independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan won a seat each.WEB,weblink Labor takes seat of Herbert, leaving Malcolm Turnbull with majority of just one seat, David, Wroe, 1 August 2016, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 2017, WEB,weblink House of Reps 2016 election results: AEC, aec.gov.au, 3 February 2017, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160905222537weblink">weblink 5 September 2016, The Senate result saw the Liberal/National Coalition with 30 seats (−3), Labor with 26 (+1), the Greens with 9 (−1), One Nation with 4 (+4) and Nick Xenophon Team with 3 (+2). Derryn Hinch won a seat representing his Justice Party, while Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm, Family First's Bob Day, and Jacqui Lambie retained their seats. The number of crossbenchers increased by two to a record 20. The Liberal/National Coalition required at least nine additional votes to reach a Senate majority, an increase of three.WEB,weblink AEC (@AusElectoralCom), Twitter, 3 February 2017, {{Primary source inline|date=March 2019}}{{Primary source inline|date=March 2019}}WEB,weblink Federal Election 2016: Senate Results, 3 July 2016, 4 July 2016, Australia Votes, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, WEB,weblink Senate photo finishes, Blogs.crikey.com.au, 12 July 2016, 30 July 2016, The Liberal/National Coalition and Labor parties agreed that the first elected six of twelve Senators in each state would serve a six-year term, while the last six elected in each state would serve a three-year term, despite two previous bipartisan senate resolutions to use an alternative method to allocate long and short term seats. By doing this, Labor and the Coalition each gained one Senate seat from 2019.NEWS,weblink Cormann raises 'first elected' plan to halve Senate terms for crossbenchers, 12 August 2016, The Australian, 18 March 2017, WEB,weblink Senate terms: Derryn Hinch and Greens' Lee Rhiannon given three years, Gareth, Hutchens, 12 August 2016, 3 February 2017, The Guardian, WEB,weblink LP-LNP deal to force senators back to poll in three years, 13 August 2016, The Australian, 18 March 2017, WEB,weblink Coalition and Labor team up to clear out crossbench senators in 2019, Fergus, Hunter, 12 August 2016, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 2017, Bob Day, of the Family First Party, resigned from the Senate on 1 November 2016 following the collapse of his business. His eligibility to have stood in the 2016 election was referred by the Senate to the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns.WEB,weblink Court finds witnesses not enough to prove Bob Day breached constitution, 27 January 2017, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3 February 2017, In April 2017 the court found that Day was not validly elected at the 2016 election and ordered that a special recount of South Australian ballot papers be held in order to determine his replacement.WEB,weblink Family First ex-senator Bob Day's election ruled invalid by High Court, ABC News, 5 April 2017, The court announced that Lucy Gichuhi was elected in his place on 19 April 2017.NEWS,weblink Family First senator Lucy Gichuhi survives ALP challenge over citizenship concerns, Matthew, Doran, Henry, Belot, Joanna, Crothers, 19 April 2017, 19 April 2017, ABC News (Australia), ABC News, NEWS,weblink Karp, Paul, Court rebuffs Labor challenge to Family First senator Lucy Gichuhi, The Guardian, 20 April 2017, 20 April 2017, On 26 April 2017, Family First merged with the Australian Conservatives; however, Gichuhi declined to join the new party, announcing she would sit as an independent.NEWS, Belot, Henry, Cory Bernardi unwilling to wait for Lucy Gichuhi to 'get her head around' things,weblink 26 April 2017, ABC News, 26 April 2017, Rodney Culleton, who had left Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party on 19 December 2016 to become an independent, had his eligibility to stand in the 2016 election challenged on two constitutional grounds. Among the grounds of ineligibility provided in Constitution section 44, a person cannot sit in either house of the Parliament if they are bankrupt or have been convicted of a criminal offence carrying a potential prison sentence of one year or more.Culleton was declared bankrupt by the Federal Court on 23 December 2016. On 11 January 2017, after receiving an official copy of the judgment, the President of the Senate declared Culleton's seat vacant. Culleton's appeal against that judgment was dismissed by a full court of the Federal Court on 3 February 2017.WEB,weblink Rod Culleton: Former One Nation senator loses appeal against court bankruptcy verdict, 4 February 2017, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10 February 2017, This judgment was followed later on the same day by the High Court's decision that Culleton was ineligible owing to conviction for a criminal offence carrying a potential prison sentence of one year or more. This was a decision as the Court of Disputed Returns following a reference by the Senate at the same time as with Day. It was decided that, since Culleton's liability to a two-year sentence for larceny had been in place at the time of the 2016 election, he had been ineligible for election and that this was not affected by the subsequent annulment of that conviction; the Court also held that the resulting vacancy should be filled by a recount of the ballot, in a manner to be determined by a single Justice of the Court.Re Culleton [No 2] [2017] HCA 4 (3 February 2017). Following that recount, on 10 March 2017 the High Court named Peter Georgiou as his replacement, returning One Nation to 4 seats.WEB,weblink One Nation: Rod Culleton's brother-in-law Peter Georgiou confirmed as replacement, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10 March 2017, On 7 February 2017, South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi resigned from the Liberal Party, to form a new party called the Australian Conservatives.WEB, Uhlmann, Chris, Norman, Jane, Cory Bernardi to split with Coalition to form Australian Conservatives party,weblink ABC News (Australia), ABC News Australia, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 7 February 2017,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170207024116weblink">weblink 7 February 2017, 7 February 2017, Throughout the later half of 2017, several members of the Parliament, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, have had their eligibility for parliament challenged for breach of section 44 of the Constitution, due to dual citizenships. The High Court unanimously ruled on 27 October 2017 that a dual citizen is disqualified from taking seat in parliament, unless he/she had taken "all steps reasonably required by foreign law to renounce his or her citizenship of a foreign power". This meant that five parliamentarians were ineligible to take their seat. After the judgement, many other members of parliament have also been found to have dual citizenship and disqualified.

