News and Events

Navigate Senate Committees

A new website was launched on 2 December 2020 which explores the work of committees from 1901 to the present.


The final two sitting weeks for 2020 were held from 30 November to 10 December. The Senate sat for 89 hours and 33 minutes. The average length of a sitting day was 11 hours and 11 minutes. 119 divisions were held and 270 questions without notice were asked. 36 bills were introduced and 44 were passed. Visit the Senate StatsNet for more facts and figures about the work of the Senate.

Sittings will resume on 2 February 2021.


A joint sitting of the Western Australian Parliament was held on 25 November 2020 and Senator Ben Small was selected to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of former Senator Cormann. Senator Small was sworn in on 30 November.

Senator Thorpe, who was sworn in as a senator for Victoria following the resignation of former Senator Di Natale, gave her first speech in the Senate on 2 December 2020.

See Senate Brief No. 1 for more information on casual vacancies.


Committee activities will continue during January, with a number of inquiries still seeking submissions

Budget estimates

The 2020-21 budget estimates hearings were held from 19 to 30 October.

You can browse through Parlview to find replays of previous hearings, and the estimates transcript schedule allows you to access all the available Hansards.

Each committee publishes a full list of questions taken on notice and progressively publishes the answers they receive.

For more information, see Senate Brief No. 5 – Consideration of estimates by the Senate's legislation committees.

Senate Occasional Lecture series

The Senate Occasional Lecture series will return in 2021.