Australia's Parliament House in 2017: a chronology of events

18 December 2018

 PDF version [3138KB]

Anna Hough
Politics and Public Administration Section
and Dr Dianne Heriot, Parliamentary Librarian

Introduction

Parliament House, which was officially opened in 1988, is the home of the Parliament of Australia. It is located on a 32-hectare site on Capital Hill in Canberra.

In 2013 the Parliamentary Library published a chronology of events, Australia’s Parliament House—More Than 25 Years in the Making!, in recognition of the building’s 25th anniversary. In May 2018 that chronology was updated and reissued as The 30th anniversary of Australia’s Parliament House.

Australia’s Parliament House in 2014 and 2015: a Chronology of Events highlighted significant milestones associated with Australia’s Parliament House and the Parliament itself between January 2014 and December 2015. Australia’s Parliament House in 2016: a Chronology of Events continued the story. This chronology, commencing in January 2017 and finishing in December 2017, does likewise.

This chronology of events has been compiled from published sources and includes images and links to audio-visual and documentary records. Appendix 1 presents a list of key legislation passed by the Commonwealth Parliament in 2017.

Abbreviations

AG Australian Greens
ALP Australian Labor Party
DHJP Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
Hon. Honourable
Ind. Independent
JLN Jacqui Lambie Network
Lib. Liberal Party of Australia
NP The Nationals
NXT Nick Xenophon Team
PHON Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
Retd Retired

2017

Milestones

Details

Source Documents

12 January

Storm uproots trees at Parliament House

A windstorm uproots trees across Canberra, including some on the lawns of Parliament House.[1]

 

13 January

Sussan Ley resigns from the ministry

Sussan Ley (Lib., Farrer, NSW) resigns as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, following controversy about her use of parliamentary travel entitlements.[2]

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Lib., Wentworth) announces changes to the management of parliamentarians’ work expenses, including the establishment of an independent parliamentary expenses authority.[3]

Sussan Ley

Sussan Ley

Image source: Auspic

18 January

Ministerial changes; first Indigenous federal minister

Changes to the ministry are announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. [4] They include the elevation of Ken Wyatt (Lib., Hasluck, WA) to the role of Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health, making him Australia’s first Indigenous federal minister.[5]

Ken Wyatt

Ken Wyatt

Image source:  Auspic

3 February

Rodney Culleton ruled ineligible by the High Court

The High Court rules that Senator Rodney Culleton (Ind., WA) was incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator by reason of section 44 (ii) of the Constitution. The resulting vacancy is to be filled by a special count of the ballot papers.

Rodney Culleton

Rodney Culleton

Image source: Auspic

7 February

Cory Bernardi resigns from the Liberal Party

Senator Cory Bernardi (Lib., SA) resigns from the Liberal Party and announces the launch of a new party, the Australian Conservatives.[6]

He tells the Senate that the new party:

... will be united by the desire to create stronger families, to foster free enterprise and to limit the size, scope and reach of government whilst seeking to rebuild confidence in civil society.[7]

The new party is officially registered on 11 April 2017.[8]

Cory Bernardi

Cory Bernardi

Image source:  Auspic

7 February

50th anniversary of Black Tuesday bushfires

The House and the Senate (on 8 February) commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Black Tuesday bushfires in Tasmania, in which 64 people died. [9] The fires were the deadliest in Tasmania’s history.[10]

Watch:

Andrew Wilkie’s statement

Senator Lisa Singh’s motion

Source: ParlView

8 February

Bill to ban full face coverings introduced

A private senator’s bill to ban full face coverings is introduced by Senator Jacqui Lambie (JLN, Tas.). The Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Full Face Coverings in Public Places) Bill 2017 seeks to make it an offence to wear full face coverings in a public place under Commonwealth jurisdiction. Senator Lambie argues that:

There is a clear national security need to bring in a nationwide ban on all identity concealing garments.[11]

At the date of publication, the Bill is still before the Senate.

Jacqui Lambie

Jacqui Lambie

Image source: Auspic

14 February

Closing the Gap statement

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivers the ninth annual Closing the Gap statement. He says:

This report demonstrates that all Australian governments have much more work to do ...

If we look at the long-term intergenerational trends, we see that Indigenous life expectancy is increasing, babies are being born healthier, more people are studying and gaining post-school qualifications and those adults are participating in work. There are achievements that families, elders and communities can be proud of.

But incarceration rates and rates of child protection are too high.[12]

In his response, the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten (ALP, Maribyrnong, Vic.), says:

We must forget the insulting fiction that the First Australians are a problem to be solved and, instead, have a new approach to listen to people who stand on the other side of the gap; a new approach that, from now on, the First Australians must have first say in the decisions that shape their lives; a new approach that means a stronger voice for the National Congress of Australia's First People and the resources to make it happen; a new approach to extend ourselves beyond handpicked sources of advice; a new approach to be in the places where our First Australians live and work and play, from Mount Druitt to Logan, in the APY Lands and East Arnhem.[13] 

Watch:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s 2017 Closing the Gap statement

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s response

Source:  ParlView

 

14 February

Visit by Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visits Australia from 13–17 February to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. At a reception at Parliament House, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says:

We are delighted that we are hosting you as we celebrate the strong bond between our two nations. A bond that has endured and grown stronger over 70 years ...

Today, we are working together to ensure the prosperity and security of our region, on issues from trade to law enforcement, from science to combatting the scourge of people smuggling.[14]

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signs the visitors’ book at Parliament House

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signs the visitors’ book at Parliament House

Image source: Michael Masters, Auspic

16 February

Changes to parliamentary entitlements

The Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 passes both Houses.[15] The Bill ends access to the Life Gold Pass scheme from its commencement (with the exception of former Prime Ministers and their spouses or partners), while reducing the entitlement for current and former members.[16] The Bill also introduces penalty loadings when a claim is made in excess of entitlement.[17]

The following day, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Bill 2017 is passed.[18] The Bill establishes:

... the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority as an independent statutory body with responsibilities relating to the work expenses of parliamentarians and their staff, ensuring that taxpayers’ funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules.[19]

On 11 May, the passage of the Parliamentary Business Resources Bill 2017 establishes ‘a new framework for the remuneration, business resources and travel resources for current and former members of the federal Parliament.’[20]

 

2 March

Official Observer exhibition opens

The Official Observer exhibition showcases images by David Foote—the official photographer for the Australian Government Photographic Service, Auspic—taken over the past 25 years. David Foote has been photographing Australian prime ministers from Bob Hawke onwards, including their overseas travels and interactions with world leaders.

Parliament House flagpole Canberra

Image source: Auspic

21 March

Parliamentarians’ private numbers published online

Media reports reveal that the private mobile phone numbers of federal politicians, former prime ministers and senior political staffers were inadvertently published online.[21] The phone numbers had not been properly deleted from a report on parliamentarians’ phone bills provided by a private contractor, TELCO Management, and published on the Parliament House website by the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS).[22] A DPS spokesperson said ‘... DPS will work with parliamentarians to address privacy concerns and change mobile numbers if required.’[23]

 

23 March

Terrorist attack at Westminster

Parliament offers condolences to the British parliament and people following the previous day’s terrorist attack at Westminster. The British High Commissioner to Australia, Her Excellency Menna Rawlings, is in the House at the time.[24]

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says:

It was an attack on parliaments, freedom and democracy everywhere in the world ...

We send our heartfelt condolences, especially to the families of the victims, including the police officer murdered by the terrorist as he attempted to enter the Houses of Parliament, and we wish all those injured a full recovery.

We stand, all of us, with the United Kingdom ... We will never give in to terror.[25]

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, says:

Today Australia offers our oldest friend our deepest sympathies. The hearts of this nation go out to the people of Britain ... Our parliament stands united with all parliaments in condemning this attack on arguably the world’s oldest democratic institution.[26]

Westminster

Image source: Mike Gimelfarb, Wikimedia Commons

23–24 March

Visit by China’s Premier

China’s Premier Li Keqiang visits Parliament House. The visit marks the 45th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries.[27] During this visit the two governments sign, inter alia, an MOU on vocational education and training and an agreement enabling better access to the Chinese market for Australian meat producers and exporters.[28]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Image source: ParlView

Watch: Joint Signing and Media Conference

Source: ParlView

25 March

Beehives at Parliament House

Three beehives are installed in bushland on the grounds of Parliament House.[29] The hives are part of an effort to arrest the decline of bee populations–bees are crucial to Australia’s food security, agriculture and environmental sustainability.[30]

Parliament House’s honey will win second prize at the 2018 Royal Canberra Show.[31]

It is not the first time there have been beehives at Australia’s Parliament. In 1976, William Yates, a Victorian member of parliament, installed two hives in the House of Representatives garden at what is now Old Parliament House.[32]

Worker bee

Image source: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

27 March

New senator for Western Australia

Peter Georgiou (PHON, WA) is sworn in as a Senator. He replaces Rodney Culleton whose election was declared void by the High Court under sections 44 and 45 of the Australian Constitution.

He makes his first speech on 16 August 2017.

Peter Georgiou

Peter Georgiou

Image source: Auspic

28 March

China extradition treaty ratification repealed

Following a decision of the Opposition not to support ratification of an extradition treaty with China,[33] the Government announces that it will repeal the ratification regulation rather than have it defeated in the Senate.[34]

 

5 April

Bob Day ruled ineligible by the High Court

The High Court rules that former Senator Bob Day, who resigned in November 2016, was incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator by reason on section 44(v) of the Constitution. The resulting vacancy is to be filled by a special recount of ballot papers.

Bob Day

Bob Day

Image source: Auspic

9 May

2017–18 Budget

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison (Lib., Cook, NSW) delivers the 2017-18 Budget, his second.

He says:

Mr Speaker, tonight I announce a fair and responsible path back to a balanced budget. Having exhausted every opportunity to secure savings from our 2014-15 and 2015-16 Budgets, we have decided to reset the Budget by reversing these measures at a cost of $13 billion. Despite this, I can confirm tonight that the Budget is projected to return to balance in 2020-21 and remain in surplus over the medium term.[35]

In his budget reply speech on 11 May, Opposition Bill Shorten says:

This is a budget and a government that wants to bury its past and rewrite its history. The Liberals want Australians to forget four wasted years in which wages growth has hit record lows, unemployment is up, underemployment and casualization are at record highs, living standards have stagnated, inequality has widened. This budget is an admission of guilt, a signed confession.[36]

Scott Morrison delivers the 2017-18 Budget

Scott Morrison delivers the 2017-18 Budget

Image source: ParlView

Watch: Scott Morrison’s budget speech

Source: ParlView

9 May

New Senator for South Australia

Lucy Gichuhi (SA) is sworn in. She replaces Bob Day, who resigned in November 2017 and whose election was subsequently declared void by the High Court under section 44(v) of the Australian Constitution.[37] She is the first person of black African descent to be a member of Australia’s parliament.[38]

After her swearing in Senator Gichuhi states she will sit as an Independent senator.[39] She gives her first speech on 21 June.

Lucy Gichuhi

Lucy Gichuhi

Image source: Auspic

9 May

First baby breastfed in Australia’s parliament

Larissa Waters (AG, Qld) breastfeeds her daughter in the Senate chamber. It is the first time a baby has been breastfed in the Australian parliament.[40] Senator Waters later posts on Twitter:

So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament! We need more women and parents in Parli[ament].[41]

Larissa Waters moves a motion in the Senate while breastfeeding her baby

Larissa Waters moves a motion in the Senate while breastfeeding her baby (22 June 2017)

Image source: ParlView

9 May

Despatch box 90th anniversary

The 9th of May marks the 90th anniversary of the opening of the provisional parliament building, now referred to as Old Parliament House, in Canberra in 1927. On that day the Duke of York (later King George VI) presented two rosewood despatch boxes as gifts to the new parliament.[42] The despatch boxes sit on each side of the table between the government and opposition benches in the House of Representatives chamber, and have been in continuous use since 1927.[43]

Despatch box

Despatch box

23 May

Manchester Arena attack

Parliament offers sympathy to the people of the United Kingdom following the explosion at Manchester Arena on 22 May. The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, says:

Australia's heartfelt sympathy and resolute solidarity is with the people of the United Kingdom. We stand with them today, as we always have and always will, steadfast allies in freedom's cause. So far we know that at least 19 people have been killed and about 60 injured as a result of an explosion at the Manchester Arena shortly after the conclusion of an Ariana Grande concert last night.[44]

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, says:

The people of Britain should know that we feel their pain and we share their shock and anger ... What I think we also need to say to people is that the world should not get used to this. We should not accept this as the normal state of affairs.[45]

 

24 May

Indigenous Youth Parliament

Ahead of National Reconciliation Week, Parliament welcomes the fifty participants in the Indigenous Youth Parliament to the building. Speaking at the Indigenous Youth Parliamentarians’ Reception, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tells the participants:

you young Australians, young Indigenous Australians can do anything. There is nothing beyond your reach. Nothing that you can dream of that you cannot achieve. You have the great foundations of 50,000 years of culture and history. You have the great example of the leadership of the ‘67 campaigners ...[46]

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, says at the reception:

Can we who are gathered here, we who have power in this country, the privileged position of leadership: is our imagination now up to what it was of the campaigners we celebrate 50 and 25 years ago? ...Can we imagine an equal and reconciled Australia? ...  I think the young people we have been privileged to meet - they can imagine it.[47]

 

24–26 May

Visit of Sri Lanka’s President, H.E. Hon. Maithripala Sirisena

The President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, visits Parliament House for discussions on security and defence—the first bilateral visit by a Sri Lankan head of state.

