News and Events

Spotlight on committees

The Senate's legislation committees held supplementary budget estimates hearings from 22 to 26 October 2018.

Estimates is an opportunity for committees to scrutinise how the government is spending taxpayers' money. One of the most significant features of the estimates process is that it gives senators an opportunity to ask question of Senate ministers and public servants directly.

Senate composition

An election for all Senate seats was held on 2 July 2016 after the dissolution of the Senate on 9 May 2016. The Senate in the 45th Parliament contains its largest cross-bench of 21 senators , compared with 18 senators at the end of the 44th Parliament.


Senate numbers in the 45th Parliament

Find out more about the Senate composition in the 45th Parliament

Senate Discovery

Senate Discovery is a video series designed to 'fast-track' information about Senate business and the work of its committees. Each episode contains a recap of business highlights such as the passage (or otherwise) of bills, new committee inquiries and the presentation of reports, swearing-in of new senators, and other matters of significance.


  • Senate Lecture Series

    Public lunchtime lectures on topics relating to Parliament and governance. Admission is free and bookings are not required. Lecture transcripts and audio and television recordings of the lectures are also available.

    Lecture Series

  • Seminars for public servants

    The Senate provides training for members of the public service on topics including the role of the Senate, Senate committees, the estimates process, getting bills through the Senate, parliamentary privilege and delegated legislation.

    The seminar program for 2019 is now available.


  • Exhibitions

    Learn about the exhibitions on display in Parliament House, and visit the online exhibitions Women in Federal Parliament; Magna Carta; Making Laws; and For Peace, Order and Good Government


  • Conferences

    Information on upcoming conferences will be made available here. Papers from previous conferences and proceedings are also available.