Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


Become a Patron!


Election Officially Over As Writs Returned By AEC

The 2019 Federal Election is officially over, following today’s return of the writs by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The AEC returned the writ for the House of Representatives elections to the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove. Writs for state senators were returned to state governors. The Senate territory writs were also returned to the Governor-General.

The writ is an official command from the Governor-General to the AEC to conduct elections. Section 12 of the Constitution specifically outlines the requirements for Senate writs.

Now that the election is over, Section 5 empowers the Governor-General to summon parliament. This must occur within thirty days of the return of the writs. The government has already indicated the Parliament will meet on July 2. The Governor-General issued a proclamation to this effect on June 19.

Media release from the AEC announcing the return of the election writs.

Writs Returned


Governor-General Summons 46th Parliament For July 2 Meeting

The Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, has issued a proclamation summoning the 46th Parliament to convene on July 2.

The proclamation was issued on the advice of the prime minister, Scott Morrison, in accordance with the Governor-General’s power under Section 5 of the Constitution.

The first day of the new parliament will be largely ceremonial. All 151 members of the House of Representatives will be sworn in, as will the 40 senators elected on May 18. The other 36 senators, elected in 2016, remain in office until the next election and do not need to be sworn in.

Proclamation issued by the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Proclamation


Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove’s Speech Opening The 45th Parliament

The Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, today officially opened the 45th Parliament, following the July double dissolution election.

Cosgrove

Ceremonies in the morning saw senators and members of the House of Representatives sworn in. The Senate President, Senator Stephen Parry, and the House Speaker, Tony Smith, were both re-elected unopposed.

At 3pm, the Governor-General summoned the House members to the Senate and delivered a 38-minute speech. By convention, the speech is written by the government and outlines its program for the new parliament.

It was Cosgrove’s first speech opening a new parliament. Last April, he delivered a short speech reconvening the 44th Parliament, following its prorogation. [Read more…]


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…]


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…]


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…]


Governor-General Quentin Bryce Opens 44th Parliament

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has officially opened the 44th Parliament.

Bryce

After a day of ceremonies, including the swearing-in of the new House of Representatives, Bryce summoned members to the Senate and delivered the traditional government-written speech outlining the government’s program for the new Parliament.

The government will be “active” but not “big”, Bryce said. She outlined Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plan to “repeal the carbon tax, abolish the mining tax, cut the waste and build the roads of the 21st century”.

Bryce’s 30-minute speech was followed by a 19-gun salute by military cannons outside Parliament House.

Earlier, the House of Representatives elected Bronwyn Bishop as its new Speaker, replacing Anna Burke, the last of three speakers in the 43rd Parliament.

The Parliament gets down to business tomorrow when it is expected that the bills to repeal the carbon tax will be introduced in the morning. Abbott and new Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will face off in Question Time at 2pm.

Today’s speech was Quentin Bryce’s last opening of Parliament. She retires in March next year.

Transcript of Governor-General Quentin Bryce’s Address at the Opening of the First Session of the Forty-Fourth Commonwealth Parliament.

Bryce

Introduction

Honourable Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia.

Today, at the opening of the 44th Commonwealth Parliament, we celebrate the enduring health of our democracy.

One hundred and twelve years after the first Federal election, nearly 14 million Australians have cast their votes in another free and fair election.

For only the fourth time in three decades, the Australian people have voted for a change of government. [Read more…]