To mark the visit, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva sign a Joint Declaration on Enhanced Cooperation. The two governments also sign an MoU on Chronic Kidney Disease research and a Letter of Intent on geoscience.[48]

President Sirisena greets Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House

President Sirisena greets Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House

Image source: Auspic

25 May

Attempt to evict senator from Estimates hearing

During a Senate Estimates appearance by the Australian Human Rights Commission, committee Chair Senator Ian Macdonald (Lib., Qld) attempts to evict Senator Nick McKim (AG, Tas.) from the hearing and to silence Senators Murray Watt (ALP, Qld) and Penny Wong (ALP, SA).[49] Following a short suspension of the committee, Senator Macdonald notes that he is not empowered to evict committee members.[50]

Ian Macdonald

Ian Macdonald

Image source: Auspic

27 May–3 June

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Mabo Decision and the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum.

As part of National Reconciliation Week, the exhibition Prevailing Voices–Indigenous Australian Parliamentarians opens at Parliament House. The exhibition aims to recognise and celebrate the contribution of Indigenous parliamentarians to the Australian Parliament.[51] A portrait of Ken Wyatt (Lib., Hasluck, WA), the first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives and the first Indigenous federal minister, is unveiled at the opening.[52]

Opening of the Prevailing Voices exhibition

Opening of the Prevailing Voices exhibition

Image source: Auspic

13 June

Ministerial Statement on National Security

In his ministerial statement on national security, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, says:

The global threat we face from Islamist terrorism has been cruelly brought home to us in the past two weeks with young, innocent Australians murdered in Baghdad, London and Melbourne ... We have mourned the loss of four Australians killed in terrorist attacks in the last few weeks ... My No. 1 priority, my government's No. 1 priority, is to keep Australians safe ... We must be faster, smarter and more agile than those who seek to do us harm.[53]

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, says in response:

 I thank the Prime Minister for his words. There is no greater responsibility for every member of this place than keeping Australians safe. As I have said, and Labor has demonstrated for four years now, when it comes to fighting terrorism and Islamist terrorism we are all in this together.[54]

Malcolm Turnbull delivers his Ministerial Statement on National Security

Malcolm Turnbull delivers his Ministerial Statement on National Security

Image source: ParlView

9 June

Finkel review of electricity market security released

The final report of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, chaired by the Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, is released. The Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg (Lib., Kooyong, Vic.) says:

The final report contains 50 recommendations and is intended to provide a blueprint for the once-in-a-century transformation currently taking placing in Australia’s energy system. The report is focussed on four key outcomes: increased security, future reliability, making sure consumers are better off and meeting our international targets.

The Turnbull Government will now carefully consider the recommendations of Dr Finkel’s final report.[55]

Alan Finkel

Alan Finkel

Image source: Danimations, Wikimedia Commons

13 June

Senator Chris Back announces his retirement

Senator Chris Back (Lib., WA) announces his retirement, creating a casual vacancy in the Senate.[56] Senator Back first entered the Senate in 2009.

Chris Back

Chris Back

Image source: Auspic

13 June

2023 Women’s World Cup bid

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, speaks at a Matildas Women’s Football event at Parliament House to announce support for the Football Federation of Australia’s bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia. He says:

A Women’s World Cup hosted in our backyard would inspire a new generation of women and girls right across Australia. It continues our Government’s commitment to promote female participation in sport from the grassroots level, from the little ones, right up to the elite level, the Matildas.[57]

 

20 June

New Human Rights Commission President appointed

The Attorney-General, George Brandis (Lib., Qld), announces the appointment of Rosalind Croucher as the next President of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC).[58] Professor Croucher is the head of the Australian Law Reform Commission.[59] She replaces outgoing AHRC President Gillian Triggs.

 

Rosalind Croucher

Rosalind Croucher

Image source: Australian Human Rights Commission, Flickr

20 June

George Christensen crosses the floor

George Christensen (NP, Dawson, Qld) crosses the floor, voting with the ALP to protect penalty rates for workers.[60] Mr Christensen says the amendments gave effect to his own private member’s bill.[61] The amendments were defeated by 73 votes to 72.[62]

George Christensen

George Christensen

Image source: Auspic

12 July

Parliament House protesters appear in court

On 30 November 2016, Speaker Tony Smith (Lib., Casey, Vic.) suspended Question Time in response to disruptions caused by people in the public gallery noisily protesting the Government’s treatment of asylum seekers.[63]

On 12 July 2017, seven people are charged with intentionally damaging Commonwealth property ‘after they allegedly superglued their hands’ to railings in the House of Representatives gallery, and are committed for trial.[64]

The matter is heard in the ACT Supreme Court in 2018, with the protesters found not guilty.[65]

 

14 and 18 July

Senators Ludlam and Waters resign from Parliament due to dual citizenship

On 14 July, Scott Ludlam (AG, WA) resigns from the Senate, having discovered that he holds dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship.[66]

His colleague Senator Larissa Waters (AG, Qld) resigns on 18 July, having discovered she holds dual Australian and Canadian citizenship.[67] 

Section 44 of the Australian Constitution disqualifies people from being ‘chosen’ or sitting in the Parliament on a number of grounds, including being ‘a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power’ (s. 44i). ‘Its purpose is to ensure that people elected to Parliament are beholden to no-one but the electors as a whole and may therefore perform their duties free from undue external influence’,[68] avoiding both actual and perceived conflicts of interest.

Green’s leader Senator Richard Di Natale (AG, Vic.) commits the party to ‘an urgent root-and-branch review’ of its processes ‘to prevent this from happening again’.[69]

 

22 July

Retirement of inaugural Parliamentary Budget Officer

Phil Bowen retires as Parliamentary Budget Officer on 22 July 2017, having held office since 2012.

On 19 June 2017, the President and the Speaker advise their respective Houses that Jenny Wilkinson has been appointed as the next Parliamentary Budget Officer.[70]

Ms Wilkinson commences in the role on 24 July.

Jenny Wilkinson, Parliamentary Budget Officer

Jenny Wilkinson, Parliamentary Budget Officer

Image source: Auspic

25 July

Senator Canavan resigns from the ministry

Senator Matt Canavan (NP, Qld) steps down from the ministry due to possible Italian citizenship.[71]

Unlike former Senators Ludlam and Waters, who acquired dual citizenship by birth, Senator Canavan’s circumstances involve citizenship by descent, a matter on which the High Court has not previously ruled.[72]

Attorney General George Brandis states that it ‘is the Government’s preliminary view’ that, because Senator Canavan’s mother registered him as an Italian resident abroad ‘without his knowledge or consent, that he is not in breach of s 44 of the Constitution’.[73]

Matt Canavan

Matt Canavan

Image source: Auspic

8 and 9 August

Four senators referred to the Court of Disputed Returns

On 8 August, President Stephen Parry tables the resignation letters of Greens Senators Ludlam and Waters.[74]

The Senate refers the matters of Ludlam, Waters and Canavan to the High Court to determine ‘whether by reason of s 44(i) of the Constitution there is a vacancy in the representation’ of Western Australia and Queensland in the Senate, and if so, ‘by what means and in what manner that vacancy should be filled’.[75] (Should a person returned as a senator or member be later found to be ineligible, then there is not a casual vacancy but rather an invalid election which must be completed.)[76]

Also on 8 August, Senator Richard Di Natale gives notice of a motion to refer Senator Malcolm Roberts to the Court of Disputed Returns[77] following controversy regarding his possible British citizenship.[78] The following day, the Senate refers Senator Roberts to the High Court on the motion of his party leader, Senator Pauline Hanson.[79]

 

8 August

Parliament marks the Deaths of Dr G. Yunupingu and Kunmanara Lester

Before Question time the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition rise, on indulgence, to acknowledge the deaths of musician Dr G Yunupingu and anti-nuclear and Indigenous rights advocate Kunmanara Lester.[80]

The Senate records its condolences to the deaths of both men on 17 August.[81]

Watch the condolence statements on the deaths of Dr G. Yunupingu and Kunmanara Lester in the House of Representatives and the Senate

 

8 August

A novel excuse?

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a ‘man caught driving more than 50km/h over the speed limit at Yass allegedly told police he was in a hurry to catch a Parliament House tour’. It is also reported that the driver was fined and his driving privileges were revoked.[82]

 

8 August

‘The House’ television series

The House, a six part light entertainment series exploring operations of Australian Parliament House, debuts on ABC TV. The series is inspired by the BBC program Inside the Commons. A highlight of the show is drone footage shot in, over and around the building.

A drone flying past artwork in the Members Hall

A drone flying past artwork in the Members Hall

Image source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation Library

9 August

Statements on the deaths of Betty Cuthbert and Les Murray

Prior to Question Time, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition make statements, by indulgence, acknowledging the deaths of former Olympian Betty Cuthbert and sports journalist Les Murray.[83]

 

9 August

Same-sex marriage plebiscite becomes a postal survey

Following the defeat of the Government’s motion to restore the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 to the Senate Notice Paper,[84] the Government announces its intention to press ‘ahead with a voluntary postal plebiscite for all Australians’.[85]

Treasurer Scott Morrison issues a direction to the Australian Statistician asking the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to conduct the survey.[86] Funding of $122 million is made available.[87]

The collection period for the postal survey opens on 12 September and continues until 7 November.

 

10 August

Inquiry into fake Indigenous art

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs adopts an inquiry into ‘the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ‘style’ art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia.’[88]

 

10 August -7 September

High Court Challenge to the same-sex marriage postal survey

Andrew Wilkie (Ind., Denison, Tas.) announces a High Court application to stop the voluntary postal survey on the grounds that the Government has no power to order the ABS to conduct it or to appropriate funds to pay for it.[89]

Australian Marriage Equality co-chair, Alex Greenwich, also seeks a High Court injunction to stop the postal survey, with Senator Janet Rice (AG, Vic.) a joint plaintiff. [90]

On 7 September, the High Court unanimously dismisses both challenges as being ‘demonstrably without substance’, publishing its reasons on 28 September.[91] Such is the interest in the outcome that the High Court’s website crashes minutes before the announcement.[92]

Andrew Wilkie

Andrew Wilkie

Image source: Auspic

14 August

State visit by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister

The Honourable Mr Manasseh Damukana Sogavare MP, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, visits the Parliament on 14 August as part of a guest of government visit to Australia. 

