Today’s Parliament is the 44th elected since federation in 1901. It was officially opened on 12 November 2013 following the federal election held on 7 September 2013.
The Parliament is made up of 226 parliamentarians – 150 members in the House of Representatives and 76 senators in the Senate.
The government is formed by the party or coalition of parties with the support of the majority (more than half) of the 150 members elected to the House of Representatives. The Coalition (the Liberal Party of Australia and the Nationals joined together) formed government after winning the majority of seats in the House.
According to section 28 of the Australian Constitution, elections for the House of Representatives must be held at least every three years. Half-Senate elections are usually held at the same time as House of Representatives elections.