ALP Senator Kristina Keneally has been sworn into office in a brief ceremony in the Senate chamber at 9.30 this morning.
Keneally, 49, fills the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Sam Dastyari on January 25. She is the 98th female member of the Senate since Federation.
- Watch Keneally’s swearing-in (7m)
Keneally, American by birth, was a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly from 2003 until 2012, representing the electorate of Heffron. She was premier of NSW between December 2009 and March 2011, the third of three leaders who followed Bob Carr’s ten-year term that ended in 2005. She led the ALP to a massive defeat in the 2011 election, suffering a two-party swing of 16.48% and the loss of 32 seats.
After a period as a political commentator on Sky News, Keneally ran as the ALP candidate in the Bennelong by-election in December 2017, following the resignation of the Liberal member, John Alexander, due to UK dual citizenship. Alexander successfully re-contested the seat and Keneally garnered a two-party swing of 4.84%, slightly less than the average by-election swing against governments.
Keneally was pre-selected by the ALP and nominated for the Senate vacancy by a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament on February 14, in accordance with the casual vacancy provisions of Section 15 of the Constitution.
- Listen to the NSW Parliament’s joint sitting (2m)
- Data on Australian Women Senators Since 1901