The 14 year Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) to restore stability and economic growth ended on 30 June 2017. Speaking in the Chamber, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull pays tribute to all those involved in the Mission.[93]

During the visit, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Lib., Curtin, WA) and Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Tozaka sign a new security treaty to enable rapid deployment of Australian police, armed forces and civilian personnel to the Solomon Islands, should need arise and where both countries consent. The Department of Foreign Affairs notes that ‘this will be Australia’s first bilateral security treaty in the Pacific’.[94]

The Honourable Mr Manasseh Damukana Sogavare at Parliament House

The Honourable Mr Manasseh Damukana Sogavare at Parliament House

Image: Auspic

Watch the arrival of the Solomon Islands Prime Minister at Parliament House

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Lib., Curtin, WA) and Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Tozaka sign a new security treaty

Image source: J Bishop, twitter

14 August

Barnaby Joyce citizenship issue

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce (NP, New England, NSW) informs the House that the New Zealand High Commission has contacted him to advise he may be a ‘citizen by descent of New Zealand’. He goes on to state that, on the basis of legal advice from the Solicitor-General,

the Prime Minister has asked that I remain Deputy Prime Minister and continue my ministerial duties.[95]

The House refers Mr Joyce to the Court of Disputed Returns later that day.[96] The issue of his eligibility is of particular significance given the Turnbull Government holds a one seat majority in the House.[97]

The Opposition is critical that Mr Joyce has not stepped down from the ministry while the issue is resolved.[98]

During a doorstop interview at Parliament House, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop accuses the Labor party of ‘seeking to use the New Zealand Parliament to undermine the Australian Government’ and states:

New Zealand is facing an election. Should there be a change of Government, I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations designed to undermine the Government of Australia.[99]

Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Joyce

Image source: Auspic

14 August

No role for parliament in approving overseas military activity

Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale again fails to win Senate support for a motion to call on debate of the Defence Legislation Amendment (Parliamentary Approval of Overseas Service) Bill 2015. The bill, which has ‘been on the Notice Paper since the mid-1980s’,[100] amends the Defence Act 1903 to insert a new section into the Defence Act 1903 requiring decisions to deploy members of the Australian Defence Force overseas to be debated and voted on by the Parliament.

‘Under the Australian Constitution, the power to declare war is the prerogative of the executive arm of government’.[101] However, minor parties have several times introduced Bills to remove the exclusive power of the executive to commit Australia to war: the Australian Democrats in 1985, and the Greens in 2003, 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017.[102]

Richard Di Natale

Richard Di Natale

Image source: Auspic

16 August

New Senator for WA

Slade Brockman (Lib.) is sworn in as senator for Western Australia.

Senator Brockman has been chosen by the Western Australian Parliament (under section 15 of the Constitution) to fill the vacancy caused by the July retirement of Senator Chris Back (Lib., WA). Senator Brockman had previously worked as chief of staff for Senator Mathias Cormann (Lib., WA) and in his first speech in October 2017, remarks:

As you can see, this building holds special memories for me. As hinted at earlier, it was in this building that I met my wife, a senior researcher at the Parliamentary Library. I think I can safely say that no politician or staffer has gained more intelligence or wisdom from the Parliamentary Library than I have! And, luckily, she was born in WA![103]

Slade Brockman is escorted into the Senate chamber to take the oath of office by fellow Western Australian Liberal senators Mathias Cormann and Michaelia Cash.

Slade Brockman is escorted into the Senate chamber to take the oath of office by fellow Western Australian Liberal senators Mathias Cormann and Michaelia Cash.

Image source: Auspic

Watch Senator Brockman’s swearing in and first speech

16 August

Visit by the President of the Republic of Croatia

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic visits Parliament House during her trip to Australia, the first by a Croatian head of State since 1995.[104]

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Speaker Smith, Her Excellency, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and President Parry at Parliament House

(l-r) Speaker Smith, Her Excellency, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and President Parry at Parliament House

Image source: Auspic

17 August

Senator Pauline Hanson wears a burqa to Question Time

Senator Pauline Hanson (PHON, Qld) causes consternation by wearing a burqa to Question Time,[105] removing it as she rises to ask the Attorney-General whether he would work to ban such garb in Australia.[106]

 

Senator Pauline Hanson wears a burqa into Question Time

Senator Pauline Hanson wears a burqa into Question Time

Senator Pauline Hanson wears a burqa into Question Time

Image source: Auspic

17 August

NSW Senator Fiona Nash declares possible dual citizenship

Senator Fiona Nash (NP, NSW) announces that she may be a British citizen by descent, but will not be standing aside from her ministerial or party responsibilities.[107]

Senator Nash is referred to the Court of Disputed Returns when Parliament resumes on 4 September,[108] with the Attorney-General informing the Senate that ‘the government is of the view that Senator Nash is not ineligible to sit and was not incapable of being chosen’.[109]

The Opposition expresses ‘grave concerns that the minister is refusing to follow the lead of her colleague, Senator Canavan, and standing aside as a minister’.[110]

Fiona Nash addresses the Senate

Fiona Nash addresses the Senate

Image source: Auspic

17 August

Meeting Place: Michael Nelson Jagamara and Imants Tillers exhibition at Parliament House

Speaker Tony Smith unveils ‘The Messenger’, a new acquisition for the Parliament House Art Collection, which features in a new exhibition of works by artists Nelson Jagamara and Imants Tillers.

The Speaker observes that ‘both of the artists...have links with this building going back to the very beginning’.[111]

Michael Nelson Jagamara

Michael Nelson Jagamara

Image source: Auspic

31 August

Possible constitutional breach for Senator Hinch

Senator Derryn Hinch (DHJP, Vic.) indicates he may be in breach of section 44(i) of the Constitution as he holds a social security number, and has until recently received a pension, from the United States of America, having worked there for some years. He is reportedly seeking advice from the Solicitor-General.[112]

On 4 September, Senator Hinch informs the Chamber that he has legal advice that his eligibility for a ‘superannuation style pension’ in the United States does not represent a breach of section 44­­, and so he will not be seeking referral to the High Court. The Government and Opposition concur.[113]

Derryn Hinch

Derryn Hinch

Image Source: Auspic

4 September

Bruce Billson referred to the House Privileges Committee

The House of Representatives refers to its Standing Committee of Privileges and Members' Interests the issue of whether

‘the former member for Dunkley, Mr Bruce Billson, by accepting an appointment as, and acting as, a paid director of the Franchise Council of Australia whilst still a member of the House gives rise either to any issues that may constitute a contempt of the House or to any issues concerning the appropriate conduct of a member having regard to their responsibilities to their constituents and to the public interest.’[114]

The referral follows media reports that Mr Billson, the former Minister for Small Business, had failed to disclose to the House that he was receiving a salary from the lobby group while still in parliament.[115]

Bruce Billson

Bruce Billson

Image source: Auspic

4 September

SA Senator Nick Xenophon referred to the Court of Disputed Returns

The Senate refers Senator Nick Xenophon (NXT, SA) to the Court of Disputed Returns to determine ‘whether by reason of s 44(i) of the Constitution there is a vacancy in the representation of South Australia in the Senate for the place for which [he] was returned’.[116]

While Senator Xenophon renounced his Greek citizenship (by descent) before entering Parliament, he becomes aware in August that he may have inherited British citizenship from his Cyprus born father. (Cyprus remained British colony until 1960).[117]

Xenophon becomes the sixth senator and the seventh member of Parliament to be referred to the High Court.

Nick Xenophon

Nick Xenophon (standing)

Image source: Auspic

6 September

Clinton’s Walk for Justice

Clinton Pryor arrives at Parliament House, ending his year long, 5,800 kilometre trek from Heirisson Island (Perth) to the Federal Parliament.

Pryor presents a list of demands for justice and sovereignty to the Governor-General, and the Prime Minister. Pryor is critical of both for not meeting with him and others at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy,[118] and turns his back on the Prime Minister when he perceives ‘Malcolm Turnbull did not listen respectfully’.[119]

Senator Rachel Siewert (AG, WA) tables Pryor’s list of demands in the Senate.[120]

Clinton Pryor at Australian Parliament House

Clinton Pryor at Australian Parliament House

Image source: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

6 September

Visit of Pope Tawadros II

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark, visits Parliament House[121] during a 10 day pastoral visit to Australia.[122] 

His Holiness is hosted by Mr Peter Khalil, Member for Wills and ‘the first Copt to be elected to the federal parliament’.[123]

According to the 2016 census, there are 28,641 Coptic Christians in Australia.[124]

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II at Parliament House.

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II at Parliament House.

Image source: Auspic

12 September

Parliament House’s new fence

The first prefabricated panels for the new 2.6 metre security fence are lifted into place on the roof of Parliament House. This is part of a package of works approved by the Parliament in December 2016,[125] with temporary construction fences installed on the grass ramps since May 2017 to enable ground works to be completed.

Once complete, the package of security enhancements will include: a new physical perimeter comprising fencing and landscaping; replacement of framing and glazing at the northern, eastern and western entrances; and additional CCTV security cameras.[126]

The increased security measures follow the raising of the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System in September 2014, the first time the threat level had been raised since the system was introduced in 2003.

The total cost of the security upgrades is $126.7 million,[127] with works due to be completed by the end of 2018.

Parliament House security fence

Image source: Auspic

14 September

Murphy Class A records tabled in Parliament

The final set of documents from the 1986 Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the conduct of Justice Lionel Murphy is tabled in the Parliament. The papers, comprising material relating to the conduct of Justice Murphy, are published on the Parliament’s website with ‘a small amount of personal information...redacted’.[128] While the papers attract considerable media interest,[129] Justice Murphy’s son, Cameron Murphy, is highly critical of the decision to release them.[130]

Lionel Murphy, during his time as a Senator

Lionel Murphy, during his time as a Senator (1962-74)

Image source: National Archives of Australia  11259786

16 October

Visit by the Irish President

Irish President Michael Higgins visits Parliament House as part of his official visit to Australia.[131]

‘President Higgins is the first Irish President to visit Australia as a Guest of Government since Her Excellency Mary McAleese in 1998.’[132]  

Irish President Michael Higgins with Senate President Stephen Parry and Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith

Irish President Michael Higgins with Senate President Stephen Parry and Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith

Image source: Auspic

16 October

Condolences for Evelyn Scott

Parliament acknowledges the death of Indigenous elder and advocate Dr Evelyn Scott AO.[133]

Dr Scott was the first General-Secretary for the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, Chair of the Cairns and District Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Women, and Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation between 1997 and 2000.[134]

 

16  October

Brendan Nottle’s Walk for the Homeless

On 16 October, Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle arrives at Parliament House, completing his 40 day walk from Melbourne to highlight the issue of homelessness. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is among the many supporters who join Nottle for the final leg.[135] While in Canberra, Major Nottle also meets with the Prime Minister to discuss a national plan on homelessness.[136]

 

18 October

Australian Citizenship Bill discharged from the Notice Paper

The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 is removed from the Senate Notice Paper.

The Bill implements the Government’s announcement in April 2017 of a series of changes to citizenship policy,[137] including a longer permanent residency requirement and a heightened English language requirement. The Bill also creates ‘new Ministerial powers to exclude personal decisions from merits review and override decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal’ and ‘expanded powers to cancel citizenship approvals and to revoke citizenship’.[138]

The Bill is the subject of an inquiry by the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee.[139] On 19 September, the Senate agrees (32 to 29) to a motion that the Bill be discharged from the notice paper if not finally considered by 18 October.[140] The Bill is not called on and is duly discharged at the close of business on 18 October.[141]

 

24 October

Suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dan Tehan (Lib., Wannon, Vic.), makes a statement in the House presenting the Government’s response to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee  report The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans.[142]

The Government agrees to all the committee’s recommendations and announces a package of $31 million and new programs to ‘deliver better support for veterans and their families’.[143]

As recommended by the Committee, the ANAO commences an audit on the efficiency of veterans' service delivery by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The audit is tabled in June 2018.

Dan Tehan

Dan Tehan

Image source: Auspic

Watch the Ministerial Statement

25 October

Marking National Week of Deaf People

Julie Owens (ALP, Parramatta, NSW) stands in the House of Representatives to wish ‘the deaf community in Australia a happy National Week of Deaf People’, simultaneously delivering her speech in Auslan (sign language). [144]

Two days earlier, Steve Georganas (ALP, Hindmarsh, SA), marks the week with a constituency statement in the Federation Chamber, highlighting the lack of supported interpreter and translation services for the deaf.[145]

In September, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport handed down its report Still waiting to be heard ... Report on the Inquiry into the Hearing Health and Wellbeing of Australia.

Julie Owens

Julie Owens

Image source: Auspic

Watch Julie Owens making her speech in Auslan

27 October

The High Court and the ‘Citizenship Seven’

The High Court hands down its judgment regarding the qualification of the six senators and the member of the House of Representatives referred to the Court of Disputed Returns. 

