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Appropriations and the powers of the Senate: a quick guide

There are two broad types of appropriation mechanism: annual appropriations, which are the subject of the Appropriation Acts tabled on Budget night and special appropriations, which are found in other legislation. This guide explains further.

“Get used to it” Senate projections, Autumn 2018

This first edition of the Australia Institute's Senate Projections series finds that, on current polling, future elections are likely to return a crossbench that is about as large and divided as the current one.

The new Senate voting system and the 2016 election

This research paper outlines the recent history of Senate electoral reform in federal elections, including examining the reasons for the most recent changes to the Senate voting system.
Audio interview

Scott Ryan leaving Cabinet to preside over the Senate

Senator Ryan was elected Senate President yesterday after quitting Cabinet.
Audio interview

Bernardi hoping to shape policy outside the Liberal tent

Cory Bernardi's decision to quit the Liberals to start a new conservative party has dominated the start of parliament. 'I fought within the Liberal Party tent to uphold the principles and visions and values that attracted me to the Liberal Party in the first place...

The base salary for senators and members: 2014 update

Introduction: Senators and members receive an annual allowance by way of basic salary—$195,130 from 1 July 2014.1 This research paper 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...
Audio interview

Fixing the Senate

Senate voting needs to be simpler and more transparent. Brian Costar talks to Peter Clarke about a plan to fix the system, and looks at the politics of the federal budget.

The Australian and American Senates: a comparison

Notwithstanding the differences, the Australian and American Senates are comparable in being among the very strongest upper houses in the world, and in demonstrating the value of bicameralism in democratic governance. US political scientist Stanley Bach analyses the major differences between the Australian and US...

'Reform' of the Senate

In a paper prepared for the PSP's Democratic Audit of Australia, Harry Evans, the Clerk of the Senate, comments on the Prime Minister's recent proposals to reform the Senate. He notes that the proposals aim at ensuring government legislation is passed and rejects claims that...