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About Parliament – A new Parliament

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Title: About Parliament. A New Parliament. Music.
Title: Electing the House of Representatives. Narrator: Electing the House of Representatives.
Footage of members at work in the House of Representatives. Narrator: In Australia, the House of Representatives can only meet for a maximum of three years before its members must face re-election.
The Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, speaking at a press conference.

Narrator: Any time during this three-year term, the Prime Minister may request an election.

Prime Minister: The Governor-General has accepted my advice to dissolve both houses of Parliament.

A proclamation signed by the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.

Footage of people at voting screens. They place completed papers in a ballot box.

Narrator: When this happens, the Governor-General issues a special proclamation and the House of Representatives is then dissolved. Or in other words, its business is brought to an end.

On election day, Australian citizens aged 18 years and over vote to choose the people who will represent them in the Parliament.

Graphic of the House of Representatives showing seats held by the government. Narrator: The political party (or coalition of parties) with the support of the majority of members elected to the House of Representatives forms the government.
The Prime Minister speaks at the Despatch Box in the House of Representatives.

Narrator: The leader of the government becomes the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister: This is carrying on the great vision of the founders of the Snowy Mountain Scheme.

Title: What about the Senate? Narrator: What about the Senate?
Footage of senators at work in the Senate chamber. Narrator: In contrast to the House of Representatives, most senators are elected for a six-year-term.
Graphic of a map of Australia showing the states and territories and the terms of their senators. Six years for state senators, and three years for territory senators. Narrator: The only exception to this rule is for territory senators who serve a maximum three-year-term.

Footage of senators at work in the Senate chamber.

Footage of people at voting screens. They place completed papers in a ballot box.

Narrator: Senate elections use a system of rotation, with half the membership of senators elected every three years. When an election for the House of Representatives is called, a half-Senate election is usually held at the same time.
Title: Opening of the New Parliament. Narrator: Opening of the new Parliament.

Footage of the front of Parliament House and people entering the Great Hall.

Footage of a 'Welcome to Country' ceremony in the Great Hall.

Narrator: After the general election, the new Parliament is formally opened. A recent addition to the opening ceremony is a 'Welcome to Country' by local Indigenous people, symbolically welcoming people to the land.
Footage of senators sitting in the Senate and members sitting in the House of Representatives. Narrator: Senators and members then assemble in their respective houses.
Footage of the Usher of the Black Rod approaching the door of the House of Representatives chamber. Narrator: The Usher of the Black Rod delivers a message summoning all members to the Senate.
Footage of the Serjeant-at-Arms and the Usher of the Black Rod in the House of Representatives chamber.

Serjeant-at-Arms: Honourable members, the Usher of the Black Rod with a message from the Deputy of His Excellency, the Governor-General.

Usher of the Black Rod: Honourable members, the Deputy of His Excellency, the Governor-General, desires your attendance in the Senate chamber.

Footage of members leaving the House of Representatives chamber and entering the Senate chamber. Narrator: The ceremony is held in the Senate because there is a convention that the Queen, or the Governor-General representing the Queen, does not enter the House of Representatives. This tradition dates back to the British Parliament in the 17th century.
The Chief Justice of the High Court opens the Parliament while sitting in the President's chair in the Senate. Chief Justice Robert French AC: Members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives, His Excellency the Governor-General has appointed me as his deputy to declare open the Parliament of the Commonwealth. The Clerk of the Senate will now read the instrument of appointment.

Footage of members being sworn-in.

Footage of territory senators signing the Test Roll and the Senators' Roll.

Narrator: After the Parliament is officially opened, members return to the House of Representatives to be sworn-in. In the Senate, senators representing the territories are also sworn-in.
Footage of members in the House of Representatives. Narrator: The House of Representatives then elects a Speaker. This is important because no business can be conducted in the House until the Speaker takes the chair.
Footage of the Clerk speaking from the table.

Clerk of the House of Representatives: I declare the Honourable Member for Casey duly elected as Speaker.

Applause.

Footage of the Speaker, the Hon Tony Smith MP, being escorted to the Speaker's Chair. Narrator: It is customary for the newly elected Speaker to be reluctantly escorted to the Chair by his supporters. This is a tradition dating back to early UK Parliaments when some Speakers were beheaded or imprisoned.
Footage of senators sitting in the Senate chamber. The Usher of the Black Rod enters. The senators stand and the Usher of the Black Rod lead the Governor-General into the chamber.

Narrator: Later in the day, the Governor-General arrives at the Senate to address members of parliament.

Usher of the Black Rod: Mr President, His Excellency the Governor-General approaches the Senate chamber.

Footage of the Usher of the Black Rod walking to the House of Representatives chamber and knocking on the door with the base of the Black Rod. Narrator: Once again, a message is delivered to the House of Representatives summoning members to the Senate. As is tradition, the Usher of the Black Rod knocks on the door three times and waits to be admitted to the House.
Footage of the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) speaking from the President's chair in the Senate.

Narrator: When all members of parliament are gathered in the Senate, the Governor-General makes an opening speech and sets out the government's plans for the future.

Governor-General: With a multitude of policy choices important not only to how Australians live today, but to what sort of society we bequeath to future generations.

Footage of members and senators in the Members Hall. Narrator: The ceremony concludes with a reception in the Members Hall at Australia's Parliament House.
Title: Business as usual. Narrator: Business as usual.
Footage of senators and members giving speeches in the chambers, and working in parliamentary committees. Narrator: After the Parliament is officially opened, it is business as usual for both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This includes debating and making new laws, discussing issues that are important to the nation and making decisions about governing the country, on behalf of all Australians.

Title: Parliamentary Education Office. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2017.

Parliamentary Education Office logo.

Parliamentary Education Office website: www.peo.gov.au

Music.