what is a backbencher?

In the Australian Parliament there are both frontbenchers and backbenchers. Frontbenchers sit in the front row of seats in either the Senate or House of Representatives. Frontbenchers are either ministers or shadow ministers. Backbenchers are members of parliament who sit behind the frontbenchers on the back benches.

Backbenchers have an important role in the Parliament. They debate and vote on bills – proposed laws – , raise issues of concern to their electorate or state/territory and participate in parliamentary committees. Backbenchers are also members of their team and help to make decisions with their team, such as who will be the leader of the team and how to vote on bills. 

A man in a dark suit is standing at a desk in a red room. He is speaking. Other men and women also in suits sit at desks around him.

A senator speaking in the Senate.

DPS Auspic

A senator speaking in the Senate.

A man in a dark suit is standing at a desk in a red room. He is speaking. Other men and women also in suits sit at desks around him.

DPS Auspic

Description

A senator speaking in the Senate.