The Senate has a continuing, rotating membership with elections being held for half the 72 state senators every three years. State senators are elected for six-year terms, while the four territory senators serve the same term as members of the House of Representatives.
The election on 7 September was for territory senators and those senators whose terms expire on 30 June 2014. Territory senators will commence their term from the first day of the new Parliament. State senators who were elected on 7 September will not take their seats in the Senate until 1 July 2014.
Prorogation is regarded as terminating the sittings of the Senate, but as the Senate was not dissolved along with the House of Representatives, its committees (not joint committees) may continue to meet, conduct hearings and present reports if they choose to do so.
Business on the Senate Notice Paper, including questions on notice and presentation dates for committee reports, remains in place until immediately before the commencement of the next Parliament.