Coalition-Labor Deal On Rotation Of Members Confirmed By Senate

The Senate has voted to confirm the agreement between the Coalition and the ALP on the rotation of senators following the double dissolution election.

As has occurred on each of the previous six occasions when double dissolutions have been held (1914, 1951, 1974, 1975, 1983 and 1987), the first six senators elected in each state have received six-year terms, whilst the second group of six will serve for three years. The rotation is required under Section 13 of the Constitution.

The major parties rejected the recount method whereby the Senate votes are recounted as if it was a half-Senate election. This method would have meant that the Liberal and Labor Parties each lose one long-term senator (Scott Ryan and Deborah O’Neill) in favour of minor parties (Derryn Hinch and Lee Rhiannon). [Read more…]


Government And ALP Agree On Senate Terms; First Elected To Get 6 Years

It was reported today that the government and the ALP have agreed on the allocation of terms for the new Senate.

The reports say the Coalition and the ALP have agreed that the first six elected in each state will get 6-year terms, whilst the last six will get three-year terms. This is the procedure that has been adopted following previous double dissolutions.

The ALP and the Coalition easily have the numbers to impose this decision on the Senate. Its effect is to give six-year terms to a majority of senators from the Coalition (16 of 28), ALP (13 of 24) and Nick Xenophon Team (2 of 3).

Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie will also get six-year terms. Both polled a Senate quota in their own right.

Only three of the Greens’ nine senators will receive six-year terms. Each of them – Richard Di Natale (Vic), Scott Ludlam (WA) and Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas) – represents a state where the Greens won two places. The other six senators, one in each state, will all face the electorate before June 2019. This means it is all but impossible for the Greens to increase their overall numbers at the next election. Instead, they will face the danger of losing incumbents. [Read more…]


Australian Parliament Dissolved; Governor-General’s Official Secretary Reads Proclamation

9.00am – The Australian Parliament has been dissolved.

The dissolution is a constitutional process that allows the writs for the July 2 double dissolution election to be issued. The dissolution is undertaken by the Governor-General, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. The election writs command the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct the election and set out the various dates involved in the election process.

A brief ceremony was held in Parliament House during which the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, Mark Fraser, read the Proclamation dissolving both houses of parliament. Fraser was accompanied by the Clerk of the Senate, Rosemary Laing, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, David Elder. [Read more…]


Government House Releases Double Dissolution Documents

Government House has released the documents related to today’s announcement of a double dissolution election on July 2.

The documents include the formal advice tendered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Cosgrove’s written assent to the advice.

A statement from the Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, has also been released. It sets out the legal position of the legislation twice rejected by the Senate and demonstrates how Section 57 of the Constitution has been satisfied.

The documents also show the hand-written annotations of the Governor-General. [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull Formally Announces July 2 Double Dissolution Election

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has formally announced a double dissolution election for July 2.

Turnbull

Turnbull made the announcement in Parliament House at 2.30pm, following his visit to the Governor-General at 1.00pm to formally advise the election.

The election will be Australia’s seventh double dissolution election. The last was in 1987, also the only other time an election has been held in July. All of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 76 Senate positions will be up for election.

In his announcement, Turnbull emphasised his government’s policies on science, technology and innovation, as well as policies designed to stimulate employment. He said the election offered a choice, “to stay the course” for jobs and growth, or go back to Labor and “stop the transition to the new economy economy dead in its tracks”. [Read more…]


After July 2, When Will The Next Election Be Held?

The July 2 election will be held just 2 years, 9 months and 25 days since the last election on September 7, 2013.

But the 45th Parliament we elect on July 2 won’t make it to three years either. In fact, it could easily be shorter than the 44th.

The double dissolution election that the Prime Minister is expected to formally initiate tomorrow will be held on a date redolent with constitutional and electoral ramifications.

The government has had a trigger for a double dissolution election since June 2014, when the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 [No.2] was rejected by the Senate for the second time. Two more triggers were provided on April 18, 2016, when the Senate rejected the Building and Construction Commission legislation.

Why is the Election Being Held on July 2?

Turnbull did not have to wait for July. He could have held a double dissolution election in March, April or May of this year. He could have held one in October, November or December last year. [Read more…]


Turnbull Recalls Parliament On April 18 And Moves Budget To May 3; Threatens Double Dissolution On July 2 If Bills Not Passed

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dramatically seized the political initiative in his confrontation with the Senate by advising the Governor-General to recall Parliament on April 18 and threatening a double dissolution election on July 2 if industrial legislation is not passed.

Turnbull made his announcement at a 10.30am press conference. He said he had advised the Governor-General under Section 5 of the Constitution to recall Parliament. This overrides a motion passed by the Senate on Friday that prevented a recall before May 10.

  • Watch Turnbull

Parliament will prorogued on April 15 and then summoned again for a new session on April 18. Prorogation clears the Notice Paper. [Read more…]