2010 news archive
Telstra separation bill passed
On 25 November, the House of Representatives agreed to final Senate amendments to the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer Safeguards) Bill 2010 and the bill was passed. This legislation was first introduced by the government and allows for the structural separation of Telstra which will pave the way for the roll-out of the National Broadband Network.
The Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety was established by the House of Representatives in September. This inquiry will allow members and senators to examine issues such as cyber-bullying and the effectiveness of existing cyber-safety programs in schools.
Opening of Parliament
The 43rd Parliament was formally opened by the Governor-General in the Senate on 28 September. The Opening of Parliament included a Welcome to Country ceremony, which is now enshrined in the Standing Orders of both houses.
New candidates elected to the Senate for the first time in the August 2010 general election will not take up their seats until July. There will be 12 new senators: six men and six women.
New ministry sworn in
The new ministry, led by Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard MP, was sworn in by the Governor-General on Tuesday, 14 September at Government House in Canberra.
Minority government formed
After 17 days of negotiation, the Australian Labor Party, supported by a member of the Australian Greens and three Independents, formed a 'minority government'. To win their support, the Australian Labor Party agreed to a list of parliamentary reforms including strict time limits during Question Time and greater independence of the Speaker. For the first time in 70 years, a government does not hold an absolute majority in the House of Representatives.
First female Prime Minister
The Hon Julia Gillard MP is the first female Prime Minister of Australia to be elected at a general election.
Youngest person elected
After the 21 August federal election, Mr Wyatt Roy MP became the youngest person ever to be elected to Australia's Parliament at the age of 20. Mr Roy represents the electorate of Longman in Queensland.
First indigenous member of the House
Mr Ken Wyatt MP was elected as the first Indigenous member of the House of Representatives, to represent the electorate of Hasluck in Western Australia. Two Indigenous members of parliament have previously served in the Senate: Senator Neville Bonner from Queensland (1971 – 1983) and Senator Aden Ridgeway from New South Wales (1999 – 2005).