List of Australian Senate appointments
This is a list of appointments to the Australian Senate, which is the upper house of the Parliament of Australia, filling casual vacancies, from the Senate's creation in 1901 until the present day. There is a second list of invalid elections and appointments to the Senate.
Section 15 of the Australian Constitution requires the parliament of the relevant state to choose a replacement. This is done in a joint sitting of the upper and lower house (except for Queensland, which has a unicameral parliament). In the event that the state parliament is not in session, the Governor of the state (acting on the advice of the state's executive council) may appoint a replacement senator, but such an appointment lapses if it is not confirmed by a joint sitting of the parliament within 14 days.
Prior to 29 July 1977, the filing of casual vacancies was complex. While senators were elected for a six-year term, people appointed to a casual vacancy only held office until the earlier of the next election for the House of Representatives or the Senate, at which the vacancy would be filled by the electors of the relevant state. It was also an established convention that the state parliament choose (or the governor appoint) a replacement from the same political party as their predecessor, however this convention was not always followed.
As a result of the 1977 referendum:
- a state legislature must replace a senator with a member of the same political party, and
- the new senator's term continues until the end of the original senator's term.
Replacement senators for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) or the Northern Territory (NT) are chosen by the relevant territory legislature, under s.44 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. Where the legislature is not in session, the choice is made by the Administrator of the NT (acting on the advice of the territory's executive council) or the Chief Minister of the ACT. The procedure has been in use in the ACT since 1989 and in NT since 1980.
Between 1980 and 1989, replacement senators in the ACT were chosen by a joint sitting of both houses of the Federal Parliament, under s.9 of the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act 1973. Prior to 1980, replacement senators in both the ACT or NT were to be elected in a by-election, though this never occurred.
List of appointments to the Senate
- Of the 66 appointments to 1977, 12 (18%) were from a different party, John Shannon (1912), John Earle (1917); Edward Mulcahy (1919), John MacDonald (1922), Sir Henry Barwell (1925), John Verran (1927), Harry Kneebone (1931), Patrick Mooney (1931), Philip McBride (1937), Alexander Fraser (1946), Cleaver Bunton, (1975) and Albert Field, (1975).
- Carr resigned one month after the 2013 federal election where he was re-elected for a new Senate term that was due to start on 1 July 2014. His resignation resulted in a vacancy in his current term expiring on 30 June 2014 and his new term due to start on 1 July 2014. O'Neill was appointed to fill both casual vacancies in two separate joint sittings of the NSW Parliament on 13 November 2013 and 2 July 2014.
- Occurred after an election but before the new Senate was sworn in.
- In the period between the election and the writ being formally taking her seat, Ferris worked as a member of parliamentary staff. In order to avoid any argument that she was disqualified for holding "an office of profit under the crown", Ferris resigned and was re-appointed to the vacancy.
- Elected as a member of the ALP, but resigned from the party during his term.
- Elected as a member of the Liberal Movement, but joined the Liberal party on the break-up of the Liberal Movement.
- Haines had also been on the Liberal Movement ticket with Hall in 1974 however she had joined the Democrats on the break-up of the Liberal Movement.
- First Indigenous Australian to be a member of the Parliament of Australia
- Elected as a member of Liberal Party, but quit during his term to become an independent.
- Liberal Senator Rex Pearson died on 11 September 1961; Liberal member Gordon Davidson was appointed to fill the ensuing vacancy on 28 September. He did not stand at the 9 December 1961 election and his position was won by Liberal candidate Nancy Buttfield. In order to take up the seat with a term finishing on 30 June 1965, Buttfield resigned her pre-existing seat won at the 1955 election and scheduled to expire on 30 June 1962; Davidson was appointed to that position on 8 February 1962.
- The appointment lapsed on 4 August due to lack of confirmation by the South Australian Parliament, but Vardon was reappointed.
- The election of Anti-Socialist senator Joseph Vardon was declared void on 31 May 1907; on 11 July ALP member James O'Loghlin was appointed to replace him. This appointment was declared void on 20 December, and a special election was held in 1908.
List of invalid elections and appointments to the Senate
This is a list of people who have been declared to have been elected or appointed to the Australian Senate that the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, has subsequently declared to be ineligible. Some of these have actually sat in the Senate and participated in proceedings; however, the High Court has held that their presence did not invalidate the proceedings of the Senate.
- On 27 October 2017 as part of the 2017 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, Scott Ludlam, Malcolm Roberts, Fiona Nash and Larissa Waters were held to be "incapable of being chosen" as Senators as they were dual citizens. Ludlam resigned on 14 July 2017 and Waters resigned on 18 July 2017 while Nash and Roberts continued to sit until the High Court decision. The date reflects the date on which each were first elected. Three of the seats were filled by a recount, with the replacements appointed by the High Court on 10 November 2017. Subsequently Jacqui Lambie, Stephen Parry and Skye Kakoschke-Moore were also found ineligible, and were replaced in February 2018. Katy Gallagher was later also found ineligible.
- South Australian Family First Senator Bob Day resigned on 1 November 2016. On 5 April 2017 the High Court held that Day was "incapable of being chosen" or sitting as a Senator since February 2016 as he had an indirect interest in an agreement with the Commonwealth. Day's seat was filled by Lucy Gichuhi in a recount. Day sat in the Senate between February and 1 November 2016.
- Rod Culleton was elected as a member of One Nation, but announced his resignation from the party on 18 December 2016. The President of the Senate declared his seat vacant on 11 January 2017 due to his bankruptcy. On 3 February 2017 the High Court declared that at the time of the 2016 election he was subject to being sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years and therefore he had never been validly elected. Culleton sat in the Senate between 2 July 2016 and 23 December 2016.
- The election was declared void before the commencement of the Senate term
- The entire half-Senate election for WA was declared void by the High Court because 1,375 ballot papers were lost during an official recount. Wayne Dropulich was the only candidate who was unsuccessful at the special election in 2014, the seat taken by Zhenya Wang.
- Heather Hill was a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Australia, and the High Court declared she was disqualified from election as the citizen of a "foreign power".
- Robert Wood was a citizen of the United Kingdom, resident in Australia, however he had never obtained Australian citizenship. The High Court declared as he was not an Australian citizen Wood was disqualified from election. Wood sat in the Senate between 1 July 1987 and 12 May 1988. Irina Dunn was declared elected on a recount and was expelled from the NDP because she did not resign to allow Wood to be re-appointed.
- The election of Anti-Socialist senator Joseph Vardon was declared void on 31 May 1907; on 11 July ALP member James O'Loghlin was appointed to replace him. This appointment was declared void on 20 December, and a special election was held in 1908 which was won by Vardon.
- Evans, H. "Filling Casual Vacancies before 1977" (PDF). The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, Volume 3. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
- Constitution Alteration (Senate Casual Vacancies) Act 1977 (Cth).
- "Advice - Filling of vacancies following the resignation of the Honourable Bob Carr" (PDF). Crown Solicitor New South Wales. 1 November 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Blundell v Vardon  HCA 75, (1907) 4 CLR 1463.
- Vardon v O'Loghlin  HCA 69, (1907) 5 CLR 201.
- Senator Tim Storer, Parliament of Australia.
- Re Day (No 2)  HCA 14, "Judgment summary" (PDF). High Court. 5 April 2017.
- Re Culleton  HCA 3.
- Re Culleton (No 2)  HCA 4.
- Australian Electoral Commission v Johnston  HCA 5, (2014) 251 CLR 463.
- Sue v Hill  HCA 30, (1999) 199 CLR 462.
- Re Wood  HCA 30, (1999) 199 CLR 462.