Must a shadow minister come from the same house as the corresponding minister?

Hi Liliana! There are no rules about a shadow minister sitting in the same house as a minister. For example, in March 2022 the Minister for Home Affairs is a member of the House of Representatives but the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs is a senator.

If a minister is a member of the House of Representatives, a member of the ministry in the Senate will answer questions and introduce bills relating to the minister's portfolio – area of responsibility – in the Senate. The same arrangement is used for ministers who are senators.

By convention – tradition – the Prime Minister is always a member of the House of Representatives. By convention the Leader of the Opposition is also always a member of the House of Representatives.

Money bills cannot be introduced into the Senate (section 53 of the Australian Constitution), only into the House of Representatives. If the Treasurer was a senator, their representative in the House of Representatives would have to introduce the Budget, not the Treasurer.

A shadow minister speaking from the Despatch Box in the House of Representatives.

A shadow minister speaking in the House of Representatives.

David Foote/DPS Auspic

A shadow minister speaking in the House of Representatives.

A shadow minister speaking from the Despatch Box in the House of Representatives.

David Foote/DPS Auspic

Description

This image shows a shadow minister speaking from the Despatch Box into microphones in the House of Representatives.