When will the Parliament sit again?

The time and date for the new Parliament to assemble is fixed by the Governor-General by proclamation, acting on the advice of the Government. The Parliament may meet as soon as the writs have been returned and, under the Constitution, it must meet no later than 30 days after the last day appointed for the return of the writs.

Next Senate Lecture:

Friday 12 April 2019

News and Events

Prorogation of the 45th Parliament

Prorogation and the Federal election

On 11 April 2019, a proclamation was issued by the Governor-General, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, proroguing (or formally bringing to a close) the 45th Parliament from 8.29am on 11 April. A general election will be held on 18 May 2019.

What does this mean for the Senate?

The Senate has a continuing, rotating membership with elections being held for half the 72 state senators every three years. State senators are elected for six-year terms, while the four territory senators serve the same term as members of the House of Representatives.

The upcoming election will be for those state senators whose terms expire on 30 June 2019 and territory senators. Newly elected state senators will commence their terms from 1 July 2019 and territory senators' terms commence on the date of their election.

Prorogation terminates the sittings of the Senate, however, its committees (not joint committees) may continue to meet, conduct hearings and present reports if they resolve to do so. Prorogation also has the effect of terminating all business pending before the Senate. Unresolved matters including notices of motion, questions on notice and bills can be resubmitted or restored in the next Parliament.

More information



  • 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.