The base salary for senators and members

Local government Australia

Senators and members receive an annual allowance by way of basic salary—$190 550 from 1 July 2012.

This background note explains the legislative basis, fixing and linking mechanisms for the allowance. Adjustments to the base salary since 1968 are provided in Table 1 and Graph 1.


Section 48 of the Constitution provides for the payment of Members of Parliament:

  • Until the Parliament otherwise provides, each senator and each member of the House of Representatives shall receive an allowance of four hundred pounds a year, to be reckoned from the day on which he takes his seat.

Since 1901, the Parliament has enacted legislation to define the parliamentary base salary for the purposes of Section 48 of the Constitution.

The Remuneration and Allowances Act 1990 defines a parliamentary allowance which is consistent with the arrangements whereby the Remuneration Tribunal determines the remuneration of parliamentarians.

Section 8 provides that salaries and allowances are to be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Section 8A of the Remuneration and Allowances Act 1990 allows the Governor-General to make regulations necessary to give effect to the Act. Remuneration and Allowances Regulations 2005 are now in force.

Authored by Leanne Manthorpe; updated by Cathy Madden and Deirdre McKeown, Politics and Public Administration Section, and Guy Woods, Statistics and Mapping Section.

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