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Written Submissions Lodged For High Court Challenge To Senate Voting Reforms

These are the written submissions lodged with the High Court by Senator Bob Day and the Commonwealth, as part of the hearing of a challenge to the Senate voting reforms.

Day, a Family First senator, has brought the challenge. The matter is listed at 10.00am today for the Court to make directions as to referral to a Full Court. [Read more…]


Sen. Bob Day (Family First-SA) – Maiden Speech

Bob Day, the Family First senator from South Australia, has delivered his maiden speech to the Senate.

Day

Day, 62, is a former Liberal Party member and candidate. He joined Family First after failing to win Liberal pre-selection for Mayo in 2008. He contested the Senate for Family First in 2010 and again in 2013 when he was successful

After polling just 3.76% of the primary vote, Day won his seat through a series of preference deals with minor parties and independents. His term began on July 1 and will expire on June 30, 2020. [Read more…]


Carbon Tax Repeal Bill Defeated In Senate As Palmer Squabbles With Government Over Amendments

The Senate has rejected an Abbott government bill to repeal the carbon tax.

Parry

A combination of ALP, Greens and Palmer United Party senators, supported by Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir, voted 37-35 to defeat the bill that would have abolished the carbon tax.

The bill failed due to a breakdown in negotiations between the government and the Palmer United Party. Palmer wanted the legislation to mandate that power savings be passed on to consumers. In the end, the amendment moved by Palmer was judged to be a tax that the Senate had no power to introduce. [Read more…]


Senators Sworn In; New Balance Of Power As 2013 Federal Election Finally Complete

Senators elected at last year’s federal election were sworn in this morning. The full effect of the 2013 Federal Election can now be seen in the balance of power in the upper house.

Thirty-six senators were chosen at the election on September 7, six from each State. They were sworn in during a 20-minute ceremony presided over by the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove.

  • Watch the swearing-in ceremony (20m)

One senator, Deborah O’Neill (ALP-NSW) was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Bob Carr. O’Neill had already filled the final months of Carr’s previous term, following her defeat as the member for Robertson in the House of Representatives. [Read more…]


Another Season Of Valedictory Speeches As Twelve Senators Depart

Twelve senators are about to leave the Federal Parliament as the July 1 changeover approaches.

The departing senators will give valedictory speeches in the Senate over the next two weeks. The first will be given tomorrow by the Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, who has been in the Senate since 1983.

The Senate has 76 members. Each of the six states has 12 senators, whilst the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have 2 senators each. Senators serve fixed 6-year terms which commence on July 1. Except in the case of a double dissolution, Senate elections are staggered, with half the state-based senators facing the electorate at each House of Representatives election. Territory senators serve terms that are concurrent with the House.

On July 1, the State senators elected on September 7, 2013 will take their places. These 36 senators will serve terms that end on June 30, 2020.

Twenty-four senators were re-elected last year. Of the 12 who were replaced, 7 were defeated (6 ALP and 1 Liberal) and 5 retired (2 ALP, 2 Liberal and 1 Nationals).

The ALP lost one member in each state and will have only 25 senators from July 1. The party lost 3 members to the Palmer United Party (PUP), and one each to the Liberal Democrats (LDP), the Greens and Family First (FF). [Read more…]


Palmer Wins By 7 Votes, Triggering Recount; Final Senate Results Now On Way

Clive Palmer has won the Queensland electorate of Fairfax by 7 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

PalmerThe Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has completed a full distribution of preferences in Fairfax. Palmer has 42,337 votes and his Liberal National (LNP) opponent, Ted O’Brien, has 42,330. An automatic recount will now take place because the margin of victory is less than 100 votes.

Palmer’s victory comes off a primary vote of 26.49%. O’Brien polled 41.37% (down 8.08%), the ALP 18.21% (down 9.10%), the Greens 8.32% (down 9.68%) and Family First 1.67% (down 3.57%). Fairfax is a traditionally Coalition electorate. It was held since 1990 by Alex Somlyay, who retired at this election.

Fairfax is the only House of Representatives seat still undecided. However, counting in the safe Labor electorate of Wills, once held by Bob Hawke, has seen the Greens overtake the Liberals for second place after preferences. The AEC has yet to publish the preference distribution figures. Wills joins Batman and Melbourne as seats in which the Greens are Labor’s main competition. [Read more…]