The Court unanimously holds that Scott Ludlam (AG, WA), Larissa Waters (AG, Qld), Malcolm Roberts (PHON, Qld), Barnaby Joyce (NP, New England, NSW) and Fiona Nash (NP, NSW) were each ‘a subject or a citizen ... of a foreign power’ at the time of their nomination for the 2016 federal election, and that each was ‘therefore incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or member of the House of Representatives (as applicable)’.[146]

It finds (again unanimously) that neither Senator Canavan nor Senator Xenophon was disqualified by this provision.[147]

The Court orders the Australian Electoral Commission undertake special counts of the ballot papers to fill the four vacant Senate positions.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives issues the writ for a by-election in New England to be held on 2 December 2017.[148]

The High Court of Australia

The High Court of Australia

Image source: ABC News

28 October

Ministerial reshuffle

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces changes to the Ministry in the wake of the High Court Decision.

The Prime Minister takes portfolio responsibility for Agriculture and Water. Senator Matt Canavan (NP, Qld) is sworn in again as the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.

Fiona Nash’s former portfolios are assigned to Darren Chester (NP, Gippsland, Vic.) and Senator Mitch Fifield (Vic.). Julie Bishop is appointed Acting Prime Minister during Mr Turnbull’s trip to Israel for commemorations of the Battle of Beersheba.[149]

 

1 November

Senate President announces resignation due to dual citizenship

Senate President Stephen Parry (Lib., Tas.) announces his intention to resign, having ‘received advice from the British Home Office that [he is] a British citizen by virtue of [his] father’s birthplace, thereby being a dual citizen under the provisions of the Australian Constitution.’[150] Senator Parry is the eighth parliamentarian to become enmeshed in the ‘dual citizenship saga’.[151]

Senator Parry’s matter is referred to the Court of Disputed Returns when the Senate next sits (13 November 2017).[152] However, in accordance with section 3 of the Parliamentary Presiding Officers Act 1965, he is deemed to continue to be the Presiding Officer of the Senate until his successor is chosen by that House.

Stephen Parry

Stephen Parry

Image source: Auspic

10 November

John Alexander resigns due to dual citizenship; by-election in Bennelong

John Alexander (Lib., Bennelong, NSW) resigns from Parliament, conceding he too is likely to be a dual British citizen by descent.[153]

With Mr Alexander’s resignation, the Government holds only 74 seats in the House of Representatives. However, having renounced his British citizenship, he is returned as the member for Bennelong at the 16 December by-election. Alexander wins the seat by a margin of 8,217 votes[154] over the ALP’s surprise candidate, former NSW Premier Kristina Kenneally, with a swing of -4.84 per cent.[155]

John Alexander

John Alexander

Image source: Auspic

13 November

New senators sworn in

Following its decision in Re Canavan [2017] HCA 45, on 10 November the High Court declares three new senators elected to the Senate for Queensland and Western Australia. They are sworn in to Parliament by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove on 13 November:

At age 23, Jordon Steele-John becomes the youngest person to enter the Senate. The former Member for Longman Wyatt Roy remains the youngest person to enter the Australian Parliament, having been elected aged 20 years and three months.[157]

Senators Anning, Bartlett and Steele-John are escorted to the Senate table to take their oaths of office.

Senators Anning, Bartlett and Steele-John are escorted to the Senate table to take their oaths of office.

Senators Anning, Bartlett and Steele-John are escorted to the Senate table to take their oaths of office.

From top, Senators Anning, Bartlett and Steele-John are escorted to the Senate table to take their oaths of office.

Image source: Auspic

13 November

New President of the Senate

Victorian Senator and Special Minister of State Scott Ryan (Lib.) is elected as the 25th President of the Senate, following the resignation of former Senator Stephen Parry (Lib., Tas.).[158] 

At age 44, he is the youngest person to become President of the Senate. Senator Ryan resigns from the ministry to take up his appointment as President, and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann (Lib., WA) takes on the role of acting Special Minister of State.[159]

Scott Ryan

Scott Ryan

Image source: Auspic

Watch the election of the new President

13 November and 4 December

Citizenship registers for the Parliament

On 13 November the Senate agrees to establish a citizenship register, ‘requiring declarations and documentation from senators in respect of their citizenship status, any previous foreign citizenships held and actions taken to renounce them, birth places of parents and grandparents, and associated details’.[160] The online register is overseen by the Standing Committee on Senators’ Interests.

Senators’ declarations are to be lodged by 5pm  on 1 December 2017.

On 4 December, the House of Representatives also agrees to a resolution requiring each Member to provide (by 9am on 5 December) a statement (and evidence) in relation to citizenship to the Registrar of Members' Interests.[161]

 

13 November and 4 December

Tributes to former Governor-General Ninian Stephen

Condolence motions in the Senate (13 November) and in the House (4 December) pay tribute to Australia’s twentieth Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen who died on 29 October, aged 94.[162]

Following a distinguished legal career, culminating in his appointment to the High Court, Sir Ninian was sworn in as Governor General on 29 July 1982. He later served as a judge on the International Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (1993-97).[163]

Sir Ninian is farewelled at a State Funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral (Melbourne) on 8 November.

Read the condolence speeches in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.

14 November

Senator Lambie resigns

Having previously rejected speculation that she too may be a dual citizen,[164] Senator Jacqui Lambie (JLN, Tas.) resigns from the Senate having received confirmation of UK citizenship by descent.[165]   

Senator Lambie’s matter is referred to the Court of Disputed Returns.[166] On 8 December, the High Court orders the two Tasmanian vacancies (created by the resignations of Senators Parry and Lambie) be filled by a special count of votes.[167]

The count identifies Richard Colbeck and Steve Martin as the candidates who should fill the vacancies. However, before the outcome can be declared, the High Court must first determine whether Mr Martin is an eligible candidate or whether, as Major of Devonport, he holds an office of profit under the Crown and so is prevented from being chosen by reason of section 44(iv) of the Constitution.[168]

Jacqui Lambie is farewelled by colleagues following her valedictory speech.

Jacqui Lambie is farewelled by colleagues following her valedictory speech.

Image source: Auspic

Watch Senator Lambie’s valedictory

15 November

Results of the Australian Marriage Postal Law Survey and the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017

Australian Statistician David Kalisch announces the results of the Marriage Law Postal Survey: 12,727,920 people have participated in the survey, 79.5 per cent of the eligible population, with 61.6 per cent responding ‘YES’ and 38.4 per cent responding ‘NO’ to the question: ‘should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?’

All states and territories record a majority YES response.[169] Of the Federal Electoral Divisions, 133 record a majority YES response, and 17 a majority NO.[170]

Map showing results of the postal survey by electorate.

Map showing results of the postal survey by electorate.

Image source: Parliamentary Library

15 November

The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017

Senator Dean Smith (Lib., WA) introduces his private Senator’s Bill, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, co‑sponsored by Senators Reynolds, Wong, Pratt, Di Natale, Rice, Kakoschke-Moore, Hinch and Hume.[171] Drawing upon an earlier Government exposure draft,[172] the Bill incorporates the recommendations of a Senate Select Committee regarding religious protections.[173]

Debate on the bill begins on the following day.[174] Coalition and ALP members and Senators are allowed a free vote.

The bill passes the Senate on 29 November with amendments, 43 votes to 12.[175] It passes the House of Representatives on 7 December (without amendment), with four members voting ‘no’.[176]

The Act enters into force on 9 December, with the first same sex weddings conducted (with special exemption from the 30 day waiting period) on 16 December.[177]

Senator Dean Smith (centre) and five of the co-sponsors of his private bill (from left: Senators Louise Pratt, Janet Rice, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Penny Wong and Derryn Hinch.

Senator Dean Smith (centre) and five of the co-sponsors of his private bill (from left: Senators Louise Pratt, Janet Rice, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Penny Wong and Derryn Hinch.

Image source: Auspic

Watch the second reading speech

Watch the third reading of the Bill in the Senate and

the House of Representatives

15 November

A new Senator for South Australia

Rex Patrick (NXT) is sworn in as Senator for South Australia, having been chosen by the Parliament of South Australia on to fill the casual vacancy caused by the resignation of party leader Nick Xenophon (NXT, SA) to contest the 2018 South Australian election.[178]

Although the party nominee for the position, Senator Patrick’s appointment to the casual vacancy is less straightforward than usual: Lawyers representing former Nick Xenophon Team candidate Tim Storer write to the South Australian Premier asserting ‘rights in relation to the filling of the casual vacancy’.[179] The matter is resolved when Mr Storer subsequently withdraws his challenge.[180]

Senator Patrick makes his first speech on 4 December.[181]

Rex Patrick

Rex Patrick

Image source: Auspic

Watch the swearing in of Senator Patrick

Watch Senator Patrick’s first speech

19 November

House of Representatives sittings postponed

The Leader of the House Christopher Pyne (Lib., Sturt, SA) issues a statement stating that, given the Senate is ‘unlikely to finish debating the marriage equality bill until 30 November,

the Prime Minister and I have consulted the Speaker and asked that he set an alternative day for the next meeting of the House, in accordance with the Standing Orders.

The House will resume on December 4 at 10am, not November 27, and will sit until marriage equality is law and all citizenship issues have been dealt with by the House.[182] [emphasis in original]

House of Representatives Standing Order 309(c) provides that when ‘the House is not sitting, the Speaker may set an alternative day or hour for the next meeting’.

The announcement is strongly criticised by the Opposition and minor parties.[183] 

 

22 November

Philip Ruddock appointed to head religious freedom review

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces the appointment of Philip Ruddock to examine whether Australian law adequately protects religious freedom.[184] Mr Ruddock is to report his findings by 31 March 2018.

 

22 November

Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore resigns due to dual citizenship

Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore (NXT, SA) announces her resignation as a senator having ‘received advice from the UK Home Office ... that she had received British citizenship from her mother, who was born in Singapore in 1957’.[185] 

The Senate refers the matter to the Court of Disputed Returns when it next meets (27 November).[186]

Skye Kakoschke-Moore

Skye Kakoschke-Moore

Image source: Auspic

23 November

Foreign Affairs White Paper released

The Government releases its Foreign Policy White Paper, the first such document since 2003, setting out ‘the Government’s strategy for engaging with the world, and in particular the Indo-Pacific region, over the next decade’.[187]

 

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo and DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson at the launch of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo and DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson at the launch of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

Image source: DFAT/Nathan Fulton, Linda Roche

28 November

Committee inquiry into section 44 of the Constitution

On 28 November, the Prime Minister refers to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters an inquiry into aspects of section 44 of the Australian Constitution, including:

How electoral laws and the administration thereof could be improved to minimise the risk of candidates being found ineligible pursuant to section 44(i)

Whether the Parliament is able to legislate to make the operation of section 44(i) more certain and predictable, and

Whether the Parliament should seek to amend section 44(i).[188]

The Committee reports on 17 May 2018.

 

29 November

Senator Steele-John crowdsources his first speech

Senator Jordon Steele-John (AG, WA) delivers his first speech.[189] Taking a fresh approach to a venerable tradition, the Senator had turned to social media to crowdsource its contents, receiving 3,000 responses to his question: ‘you could say anything* to the people in this place what would you say?’

I'm rather thrilled to be able to say that the response was quite overwhelming. Over 130,000 people saw our post. Almost 3,000 people told me what is important to them and what they think we should be doing here in this parliament, and that's not including the countless phone calls to my office, the emails and the many letters I've received as well as the conversations I've had with constituents.[190]

Jordon Steele-John

Jordon Steele-John

Image source: Auspic

Facebook page

Watch Senator Steele-John’s first speech

29 November

Preventing leaks at Parliament House

Scaffolding is put in place on the roof of Parliament House to enable repair of the main skylight.

Over time, glazing in the link ways and skylights has deteriorated and de-laminated, resulting in leaks. ’A couple of years ago, during a particularly vigorous thunderstorm, attendants had to use both [towels and buckets] in the House of Representatives to mop up the drips that fell from the roof during question time.’[191]

In 2016-17, the Government provided $18.3 million in capital over two years to repair and strengthen the main and side skylights within the APH.[192]

Scaffolding over the main skylight, Australian Parliament House

Scaffolding over the main skylight, Australian Parliament House

Image source: Auspic

30 November

Banking Royal Commission

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison announce a royal commission into ‘the alleged misconduct of Australia’s banks and other financial services entities’.[193]

On 18 December, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove issues the Letters Patent appointing former High Court Justice Kenneth Hayne as Royal Commissioner and setting out the terms of reference for the Inquiry. 

