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…]


Western Australian Senate Results Finalised; One Nation Wins Second Seat

The Western Australian Senate election results have been finalised and announced by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The Liberals have won 5 seats, a loss of one. The former Defence Minister, David Johnston, who was dumped by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in December, 2014, has lost his seat.

The ALP has won 4 seats, re-electing its 3 sitting senators and returning Louise Pratt, who lost her seat in 2013.

Both Greens senators, Scott Ludlam and Rachel Siewert, have been re-elected. With the return of two Greens senators in Tasmania, the party may now be able to hold 9 of its 10 seats, with the second seat in Victoria remaining in doubt.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has secured one seat. Rodney Culleton joins Pauline Hanson in winning the party’s second seat. A third seat is possible in NSW. Culleton is facing theft charges in the Perth Magistrates’ Court later this month. If convicted, he could be disqualified from taking up his seat. [Read more…]


Shorten Announces ALP Shadow Ministry Portfolio Allocations

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced his allocation of portfolios for the ALP’s Shadow Ministry.

The 48-member executive includes 22 members in the Shadow Cabinet, 10 in the Shadow Outer Ministry and 16 Shadow Assistant Ministers (Parliamentary Secretaries). The total Caucus numbers are not yet final but are likely to be around 95 members. About half of the Caucus will be members of the shadow executive.

A number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet have changed hands, although Chris Bowen remains Shadow Treasurer. The biggest winner of the reshuffle is the second-term MP Jim Chalmers, who has been made Shadow Minister for Finance and moves into the Shadow Cabinet.

In other changes, deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has been moved into the high-profile domestic portfolio of Education. The party’s Senate leader, Penny Wong, takes Foreign Affairs.

Senator Kim Carr, for whom the shadow ministry has been expanded from 30 to 32, retains the portfolio of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Another significant change sees Michelle Rowland take over Communications, whilst Defence goes to Richard Marles and Senator Stephen Conroy takes on Special Minister of State and Sport. The relatively unknown Queenslander, Shayne Neumann, becomes Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. [Read more…]


Indigenous Leader Pat Dodson To Become ALP Senator; Replaces Joe Bullock In Western Australia

The Indigenous leader Patrick Dodson is to become a Labor senator in Western Australia, replacing Joe Bullock.

Dodson

The announcement was made this morning by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, just 12 hours after Bullock announced his resignation in the Senate.

Dodson, aged 67 or 68, a Yaruwu man, is often described as the “father of reconciliation”. [Read more…]


Senator Louise Pratt (ALP-WA) – Valedictory Speech

Louise Pratt was an ALP senator from Western Australia, serving for one term from 2008.

Pratt

Pratt was successful in the first count of the W.A. Senate election held on September 7, 2013, but she was defeated in the second count. After the High Court voided the election in February 2014, Pratt was again defeated in the April 2014 re-run. [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…]


Liberals Clinging To Three Seats In WA Senate Election; Labor Thrashed As Greens Triumph And Palmer Surges

The Senate election re-run in Western Australia has resulted in swings against both major parties with the Liberals winning two seats and the ALP one. The Greens have significantly increased their vote and re-elected Scott Ludlam, whilst the Palmer United Party seems assured of winning a seat. The sixth position looks likely to be a contest between the Liberals and the ALP.

As counting continued late last night, the Liberal Party was assured of winning two of the six available seats on a primary vote of 33.71%, a fall of 5.49%. Senator David Johnston has been re-elected to a third term and Senator Michaelia Cash has been re-elected to a second term. [Read more…]