Historical compositions

Senate

The Senate has included representatives from a range of political parties, including several parties that have seldom or never had representation in the House of Representatives, but which have consistently secured a small but significant level of electoral support, as the table shows.Results represent the composition of the Senate after the elections. The full Senate has been contested on eight occasions; the inaugural election and seven double dissolutions. These are underlined and highlighted in puce.WEB,weblink A database of elections, governments, parties and representation for Australian state and federal parliaments since 1890, University of Western Australia, 15 February 2009, {| class="toccolours" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" style="float:left; margin-right:.5em; margin-top:.4em; font-size:90%;" style="background:#ccf;"!colspan=2 rowspan=2|ElectionYear!Labor! colspan="2"|Liberal{{efn|Includes results for the Free Trade Party for 1901 and 1903, the Anti-Socialist Party for 1906, the Commonwealth Liberal Party for 1910–1914, the Nationalist Party for 1917–1929, and the United Australia Party for 1931–1943.}}!National{{efn|Includes results for the Country Party for 1919–1974 and the National Country Party for 1975–1980.}}!DemocraticLabor!Democrats!Greens!CLP! rowspan="2"|Independent! colspan="2" rowspan="2"|Otherparties! rowspan="2"|Totalseats! rowspan="2" colspan="2"|ElectoralsystemLabor}}|Liberal}}|Liberal}}|Nationals}}|Democratic Labor}}|Democrats}}|Greens}}|CLP}}|| style="background:#cc8899;"!width=20|1st!width=40|1901811{{efnProtectionist Party}}17| | | | | |  36Plurality-at-large voting style="background:#eee;"!2nd!1903812{{efn| name ="D"}}14| | | | | 11Revenue Tariff Party (Tasmania)>Revenue Tariff36Plurality-at-large voting!3rd!1906156{{efn| name ="D"}}13| | | | | 2 36Plurality-at-large voting style="background:#eee;"!4th!19102214| | | | | |  36Plurality-at-large voting!5th!1913297| | | | | |  36Plurality-at-large voting style="background:#cc8899;"!6th!1914315| | | | | |  36Plurality-at-large voting!7th!19171224| | | | | |  36Plurality-at-large voting style="background:#eee;"!8th!1919135| | | | | |  36Preferential block voting!9th!19221224| | | | | |  36Preferential block voting style="background:#eee;"!10th!19258253| | | | |  36Preferential block voting!11th!19287245| | | | |  36Preferential block voting style="background:#eee;"!12th!193110215| | | | |  36Preferential block voting!13th!19343267| | | | |  36Preferential block voting style="background:#eee;"!14th!193716164| | | | |  36Preferential block voting!15th!194017154| | | | |  36Preferential block voting style="background:#eee;"!16th!194322122| | | | |  36Preferential block voting!17th!19463321| | | | |  36Preferential block voting style="background:#eee;"!18th!194934215| | | | |  60Single transferable vote style="background:#cc8899;"!19th!195128266| | | | |  60Single transferable vote style="background:#eee;"!20th!195329265| | | | |  60Single transferable vote!21st!1955282462| | | |  60Single transferable vote style="background:#eee;"!22nd!1958262572| | | |  60Single transferable vote!23rd!1961282461| | | 1 60Single transferable vote style="background:#eee;"!24th!1964272372| | | 1 60Single transferable vote!25th!1967272174| | | 1 60Single transferable vote style="background:#eee;"!26th!1970262155| | | 3 60Single transferable vote style="background:#cc8899;"!27th!197429236| | | | 11Liberal Movement (Australia)>Liberal Movement60Single transferable vote style="background:#cc8899;"!28th!197527266| | | 111Liberal Movement (Australia)>Liberal Movement64Single transferable vote!29th!197727276| 2| 11 64Single transferable vote style="background:#eee;"!30th!198027283| 5| 11 64Single transferable vote style="background:#cc8899;"!31st!198330234| 5| 11 64Single transferable vote style="background:#eee;"!32nd!198434275| 7| 111Nuclear Disarmament Party>Nuclear Disarmament76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket) style="background:#cc8899;"!33rd!198732267| 7| 121Nuclear Disarmament Party>Nuclear Disarmament76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket) style="background:#eee;"!34th!199032285| 8| 111Greens Western Australia>Greens (WA)76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket)!35th!199330296| 7| 112Greens Western Australia>Greens (WA) (2)76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket) style="background:#eee;"!36th!199629315| 7| 112Greens Western Australia>Greens (WA), Greens (Tas)76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket)!37th!199829313| 91111One Nation (Australia)>One Nation76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket) style="background:#eee;"!38th!200128313| 82121One Nation (Australia)>One Nation76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket)!39th!200428335| 441| 1Family First Party>Family First76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket) style="background:#eee;"!40th!200732324| | 5111Family First Party>Family First76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket)!41st!20103128 + (3 LNP)21| 911 76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket) style="background:#eee;"!42nd!20132523 + (5 LNP)3 + (1 LNP)1| 10116Family First Party,Liberal Democratic Party (Australia)>Liberal Democrats, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, Palmer United Party>Palmer United (3)76Single transferable vote (Group voting ticket) style="background:#cc8899;"!43rd!20162621 + (3 LNP)3 + (2 LNP)| 9111Family First Party,Liberal Democratic Party (Australia)>Liberal Democrats, Jacqui Lambie Network,Derryn Hinch's Justice Party>Justice Party, Centre Alliance (3), One Nation (4)76Single transferable vote (Optional preferential voting){{clear}}

