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Latest news

New senators sworn-in

Published: 6 April 2018

With the swearing-in of two new senators, the Senate now has a complete membership of 76 for the first time since 14 July last year. The President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, tweeted that this is the longest period of time since federation that the Senate has... Read news item

First speeches for senators

Published: 6 April 2018

In his first speech to the Senate, newly appointed Senator Steve Martin likened himself to Steven Bradbury, saying, ‘there is a hidden moral in Bradbury's unlikely success story about being positive, having a dream, backing yourself against the odds and giving things a red-hot go.’ Senator Martin spoke about his... Read news item

House of Representatives

Published: 6 April 2018

Ms Ged Kearney has been sworn in as the Member for Batman in Victoria after a by-election in that seat. All 150 seats in the House of Representatives are now filled. The Member for Page, Mr Kevin Hogan MP, has been elected to the position of Deputy Speaker. He... Read news item

Welfare reform bill

Published: 6 April 2018

The Parliament has passed a bill to streamline Australia’s welfare system. The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 combined a number of welfare payments, including Newstart, sickness, and bereavement allowances, into a single jobseeker payment. The Senate requested amendments, or changes, to the bill, and waited until the... Read news item

Mental health services in rural and remote Australia

Published: 6 April 2018

The Senate Community Affairs References Committee is investigating the accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote areas across Australia. They are particularly interested in why people in these areas access mental health services at a lower rate, the challenges of delivering services and how technology might... Read news item