Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of the first day of the 2017 sittings of the 45th Parliament. Following the retirement of Senator Stephen Conroy on September 30, 2016, the ALP elected Senator Don Farrell as its deputy leader in the Senate. [Read more…]


Senator Rodney Culleton Disqualified; Senate President Declares Vacancy In WA; High Court To Decide How To Fill It

Senator Rodney Culleton has been disqualified and has lost his position in the upper house because of the bankruptcy judgement delivered against him before Christmas.

CulletonThe Senate President, Stephen Parry, announced tonight that he had notified the Western Australian Governor that a vacancy exists in the state’s Senate representation.

Parry said the High Court would decide if the vacancy was a casual vacancy or whether Culleton was ineligible to be chosen at last year’s double dissolution election. In coming weeks, the High Court will rule on an application to declare Culleton ineligible on the basis of a conviction in NSW.

A vacancy caused by Culleton’s ineligibility under Section 44 would probably mean that a countback of the 2016 Senate votes would take place. This would result in Culleton’s brother-in-law taking the seat.

A casual vacancy under Section 15 of the Constitution would enable the Western Australian branch of One Nation to nominate a replacement. It is not clear whether Culleton’s supporters control the WA branch. The party’s federal leader, Senator Pauline Hanson, will clearly prefer to nominate someone other than a Culleton supporter.

Culleton released a letter he sent to Senator Parry, arguing that Parry acted precipitately before the bankruptcy proceedings had been completed.

Statement by President of the Senate, Stephen Parry.

Parry

Letter from Rodney Culleton to Senate President Stephen Parry.

Culleton


45th Parliament Opens; Members And Senators Sworn In; House Speaker And Senate President Re-Elected Unopposed

The 45th Parliament opened in Canberra this morning.

Laing-FrenchClerk of the Senate Rosemary Laing and Chief Justice Robert French preside over Senate proceedings during the opening of the 45th Parliament.

The video below shows proceedings in the Senate and the House of Representatives, starting at 10.30am.

The Governor-General’s deputy, High Court Chief Justice Robert French opened the Parliament in the Senate chamber, House members having first been summoned via a message from the Senate’s Black Rod.

The two houses then separately swore in their members, who each took an oath or affirmation and signed the register of members. The swearing-in of senators is shown in the video.

The Senate then elected Senator Stephen Parry (Liberal-Tasmania) as President, unopposed. It is Parry’s second term. [Read more…]


Harry Evans, Former Clerk And Champion Of The Senate, Dies, 68

Harry Evans, the former Clerk of the Senate and one of that chamber’s most ardent proponents and defenders, has died. He was 68.

EvansEvans began his career in the Parliamentary Library. He became Usher of the Black Rod and then Assistant Clerk and Deputy Clerk.

He served as Clerk from February 17, 1988 until his retirement on December 4, 2009, a record 21 years. Clerks are now restricted to 10-year terms.

Evans established the Procedure Office to handle advice to minor parties and independents in the Senate. He was a fierce advocate for the rights and independence of the Senate, and a proponent of greater accountability of the executive government.

Statement by Senator Eric Abetz, Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Harry Evans 1946-2014

I was very sad to hear the news of the death of Harry Evans, who was Clerk of the Senate from February 1988 to December 2009, a record 21 years. [Read more…]


Joan Child, First Female ALP Member Of House, First Female Speaker, Dies, 91

Joan Child, the first female Labor member of the House of Representatives, and the first female Speaker, has died. She was 91.

Child was elected to the Melbourne electorate of Henty, centred around Oakleigh, in 1974. She had unsuccessfully contested the electorate in 1972.

She was defeated at the 1975 election and again in 1977. She returned to the House in 1980, securing re-election to Henty in 1983, 1984 and 1987.

Child became the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives in February 1986. She relinquished the position in August 1989, ahead of her retirement at the 1990 election. [Read more…]


James Ashby Seeks Leave To Appeal Federal Court Decision

James Ashby has filed an application seeking leave to appeal the Federal Court decision which threw out his sexual harassment case against the former Speaker, Peter Slipper.

Ashby’s case was dismissed on December 12 last year by Justice Steven Rares, who described it as an abuse of process.

A statement from Ashby’s “spokesperson” says Ashby’s lawyer, Michael Harmer, will also seek leave to appeal.

Statement regarding James Ashby.

James Ashby Statement

Friday, 11 January 2013

An Application by James Ashby seeking Leave to Appeal Justice Rares’ decision of 12 December has been lodged today with the Federal Court.

An Application by Michael Harmer (Harmers Workplace Lawyers) also seeking Leave to Appeal Justice Rares’ decision will be lodged Monday with the Federal Court.

Although there are many common grounds in the ?nding, Justice Rares made separate and distinct ?ndings regarding Mr. Ashby and Mr, Harmer, so each presently is being separately legally represented in this Application.

Harmers Workplace Lawyers continues to represent Mr. Ashby in his sexual harassmentcase against Mr. Slipper.

Neither Mr. Ashby nor Mr. Harmer is available for interview.

Spokesperson

Media Contact
Anthony McClellan
AMC Media
Mob: 0433 122 360
anthonymcc@gmail.com
Twitter antmac9


Peter Slipper Summonsed On Taxi Voucher Allegations

The member for Fisher and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, has been summonsed to appear in the Canberra Magistrates Court next month.

Slipper has been summonsed in relation to three offences of “Dishonestly Causing a Risk of a Loss to the Commonwealth”.

The allegations of misusing taxi vouchers arose out of James Ashby’s sexual harassment allegations against Slipper. The Federal Police subsequently undertook an investigation into Slipper’s travel entitlements. Last month, the Federal Court threw out the sexual harassment claim as an abuse of process.

Text of a media release from the Federal Police.

Media Statement: Mr Peter Slipper MP summonsed in relation to AFP investigation

Release Date: Monday, January 07 2013, 03:21 PM

The AFP has today (7 January 2013) served the legal representative of Mr Peter Slipper MP with a summons in relation to three offences of Dishonestly Causing a Risk of a Loss to the Commonwealth pursuant to section 135.1(5) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

Mr Slipper MP has been summonsed to appear in the Canberra Magistrates Court on 15 February 2013.

It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.