News and Events

Spotlight on committees

Senate committee are currently conducting around 60 inquiries. Among these are inquiries into non-conforming building products, cyberbullying, and the future of rugby union in Australia.

The Joint Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme has been conducting public hearings at various locations around Australia for its inquiries into the provision of services under the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach and transitional arrangements for the NDIS. Other Senate and joint committees are also holding a large number of public hearings.

range of reports have been presented in recent weeks, including reports into the operations of toll roads in Australiawhistleblower protections, and crystal methamphetamine (ice). In the 45th Parliament, over 230 committee reports have been presented in the Senate.

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.


Breakdown of Senate numbers in 2017


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 2018 is now available.


  • The Senate remembers Stanley Bach

    The Senate department is saddened by news of the passing of Stanley Bach - one of America's foremost experts on the legislative process at the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress.

  • 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.