Prorogation of the 46th Parliament and Dissolution of the House of Representatives

The 46th Parliament was prorogued at 9.29 am on Monday, 11 April 2022 and the House of Representatives was dissolved at 9.30 am on the same day. A general election for the House of Representatives and half of the Senate will be held on Saturday, 21 May 2022.

After the Parliament is prorogued, bills and other business before the House of Representatives lapse and will need to be reintroduced in the next Parliament. Business before the Senate lapses immediately before the commencement of the next Parliament.

Federal Election — Saturday, 21 May 2022

Writs will be issued for a general election for the House of Representatives and half of the Senate to be held on Saturday, 21 May 2022.

For information about the general election, visit the Australian Electoral Commission website or view the links below.

Parliamentary Committees

Upon dissolution of the House, House committees and joint committees established by Act or resolution cease to exist.

Caretaker government

After the House is dissolved, the Government becomes a caretaker government and, by convention, does not make major decisions, except in consultation with the opposition.

For more information on government guidelines and procedures, including on the Caretaker Conventions, visit the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

What is prorogation?

The Governor-General brings the work of the Parliament to a close by issuing a special proclamation called a prorogation. This is an ancient power of the British Crown adopted in the Australian Parliament as a formal way of closing a session of Parliament.

The House of Representatives is then dissolved (brought to an end). The dissolution of the House of Representatives triggers the issuing of writs for the election of new members to the House.

The Senate is not dissolved, except in the special case of a double dissolution election under section 57 of the Constitution. This last occurred on 9 May 2016.

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There are currently 151 members who have been chosen at a general election to represent the interests of the community.

Every sitting day a number of documents are published to let people know what business will be dealt with, and what decisions have been made by the House.

This document is available about an hour before the House sits and lists the expected business the House will deal with that day. A full list of all items before the House is available in the Notice Paper.

Most draft legislation (bills) are introduced into the House of Representatives. A bill must be agreed to in identical form by both Houses and assented to by the Governor-General before it becomes law.

Each day the House sits there are set times for various events e.g. question time, government business, presentation of committee reports.

The House has a number of parliamentary committees that examine issues on behalf of the House. Only members of Parliament can be members of these committees.

Seating arrangements for the House of Representatives chamber.

If you would like to learn more about how the House of Representatives operates, how bills are made, and what happens on a sitting day, there are a number of documents that will help you understand. In addition to guidance on House operations there are resources for more detailed research and education on the work of the House.

Hansard is the name given to the transcripts of what is said in each House of Parliament and at public hearings.