Malcolm Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Image source: Auspic

2 December

New England by-election

Barnaby Joyce is elected to the House of Representatives at the New England by-election on 2 December, defeating Labor candidate David Ewings by 64,664 votes to 23,159, a margin of 41,505 votes. The result represents a 7.21 per cent swing to Mr Joyce. Voter turnout is a little over 87 per cent.[194]

Although a party to the High Court case which saw Mr Joyce disqualified, former independent member for New England Tony Windsor decides not to contest the by-election.[195]

The poll is declared on 6 December, and the writ returned to the Speaker of the House of Representatives the same day.[196] At 2pm, the Speaker informs the House that he has received a return to writ certifying Mr Joyce’s election, and he is admitted and sworn in immediately thereafter.[197]

Barnaby Joyce being sworn into Parliament

Barnaby Joyce being sworn into Parliament

Image source: Auspic

Watch Mr Joyce’s swearing in

4 December

A proposal from the floor!

At the conclusion of his second reading speech on the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill, Tim Wilson (Lib., Goldstein, Vic.) proposes to his partner who is seated in the gallery—the first time a marriage proposal has been made from  the floor of the Parliament.[198] Mr Wilson’s partner says yes.[199]

Tim Wilson in the House of Representatives

Tim Wilson in the House of Representatives

Image source: Auspic

Watch Tim Wilson’s second reading speech 

4 December

Refugees and New Zealand: Government loses vote in the House

On 29 November, the Senate agrees to a motion calling on the Prime Minister to accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees currently in off-shore detention.[200]

The Senate requests the concurrence of the House in the resolution.

The Senate’s message is debated in the House on 4 December, with the Government losing the vote 73 votes to 72 when two of its MPs (Warren Entsch and Steve Ciobo) are absent from the chamber.[201] The Leader of the House (Christopher Pyne) moves that the vote be held again in accordance with standing order 132 (new division in case or error, confusion or misadventure). The Speaker agrees, but requires the two members to first ‘explain to the House that they missed the vote through one of the reasons in the standing orders, notably misadventure’.[202]

The Government wins the vote when the House divides again.[203]

 

4 December

Celebration of Parliament’s first honey harvest

On 4 December, Senate President Scott Ryan presides over the first harvest of honey from the new hives. Over two hundred people, including politicians, diplomats and members of the public, gather in the Great Hall for speeches, tastings, and information sessions.

Bee keepers on their way to the first harvest of Parliament House honey.

Bee keepers on their way to the first harvest of Parliament House honey.

Image source: Auspic

Read: Safekeeping, a report of a roundtable on the biosecurity of the Australian honey bee, convened by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources.

6 December

Citizenship referrals and debate in the House

Publication of senators and members information in the new citizenship registers generates another wave of speculation and debate regarding parliamentarians’ eligibility.[204]

On 5 December David Feeney (ALP, Batman, Vic.) announces that is unable to locate documentation confirming renunciation of his British and Irish citizenship.[205] Mr Feeney is referred to the High Court, on motion of the Manager of Opposition Business (Tony Burke), the following day.[206]

This referral follows an unsuccessful Opposition motion to refer to the High Court, in addition to the Member for Batman, a number of other members about whose eligibility concerns had been expressed: Justine Keay (ALP, Braddon, Tas.); Josh Wilson (ALP, Freemantle, WA); Susan Lamb (ALP, Longman, Qld.); Rebekha Sharkie (NXT, Mayo, SA); Julia Banks (Lib., Chisholm, Vic.); Alex Hawke (Lib., Mitchell, NSW); Nola Marino (Lib., Forrest, WA); and Jason Falinski (Lib., Mackellar, NSW).

When the House divides on the motion, the vote is tied. In keeping with established precedent, the Speaker exercises his casting vote with the ‘noes’.[207]

David Feeney

David Feeney

Image source: Auspic

Watch Mr Feeney’s statement in the Federation Chamber

Watch the debate in the House of Representatives

6 December

A further citizenship referral in the Senate

In the upper house, by motion of her leader, Senator Katy Gallagher (ALP, ACT) is referred to the Court of Disputed Returns.[208] She is the first Labor senator to be referred.

This follows earlier speculation that the Senator held citizenship by descent from Ecuador or Britain.[209] Senator Gallagher states that she had taken ‘all reasonable steps’ to renounce any citizenship entitlement but did not receive confirmation of this from the UK until 16 August 2018—some 118 days later. She also confirms that she ‘had indeed received British citizenship from [her] father’.[210] Senator Gallagher stands down from the shadow cabinet and from the position of Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate until the matter is resolved.[211]

The Constitution requires that candidates not hold foreign citizenship at the time they nominate.[212] The Senate notes, in a procedural bulletin, that ‘[t]he question engaged by Senator Gallagher’s case is whether ... [the reasonable efforts] exception may also apply where a person has taken all necessary steps to renounce, but foreign law – or, possibly, foreign bureaucracy – has not operated to effect a change in status prior to nomination.’[213]

On 30 November the ACT Legislative Assembly establishes an inquiry to determine whether the Assembly should adopt new practices in appointing senators.[214]

Katy Gallagher

Katy Gallagher

Image source: Auspic

6 December

Committee inquiry into decisions of the Court of Disputed returns

On 6 December, the Senate refers the implications of recent decisions made to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for inquiry and report by Tuesday 6 February.

The Terms of Reference are:

The implications of recent decisions by the Court of Disputed Returns concerning section 44 of the Constitution on questions referred by the Parliament under section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, with particular reference to:

(a) the decisions in connection with the disqualification of former Senators Bob Day and Rodney Culleton;
(b) a regime for disclosing information relating to aspects other than section 44(i), for which the Parliament has already provided;
(c) the form such a process might take and how it could be implemented; and
(d) any related matters.[215]

Committee Chair Senator Linda Reynolds (Lib., WA) says the inquiry is ‘an opportunity to provide greater clarity to the electoral process.’[216] The committee reports in February 2018.

 

6 December

Parliament marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Harold Holt

17 December is the 50th anniversary of the disappearance of Prime Minister Harold Holt at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria.[217]

On 6 December the House of Representatives marks ‘one of the confounding events’ in Australia’s history and the life and achievements of the 17th Prime Minister of Australia.[218]

Speaking on indulgence, the Prime Minister states:

In his short time as Prime Minister, Harold Holt led Australia into a new era. ... As Prime Minister, he ushered in many of the reforms that we now consider so crucial, such watersheds, in our evolution to the modern nation we are today. He oversaw the dismantling of the White Australia policy, throwing open our doors to people from all corners of the world ....

He drove the historic 1967 referendum 'yes' vote, winning the overwhelming approval of the nation to empower the Commonwealth to make laws for Aboriginal people and ensuring that our first peoples were included in the national census. It was in his time as Prime Minister that Australians adopted the dollar over the pound and began navigating the shifting sands of a world with new economic rules and allegiances. In the context of massive global geopolitical realignment he reintroduced Australia to our region and forged deeper ties in Asia.[219]

Members of Mr Holt’s family and friends of the Holt family are seated on the floor of the Chamber to listen to the debate.[220]

Harold Holt

Harold Holt

Image source: Parliamentary Library

Watch the statements on the anniversary of the death of Harold Holt in the House of Representatives

6 December

Joint Committee report on modern slavery

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tables Hidden in Plain Sight, the final report into its inquiry into establishing a modern slavery act. The Committee recommends a new Act that would draw together existing slavery and associated offences and, inter alia:

  • provide for an Anti-Slavery Commissioner;
  • provide for mandatory supply chain reporting;
  • establish a national compensation scheme for victims of modern slavery;
  • address orphanage trafficking; and
  • improve criminal justice responses.[221]

 

7 December

Nationals elect new Deputy Leader

The Nationals elect Senator Bridget McKenzie (Vic.) as its deputy leader, replacing Fiona Nash (NSW) whose election was ruled void under section 44(i) of the Constitution.

Senator McKenzie was first elected to the Senate at the 2010 general election, beginning her term on 1 July 2011.

Bridget McKenzie

Bridget McKenzie

Image source: Auspic

12 December

Labor Senator announces his resignation

Senator Sam Dastyari (ALP, NSW) announces his intention not to return to the Senate in 2018.[222]

This follows the Senator’s 30 November resignation as Deputy Opposition Whip[223] amidst growing public controversy regarding his alleged ties to a political donor linked to the Chinese Communist Party.[224] On 7 December, Attorney-General George Brandis gave notice of his intention to seek to refer Senator Dastyari to the Senate Privileges Committee.[225]

Senator Dastyari first entered Parliament in August 2013, filling a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Matt Thistlethwaite (ALP, NSW).  

Sam Dastyari

Sam Dastyari

Image source: Auspic

15 December

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concludes

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presents its 17 volume final report to Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove. The Royal Commission was announced in November 2012 by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard in November 2012[226] and formally established in January 2013.[227]

The Royal Commission makes over 400 recommendations.[228]

On 26 October 2017, the then Minister for Social Services Christian Porter (Lib., Pearce, WA) introduced a bill to establish a Commonwealth redress scheme which would provide compensation and access to counselling to eligible survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.[229]

On 20 June 2017, a joint select committee is established to oversee the Royal Commission’s redress related recommendations.[230] The Committee, chaired by Senator Derryn Hinch (DHJP, Vic.), held hearings and accepted submissions in 2018. Its final reporting date, originally in November 2018, was extended to March 2019.

 

19 December

Major Cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announces a much anticipated reshuffle of his ministry.[231] As foreshadowed,[232] Peter Dutton becomes Minister for a new portfolio of Home Affairs, which brings together  ‘Australia’s immigration, border protection, law enforcement and domestic security agencies in a single portfolio’.[233] 

Christian Porter (Lib., Pearce, WA) moves from Social Services to replace George Brandis (Lib., Qld) as Attorney-General—with Senator Brandis to take up the position of High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in the new year. Before entering federal parliament, Porter served as the Attorney-General of Western Australia.[234]

Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce (New England, NSW) becomes Minister for Infrastructure, replacing Darren Chester (NP, Gippsland, Vic.) who returns to the back bench.[235]

The number of women in Cabinet remains unchanged at five.[236] Tasmania is not represented.[237]

The new Cabinet is sworn in on 20 December.

Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove with the new ministry

Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove with the new ministry

Image source: Auspic

22 December

NSW Senate recount declared

On 22 December, the High Court declares retired Major-General Andrew James (Jim) Molan (Lib.) elected as Senator for the State of NSW, replacing Fiona Nash (NP, NSW) whose election was ruled void on 27 October.[238]

Filling the NSW Senate vacancy has proved complicated.

Liberal Hollie Hughes had been identified by a special count of the ballots as the candidate to fill the vacant NSW seat.

However, the High Court subsequently found that Hughes was ‘incapable of being chosen’ by operation of s 44(iv) of the Constitution, as she had been appointed a part-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, with effect from 1 July 2017 to 27 October 2017—and thus held an office of profit under the Crown.[239] The Court’s reasons confirm ‘that a Senate election is not concluded if it returns an invalid candidate, but continues until a senator is validly elected. Any disqualification which arises in the meantime ... renders the candidate incapable of being chosen.’[240]

Senator Molan is sworn in on 5 February 2018,[241] and gives his first speech on 14 February.[242]

Jim Molan AO

Jim Molan AO

Image source: Auspic

Appendix: Key Commonwealth Acts passed in 2017

ACT

BILLS DIGEST

PURPOSE OF ACT

Banking

 

                        

Major Bank Levy Act 2017

 

Introduced with the Treasury Laws Amendment (Major Bank Levy) Act 2017, the Act imposes a levy on authorised deposit-taking institutions with total liabilities of more than $100 billion.  

Consumer law

 

 

Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Act 2017

P Pyburne, Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Bill 2016, Bills Digest

The purpose of this Act is to amend the Australian Consumer Law, which is in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 to simplify the test that is used to justify a claim that certain foods were ‘made in’ a specified country of origin. The Act achieves this by amending one of the safe harbour provisions in the Australian Consumer Law.

Criminal law

 

 

Criminal Code Amendment (Protecting Minors Online) Act 2017

M Biddington, Criminal Code Amendment (Protecting Minors Online) Bill 2017, Bills Digest

The purpose of the Act is to introduce an offence to criminalise acts done using a carriage service to prepare or plan to cause harm to, procure, or engage in sexual activity with, a person under the age of 16. This expressly includes a person misrepresenting their age online as part of a plan to cause harm to another person under 16 years of age.

