Get the latest on Australia's federal Parliament
Today's Parliament is the 43rd to be elected since Federation in 1901. It was officially opened on 28 September 2010 following the federal election held on 21 August 2010.
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 current government is a minority government formed by the Australian Labor Party, supported by a member of the Australian Greens and several Independents.
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.
The Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, has announced that the next federal election will be held on 14 September this year.
Today's Parliament looks like this: