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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.


Voluntary Student Unions Bill: Speech By Senator Steve Fielding

This is the text of Senator Steve Fielding’s speech on the Voluntary Student Unions bill.

Speech by Senator Steve Fielding, representing Family First.

Senator FIELDING (Victoria—Leader of the Family First Party) (3.52 pm)— This issue has been a vexed one for me and for Family First. I have looked at the issue on its merits and I genuinely believe the argument can run both ways—to retain compulsory student union fees or abolish them. I have been asked constantly for my views about the Higher Education Support Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student Union Fees) Bill 2005—for many days and weeks—and have given an honest answer, telling my parliamentary colleagues, the media and my constituents that I have not made up my mind on the bill. I have had a great deal of trouble deciding on this legislation because there are strong advocates for both sides mounting good cases. [Read more…]


Steve Fielding, Family First Senator-Elect, Addresses National Press Club

Steve Fielding, the Family First senator-elect from Victoria, has addressed the National Press Club, in Canberra.

Fielding was elected last month at the federal election. His term begins next July 1.

The National Chairman of Family First, Peter Harris, also appeared at the Press Club and spoke about the organisational side of the party. [Read more…]