Education and training

Education and Other Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2017

J Griffiths, C Ey, P Pyburne, Education and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2017, Bills Digest

To amend the Ombudsman Act 1976 to establish the office of the VET Student Loans Ombudsman. In addition, the Act amends the Australian Research Council Act 2001 to update indexation against appropriation funding caps for existing legislated amounts and includes an additional forward estimate amount.

Social Security Legislation Amendment (Youth Jobs Path: Prepare, Trial, Hire) Act 2017

M Thomas, Social Security Legislation Amendment (Youth Jobs Path: Prepare, Trial, Hire) Bill 2016, Bills Digest

Amends the: Social Security Act 1991 and Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 to provide that fortnightly incentive payments made to young job seekers undertaking internships under the Youth Jobs PaTH do not affect social security payments or veterans’ entitlements; and Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to provide that young job seekers employed by a Youth Jobs PaTH employer may have their social security payments suspended rather than cancelled in certain circumstances.

 

Family law

 

 

Enhancing Online Safety for Children Amendment Act 2017

M Biddington, Enhancing Online Safety for Children Amendment Bill 2017, Bills Digest

To amend the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Act 2015 (the Act) to broaden the functions of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner to include online safety for all Australians. As part of the amendments, the name of the Act will be amended, to be known as the Enhancing Online Safety Act 2015.

Gambling

 

 

Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2017

R Jolly, Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, Bills Digest

To amend the Interactive Gambling Act to clarify licensing requirements for interactive gambling services in Australia, to introduce a civil penalty regime to be enforced by ACMA and to define prohibited interactive gambling services not to be provided in Australia. The Act redefines telephone betting service specifically to exclude the in-play betting options offered by interactive betting services.

Human rights

 

 

Human Rights Legislation Amendment Act 2017

 

Amends (among other things) the: Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to: amend section 18C, which prohibits offensive behaviour based on racial hatred, to replace the words ‘offend’, ‘insult’ and ‘humiliate’ with ‘harass’ (resulting in the formulation ‘harass or intimidate’); and provide that an assessment of whether an act is reasonably likely to harass or intimidate a person or group of persons is made against the standard of a reasonable member of the Australian community.

Immigration and refugee law

Migration Amendment (Validation of Decisions) Act 2017

C Petrie, Migration Amendment (Validation of Decisions) Bill 2017, Bills Digest

Amends the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) to safeguard the validity of character decisions made by the Department, in the case of a successful High Court challenge to the validity of section 503A of the Act.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Quality and Safeguards Commission and Other Measures) Act 2017

P Pyburne, National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Quality and Safeguards Commission and Other Measures) Bill 2017, Bills Digest

Amends the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 to establish the NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission as an independent statutory body with a range of regulatory functions. It also makes amendments to the NDIS Act in accordance with the recommendations of an independent review that was undertaken in 2015.

Native title

 

 

Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Act 2017

C Raymond, Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017, Bills Digest.

The Act proposes to: a. confirm the legal status and enforceability of agreements which have been registered by the Native Title Registrar on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements without the signature of all members of a registered native title claimant; b. enable registration of agreements which have been made but have not yet been registered on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements;  and c. ensure that in the future, area ILUAs can be registered without requiring every member of the RNTC to be a party to the agreement.

Parliament

 

 

Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Act 2017

C Madden, Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017, Bills Digest

Amends the: Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002 to: amend the short title of the Act to the Parliamentary Retirement Travel Act 2002; impose certain limits on access to the parliamentary retirement travel entitlement; reduce the number of trips available under the entitlement; remove the ability of spouses or de facto partners (other than those of a former prime minister) to access the entitlement; reduce the entitlement of spouses or de facto partners of a former prime minister; and require that all travel under the entitlement be subject to a public benefit test; Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 to: apply a 25 per cent loading to any adjustment to a prescribed travel benefit; and limit the domestic travel entitlement of dependent children of senior officers to those under 18 years of age; and Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 and Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002 to enable the recovery of payments made which are beyond the entitlement.

Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017

 

Introduced with the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (Consequential Amendments) Act 2017, the Act: establishes the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority as an independent statutory authority with responsibilities in relation to expenses and allowances of parliamentarians and their staff; provides for the Authority’s functions, powers, liabilities, membership, and appointment of a chief executive officer and staff; and provides for an independent review of the Authority.

Privacy

 

 

Privacy Amendment  (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017

MA Neilsen, Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016, Bills Digest

Implements recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s Advisory report on the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 and the Australian Law Reform Commission’s report For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice by amending the Privacy Act 1988 to require agencies, organisations and certain other entities to provide notice to the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals of an eligible data breach.

Same sex marriage

 

 

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Bills Digest

Amends the: Marriage Act 1961 to: redefine marriage as ‘a union of two people’; introduce non-gendered language so that the requirements of the Act apply equally to all marriages; enable same-sex marriages that have been, or will be, solemnised under the law of a foreign country to be recognised in Australia; amend the definition of ‘authorised celebrant’ to include new categories of religious marriage celebrants and certain Australian Defence Force officers; enable ministers of religion, religious marriage celebrants, chaplains and bodies established for religious purposes to refuse to solemnise or provide facilities, goods and services for marriages on religious grounds; and make amendments contingent on the commencement of the proposed Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2017; and Sex Discrimination Act 1984 to provide that a refusal by a minister of religion, religious marriage celebrant or chaplain to solemnise marriage in prescribed circumstances does not constitute unlawful discrimination.

Transport

 

 

Transport Security Legislation Amendment Act 2017

C Raymond, Transport Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, Bills Digest

Amends the: Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 to enable people, vehicles and goods to undergo aviation security screening within an airside area or zone at a security controlled airport; and Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 and Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003 to enable the secretary to delegate his or her powers to lower level Australian Public Service employees.


[1].     J Hayne, ‘Canberra windstorm fells trees, causes havoc across city; emergency services inundated’, ABC News website, 14 January 2017.

[2].     S Ley (Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport), ‘Statement from Sussan Ley’, Media statement, 13 January 2017.

[3].     M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Press conference, Sydney, 13 January 2017’, Transcript, 13 January 2017.

[4].     M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Ministerial arrangements’, Media release, 18 January 2017.

[5].     Ibid.

[6].     C Bernardi, ‘Statements:  Liberal Party of Australia’, Senate, Debates, 7 February 2017, p. 4.

[7].     Ibid.

[8].     Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), ‘Current register of political parties’, AEC website.

[9].     ‘Statements on Indulgence – Tasmania:  50th Anniversary of Black Tuesday Bushfires’, House of Representatives, Debates, 7 February 2017, p. 37 and ‘Motions – Black Tuesday Bushfires’, Senate, Debates, 8 February 2017, p. 326.

[10].    A Wilkie, ‘Statements on Indulgence – Tasmania:  50th Anniversary of Black Tuesday Bushfires’, House of Representatives, Debates, 7 February 2017, p. 37.

[11].    J Lambie, ‘Bills: Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Full Face Coverings in Public Places) Bill 2017–Second Reading’, Senate, Debates, 8 February 2017, p. 327.

[12].    M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Ministerial Statements: Closing the Gap’, House of Representatives, Debates, 14 February 2017, pp. 896-897.

[13].    B Shorten (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Ministerial Statements: Closing the Gap’, House of Representatives, Debates, 14 February 2017, p. 900.

[14].    M Turnbull, (Prime Minister), ‘Remarks at a Reception to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Australia-Sri Lanka Diplomatic Relations’, Transcript, 14 February 2017.

[15].    Parliament of Australia, ‘Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 homepage’, Australian Parliament website.

[16].    C Madden, Parliamentary Entitlements Legislation Amendment Bill 2017, Bills digest, 62, 2016-17, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2017, p. 2.

[17].    Ibid.

[18].    Parliament of Australia, ‘Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Bill 2017 homepage’, Australian Parliament website.

[19].    Explanatory Memorandum, Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Bill 2017, p. 1.

[20].    C Madden, Parliamentary Business Resources Bills 2017 and Parliamentary Business Resources (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2017, Bills digest, 97, 2016-17, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2017, p. 3.

[21].    A Gartrell, ‘MPs’ private phone numbers go online’, The Canberra Times, 21 March 2017, p. 8.

[22].    Ibid.

[23].    Ibid.

[24].    T Smith (Speaker), ‘Distinguished Visitors’, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 March 2017, p. 3028.

[25].    M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Statements on Indulgence–London: Attacks’, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 March 2017, p. 3028.

[26].    B Shorten (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Statements on Indulgence–London: Attacks’, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 March 2017, p. 3029.

[27].    M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Visit to Australia by China’s Premier Li Keqiang’, Media statement, 24 March 2017.

[28].    Ibid.

[29].    T McIlroy, ‘Beekeeping the buzzword getting political capital’, The Age, 20 March 2017, p. 4.

[30].    Ibid.

[31].    Parliamentary Education Office (PEO), ‘In case you missed it’, PEO website; Royal Canberra Show, ‘2018 Horticulture Produce Schedule’, Royal Canberra Show website.

[32].    Ibid.

[33].    P Wong and M Dreyfus, Transcript of joint doorstop interview: China extradition treaty; 18C, Parliament House, Canberra, media release, 28 March 2017.

[34].    J Bishop (Minister for Foreign Affairs), China extradition treaty, media release, 28 March 2017.

[35].    S Morrison (Treasurer), ‘Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2017-2018: Second Reading’, House of Representatives, Debates, 9 May 2017, pp. 4058-4066.

[36].    B Shorten (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2017-2018: Second Reading’, House of Representatives, Debates, 11 May 2017, pp. 4445-4450.

[37].    Following Senator Day’s resignation, the Family First Party he belonged to merged with the Australian Conservatives. See L Bourke, ‘Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives to merge with Family First’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 April 2017, p. 7.

[38].    ‘Family First to Senate first’, The Age, 10 May 2017, p. 10.

[39].    L Gichuhi, ‘Parliamentary Representation–South Australia: Senators Sworn’, Senate, Debates, 9 March 2017, p. 3040.

[40].    B Merhab, ‘Alia milks her moment in the Senate’, Daily Telegraph, 10 May 2017, p. 3.

[41].    Ibid.

[42].    T Smith (Speaker), ‘Happy 90th to the people’s House’, The Canberra Times, 6 May 2017, p. 2.

[43].    Ibid.

[44].    M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Statements–Manchester: Attacks’, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 May 2017, p. 4826.

[45].    B Shorten (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Statements–Manchester: Attacks’, House of Representatives, Debates, 23 May 2017, p. 4828.

[46].    M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Transcript of remarks at the Indigenous Youth Parliamentarians’ Reception: Parliament House, Canberra’, 24 May 2017.

[47].    B Shorten (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Transcript of remarks to the Indigenous Youth Parliamentarians Reception: Mural Hall, Canberra’, 24 May 2017.

[48].    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), ‘President H. E. Hon. Maithripala Sirisena Official Visit to Australia’, DFAT website.

[49].    I Macdonald, ‘Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee: Attorney-General’s Portfolio–Australian Human Rights Commission’, Senate, Estimates, 25 May 2017, pp. 87-88.

[50].    Ibid., p. 89.

[51].    Parliament of Australia, ‘Prevailing Voices – Indigenous Australian Parliamentarians’, Parliament of Australia website.

[52].    F Hunter, ‘A portrait of strength, hope and sadness’, The Canberra Times, 30 May 2017, p. 4.

[53].    M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Ministerial Statements: National Security’, House of Representatives, Debates, 13 June 2017, pp. 6171-75.

[54].    B Shorten (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Ministerial Statements: National Security’, House of Representatives, Debates, 13 June 2017, p. 6176.

[55].    J Frydenberg (Minister for the Environment and Energy), ‘Turnbull Government welcomes Finkel Review’, Media release, 9 June 2017.

[56].    S Martin, ‘Shock as Libs director quits’, The West Australian, 14 June 2017, p. 7.

[57].    M Turnbull (Prime Minister), ‘Remarks at the Matildas Women’s Football Morning Tea to announce support for the FFA bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup’, Transcript, 13 June 2017.

[58].    G Brandis (Attorney-General), ‘President of the Australian Human Rights Commission’, Media release, 20 June 2017.

[59].    Ibid.

[60].    J Kelly, ‘National crosses floor to save penalty rates’, The Australian, 21 June 2017, p. 4.

[61].    Ibid.

[62].    ‘Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017’, House of Representatives, Votes and Proceedings, 20 June 2017, p. 875.

[63].    A Hough with D Heriot, ‘Australia's Parliament House in 2016: a chronology of events’, Research paper series 2017–18, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 14 December 2017.