House of Representatives

A two-party system has existed in the Australian House of Representatives since the two non-Labor parties merged in 1909. The 1910 election was the first to elect a majority government, with the Australian Labor Party concurrently winning the first Senate majority. Prior to 1909 a three-party system existed in the chamber. A two-party-preferred vote (2PP) has been calculated since the 1919 change from first-past-the-post to preferential voting and subsequent introduction of the Coalition. ALP = Australian Labor Party, L+NP = grouping of Liberal/National/LNP/CLP Coalition parties (and predecessors), Oth = other parties and independents.{| class="toccolours" style="margin:0 auto; clear:both;" border=0 align="left"|+House of Representatives results and polling style="background:#ccf;"!colspan=2 rowspan=2|ElectionYear! colspan="2"|Labour! colspan="2"|Free Trade!Protectionist! rowspan="2"|Independent! colspan="2" rowspan="2"|Otherparties! rowspan="2"|TotalseatsLabor}}|Free Trade}}|Protectionist}}|!width=20|1st!width=40|19011428312 75 style="background:#ccf;"!colspan=2 rowspan=2|ElectionYear! colspan="2"|Labour! colspan="2"|Free Trade!Protectionist! rowspan="2"|Independent! colspan="2" rowspan="2"|Otherparties! rowspan="2"|TotalseatsLabor}}|Free Trade}}|Protectionist}}|!2nd!1903232526 1Revenue Tariff Party (Tasmania)>Revenue Tariff75 style="background:#ccf;"!colspan=2 rowspan=2|ElectionYear! colspan="2"|Labour! colspan="2"|Anti-Socialist!Protectionist! rowspan="2"|Independent! colspan="2" rowspan="2"|Otherparties! rowspan="2"|TotalseatsLabor}}|Free Trade}}|Protectionist}}|!3rd!190626262111Western Australian Party>Western Australian75 style="background:#eee;"{{Clear}}{| class="toccolours" align="left" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin-right: .5em; margin-top: .4em;font-size: 90%;"!!!! style="background:#; text-align:center;"|! style="background:#; text-align:center;" colspan="3"|Primary vote! style="background:#; text-align:center;" colspan="2"|2PP vote! style="background:#; text-align:center;" colspan="4"|Seats! style="background:#; text-align:center;"|! style="background:#f66; text-align:center;"|ALP! style="background:#00bfff; text-align:center;"|L+NP! style="background:#ff0; text-align:center;"|Oth.! style="background:#f66; text-align:center;"|ALP! style="background:#00bfff; text-align:center;"|L+NP! style="background:#f66; text-align:center;"|ALP! style="background:#00bfff; text-align:center;"|L+NP! style="background:#ff0; text-align:center;"|Oth.! style="background:#; text-align:center;"|Total!!!!!!! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|13 April 1910 election50.0%45.1%4.9%––4231275! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|31 May 1913 election48.5%48.9%2.6%––3738075! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|5 September 1914 election50.9%47.2%1.9%––4232175! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|5 May 1917 election43.9%54.2%1.9%––2253075! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|13 December 1919 election42.5%54.3%3.2%45.9%54.1%2538275! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|16 December 1922 election42.3%47.8%9.9%48.8%51.2%2940675! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|14 November 1925 election45.0%53.2%1.8%46.2%53.8%2350275! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|17 November 1928 election44.6%49.6%5.8%48.4%51.6%3142275! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|12 October 1929 election48.8%44.2%7.0%56.7%43.3%4624575! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|19 December 1931 election27.1%48.4%24.5%41.5%58.5%14501175! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|15 September 1934 election26.8%45.6%27.6%46.5%53.5%18421474! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|23 October 1937 election43.2%49.3%7.5%49.4%50.6%2943274! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|21 September 1940 election40.2%43.9%15.9%50.3%49.7%3236674! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|21 August 1943 election49.9%23.0%27.1%58.2%41.8%4919674! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|28 September 1946 election49.7%39.3%11.0%54.1%45.9%4326574! