In 2013 Australia returned to majority government when the Abbott Coalition Government was elected with 90 out of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, minor and micro parties and Independents held the balance of power. The 44th Parliament was very different to the preceding Parliament but in many ways no less dramatic. A Senate Procedural Information Bulletin noted at the end of the 44th Parliament:
First, the prorogation for a new session of Parliament opened on 18 April 2016; now the simultaneous dissolution of both Houses under section 57 of the Constitution, which took effect at 9 am on 9 May, the anniversary of the opening of the first Federal Parliament in 1901 (as well as of the provisional and new parliamentary buildings in 1927 and 1988). Both procedures have now been invoked for the first time in some decades, signalling that the end of the 44th Parliament has been an unusual one.
This paper reviews the major parliamentary and political events of the 44th Parliament. The paper is not an exhaustive chronicle of the 44th Parliament but a review of the major aspects of the workings of this Parliament. It is organised thematically covering, where relevant, procedural changes, statistical information, and events of note and interest in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is intended to be used as a companion to the Parliamentary Library paper on the 43rd (Hung) Parliament and the forthcoming research paper on the 2016 federal election.