Senate Office Holders
Deputy President and Chair of Committees
Senator Gavin Marshall from Victoria is the Deputy President and Chair of Committees. This office is also elected by senators, in accordance with Chapter 3 of the standing orders. The Deputy President’s role is to relieve the President in the Senate and to perform the other duties of President when Senator Parry is absent. As Chair of Committees, Senator Marshall presides when the Senate is sitting as a ‘committee of the whole’ to consider legislation in detail. He also manages a panel of senators who act as Temporary Chairs of Committees.
The Deputy President is the chair of the Procedure Committee, and a member of the House Committee. He also chairs meetings of the chairs of the Senate’s legislative and general purpose standing committees, which may consider and report to the Senate on any matters that relate to the committees’ operations.
Leaders and Managers
The Leader of the Government in the Senate is the government’s most senior Senate minister, and the Leader of the Opposition is the opposition’s main Senate spokesperson.
The Manager of Government Business works with the President, the Whips, the Clerks and the Manager of Opposition Business to ensure that the daily work of the chamber runs efficiently.
A Whip is a senator who organises the activities of party members in the Senate. Responsibilities include planning what will happen in the chamber and who will speak on each sitting day; making sure party members attend and vote together during a division; counting and recording votes during a division; providing advice and support for party members and ensuring that party decisions are properly carried out. The term Whip comes from the sport of fox hunting in England and refers to the person who whipped all the hounds into a pack and pointed them in the right direction to chase the fox.