James Paterson has been sworn in as a Victorian senator, filling a casual vacancy left by the retirement of Michael Ronaldson.
Paterson, 28, is a former official of the Institute of Public Affairs. He won preselection last week.
Under Section 15 of the Constitution, the casual vacancy is filled by a vote of the two houses of the Victorian Parliament sitting as one. Since the referendum of 1977, casual vacancies must be filled by a person from the same political party as the departing senator.
Paterson will see out the remainder of Ronaldson’s term which runs until June 30, 2017, barring a double dissolution this year. He is expected to secure a winnable position on the Liberal Party’s Senate ticket.
The swearing-in ceremony took place when the Senate resumed at 12.30pm today. It was presided over by Senate President Stephen Parry.
- Watch Paterson’s swearing-in (2m)