The Senate is one of the two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament. It consists of 76 senators, twelve from each of the six states and two from each of the mainland territories. It shares the power to make laws with the other House of the Parliament, the House of Representatives.

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Senate Occasional Lecture on today - 20 October 2017
The Anzac Connection: Trans-tasman ties in the century since Beersheba - His Excellency Mr Chris Seed
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Supplementary budget estimates hearings
Hearings will be held from 23 to 27 October 2017
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Senate Discovery
Discover the latest news from the Senate with our new videos
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Work of the Senate
Keep track of Senate proceedings
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News and events
The latest news from the Senate and its committees
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Practice and procedure
View Senate publications, guides and other resources

Senate Composition

The Senate in the 45th Parliament contains its largest cross-bench of 21 senators (7 AG and 14 others), compared with 18 senators (10 AG and 8 others) at the end of the 44th Parliament. Previously, the highest number had been 13 senators, in 2002-2005.


Breakdown of Senate numbers in 2017 

State senators were divided into two classes: short-term senators whose terms expire on 30 June 2019, and long-term senators whose terms expire on 30 June 2022. These classes were allocated according to the order of election. Details of senators' terms of service are available on this page.

Browse by states: All, ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA


Information on the President of the Senate, current and former senators and ministers.


Find current inquiries, upcoming hearings, recent reports, committee homepages and more.

Work of the Senate

Follow the business of the Senate with the documents that guide and govern proceedings.


Estimates of government expenditure are referred to Senate committees for examination.

Practice and Procedure

Learn about the Senate, its history and all aspects of its powers, procedures and practices.

News and Events

The latest news from the Senate and its committees, and information about lectures, seminars, exhibitions and conferences.