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…]

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop Reports Kevin Rudd’s Resignation To The House

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, today reported to the House that she had received the resignation of Kevin Rudd as member for Griffith.


Rudd’s resignation was received on November 22. Under Section 37 of the Constitution, a member may resign in writing to the Speaker.

Parliamentary practice and convention requires that the Speaker inform the House of resignations and other matters relating to the operation of the chamber. [Read more…]

The Speaker, Deputy Speaker And Officers

This is a chapter from House of Representatives Practice (6th edition).

It deals with the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and other officers of the House. [Read more…]

Peter Slipper Stands Aside As Speaker

Following newspaper reports yesterday of alleged misuse of CabCharge dockets and a sexual harassment claim, Peter Slipper has stood aside as Speaker of the House of Representatives.


With Slipper in the Speaker’s chair, the Gillard government has been able to govern with a majority of 76-73 on the floor of the House. If Slipper has not resumed his position when Parliament meets again on May 8, the government will have 75-73 in any vote, with Anna Burke in the chair and Slipper not voting. This assumes that the crossbenchers (Wilkie, Bandt, Windsor and Oakeshott) stick with the government. [Read more…]

Speaker Peter Slipper’s Procession

This is video of the new House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper’s procession into the chamber today.

An Independent Speaker: Howard vs Crean

This is the text of a media statement from Simon Crean, Leader of the Opposition:

An Independent Speaker: The PM’s Comments

In 1996 when John Howard was elected Prime Minister, he said: [Read more…]

Howard Comments On Crean’s Proposed Parliamentary Reforms

This is an interview with Prime Minister John Howard in which he comments on parliamentary reform proposals offered by Opposition Leader Simon Crean.

Crean proposed a number of reforms, particularly to the role and operation of the Speaker.

Howard was interviewed by Laurie Oakes on Channel 9’s Sunday program.

Transcript of interview by Laurie Oakes with Prime Minister John Howard on Channel 9’s Sunday program.


And of course a year ago you looked as though you were finished too and you came back. No change of leadership in the federal Liberal Party. Does that make you feel pretty cocky as you go into this new session of parliament? [Read more…]