The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has officially opened the 44th Parliament.
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.
- Listen to Quentin Bryce’s speech (30m)
- Watch Bryce (38m)
- Download a copy of the Governor-General’s Address (PDF)
Transcript of Governor-General Quentin Bryce’s Address at the Opening of the First Session of the Forty-Fourth Commonwealth Parliament.
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.