[64].    A Back, ‘Superglue protesters to stand trial’, Canberra Times, 13 July 2017, p. 10. 

[65].    ‘Superglue protesters not guilty of damage to Parliament House’, The Australian, 29 March 2018.

[66].    S Ludlam, ‘Statement: Greens WA Senator Scott Ludlam’, media release, 14 July 2017.

[67].    S Waters, ‘Statement from Senator Larissa Waters’, media release, 18 July 2017; H Belot, ‘Larissa Waters, deputy Greens leader quits in latest citizenship bungle’, ABC News (online), 16 August 2017; M Grattan, ‘Greens senator Larissa Waters forced out of parliament’, The Conversation, 18 July 2017.

[68].    Department of the Senate, For the sitting period 8–17 August 2017, Procedural information bulletin no. 317, Parliament of Australia, 18 August 2017.

[69].    R Di Natale, ‘Leader of the Australian Greens, Dr Richard Di Natale responds to Larissa Waters’ resignation’, media release, 18 July 2017.

[70].    S Parry (President), ‘Statement by the President: Parliamentary Budget Officer’, Senate, Debates, 19 June 2017, p. 4197; T Smith (Speaker),  ‘Statement by the Speaker: Parliament House: Security; Parliamentary Budget Officer’, House of Representatives, Debates, 19 June 2017, p. 6856.

[71].    M Canavan (Minister for Resources and Northern Australia), ‘Statement on Citizenship Status’, media release, 25 July 2017.

[72].    A Green, ‘Matt Canavan: the High Court’s question after the latest citizenship resignation’, ABC News (online), 16 August 2017.

[73].    G Brandis (Attorney-General), Transcript of statements on Senator Canavan’s citizenship, Brisbane, media release, 25 July 2017.

[74].    Australia, Senate, ‘Vacancies in the representation of Western Australia and Queensland—Qualifications of senators’, Journals, 49 (proof), 8 August 2017, p. 1598.

[75].    Australia, Senate, ‘Qualification of Senator Canavan—Reference to Court of Disputed ReturnsJournals, 49 (proof), 2017,  8 August 2017, p. 1599; ‘Qualification of former Senators Ludlam and Waters—References to Court of Disputed Returns’, Ibid., p. 1599.

[76].    Department of the Senate, For the sitting period 8-17 August 2017, Procedural Information Bulletin no. 317, Parliament of Australia, 18 August 2017.

[77].    R Di Natale, ‘Notices: Presentation’, Senate, Debates, 8 August 2017 p. 4962.

[78].    A Remeikis, ‘MPs scramble to confirm citizenship’, The Sydney Morning Herald,  20 July 2017;  R Baxendale, ‘Senator refuses proof of sole citizenship’, The Australian, 22 July 2017; S Martin and N Evans, ‘No Italian ballot papers for Canavan’, West Australian, 28 July 2017; B Doherty, ‘Malcolm Roberts citizenship explainer: one nation – or more?’, The Guardian, 28 July 2017; R Lewis, ‘Roberts’s eligibility as MP in ‘real difficulty’’, The Australian, 29 July 2017.

[79].    P Hanson, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Senators’, Senate, Debates, 9 August 2017, p. 5216.

[80].    M Turnbull, ‘Condolences: Yunupingu, Dr. G’, House of Representatives, Debates, 8 August 2017, p. 643.

[81].    ‘Condolences: Lester, Mr Kunmanara OAM, Yunupingu’, Senate, Debates, 17 August 2017, p. 6008.

[82]. ‘Man caught at 162km/h on Hume Highway ‘didn’t want to miss Parliament tour’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 August 2017.

[83].    ‘Condolences’, House of Representatives, Debates, 9 August 2017, pp. 7886.

[84].    Australia, Senate, ‘Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage Bill) 2016—proposed restoration to Notice Paper’, Journals, 50 (proof), 2017, 9 August 2017, p. 1620.  

[85].    M Cormann, (Minister for Finance), Next steps for a national plebiscite on same sex marriage, media release, 9 August 2017.  

[86].    Census and Statistics (Statistical Information) Direction 2017, 9 August 2017. An amended Direction is issued on 16 August 2017, clarifying ‘the statistical information to be published and defin[ing] eligibility for participation in the statistical survey as those persons who would be entitled to vote in a federal election’.

[87].    M Neilson, Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Bills Digest, 54, 2017-18, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2017, p. 6.

[88].    House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs, ‘The growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'style' art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia’, inquiry homepage.

[89].    A Wilkie, Application to stop postal vote lodged with High Court, media release, 10 August 2017.

[90].    P Karp, ‘Marriage equality postal vote to be challenged in high court by Andrew Wilkie and advocates‘, The Guardian, 9 August 2017.

[91].  M Davey and P Karp, ‘Same-sex marriage postal survey is lawful, high court finds’, The Guardian, 7 September 2017; Wilkie v The Commonwealth [2017] HCA 40; E Byrne, ‘SSM survey challenges 'demonstrably without substance', High Court finds’, ABC News (online), updated 28 September 2017.

[92].    C Simpson, ‘The same-sex marriage ruling broke the High Court's website’, Gizmodo, 7 September 2017.

[93].    M Turnbull, ‘Ministerial Statements: Solomon Islands’, House of Representatives, Debates, 14 August 2017, p. 8233.

[94].    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), ‘Solomon Islands: Bilateral security treaty’, DFAT website.

[95].    B Joyce (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources), ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Members: Joyce, Barnaby, MP’, House of Representatives, Debates, 14 August 2017, p. 8185.

[96].Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Reference of matter to the Court of Disputed Returns’, Votes and proceedings, 68, 14 August 2017, p. 958.  

[97]. M Grattan, ‘High Court to rule on whether Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealander’, The Conversation, 14 August 2017, accessed 3 January 2017.

[98]. T Burke, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Members’, House of Representatives, Debates, 14 August 2017, p. 2840; ‘Suspension of standing orders moved’,  House of Representatives, Votes and Proceedings 2016-17, no. 68, 14 August 2017; ‘Suspension of standing orders moved’,  House of Representatives, Votes and Proceedings 2016-17, no. 71, 17 August 2017.

[99]. J Bishop (Minister for Foreign Affairs), Doorstop interview, media release, 15 August 2015; M Grattan, ‘Barnaby Joyce: No, it wasn't a conspiracy that caused his citizenship problem, it was himself’, The Conversation, 16 August 2017; A Gartrell, ‘The email that could bring down a deputy PM’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 August 2017; J Gooding, ‘Paranoia on Aotearoa’, The Interpreter, Lowy Institute Blog, 17 August 2017; P Wong,  Radio interview ABC Radio National Breakfast, media release, 16 August 2017.

[100]. S Ludlam, Defence Legislation Amendment (Parliamentary Approval of Overseas Service) Bill 2015: Second Reading Speech’, Senate, Debates,    9 February 2017, p. 422.

[101]. J Curtis, ‘’To the last man’—Australia’s entry to war in 1914’, Research paper series 2014-15, Parliamentary Library, 31 July 2014, p. 5.

[102]. Ibid., p. 6.

[103]. S Brockman, ‘First Speech’, Senate, Debates, 17 October 2017, p. 7725.

[104]. M Turnbull (Prime Minister), Visit to Australia by the President of Croatia, media release, 11 August 2017.

[105].             S Parry, ‘Questions without notice: Trade Unions’, Senate, Debates, 17 August 2017, p. 5979; S Dastyari, ‘Questions without Notice: Pauline    Hanson’s One Nation’, Senate, Debates, 17 August 2017, p. 5980; A Remeikis, ‘One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wears burqa in Senate      question time stunt’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 August 2017.

[106].             P Hanson, ‘Questions without notice: National Security’, Senate, Debates, 17 August 2017, p.          5984.

[107].             F Nash (Minister for Regional Development), ‘Adjournment: Deputy Leader of the Nationals’, Senate, Debates, 17 August 2017, p. 6054.

[108].             Australia, Senate, ‘Qualification of Senator Nash—Reference to Court of Disputed Returns’, Journals, 56 (proof), 2017, 4 September 2017,    p. 1788.

[109].             G Brandis (Attorney-General), ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Senators’, Senate, Debates, 4 September 2017, p. 6059.

[110]. P Wong, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Senators’, Senate, Debates, 4 September 2017, p. 6060; H Polley, ‘Questions without notice: Deputy Leader of the Nationals’, Senate, Debates, 4 September 2017, p. 6116; C Moore, ‘Questions without notice: Deputy Leader of             the Nationals’, Senate, Debates, 4 September 2017, p. 6116; [Multiple senators], ‘Questions without notice: Take note of Answers: Deputy Leader of the Nationals’, Senate, Debates, 4 September 2017, p. 6132.

[111]. T Smith (Speaker), ‘The opening of the exhibition ‘Meeting Place’ and unveiling of new work ‘The Messenger’, speech, Tony Smith MP website, 17 August 2017.

[112]. P Coorey, ‘Refer me to High Court, says Hinch’, The Australian Financial Review, 1 September 2017, p. 5.

[113]. D Hinch, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Senators: Hinch, Sen Derryn’, Senate, Debates, 4 September 2017, p. 6063; D Hinch, Hinch S44 citizenship issue cleared by Government and Opposition, media release nd.

[114]. Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Matter of privilege—Reference to Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests’, Votes and  Proceedings, 72, 4 September 2017, p. 1018.   

[115]. P McGrath, ‘Bruce Billson, former Liberal minister, failed to disclose salary from lobby group while in parliament’, ABC News, 9 August 2017; M Knott, ‘Former MP insists he was transparent’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 August 2017.

[116]. Australia, Senate, ‘Qualification of Senator Xenophon—Reference to Court of Disputed Returns’, Journals, 56 (proof), 2017, 4 September 2017, p. 1789; A Remeikis, ‘Xenophon blames political rivals over nationality questions’, The Canberra Times, 18 August 2017, p. 9.  

[117]. A Remeikis and A Gartrell, ‘Xenophon gets drawn into ongoing constitutional crisis’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 August 2017, p. 4.

[118]. Welcome to  Country, ‘Clinton Pryor walks across Australia, Governor General refuses to step outside’, Welcome to Country website, 30 August 2017; J Robertson, ‘Clinton Pryor has tense meeting with PM after walking across Australia’, The Guardian, 6 September 2017.

[119]. N Thorpe, ‘Clinton Pryor turns his back on Prime Minister, NITV News (online), 7 September 2017.

[120]. R Siewert, ‘Documents: Indigenous Affairs’, Senate, Debates, 5 September 2017, p. 6336.

[121]. T Smith (Speaker), ‘Distinguished Visitors’, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 September 2017, p. 9464.  

[122]. Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions, ‘His Holiness Pope Tawadros II: 2017 Australian Papal Visit’, Pope of Hope     website.

[123]. P Khalil, ‘Statements by Members: His Holiness Pope Tawadros II’, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 September 2017 p. 9463.

[124]. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 2016 Census of Population and Housing.

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[144]. J Owens, ‘Statements by Members: National Week of Deaf People’, House of Representatives, Debates, 25 October 2017.

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[146]. High Court of Australia, In the matters of questions referred to the Court Of Disputed Returns pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) concerning Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan, Mr Scott Ludlam, Ms Larissa Waters, Senator Malcolm Roberts, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash and Senator Nick Xenophon, [2017] HCA 45, judgment summary, 27 October 2017.

[147].             Ibid.

[148].             T Smith (Speaker), By-election for New England, media release, 27 October 2017.

[149]. M Turnbull (Prime Minister), Ministerial arrangements; visit to Israel; same-sex marriage legislation, media release, Sydney, 28 October 2017.

[150]. S Parry (President of the Senate), ‘Statement to Senate Colleagues’ and ‘Letter from Stephen Parry to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia resigning from the Office of President of the Senate dated 2 November 2017’, tabled in the Senate on 13 November 2017.

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[152]. Australia, Senate, ‘Resignation of President—Vacancy in the representation of Tasmania—Orders of Court of Disputed Returns—Election of senators’, Journals, 68 (proof), 2017, 13 November 2017, p. 2163.

[153]. J Norman, ‘Liberal backbencher John Alexander resigns amid deepening citizenship crisis’, ABC News [online], 11 November 2017; N Wolfe, ‘Liberal MP John Alexander quits over dual citizenship’, news.com.au, 11 November 2017.

