News and Events

Senate next meets

14 to 17 October 2019

Next Senate estimates

21 to 25 October 2019

Next Senate lecture

18 October 2019


The Senate sat from 9 to 19 September, during which time it passed 18 bills and referred 15 others to committees.

During the course of the fortnight Senators Scarr, Van, Rennick, Marielle Smith, Antic, Davey and McMahon gave their first speeches.

Senator Sarah Henderson, who was selected by the Victorian Parliament to fill the vacancy caused by former Senator Fifield's resignation, was sworn in on 12 September, and is expected to give her first speech when the Senate returns in October.

On 16 September 2019, the Senate agreed to the address-in-reply, which is the formal acknowledgement to the Governor-General of the speech given at the opening of Parliament. The Senate adjourned at 4.30pm on 19 September to enable senators to attend the presentation at Government House.

Spotlight on committees

32 new committee inquiries were established during the fortnight. Among these are two new select committees – the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Family Law System, and the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology.

A large number of inquiries are still accepting submissions, and detailed information is available on how to get involved.

A range of public hearings are taking place during the non-sitting weeks with committees traveling to Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Townsville and Mount Isa to take evidence.

For more information about committee activities, see recent reports, submissions closing soon, and reports due to be tabled.


The next lecture will be held on Friday, 18 October 2019 at 12.15 pm. The lecture, titled "First Nations languages in Parliament", will be presented by Dr Raymond Kelly.

Page last updated 23 September 2019