About The Senate

About the Australian Senate

The Senate is one of the two houses in the Parliament of Australia, along with the House of Representatives. The Senate is made up of 76 Senators, with each state being represented by 12 Senators and the ACT and Northern Territory being represented by 2 Senators each.

The Parliament of Australia operates under the Westminster system, where the House of Representatives is the lower house where government is formed, and the Senate is the upper house which acts as a house of review. Every Act of Parliament must pass the Senate for it to become law.

The Senate has the ability to make amendments to bills that originate in the House of Representatives, or initiate its own legislation. However, there are restrictions on what the Senate can do in respect of appropriation bills.Senators are elected for a term of 6 years and face election every second general election.

Half of the Senate will be up for election every general election. The Senate creates its own committees. These committees conduct inquiries into legislation that the Senate refers to them (Legislation Committees), or any other matter that the Senate directs them to inquire in to (References Committees).

These committees are comprised of Senators and the work of committees account for a significant amount of a Senator’s role.