Senate Office Holders

President of the Senate

Senator the Hon Sue Lines

Senator the Hon Sue Lines from Western Australia is President of the Senate. Her main roles are to guide and regulate proceedings in the chamber, to oversee administration of the Department of the Senate and, in conjunction with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to oversee the Department of Parliamentary Services. She appears before Senate estimates hearings in relation to those departments and the Parliamentary Budget Office. Ceremonial duties of the President include participation in the opening of Parliament and visits by foreign Heads of State, representing the Parliament at international conferences, leading delegations to other nations, and receiving visiting delegations and other official visitors.

As set out in the standing orders, the President is chair of the Appropriations and Staffing, Library and House Committees, and is a member of the Procedure Committee.

The President is elected to the position by senators according to section 17 of the Constitution and Chapter 2 of the Senate standing orders.

Deputy President and Chair of Committees

Senator Andrew McLachlan CSC

Senator Andrew McLachlan CSC from South Australia is the Deputy President and Chair of Committees. This office is also elected by senators, in accordance with Chapter 3 of the standing orders. The Deputy President’s role is to relieve the President in the Senate and to perform the other duties of President when Senator Lines is absent. As Chair of Committees, Senator McLachlan presides when the Senate is sitting as a ‘committee of the whole’ to consider legislation in detail. He also manages a panel of senators who act as Temporary Chairs of Committees.

The Deputy President is the chair of the Procedure Committee, and a member of the House Committee. He also chairs meetings of the chairs of the Senate’s legislative and general purpose standing committees, which may consider and report to the Senate on any matters that relate to the committees’ operations.

Leaders and Managers

Senator the Hon Penny Wong

Senator the Hon
Penny Wong

Leader of the Government in the Senate

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Senator the Hon
Simon Birmingham

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator the Katy Gallagher

Senator the Hon
Katy Gallagher

Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Senator the Hon
Anne Ruston

Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

The Leader of the Government in the Senate is the government's most senior Senate minister, and the Leader of the Opposition is the opposition's main Senate spokesperson.

The Manager of Government Business works with the President, the Whips, the Clerks and the Manager of Opposition Business to ensure that the daily work of the chamber runs efficiently.


Senator Anne Urquhart

Senator Anne Urquhart
Government Whip

Senator Wendy Askew

Senator Wendy Askew
Opposition Whip

Senator Nick McKim

Senator Nick McKim
Australian Greens Whip

Senator Ross Cadell

Senator Ross Cadell
Nationals Whip

A Whip is a senator who organises the activities of party members in the Senate. Responsibilities include planning what will happen in the chamber and who will speak on each sitting day; making sure party members attend and vote together during a division; counting and recording votes during a division; providing advice and support for party members and ensuring that party decisions are properly carried out. The term Whip comes from the sport of fox hunting in England and refers to the person who whipped all the hounds into a pack and pointed them in the right direction to chase the fox.