Backbench members of parliament are the people who sit behind the government’s ministers or the opposition’s shadow ministers.
Backbenchers are those Members of Parliament who are neither party leaders, ministers or shadow ministers.
Backbenchers may be members of the House of Representatives or the Senate.
They are often known as private members.
The main task of backbenchers is to represent their electorates and support their party in parliamentary debates and votes. Often dismissed as of lesser importance than frontbenchers, the ordinary private member is also at the electoral frontline.
A significant power of backbenchers is their ability to elect and remove party leaders.
- Overview of Backbenchers – the types of backbenchers, their roles in parliament, the party and the electorate, and factors affecting their operation.
- First Speeches – samples of first, or maiden, speeches to the House and the Senate, many with audio or video
- Oct 15, 2013: Orientation Day For New Members Of The House Of Representatives
- Jun 06, 2013: John Murphy On Rupert Murdoch: We Are Not Frightened Of You
- Nov 27, 2012: Labor MP Kirsten Livermore To Retire At 2013 Election
- Oct 25, 2012: Political And Media Wankers
- Sep 11, 2012: Backbencher Kevin Rudd Seeks International Adviser, Preferably Chinese-Speaking
- Nov 15, 2010: House of Representatives Debates Gay Marriage Resolution
- Nov 04, 2010: Giving Substance To The Words
- Sep 29, 2010: First Speeches by Members of the 43rd Parliament
- Jun 03, 2010: Petro Georgiou: Valedictory Speech
- Feb 18, 2008: Craig Thomson (ALP-Dobell) – Maiden Speech
- Mar 14, 2007: Petro Georgiou Attacks Government Over Citizenship Test
- Jan 15, 2001: City-Country Switch For Federal MPs As Roxon And Zahra Swap Seats
- Nov 11, 1998: Julia Gillard’s Maiden Speech to the House of Representatives