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Current Federal Parliamentary Party Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

House of Representatives
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party John Howard
Member for Bennelong (NSW)
Peter Costello
Member for Higgins (Vic)
National Party Mark Vaile
Member for Lyne (NSW)
Warren Truss
Member for Wide Bay (Qld)
Australian Labor Party Kevin Rudd
Member for Griffith (Qld)
Julia Gillard
Member for Lalor (Vic)


The major parties also elect leaders and deputy leaders in the Senate. These people form part of the leadership group and act as the focal point for their parties in the upper house.

For example, the current Liberal Party leader in the Senate, Nick Minchin, is referred to as the Government Leader in the Senate. Senator Chris Evans is referred to as the Opposition Leader in the Senate.

Senate
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party Senator Nick Minchin
(South Australia)
Senator Helen Coonan
(New South Wales)
National Party Senator Ron Boswell
(Queensland)
Senator Nigel Scullion
(Northern Territory)
Australian Labor Party Senator Chris Evans
(Western Australia)
Senator Stephen Conroy
(Victoria)
Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett
(Queensland)
Senator Lyn Allison
(Victoria)
Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown
(Tasmania)
Family First Senator Steve Fielding
(Victoria)


Footnote: Convention dictates that the official leader of the main parties will be a member of the House of Representatives. In 1968, following the death of its Prime Minister, Harold Holt, the Liberal Party chose its upper house leader, Senator John Gorton, as the new prime minister. Gorton immediately resigned his Senate seat and contested the by-election for Holt’s lower house electorate, Higgins. Thus, Australia had a prime minister for several weeks who was not a member of either house. This is allowed for in Section 64 of the Constitution.


Sir Rupert Hamer, Former Victorian Premier, Genuine Liberal, Dies, 87

Sir Rupert Hamer, Premier of Victoria from 1972 until 1981, died at his home in Melbourne on March 23, 2004.

HamerA major condolence debate took place in the Victorian Legislative Assembly this week.

Extraordinarily, only one member of the House of Representatives, Petro Georgiou, the member for Kooyong, rose to pay tribute to one of the great Liberal figures of the past half-century.

In the Senate, an Australian Democrat, Lyn Allison, moved a condolence motion that was passed without debate.

It is difficult to imagine the Howard government adopting such a stance if the deceased Premier had been a right-winger of the ilk of Henry Bolte. This theme was explored by Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald. [Read more…]


Bartlett Apologises To Ferris, Public And Democrats

Senator Andrew Bartlett has made a media statement apologising to Senator Jeannie Ferris and the Australian Democrats over his behaviour in a late-night incident in the Senate chamber last week.

Bartlett, pictured holding his daughter, is bound to be criticised for using his child as a prop at the media conference. Her crying disrupted the delivery of the statement. [Read more…]


The Ten Motions That Sank Stott Despoja

According the website crikey.com.au, these are the 10 motions that were passed by the Australian Democrats party-room.

The motions were opposed by the leader of the party, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, who resigned the leadership shortly afterwards. [Read more…]