Senate

There was a celebratory mood on social media when the High Court ruled on October 27 that Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was ineligible to sit in parliament.

The government has lost its one seat majority and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's over-confident prediction that government politicians would be safe has been shown to be partisan bluster.

Right wing buffoon Malcolm Roberts has been kicked out of the Senate along with Deputy Leader of the National Party Fiona Nash.

Doctors 4 Refugees banner

Phone calls, emails, social media posts, street protests, visits to MP’s offices and Senate inquiry submissions are building momentum to block the federal government’s latest anti-refugee bill in the Senate.

The proposed legislation seeks to place a lifetime ban on any asylum seeker who comes to Australia by boat from ever setting foot in the country. It includes refugees who are resettled in another country and wish to come on tourist, business or partner visas decades later.

Family First Senator Bob Day finally resigned from the Senate on November 1 “effective immediately”, in a major setback for the federal government's plan to revive the controversial, anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

Day first announced his intention to resign on October 17, after his housing businesses were placed into liquidation. He then suggested he might stay on until November so he could vote on the ABCC bill and other legislation.

The Senate voted on October 10 to pass legislation aimed at blocking the Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) enterprise agreement.

Those voting for the law were the Coalition, Pauline Hanson's One Nation, the Nick Xenophon Team and right-wing independents David Leyonhjelm and Derryn Hinch. Labor, the Greens and independent Jacqui Lambie opposed the bill.

Anger with the two major parties was the clear winner this federal election as a quarter of the electorate gave their first preference to independents, Greens or minor parties.

The Socialist Alliance (SA) ran in the Senate in three states, and in four lower house seats. Despite its blanket exclusion from the corporate media, its reliance on small donations and its radical message, its votes increased in two lower house seats, dipped in two others and increased our Senate vote in NSW and WA compared to the previous election.

The Socialist Alliance has selected a Victorian Senate team of Lalitha Chelliah and Tim Gooden, and candidates Zane Alcorn for the seat of Wills and Sue Bull for the seat of Corio.

Aboriginal activist and writer Ken Canning will head the Socialist Alliance NSW Senate ticket — For a People's Movement — in the coming federal election.

“I've joined this election campaign to build a people's movement to free all our communities from the tyranny of the old big parties which have been bought out by the rich and the multinational corporations.

Right-wing Western Australian senator Joe Bullock has announced his resignation from the Senate over Labor's decision to remove the conscience vote for equal marriage rights in 2019.

The former head of the WA branch of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association entered the Senate in 2014 after a back-room deal to dump the Left's Louise Pratt.

Why is the government so keen to reform Senate voting with the threat of a double dissolution election hanging in the air?

The government and the Greens are supporting legislation to enact some recommendations of a parliamentary committee into the 2013 election while Labor and most small parties and independents are opposing them.

The new Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham announced on October 1 that he has no plans to reintroduce legislation to deregulate university fees this year: the key words in that statement are “this year”.

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