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|10 December 1949 election46.0%50.3%3.7%49.0%51.0%47740121! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|28 April 1951 election47.6%50.3%2.1%49.3%50.7%52690121! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|29 May 1954 election50.0%46.8%3.2%50.7%49.3%57640121! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|10 December 1955 election44.6%47.6%7.8%45.8%54.2%47750122! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|22 November 1958 election42.8%46.6%10.6%45.9%54.1%45770122! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|9 December 1961 election47.9%42.1%10.0%50.5%49.5%60620122! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|30 November 1963 election45.5%46.0%8.5%47.4%52.6%50720122! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|26 November 1966 election40.0%50.0%10.0%43.1%56.9%41821124! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|25 October 1969 election47.0%43.3%9.7%50.2%49.8%59660125! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|2 December 1972 election49.6%41.5%8.9%52.7%47.3%67580125! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|18 May 1974 election49.3%44.9%5.8%51.7%48.3%66610127! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|13 December 1975 election42.8%53.1%4.1%44.3%55.7%36910127! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|10 December 1977 election39.7%48.1%12.2%45.4%54.6%38860124! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|18 October 1980 election45.2%46.3%8.5%49.6%50.4%51740125! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|5 March 1983 election49.5%43.6%6.9%53.2%46.8%75500125! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|1 December 1984 election47.6%45.0%7.4%51.8%48.2%82660148! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|11 July 1987 election45.8%46.1%8.1%50.8%49.2%86620148! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|24 March 1990 election39.4%43.5%17.1%49.9%50.1%78691148! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|11 Mar 1993 Newspoll44%45%11%49.5%50.5%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|13 March 1993 election44.9%44.3%10.7%51.4%48.6%80652147! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|28–29 Feb 1996 Newspoll40.5%48%11.5%46.5%53.5%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|2 March 1996 election38.7%47.3%14.0%46.4%53.6%49945148! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|30 Sep – 1 October 1998 Newspoll44%40%16%53%47%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|3 October 1998 election40.1%39.5%20.4%51.0%49.0%67801148! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|7–8 Nov 2001 Newspoll38.5%46%15.5%47%53%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|10 November 2001 election37.8%43.0%19.2%49.0%51.0%65823150! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|6–7 Oct 2004 Newspoll39%45%16%50%50%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|9 October 2004 election37.6%46.7%15.7%47.3%52.7%60873150! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|20–22 Nov 2007 Newspoll44%43%13%52%48%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|24 November 2007 election43.4%42.1%14.5%52.7%47.3%83652150! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|17–19 Aug 2010 Newspoll36.2%43.4%20.4%50.2%49.8%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|21 August 2010 election38.0%43.3%18.7%50.1%49.9%72726150! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|3–5 Sep 2013 Newspoll33%46%21%46%54%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|7 September 2013 election33.4%45.6%21.0%46.5%53.5%55905150! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|28 Jun – 1 July 2016 Newspoll35%42%23%49.5%50.5%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|2 July 2016 election34.7%42.0%23.3%49.6%50.4%69765150! style="text-align:center; background:#b0e9db;"|15–16 May 2019 Newspoll37%38%25%51.5%48.5%! style="text-align:center;" bgcolor=""|18 May 2019 election33.9%41.4%24.7%48.9%51.1%67776151Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian. Three percent margin of error.{{Clear}}

