The Parliamentary Sitting year for 2011 concluded 24 November 2011. The Parliamentary Sitting year for 2012 will resume on 7 February 2012.
On 21 January 2012, the Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, announced that he would no longer guarantee supply and confidence in the Government. Mr Wilkie’s announcement came in response to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement on Tackling Problem Gambling. Mr Wilkie’s statement is available here.
The Prime Minister’s announcement on Tackling Problem Gambling is available here.
Following the resignation of the Hon. Harry Jenkins MP from his position as Speaker on 24 November 2011, the Hon. Peter Slipper MP was elected as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives. Upon his appointment, Mr Slipper announced his intention to resign from the Liberal National Party and to sit as an Independent in the Parliament. In accordance with Section 40 of the Constitution, the Speaker can only exercise a casting vote when the numbers are equal.
2011 Voting Record:
The Government has maintained its successful record of gaining support from the Independents on significant pieces of legislation requiring a division over the course of this Parliament so far, gaining a majority in 96% of divisions on substantive matters. To date, the Government has lost only one division on an amendment to a Bill, which was in February 2011:
· Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (Public Health and Safety) Amendment Bill 2010 second reading. Adam Bandt, Robert Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie voted with the Government, while Tony Crook, Bob Katter and Tony Windsor voted against.
The amended Bill subsequently passed the Parliament.
In the 43rd Parliament so far, the Government has successfully passed 254 pieces of legislation through the Lower House. All the Appropriation Bills from the 2011-12 Budget have passed the Parliament, with the only exception being the proposed means testing of the private health insurance rebate, which remains outstanding.
Recent legislation passed by the House includes:
1. The Mining Resource Rent Tax Legislation Package and Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Legislation Package
2. The Clean Energy Legislation Package and the Steel Transformation Plan Bill 2011
3. National Health Reform Amendment (National Health Performance Authority) 2011
4. Tobacco Plain Packaging 2011 and Trade Marks Amendments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) 2011
Graphs showing the outcome of votes where a division was required from 29 September 2010 to 24 November 2011, along with voting records for each Independent, are available here.
A table showing all the divisions from 29 September to 24 November, with a brief description of the legislation or motion, number of pairs and how each independent voted is available here. Biographies of each of the House of Representatives crossbenchers are available here.
Note pairs are agreed to by party whips on each day of voting.
The Parliamentary Library has recently produced a background note entitled “The hung Commonwealth Parliament: the first year”, focussing on how the House has functioned procedurally and including a range on statistics relating to its work. The background note is available here.
Hawker Britton’s previous analysis from 3 November 2011 is available here.
Earlier analysis from October 2011 is available here, with preceding analysis from August 2011 here, July 2011 here, March 2011 here, and November 2010 here.
For the most recent Senate Statistical Summary, as prepared by the Senate, which details the sitting week 21-25 November compared with 2011 as a whole, click here.
For more information on each division go to House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, available here.