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Australian Parliament Dissolved; Governor-General’s Official Secretary Reads Proclamation

9.00am – The Australian Parliament has been dissolved.

The dissolution is a constitutional process that allows the writs for the July 2 double dissolution election to be issued. The dissolution is undertaken by the Governor-General, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. The election writs command the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct the election and set out the various dates involved in the election process.

A brief ceremony was held in Parliament House during which the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, Mark Fraser, read the Proclamation dissolving both houses of parliament. Fraser was accompanied by the Clerk of the Senate, Rosemary Laing, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, David Elder. [Read more…]


Government House Releases Double Dissolution Documents

Government House has released the documents related to today’s announcement of a double dissolution election on July 2.

The documents include the formal advice tendered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Cosgrove’s written assent to the advice.

A statement from the Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, has also been released. It sets out the legal position of the legislation twice rejected by the Senate and demonstrates how Section 57 of the Constitution has been satisfied.

The documents also show the hand-written annotations of the Governor-General. [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull Formally Announces July 2 Double Dissolution Election

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has formally announced a double dissolution election for July 2.

Turnbull

Turnbull made the announcement in Parliament House at 2.30pm, following his visit to the Governor-General at 1.00pm to formally advise the election.

The election will be Australia’s seventh double dissolution election. The last was in 1987, also the only other time an election has been held in July. All of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 76 Senate positions will be up for election.

In his announcement, Turnbull emphasised his government’s policies on science, technology and innovation, as well as policies designed to stimulate employment. He said the election offered a choice, “to stay the course” for jobs and growth, or go back to Labor and “stop the transition to the new economy economy dead in its tracks”. [Read more…]


Parliament Prorogued; New Session Starts On Monday

The Australian Parliament was prorogued at 5pm today.

The prorogation was authorised by the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, on March 21, on the advice of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The prorogation takes place under Section 5 of the Constitution. The prorogation documents are shown below.

A new session of Parliament will now start on Monday, April 18, at 9.30am. It will be opened by the Governor-General.

The prorogation means that the Notice Paper in each house has been wiped clean. All business listed on the Notice Paper has been terminated, although the Senate’s Standing Orders allow for the work of committees to continue.

The Parliament has been prorogued one minute before dissolution at each election since 1993, a practice that had not been followed since the 1920s. The last prorogation for a reason other than an election was in 1977, when it was used to enable the Queen to open Parliament.

The Turnbull government has released a programme of business for the Senate to consider from Monday. It includes the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 [No.2], the Building and Construction Industry (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 [No.2] and the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 [No.3]. The draft programme is shown below. [Read more…]


Turnbull Recalls Parliament On April 18 And Moves Budget To May 3; Threatens Double Dissolution On July 2 If Bills Not Passed

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dramatically seized the political initiative in his confrontation with the Senate by advising the Governor-General to recall Parliament on April 18 and threatening a double dissolution election on July 2 if industrial legislation is not passed.

Turnbull made his announcement at a 10.30am press conference. He said he had advised the Governor-General under Section 5 of the Constitution to recall Parliament. This overrides a motion passed by the Senate on Friday that prevented a recall before May 10.

  • Watch Turnbull

Parliament will prorogued on April 15 and then summoned again for a new session on April 18. Prorogation clears the Notice Paper. [Read more…]


Administrative Arrangements Order – Amendments

Following the reshuffle of the Turnbull ministry, amendments to the Administrative Arrangements Order have been announced.

Responsibility for Population policy moves from the Department of the Environment to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

In the aftermath of Jamies Briggs’s resignation, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet also takes over National policy on cities.

The Administrative Order is shown below, as is the original order from September 30, 2015. [Read more…]


Turnbull’s New Ministers Sworn In; Joyce Now Deputy PM

The reshuffled Turnbull ministry was sworn in this morning.

Ministry

A number of existing ministers assumed new portfolios, whilst a batch of new ministers and parliamentary secretaries took the oath as Executive Councillors for the first time.

Barnaby Joyce, the new leader of The Nationals, is now Deputy Prime Minister. [Read more…]


My Story: Julia Gillard’s Book Launched By Quentin Bryce

Australia’s first female Governor-General today launched the memoirs of the nation’s first female prime minister.

Gillard

Julia Gillard was prime minister for 3 years and 3 days from June 23, 2010. Her 504-page book of memoirs, My Story, was published this week.

In her speech, Quentin Bryce, appointed Governor-General by Gillard’s predecessor Kevin Rudd in 2008, emphasised the example Gillard set for girls and women. [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…]


Dame Quentin Bryce, 25th Governor-General Of Australia, Farewelled In Canberra

Two hours after the announcement that she had been made a Dame, Australia’s 25th Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, was farewelled at a reception at Parliament House tonight.

Bryce

Bryce’s official portrait, painted by artist Ralph Heimans, was unveiled during the farewell.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke in glowing terms of Bryce’s service and approach to the position of Governor-General. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Bryce’s son-in-law, also addressed the gathering. [Read more…]