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Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part IIThe Senate

7The Senate.

The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly-chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate. But until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides, the Parliament of the State of Queensland, if that State be an Original State, may make laws dividing the State into divisions and determining the number of senators to be chosen for each division, and in the absence of such provision the State shall be one electorate. Until the Parliament otherwise provides there shall be six senators for each Original State. The Parliament may make laws increasing or diminishing the number of senators for each State, but so that equal representation of the several Original States shall be maintained and that no Original State shall have less than six senators. The senators shall be chosen for a term of six years, and the names of the senators chosen for each Slate shall be certified by the Governor to the Governor-General. 8.

8Qualification of electors.

The qualification of electors of senators shall be in each State that which is prescribed by this Constitution, or by the Parliament, as the qualification for electors of members of the House of Representatives ; but in the choosing of senators each elector shall vote only once.

9Method of election of senators.

The Parliament of the Commonwealth may make laws prescribing the method of choosing senators, but so that the method shall be uniform for all the States. Subject to any such law, the Parliament of each State may make laws prescribing the method of choosing the senators for that State. The Parliament of a State may make laws for determining the times and places of elections of senators for the State.

10Application of State laws,

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, but subject to this Constitution, the laws in force in each State, for the time being, relating to elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State shall, as nearly as practicable, apply to elections of senators for the State.

11Failure to choose senators.

The Senate may proceed to the despatch of business, notwithstanding the failure of any State to provide for its representation in the Senate.

12Issue of writs.

The Governor of any State may cause writs to be issued for elections of senators for the State. In ease of the dissolution of the Senate the writs shall be issued within ten days from the proclamation of such dissolution.

13Rotation of senators.

As soon as may be after the Senate first meets, and after each first meeting of the Senate following a dissolution thereof, the Senate shall divide the senators chosen for each State into two classes, as nearly equal in number as practicable; and the places of the senators of the first class shall become vacant at the expiration of the third year, and the places of those of the second class at the expiration of the sixth year, from the beginning of their term of service; and afterwards the places of senators shall become vacant at the expiration of six years from the beginning of their term of service. The election to fill vacant places shall be made in the year at the expiration of which the places are to become vacant. For the purposes of this section the term of service of a senator shall be taken to begin on the first day of January following the day of his election, except in the cases of the first election and of the election next after any dissolution of the Senate, when it shall be taken to begin ou the first day of January preceding the day of his election.

14Further provision for rotation.

Whenever the number of senators for a State is increased or diminished, the Parliament of the Commonwealth may make such provision for the vacating of the places of senators for the State as it deems necessary to maintain regularity in the rotation.

15Casual vacancies.

If the place of a senator becomes vacant before the expiration of his term of service, the Houses of Parliament of the State for which he was chosen shall, sitting and voting together, choose a person to hold the place until the expiration of the term, or until the election of a successor as herein-after provided, whichever first happens. But if the Houses of Parliament of the State are not in session at the time when the vacancy is notified, the Governor of the State, with the advice of the Executive Council thereof, may appoint a person to hold the place until the expiration of fourteen days after the beginning of the next session of the Parliament of the State, or until the election of a successor, whichever first happens. At the next general election of members of the House of Representatives, or at the next election of senators for the State, whichever first happens, a successor shall, if the term has not then expired, be chosen to hold the place from the date of his election until the expiration of the term. The name of any senator so chosen or appointed shall be certified by the Governor of the State to the Governor-General.

16Qualifications of senator.

The qualifications of a senator shall be the same as those of a member of the House of Representatives.

17Election of President.

The Senate shall, before proceeding to the despatch of any other business, choose a senator to be the President of the Senate ; and as often as the office of President becomes vacant the Senate shall again choose a senator to be the President. The President shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a senator. He may ba removed from office by a vote of the Senate, or he may resign his office or his seat by writing addressed to the Governor-General.

18Absence of President.

Before or during any absence of the President, the Senate may choose a senator to perform his duties in his absence.

19Resignation of senator.

A senator may, by writing addressed to the President, or to the Governor-General if there is no President or if the President is absent from the Commonwealth, resign his place, which thereupon shall become vacant.

20Vacancy by absence.

The place of a senator shall become vacant if for two consecutive months of any session of the Parliament he, without the permission of the Senate, fails to attend the Senate.

21Vacancy to be notified.

Whenever a vacancy happens in the Senate, the President, or if there is no President or if the President is absent from the Commonwealth the Governor-General, shall notify the same to the Governor of the State in the representation of which the vacancy has happened.

22Quorum.

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the presence of at least one-third of the whole number of the senators shall be necessary to constitute a meeting of the Senate for the exercise of its powers.

23Voting Senate.

Questions arising in the Senate shall be determined by a majority of votes, and each senator shall have one vote. The President shall in all cases be entitled to a vote ; and when the votes are equal the question shall pass in the negative.

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