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…]


The New Senate: The Defeated, The Retired, The New And The Returning

There will be 14 new faces in the new Senate when it meets for the first time on August 30.

This represents 18.42% of the Senate’s 76 members. Each state has 12 senators, whilst the territories have 2 each, who serve terms concurrent with the House of Representatives. The double dissolution meant that all 76 positions were up for election on July 2.

The fourteen new senators include two (Louise Pratt and Don Farrell) who were Labor senators defeated in 2013.

Ten of the fourteen departed senators were defeated in the election, whilst four retired. [Read more…]


South Australian Senate Results Finalised; Xenophon Soars As Liberals, ALP And Greens Lose Ground; Bob Day Re-Elected

The Senate results for South Australia were finalised and announced today.

The Liberals, ALP and Greens all lost one seat each, whilst the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) picked up three seats and Family First’s Bob Day was re-elected. It is now clear that whilst results in NSW, Victoria and Queensland have not yet been declared, there will be at least as many crossbench senators in the 45th Parliament as there were in the 44th.

The Nick Xenophon Team was the big winner, polling 21.74% of the primary vote and recasting the electoral landscape in South Australia. Nick Xenophon, who was first elected to the Senate in 2007, will be joined by Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke-Moore.

The Liberal Party polled 32.58% of the primary vote and elected 4 senators, with Sean Edwards missing out. Edwards served one term after winning a seat at the 2010 election. He was an outspoken critic of the Abbott government over its attitude to submarine building in South Australia.

The ALP polled 27.32% and elected 3 senators, with Anne McEwen missing out. McEwen was first elected in 2004 and served two full terms. She was well-regarded by progressive elements in the ALP and received tributes today from the Greens. McEwen was displaced by Don Farrell, who was first elected in 2007 but lost his seat in 2013.

The Greens polled 5.87% and returned Sarah Hanson-Young, who was first elected in 2007. Robert Simms missed out, after serving 9 months in the casual vacancy created by Penny Wright’s resignation in 2015.

Family First’s Bob Day, who was first elected in 2013, was returned in the 12th position off a primary vote of 2.87%. One Nation polled 2.98% but missed out. Ironically, Day unsuccessfully challenged the Senate voting reforms in the High Court in May, on the basis that votes would exhaust and micro parties would be unable to win seats. Moreover, Day has cause to be amused by the Liberal Party’s loss of Mayo to NXT, since Day’s defeat in the Liberal Party preselection in Mayo in 2008 led to his joining Family First. [Read more…]


Senator Don Farrell (ALP-SA) – Valedictory Speech

Don Farrell was elected as a Labor senator from South Australia at the 2007 federal election.

Farrell

Farrell served just one term. He was one of six ALP senators to be defeated at the 2013 federal election. His term expired on June 30, 2014. His place was taken by Bob Day of the Family First party.

Farrell had originally been preselected to the number one position on the ALP Senate ticket for the election, but he relinquished it to Penny Wong, out of deference to her status as a senior minister. However, the ALP only polled 22.66% of the primary vote and won just one seat. [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…]


Gillard Reshuffles Ministry; Supporters Promoted; Four New Ministers

In the aftermath of last week’s ALP leadership spill, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced her reshuffled ministry.

The new line-up was necessitated by the sacking of Simon Crean and the resignations of Chris Bowen, Martin Ferguson and Senator Kim Carr, and parliamentary secretary Richard Marles.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Gillard announced that Gary Gray will become Minister for Resources and Energy, replacing Martin Ferguson. He will be joined in the Cabinet by Jason Clare.

Anthony Albanese, a prominent Rudd supporter, takes on Simon Crean’s former responsibility for regional development and local government, in addition to his existing role as infrastructure and transport minister. [Read more…]