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The Senate’s power to order documents

The Senate’s power to order documents

The power to order documents, both in existence and created for the purpose, is one of the most significant methods of parliamentary inquiry and has deep historical roots. See, for example, orders made by the United Kingdom House of Commons in February 1699 requiring the production of lists of persons collecting taxes on salt, beer, ale and other liquors.

Who's who in the Senate: The Usher of the Black Rod

Who's who in the Senate: The Usher of the Black Rod

As part of the opening of the 47th Parliament on 26 July 2022, the Usher of the Black Rod will be directed by the Governor-General to summon members of the House of Representatives to the Senate where the Governor-General will announce the newly elected government’s program.

Senate committees – where the Senate meets the public

Senate committees – where the Senate meets the public

On 21 May 2022, the voting population of Australia headed to polling stations around the country to cast their vote in the federal election. However, there is another way that any member of the public can participate in our democracy and it doesn't require a three year wait.

Senate chamber

Welcome to Senate matters

Welcome to Senate matters — a new collection of short-form public interest articles on the work, people and events of the Senate.

When governments work together who holds them to account?

When governments work together who holds them to account?

Complex national issues and shared challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic require different levels of government to work together in different ways. This can create challenges for state and federal parliaments and other institutions responsible for holding individual governments to account.

The Budget and Senate Estimates

The Budget and Senate Estimates

This week all eyes will be on the Budget, the government’s most important financial statement, which will be delivered by the Treasurer on 29 March. Attention will then go to Senate estimates where the Senate will look at the government’s proposed spending in more detail.

Explainer: What is a private senator’s bill?

Explainer: What is a private senator’s bill?

A key role of the Australian Parliament is to make and change the law. Each year the Australian Parliament considers hundreds of proposed laws, known as bills. Read here to find out about private senators' bills.

How well do Australians know their Senate?

How well do Australians know their Senate?

How well do Australians know their Senate? According to a 2020 survey by the Australia Institute (AI), not very well at all. 

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