In the House of Representatives, government members sit on the right of the Speaker’s chair with ministers on the front bench (first row). Non-government members – Opposition, Independents and minor party members – sit on the left of the Speaker’s chair. Shadow ministers sit on the front bench on this side of the chamber. The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition sit facing each other at the table in the centre of the chamber. The Senate has the same seating arrangement, with senators arranged on the right and left of the President’s chair.
Frontbench and backbench members have assigned seats. When Parliament is meeting, members and senators sometimes move around their chamber to sit with other members or senators in order to speak privately with them. During a division or vote, members and senators might sit in a seat on the opposite side of the chamber from where their allocated seat is located.