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Australian Senators

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Location: ACT Australiamap
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Australia's national Floral Emblem: the Wattle © Commonwealth of Australia The Australian Senate is one the the two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament and it shares the power to make laws with the other house, the House of Representatives. The Australian Constitution defines the Senate's composition and role as a house of review.

There are 76 senators in the Senate of the Australian Federal Parliament: twelve senators from each state and two from each mainland territory. State senators are elected for a six year term with half retiring every three years. Territory senators are elected at the same time as members of the House of Representatives for three years terms. Australian senators are elected by proportional representation.

The Senate is made up of:

  • a President;
  • a Deputy President and Chairman of Committees;
  • Leader of the Government in the Senate;
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Senate;
  • Party Whip for each party;
  • The Clerks at the Table;
  • Hansard editors;
  • Advisers' benches; and
  • Usher of the Black Rod.

Source: "About the Senate", Parliament of Australia, Commonwealth of Australia accessed 9 February 2015.

How to address a senator:

  • Senator Richard Di Natale, Senator for Victoria
  • Senator the Hon Eric Abetz - a Minister from the Senate
  • A Member or Senator who becomes a Minister is appointed to the Executive Council and thus has the title ‘Honourable’ while they remain Executive Councillors. With one exception, Ministers appointed to the Executive Council have not in the past had their appointment to the Council terminated upon termination of their commission and hence have retained the title ‘Honourable’ for life.

Source: "How to address Senators and Members", Parliament of Australia, Commonwealth of Australia, accessed 20 February 2015.

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Categories: Australia, Senators