Which current senators will serve three years and which will serve six years?

The red Senate chamber. There are people sitting in seats which are arranged in a U-shape around a large central table.

The Senate.

David Foote/DPS AUSPIC

The Senate.

The red Senate chamber. There are people sitting in seats which are arranged in a U-shape around a large central table.

David Foote/DPS AUSPIC

Description

This image is of a large room with red furnishings. The seats are arranged around a large central table. There are 3 large chairs at the open end of the U-shaped seats that are elevated above the other chairs. There are people sitting in the seats and papers on the desks.

Thanks for your question!

Following a double dissolution election, such as the one held in July 2016, all 76 senators are re-elected. The Senate must then agree on a method to decide which senators will serve a 6-year term and which will serve a 3-year term.

Normally, because state senators are elected on a rotating basis and for a 6-year term, half these senators are elected in a federal election with the House every 3 years. The terms of the 4 territory senators are the same as the members of the House of Representatives.

Section 13 of the Australian Constitution requires that the rotation of the Senate must be re-established following a double dissolution election. Under a motion agreed to by the Senate when it first met after the election, senators who received the largest quota of votes or, in other words, won the first 6 spots in each state, received 6-year terms. Those elected in the 7th to 12th spots served 3-year terms.