[154]. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), ‘Tally Room: Bennelong, NSW’, AEC webpage.

[155]. H Belot, ‘Kristina Keneally: Former NSW Premier to go up against John Alexander in Bennelong by-election’, ABC News online 15 November 2017; Australian Electoral Commission, ‘Tally Room: Bennelong, NSW’, AEC website.

[156]. P Cosgrove (Governor-General), ‘Parliamentary representation: Senators sworn’, Senate, Debates, 13 November 2017, p. 8123.

[157]. H Gobbett, S Speldewinde and R Lundie, First, most and more: facts about the Federal Parliament, Research paper series, 2016–17, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 2017.  

[158]. Australia, Senate, ‘Election of President’, Journals, 68 (proof), 2017, 13 November 2016, p. 2163.  

[159]. M Turnbull (Prime Minister), Ministerial arrangements, media release 13 November 2017.

[160]. Australia, Senate, ‘Proposed Citizenship Register’, Journals, 68 (proof), 2017, 13 November 2017, p. 2179.

[161]. Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Proposed Citizenship Register’, Votes and Proceedings, 88, 4 December 2017, p. 1235.  

[162]. Australian Financial Review, ‘Obituary: Sir Ninian dies at 94’, The Australian Financial Review, 30 October 2017 p.6.  

[163]. High Court of Australia (HCA), ‘Sir Ninian Martin Stephen PC KG AK GCMG CGVO KBE QC’, HCA website; Politics and Public Administration     Section, ‘Sir Ninian Stephen: 15 June 1923 – 29 October 2017’, Biographical information, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 1 November 2017.  

[164]. P Karp, ‘Jacqui Lambie drawn into citizenship saga after 'revealing' father born in Scotland’, The Guardian, 8 November 2017; H Belot, ‘Jacqui Lambie denies citizenship concerns despite Scottish-born father’,  Radio Australia, ABC Website, 9 November 2017.

[165]. J. Lambie, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Valedictory’, Senate, Debates, 14 November 2017, p. 8296.

[166]. Australia, Senate, ‘Qualification of Senator Lambie—Reference to Court of Disputed Returns’, Journals, 69 (proof), 2017, 14 November 2017, p. 2201.  

[167]. Re Parry; Re Lamb; Re Kakoschke-Moore [2017] HCATrans 254 (8 December 2017); Australian Electoral Commission, AEC to conduct special count for Tasmanian Senate, media release, updated 8 December 2017.

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[169]. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia supports changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry, media release, 15 November 2017.

[170]. ABS, Australian marriage law postal survey, 2017, cat. no. 1800.0, ABS, Canberra, 15 November 2017.  

[171]. M A Neilsen, Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Bills Digest no. 54, 2017-18, Parliamentary Library, Canberra 2017.

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[175]. Australia, Senate, ‘Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017’, Journals, 74 (proof), 2017, 29 November 2017, p. 2367.  

[176]. House of Representatives, ‘Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017’, Votes and Proceedings, 91, 7 December 2017, p. 1288.  

[177].J Power and F Dmrtryshchak, ‘First official 'I do' for same-sex couple', Sunday Age, 17 December 2017; A Dow, ‘First same-sex wedding a race against time’, The Age 15 December 2017.

[178]. N Xenophon, Why I will be leaving the Senate to run in the March 2018 South Australian election, media release, 6 October 2017 and Xenophon resigns from Senate, gears up for state poll, media release nd.

[179]. J W Weatherill, ‘Ministerial Statement: Senate Vacancy’, House of Assembly, Debates, 1 November 2017, p. 11798.

[180]. ‘Xenophon replacement settled as ‘rebel’ exits party’, Adelaide Advertiser, 7 November 2017.

[181]. R Patrick, ‘First Speech: Patrick, Sen. Rex’, Senate, Debates, 4 December 2017, page 9538.

[182]. C Pyne (Leader of the House), Statement regarding the House of Representatives, media release, 20 November 2017.

[183]. H Belot, ‘Government cancels sitting week to deal with SSM vote, clean up citizenship mess’, ABC News [online], 21 November 2017; M Doran, ‘Parliament cancelled or delayed? Major parties trade insults ahead of final sitting weeks’, ABC News [online], 21 November 2017; P Karp and G Hutchens, ‘Government accused of avoiding revolt as parliamentary sitting week cancelled’, The Guardian, 20 November 2017; R Baxendale, ‘Labor, Greens to join Katter in Canberra despite postponed sitting week’, The Australian 20 November 2017.

[184]. M Turnbull (Prime Minister), Ruddock to examine religious freedom protection in Australia, media release, 22 November 2017.

[185]. P Karp, ‘Skye Kakoschke-Moore: NXT senator resigns over dual citizenship’, The Guardian, 22 November 2017; Skye Kakoschke-Moore, Statement on Citizenship, media release, 22 November 2017.

[186]. Australia, Senate, ‘Qualification of former Senator Kakoschke-Moore—Reference to Court of Disputed Returns’, Journals, 72 (proof), 2017, 27 November 2017, p. 2275.  

[187]. M Parkinson, ‘2017 Foreign Policy White Paper: advancing Australia’s interests’, DFAT Blog, 22 November 2017, accessed 15 January 2017.

[188]. Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Inquiry into matters relating to section 44 of the Constitution, ‘Terms of Reference’, Parliament of Australia website.  

[189]. J Steele-John, ‘First Speech: Steele-John, Sen. Jordon’, Senate, Debates 29 November 2017, p. 9256.

[190]. Ibid., p. 9257.

[191]. S Peatling, ‘House leaks are beyond the pail’, The Canberra Times, 5 August 2017.  

[192]. Australian Government, Budget measures: budget paper no. 2: 2016–17, p. 133; T McIlroy, ‘High price to mopping up years of leaks in Parliament’, The Canberra Times, 30 November 2017.  

[193]. M. Turnbull (Prime Minister) and S. Morrison (Treasurer), Royal Commission—banks and financial services, joint media release, 20 November 2017. See also, M Turnbull (Prime Minister), Transcript of joint press conference, Parliament House, Canberra, media release, 30 November 2017.  

[194]. AEC, ‘Tally Room: New England (NSW)’, AEC website.

[195]. ABC News, ‘Tony Windsor confirms he will not run against Barnaby Joyce in New England by-election’, ABC News (online), 27 October 2017; M Doran, ‘Tony Windsor demands High Court find political nemesis Barnaby Joyce ineligible for office’, ABC News (online), 3 October 2017.

[196]. Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Return to Writ—New England Division’, Votes and Proceedings, 90, 6 December 2017, p. 1271.

[197]. T Smith (Speaker), ‘Parliamentary Representation: Members Sworn’, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 December 2017, p. 12831.

[198]. T Wilson, ‘Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017: Second Reading’, House of Representatives Debates, 4 December 2017, p. 33.

[199]. Ibid.

[200]. Australia, Senate, ‘Asylum seekers—resettlement offer from New Zealand’, Journals, 74 (proof), 29 November 2017, p. 2381.

[201]. Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Message from the Senate’, Votes and Proceedings, 88, 4 December 2017, pp. 1243.

[202]. T Smith (Speaker), ‘Resolutions of the Senate: Asylum Seekers: Consideration of Senate Message’, House of Representatives, Debates, 4 December 2017, p. 12415.

[203]. Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Message from the Senate’, Votes and Proceedings, 88, 4 December 2017, p. 1248.

[204]. L Yaxley, ‘Citizenship documents, family histories of all federal senators released today’, ABC News [online], 4 December 2017; J Gans, ‘Papers, Please!’, Inside Story, 8 December 2017; ‘More MPs caught up in dual citizenship saga as register is made public’, SBS News, 5 December 2017; K Murphy, P Karp and G Hutchens, ‘David Feeney says he may hold dual citizenship as more MPs’ futures in balance’, The Guardian, 5 December 2017.

[205]. D Feeney, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Members: Feeney, David, MP’, House of Representatives, Debates, 5 December 2017, p. 12731.

[206]. Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Reference of Matter to Court of Disputed Returns’, Votes and Proceedings, 90, 6 December 2017, p. 1275.

[207]. T Smith (Speaker), ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Members’, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 December 2017, p. 12889.

[208]. Australia, Senate, ‘Qualification of Senator Gallagher—Reference to Court of disputed Returns’, Journals, no. 78, 6 December 2017, p. 2471.

[209]. K. Gallagher, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Qualifications of Senators: Senator Katy Gallagher’, Senate, Debates, 4 September 2017; T  McIlroy and B Hall, ‘Gallagher's status as Ecuadorian 'fanciful'’, The Canberra Times , 30 August 2017; Australian Associated Press, ‘Labor senator Katy Gallagher 'is not and has never been' a citizen of Ecuador’, The Guardian, 29 August 2017;  T McIlroy, ‘Labor sought legal advice over Katy Gallagher's citizenship statusThe Canberra Times, 4 September 2017; T McIlroy, ‘Katy Gallagher faces High Court referral over dual citizenship amid cross-party talks’, The Canberra Times, 5 December 2017.

[210]. K Gallagher, ‘Parliamentary Representation: Gallagher, Senator Katy’, Senate, Debates, 6 December 2017, p. 9795.

[211]. Ibid., p. 9796.

[212]. Department of the Senate, For the sitting period 27 November to 7 December 2017, Procedural information bulletin no. 321, Parliament of Australia, n.d.  

[213]. Ibid.

[214]. V Dunne (Deputy Speaker), ‘Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee Proposed Referral, ACT Legislative Assembly, Debates, 30 December 2017, p. 5393.

[215]. Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Inquiry into matters relating to section 44 of the Constitution, ‘Terms of Reference’, Parliament of Australia website.

[216]. Parliament of Australia, ‘New inquiry on decisions made by the Court of Disputed Returns’, media release, 12 December 2017.

[217]. I R Hancock, ‘Holt, Harold Edward (1908-1967)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 14, Melbourne University Press, 1996.  

[218]. M Turnbull, ‘Statements on Indulgence: Holt, Hon Harold Edward CH’, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 December 2017.

[219]. Ibid.

[220]. T Smith (Speaker), ‘Distinguished visitors’, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 December 2017, p. 12831.

[221]. Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Hidden in Plain Sight: An inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in

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[222]. S Dastyari, Statement, media release, 12 December 2017.

[223]. S Dastyari, Statements: Dastyari, Senator Sam, Senate, Debates, 30 November 2017, p. 1.

[224]. N McKenzie, J Massola and R Baker, ‘Dastyari told donor of phone tap’,  The Sydney Morning Herald,  29 November 2017; Q McDermott, ‘Sam Dastyari 'tried to pressure' Tanya Plibersek not to meet with Chinese activist’, ABC News [online], 11 December 2017; K Murphy, ‘The quest for Sam Dastyari's scalp turned a serious issue into a circus’,The Guardian online, 12 December 2017; M Grattan, ‘Two Labor frontbenchers urge Sam Dastyari to consider his position’, The Conversation, 11 December 2017.

[225]. S Ryan (President), ‘Privilege’, Senate, Debates, 7 December 2017, p. 105.

[226]. J Gillard (Prime Minister), Transcript of press conference: Parliament House,: Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, media release, 12 November 2012.

[227]. J Gillard (Prime Minister), Government formally establishes Royal Commission, media release, 11 January 2013 [enclosing Letters Patent and Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission].

[228]. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Final Report released, media release, 15 December 2017.

[229]. Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017.

[230]. Australia, Senate, ‘Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—Joint Select Committee—Appointment’, Journals, 45 (proof), 2017, 19 June 2017, p. 1472; Australia, House of Representatives, ‘Message from the Senate’, Votes and Proceedings, 62, 20 June 2017, pp. 869–71.  

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[236]. J Ireland, ‘Comment: Have yourself a merit little Christmas: Turnbull's reshuffle a logic-free zone’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 December 2017; P van Onselen, ‘Opinion: Why did capable women miss out?’, The Australian, 22 December 2017.

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[238]. Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), ‘Senate special counts­­—statements of results: NSW 22 November 2017’, AEC webpage, accessed 10 January 2018.

[239]. Re Nash [No 2] [2017] HCA 52

[240]. Department of the Senate, For the sitting period 27 November to 7 December 2017, Procedural information bulletin no. 321, Parliament of Australia, 21 December 2017.  

[241]. Australia, Senate, ‘Vacancy in the representation of New South Wales—Election of Jim Molan’, Senate, Journals, No. 80 (proof), 5 February 2018, p. 2555.

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