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The departures continue: constitutional disqualification from Parliament

Western Australian Green Scott Ludlam and Queensland Green Larissa Waters are now the third and fourth senators to have left the Senate since the last election due to ineligibility. Prior to the current term of Parliament, only five parliamentarians had ever lost their seats due to Constitutional eligibility reasons. Read more...

Bob Day found to be incapable of being chosen as a senator

On 5 April 2017 the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, handed down its decision in Re Day [No 2] [2017], HCA 14 regarding former South Australian Family First Senator Bob Day (Mr Day resigned from the Senate on 1 November 2016). The Court found that Mr Day was incapable of being chosen or sitting as a senator by reason of section 44(v) of the Australian Constitution, and ordered that the vacancy be filled by a recount.   Read more...

First speeches

With the 44th Parliament due to open on 12 November new members will be making their first speeches in the opening weeks or months of the new parliament. The Chamber departments provide detailed notes for the guidance of new members when they are preparing their first speeches; this brief contains more general information and some historical background.TerminologyFrom its first printing in 1953 Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice used the term first speech to refer to a senator’s first contribution to debate in the Chamber. Despite this, the phrase Maiden Speech continued to be used by the presiding officers when referring to such a speech, until Condor Laucke assumed the Presidency at the ... Read more...

A code of conduct for members of the House of Representatives?

The House of Representatives is currently debating a motion, moved by Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, to introduce a code of conduct covering members of the House of Representatives. The motion is based on the recommendations in the report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests on a draft code of conduct for members of parliament.The motion is supported by the Government but the Manager of Opposition Business, Christopher Pyne, has confirmed that the Coalition will not support the motion if the relevant Senate committee has not reported on a code for the upper house.  He said that the Coalition had adopted this approach because ‘it would be pecu... Read more...

A Handbook for the 43rd Parliament

The Parliamentary Library recently published the 2011 edition of the Parliamentary Handbook. The Handbook is a comprehensive guide to the 43rd Parliament. The biographical section includes details of the parliamentary service and political career of each Senator and Member, as well as some personal particulars. The Handbook also provides statistics on the age, length of service, qualifications and previous occupations of the current Parliament, together with data on the 2010 elections as well as a map of federal electoral divisions. Valuable lists and tables concerning the history of the Australian Parliament are provided, such as lists of Governors-General, Presiding Officers, Prime Ministe... Read more...

Members of Parliament salary

On 24 August 2010 the Remuneration Tribunal released a Statement on its 2010 Review of Remuneration for Holders of Public Office. Holders of Public Office include, among others, Senators and Members of the Federal Parliament. The Tribunal announced that it had ‘determined an adjustment of 4.1% to the remuneration of public offices in its jurisdiction with effect from 1 August 2010’.Table A1 in Determination 2005/19: Principal Executive Office - Classification Structure and Terms and Conditions sets out Principal Executive Office classification structure and remuneration ranges with effect from 1 August 2010. Parliamentary base salary is linked to Reference Salary A. As a result of the 2008 p... Read more...

Federal election 2010 - retirements

A number of Members and Senators have announced their intention not to re-contest the upcoming federal election. Nineteen Members of the House of Representatives (12.6% of the 150 seat chamber) and five Senators (6.5% of the 76 seat chamber) have indicated that they will retire at the election:House of RepresentativesBailey, Fran (Liberal, McEwen)Bidgood, James (ALP, Dawson)Campbell, Jodie (ALP, Bass)Debus, Bob (ALP, Macquarie)Ellis, Annette (ALP, Canberra)Farmer, Pat (Liberal, Macarthur)George, Jenny (ALP, Throsby)Georgiou, Petro (Liberal, Kooyong)Hawker, David (Liberal, Wannon)Hull, Kay (Nationals, Riverina)Irwin, Julia (ALP, Fowler)Kerr, Duncan (ALP, Denison)Lindsay, Peter (Liberal, Herbe... Read more...

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