Whips have managed business and maintained party discipline for Australia's federal political parties in the Senate since Federation. Though the Remuneration Tribunal and parliamentary website refer to the senior Labor and Liberal whips as "chief" whips and their junior whips as "deputy whips", the parties tend to refer to the senior whips as "whips" when announcing their officeholders to the Senate. A number of Senate whips have gone on to serve as ministers, and several as Leader of the Government or Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.
James Stewart, Labor's first Senate whip (1901–03)
Anne McEwen, the current Labor whip
In addition to those below, Kay Denman served as a deputy whip from 18 September to 31 December 1995, a period when one of Labor's two whips was on leave of absence while conducting parliamentary business overseas.
^On 1 July 1935, the composition of the Senate changed such that there were three Labor senators. MacDonald was the whip, the others being leader and deputy leader of the party in the Senate. MacDonald died on 17 August 1935, and his replacement, Ben Courtice, was appointed in September. Courtice had to defend the seat at the federal election in October 1937, and he succeeded. In addition, two other Labor candidates won elections for casual Senate vacancies at that election, raising Labor's Senate caucus to five members. It is unclear if any of the five was elected whip for the 22 sitting days between November 1937 and the end of June 1938.
Annabelle Rankin was the Liberal's longest-serving whip and the Senate's first female whip
Senate leaders are elected by Senate Liberals while in opposition from 1972 to 1975. Fraser unilaterally reversed the policy, though the change remained a source of controversy for several years thereafter. When the party returned to opposition in 1983, Andrew Peakcock promised to follow the wishes of Liberal senators if elected leader, and the practice was restored. Currently, they are elected in government and in opposition.
^Allan MacDonald was elected the United Australia Party's Senate whip in October 1941. In parts of 1943, Oliver Uppill was acting whip due to MacDonald's illness. From July 1944, James McLachlan took over the duties associated with a whip, acting as a teller in divisions and requesting leave of absence for his party's senators. Except for periods when McLachlan was himself on leave and Burford Sampson performed those duties, McLachlan continued to act in the role of whip, suggesting he was elected to replace MacDonald in July 1944 (when senators elected at the 1943 election took their seats) and continued until June 1947, when he and all but one other Liberal were forced to vacate their seats following the party's electoral annihilation at the 1946.
^Dated from the announcement in the Senate of George McLeay that "[M]embers of the party which I have the honour to lead in this chamber, wish from henceforth to be regarded as members of the Liberal party of Australia."
^Wright was the whip during the 19 Parliament. In the early 1950s, Liberal Senate whips were elected, and party elections for the 19th Parliament were held on 21 February 1950.
In May 1996, following the 1996 election, the two members of the Western Australian Greens in the Senate announced they were to be whip and deputy whip of their party. The deputy whip, Christabel Chamarette, had lost her seat at the election, and left the Senate just over a month after the announcement. The party lost its other seat (and its whip) at the 1998 election, with her leaving office in June 1999. The party only merged with the Australian Greens in 2003, after it lost its senators.
Rachel Siewert has been the Greens' whip since 2005.
The Australian Greens appointed their first whip in the Senate when the party increased from two to four members in 2005. She became entitled to a salary when the party increased to five members in 2008.
The Australian Democrats first elected a whip in 1981, reflecting an increase from two to five of the party's Senate membership. The party lost all its seats at the 2007 election, and its senators duly left their seats the following June.
The Democratic Labour Party (until 2013 the Democratic Labor Party) elected its first whip in 1968, when its membership increased from two to four. The party continued to do so until 1974, when the party lost all its seats at the 1974 double dissolutionn election. The party re-entered the Senate following the 2010 election, but does not have a whip as it only has one senator.
^Keating was initially appointed to act for the ministry, not the party, solely during the pendency of the tariff bill. However, he seems to have acted as a more traditional whip by the press during that session. Keating continued as whip into the following session, though it is not clear whether the arrangement persisted when the Protectionists went into opposition in 1904. At the latest, Keating ceased to be whip upon becoming a minister in July 1905. No Government whip was appointed.
^Chataway's term as a senator ended on 30 June 1913. In June 1913, immediately before the formation of the Cook Ministry, there was speculation Senator Keating would become whip, but this does not appear to have eventuated. The Liberals may have chosen not to appoint a whip because they had only seven (of 36) senators, three of whom were in the ministry. This proposition receives some support from a mocking question asked by Senator Ready, the Labor whip: "I should like the Honorary Minister to inform the Senate who is the Whip of the large party sitting opposite?" The only answer came from a fellow Labor senator, James Long, who said, "They are all crackers. I do not know who is Whip." Various Liberals acted as teller during the Cook Government, and while Thomas Bakhap and Charles Oakes did so the most, there is no evidence from Hansard that either was the whip. Following the 1914 double dissolution, the Liberals' numbers in the Senate fell to five.
^Senator de Largie was the National Labor whip, continued as Senate whip after the formation of the National Labor and Liberal coalition in February 1917, and remained whip after the parties merged on 13 June 1917.
^McLeay was in post by 4 December 1937, and caucus elections were held and portfolios assigned on 29 November.
^From July 1944, James McLachlan took over the duties associated with a whip, acting as a teller in divisions and requesting leave of absence for his party's senators. Except for periods when McLachlan was himself on leave and Burford Sampson performed those duties, McLachlan continued to act in the role of whip, suggesting he was elected to replace MacDonald in July 1944 (when senators elected at the 1943 election took their seats) and continued until June 1947, when he and all sitting Liberal were forced to vacate their seats following the party's electoral annihilation at the 1946.