President's welcome transcript
Hello, I'm John Hogg, President of the Australian Senate. I am an Australian Labor Party Senator representing Queensland.
Welcome to the Australian Senate and to my office.
The Senate is one of Australia's most important democratic institutions.
Many of you would be familiar with the Senate's role in scrutinising new legislation and the opportunity for Senators to seek information from the government at question time.
The work of committees, including estimates hearings, is another cornerstone of the Senate's scrutiny and accountability role. Senate committees closely examine legislation before the Parliament and other important issues of the day. They provide an opportunity for organisations and individuals to make representations to Parliament and to have their views placed on the public record. Senators spend much of their time involved with the work of committees. Importantly, you can find out on this website how to make a submission to a Senate Committee inquiry.
It is a great honour to have been elected as president by my Senate colleagues in August 2008, when the membership of the Senate changed as a result of the 2007 elections.
I am responsible for the proper running of the Senate and the application of the rules of procedure. I chair the meetings of the Senate calling senators to speak in debate, giving rulings on any questions of order which may be raised and maintaining order.
I also perform a role similar to that of a minister in relation to the Department of the Senate and, jointly with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, we are responsible for the Department of Parliamentary Services.
As President, I represent the Senate in dealings with the Governor-General, the executive government, The House of Representatives and members of the public.
And I represent the Senate in its dealings internationally - leading some parliamentary delegations to other countries, attending international conferences as well as receiving official visitors to Australia.
I work here in Parliament House when Parliament is sitting. And for the rest of the time we continue our work as senators, attending to business such as committee hearings that take us to all parts of Australia, and matters within our home states.
You are very welcome to come and visit your Parliament House, especially when the Senate is sitting so you can see the process of democracy at work.
If you can’t visit in person you can follow proceedings online.
I invite you to find out more about the Senate through this website.
I hope you find the website useful!