Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 4 - Elections for the Senate

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Terms of Service - State Senators

Except in cases of simultaneous dissolution, senators representing the states are elected for terms of six years. Terms commence on 1 July following the election. The commencement date was originally 1 January but was altered by referendum in 1906 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to avoid the problem of unsynchronised elections for both Houses.

The terms of senators elected following a dissolution of the Senate commence on 1 July preceding the date of the general election.[9] Following a general election for the Senate, senators are divided into two classes. Unless another simultaneous election for both Houses intervenes, those in the first class retire on 30 June two years after the general election; those in the second class retire on 30 June five years after the general election. The method of dividing senators is described below.

9. Constitution, s. 57.