A new Parliament

There are many steps in the process of opening a new parliament. Find out the timings, traditions and requirements of establishing a new Australian Parliament with this in-depth video.

Teachers can use this video to explore the opening of a new parliament after a federal election with their students.

Duration: 3 min 56 sec

 

Transcript

Vision

Audio

Opening credits showing animated shapes with the words, Understand, Teach, Book Connect. The Parliamentary Education Office logo. Music.
The Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, standing between two Australian flags and speaking at a press conference. Prime Minister: Good morning everyone. Earlier this morning, I visited the Governor-General here in Canberra and he accepted my advice for an election to be held on...
A proclamation signed by the Governor-General and the Prime Minister. Narrator: In Australia, federal elections must be held at least every three years.
Footage of people at voting screens. They place completed papers in a ballot box. Narrator: On election day, Australian citizens aged 18 years and over vote to choose the people who will represent them in the Parliament.
Animated graphic of the House of Representatives showing over half the seats are held by the government, and the Prime Minister’s seat at the table. Narrator: The political party, or coalition of parties, with the support of the majority of the members elected to the House of Representatives forms the government. The leader of the government becomes the Prime Minister.

Graphic of the Senate with the text:

State senators - 6 years

Territory senators - 3 years

Narrator: In contrast to the House of Representatives, most senators are elected for a 6-year term.
A 'Welcome to Country' ceremony in the Great Hall at Australian Parliament House. Narrator: After the general election, the Parliament is formally opened with a 'Welcome to Country' by Ngunnawal people.
Footage of senators in the Senate and members in the House of Representatives. Narrator: Senators and members then assemble in their respective houses.
The Usher of the Black Rod approaching the door of the House of Representatives. Narrator: The Usher of the Black Rod delivers a message summoning all members to the Senate.
The Serjeant-at-Arms and the Usher of the Black Rod in the House of Representatives. Usher of the Black Rod: Honourable members. The Deputy of His Excellency the Governor-General desires your attendance in the Senate.
Footage of members leaving the House of Representatives and entering the Senate. 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 seventeenth century.
The Chief Justice of the High Court sitting in the Senate. Chief Justice: Pursuant to the instrument which the Clerk has now read, I declare open the 46th Parliament of the Commonwealth.
Footage of members being sworn-in.
Footage 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, new senators are also sworn-in.
The Clerk speaking from the table in the House of Representatives. Clerk of the House of Representatives: The next item of business is the election of a Speaker. Is there a nomination for Speaker?
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.
 The Speaker being escorted to the Speaker's chair and congratulated by his colleagues.

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 the early UK Parliament when some Speakers were beheaded or imprisoned.

The Chief Justice of the High Court opens the Parliament while sitting in the President's Chair in the Senate. Chief Justice: 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: The next item of business is the election of a Speaker. Is there a nomination for Speaker?
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 the early UK Parliament when some Speakers were beheaded or imprisoned.
The Leader of the Government in the Senate speaking. The Leader of the Government in the Senate: Clerk, I remind the Senate that it should now choose one of its members to be President. I move that Senator Ryan take the chair of the Senate as President.
Footage of senators sitting in the Senate. The Usher of the Black Rod enters. The senators stand and the Usher of the Black Rod leads the Governor-General into the Senate.

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


Governor-General: Honourable senators, please be seated.

The Usher of the Black Rod walking to the House of Representatives and knocking on the door with the base of the Black Rod. Narrator: Once again, members of the House of Representatives are summoned to the Senate. As is tradition, the Usher of the Black Rod knocks on the door 3 times and waits to be admitted to the House.
The Governor-General speaking in the Senate.

Narrator: When all members of parliament are gathered in the Senate, the Governor-General makes an opening speech.

Governor-General: Dhawra nguna dhawra Ngunnawal. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal people, and pay my respects to their elders past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Footage of senators and members giving speeches, and working in 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.

The Parliamentary Education Office logo. www.peo.gov.au. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2019. Music.