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Double Dissolution Trigger Created As Senate Rejects Bill For Second Time

A double dissolution of the 44th Parliament is now a live option, following today’s rejection by the Senate of a bill to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 [No. 2] is the first double dissolution trigger for the Abbott government. The bill is one of a number related to the abolition of the carbon tax and the emissions trading scheme.

The Senate first rejected the bill on December 10, 2013. As required by Section 57 of the Constitution, three months passed and the bill was reintroduced in the House on March 20. It was passed again on March 27 and reintroduced to the Senate on the same day. The Senate rejected it on the Second Reading by 35 votes to 28 just after 9.30am today. The ALP, the Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon voted against the bill.

Other legislation is likely to be rejected over the next month, particularly the bill to introduce a Medicare co-payment. The current Senate is in its final week, with new senators due to take office on July 1. The Senate has been recalled early on July 7 to consider legislation currently stalled in the Senate. [Read more…]

Would A Double Dissolution In Early 2014 Be Unconstitutional?

Tony Abbott has made it clear that the first legislative act of his government after September 14 will be to introduce legislation to repeal the carbon tax.  The mining tax is also up for repeal.

The obstacle in Abbott’s path is the composition of the Senate.  Until July 1 next year, the balance of power in the Senate remains with the Australian Greens.  Without the support of their 9 senators, neither the ALP (31 senators) nor the coalition (34 senators) can command the 39 votes needed to win a vote.

Abbott and his shadow ministers have made it clear that they are prepared to call a double dissolution election if the Senate rejects their legislation.  This can take place if the requirements of Section 57 of the Constitution are met. [Read more…]

Double Dissolutions, Joint Sittings And Reserve Powers

This is a paper produced by the Parliamentary Education Office.

It provides an excellent overview of double dissolutions, joint sittings and the reserve powers of the Governor-General. [Read more…]

Malcolm Fraser: Double Dissolution Election Statement

This is the official statement released by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser announcing that he had called a double dissolution election for March 2, 1983.

The announcement came at the end of a day of drama which saw Bob Hawke replace Bill Hayden as leader of the ALP. [Read more…]