The Senate is one of the two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament. It consists of 76 senators, twelve from each of the six states and two from each of the mainland territories. It shares the power to make laws with the other House of the Parliament, the House of Representatives.
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The new Senate
An election for all Senate seats was held on 2 July 2016 after the dissolution of the Senate on 9 May. The new Senate contains its largest cross-bench of 20 senators (9 AG and 11 others), compared with 18 senators (10 AG and 8 others) at the end of the 44th Parliament. Previously, the highest number had been 13 senators, in 2002-2005.
Further information about the Senate count can be found on the Australian Electoral Commission's website.
State senators have now been divided into two classes: short-term senators whose terms expire on 30 June 2019, and long-term senators whose terms expire on 30 June 2022. On 31 August the Senate decided to allocate senators according to the order of their election. Details of senators' terms of service are available on this page.
On 1 November 2016 Bob Day resigned his place as a senator for South Australia. Information provided to the President by the government raised questions about his election in July this year. The Senate has referred the matter to the Court of Disputed Returns under section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act.
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