The House of Representatives has 151 Members, each representing one geographic area of Australia. Members are elected for a 3 year term and when in parliament take part in debate on proposed laws and public policy, representing the views of the people in their electorate.

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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