Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Voting by the crossbench in the Senate and the House of Representatives in the 45th Parliament

30 August 2017 marked the completion of the first year of the 45th Parliament. In that time there has been continuing interest in the voting records of the Independent parliamentarians and minor parties in both Houses, particularly in the Senate where the Government requires eight out of the 19 crossbench votes (including the seven Australian Greens)  to pass legislation. The Parliamentary Library has compiled some statistics on the voting records of the minor parties and Independent MPs in both Houses in that time.  Read more...

Government losing votes on the floor of the House

On 1 September 2016 the Coalition Government lost three divisions on the floor of the House of Representatives: one motion to adjourn; one motion on closure of debate; and an amendment requiring the House to consider a message from the Senate immediately. Prior to this, the last time a majority Government lost a division in the House was in 1962. In the 43rd hung Parliament (2010-13), the minority ALP Government lost many divisions, mostly on procedural matters and private members’ motions. The votes lost by the Government in 1962 were as follows: A closure motion on 21 August 1962 A closure motion on 3 October 1962 Opposition’s dissent from... Read more...

Resignations of Speakers

The resignation of the Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP as Speaker of the House of Representatives on 2 August 2015 is the ninth resignation of a Speaker since 1901, and the third such resignation since 2011. There have been 31 Speakers since Federation. The election of a new Speaker by the House of Representatives when Parliament resumes on 10 August 2015 will take the total to 32. Section 35 of the Australian Constitution provides that the House of Representatives must choose a member to be Speaker ‘before proceeding to the despatch of any other business’. Under section 3 of the Parliamentary Presiding Officers Act 1965 (Cth), a Speaker who resigns the office is deemed to continue as... Read more...

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