See also

Notes

{{notelist}}

References

{{reflist}}

Further reading

  • BOOK, Gavin, Souter, Gavin Souter, Acts of Parliament: A narrative history of the Senate and House of Representatives, Commonwealth of Australia, Carlton, Melbourne University Press, 1988, 0-522-84367-0,
  • BOOK, Quick, John, Garran, Robert, yes, The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth, Angus & Robertson, 1901, Sydney, 0-9596568-0-4, In Internet Archive
  • BOOK, Warden, James, A bunyip democracy: the Parliament and Australian political identity, Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1995,weblink 0-644-45191-2,
  • BOOK, Bach, Stanley, Platypus and Parliament: The Australian Senate in Theory and Practice, Department of the Senate, 2003,weblink 0-642-71291-3,
  • BOOK, Hamer, David, The executive government,weblink Department of the Senate (Australia), 2004, 0-642-71433-9,
  • BOOK, Prosser, Brenton, Denniss, Richard, yes, Minority Policy: Rethinking Governance when Parliament Matters, Melbourne University Publishing, 2015, Melbourne, 0-522-86762-6,
  • Harry Evans, Odgers' Australian Senate Practice, A detailed reference work on all aspects of the Senate's powers, procedures and practices.
  • B.C. Wright, House of Representatives Practice (6th Ed.), A detailed reference work on all aspects of the House of Representatives' powers, procedures and practices.
  • BOOK, Sawer, Marian, Miskin, Sarah, yes, Papers on Parliament No. 34 Representation and Institutional Change: 50 Years of Proportional Representation in the Senate, Department of the Senate, 1999,weblink 0-642-71061-9,
  • BOOK, Judith, Brett, From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting, Text Publishing Co, 2019, 9781925603842,

External links

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