Members of the Australian Senate, 1974–1975
This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from 1974 to 1975. The 18 May 1974 election was a double dissolution of both Houses, with all 127 seats in the House of Representatives, and all 60 seats in the Senate up for election. The incumbent Labor Party led by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam defeated the opposition Liberal Party led by Billy Snedden and their Coalition partner the Country Party led by Doug Anthony.[a]
In accordance with section 13 of the Constitution, following a double dissolution of Parliament, the terms for Senators commence on 1 July preceding the election – i.e., on 1 July 1973. The first five Senators elected in each State were allocated the full six-year terms ending on 30 June 1979 while the other half were allocated three-year terms ending on 30 June 1976. However, in fact, the Senate was dissolved on 11 November 1975 for another double dissolution election on 13 December 1975.
The process for filling casual vacancies was complex. While senators were elected for a six year term, people appointed to a casual vacancy only held office until the earlier of the next election for the House of Representatives or the Senate. It was an established convention that the state parliament choose (or the governor appoint) a replacement from the same political party as their predecessor, however this convention was not always followed. There were two appointments to casual vacancies in this term however neither followed the convention with Labor Senator Lionel Murphy being replaced by Independent Cleaver Bunton and Labor Senator Bertie Milliner being replaced by Albert Field who was expelled as a member of the Labor party for accepting the appointment instead of Labor nomination Mal Colston.
At the May 1974 election, Labor won 29 seats, the Coalition won 29 seats and the balance of power was shared by Liberal Movement Senator Steele Hall and Independent Michael Townley. The President of the Senate votes and if the votes are equal, the motion is defeated. Thus the Labor government needed the support of both cross-bench senators to pass any legislation. The Coalition was increased to 30 seats when Townley joined the Liberal party in February 1975 and thus could effectively block any government legislation or motions, but could not pass any motion on their own. Labor was reduced to 27 seats by the replacement of 2 Labor senators with independents. Field was sworn in on 9 September 1975, however he was given leave from 1 October, not to attend the Senate pending a High Court challenge to his eligibility. As a result the Coalition had a majority in the Senate and as well as blocking supply, could also pass a motion to defer Supply until an election was called. Thus the casual appointments process contributed to the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.
|Senator||Party||State||End term||Years in Office|
|Hon. Sir Ken Anderson||Liberal||New South Wales||1976||1953–1975|
|Dr Peter Baume||Liberal||New South Wales||1976||1953–1975|
|Bessell, EricEric Bessell||Liberal||Tasmania||1976||1974–1975|
|Hon. Reg Bishop||Labor||South Australia||1979||1961–1981|
|Bonner, NevilleNeville Bonner||Liberal||Queensland||1979||1971–1983|
|Brown, BillBill Brown||Labor||Victoria||1979||1969–1970, 1971–1978|
|Bunton, CleaverCleaver Bunton [b]||Independent||New South Wales||1975 [c]||1974–1975|
|Button, JohnJohn Button||Labor||Victoria||1979||1974–1993|
|Cameron, DonDon Cameron||Labor||South Australia||1976||1969–1978|
|Hon. John Carrick||Liberal||New South Wales||1979||1970–1987|
|Hon. Jim Cavanagh||Labor||South Australia||1979||1961–1981|
|Chaney, FredFred Chaney||Liberal||Western Australia||1976||1974–1990|
|Coleman, RuthRuth Coleman||Labor||Western Australia||1976||1974–1987|
|Hon. Sir Magnus Cormack||Liberal||Victoria||1979||1951–1953, 1962–1978|
|Hon. Bob Cotton||Liberal||New South Wales||1979||1965–1978|
|Davidson, GordonGordon Davidson||Liberal||South Australia||1976||1961, 1962, 1965–1981|
|Devitt, DonDon Devitt||Labor||Tasmania||1979||1965–1978|
|Hon. Tom Drake-Brockman||Country [d]||Western Australia||1979||1958, 1959–1978|
|Drury, ArnoldArnold Drury||Labor||South Australia||1976||1959–1975|
|Durack, PeterPeter Durack||Liberal||Western Australia||1976||1970–1993|
|Everett, MervMerv Everett||Labor||Tasmania||1976||1974–1975|
|Field, AlbertAlbert Field [e]||Independent||Queensland||1975 [c]||1974–1975|
|Georges, GeorgeGeorge Georges||Labor||Queensland||1979||1967–1987|
|Gietzelt, ArthurArthur Gietzelt||Labor||New South Wales||1976||1970–1989|
|Hon. Ivor Greenwood||Liberal||Victoria||1979||1968–1976|
|Dr Don Grimes||Labor||Tasmania||1976||1974–1987|
|Guilfoyle, MargaretMargaret Guilfoyle||Liberal||Victoria||1976||1970–1987|
|Hall, SteeleSteele Hall||Liberal Movement||South Australia||1979||1974–1977|
|Jessop, DonDon Jessop||Liberal||South Australia||1976||1970–1991|
|Keeffe, JimJim Keeffe||Labor||Queensland||1976||1964–1983|
|Sir Condor Laucke||Liberal||South Australia||1979||1967–1981|
|Lawrie, EllisEllis Lawrie||Liberal||Queensland||1976||1965–1975|
|Hon. Doug McClelland||Labor||New South Wales||1979||1961–1987|
|Hon. Jim McClelland||Labor||New South Wales||1976||1970–1978|
|Gordon McIntosh||Labor||Western Australia||1976||1974–1987|
|Geoff McLaren||Labor||South Australia||1976||1970–1983|
|Marriott, JohnJohn Marriott||Liberal||Tasmania||1976||1953–1975|
|Maunsell, RonRon Maunsell||Country||Queensland||1979||1967–1981|
|Melzer, JeanJean Melzer||Labor||Victoria||1976||1974–1981|
|Milliner, BertieBertie Milliner [e]||Labor||Queensland||1979||1968–1975|
|Missen, AlanAlan Missen||Liberal||Victoria||1976||1974–1986|
|Mulvihill, TonyTony Mulvihill||Labor||New South Wales||1979||1964–1983|
|Hon. Lionel Murphy [b]||Labor||New South Wales||1979||1962–1975|
|Hon. Justin O'Byrne [f]||Labor||Tasmania||1979||1947–1981|
|Poyser, GeorgeGeorge Poyser||Labor||Victoria||1976||1966–1975|
|Primmer, CyrilCyril Primmer||Labor||Victoria||1979||1971–1985|
|Rae, PeterPeter Rae||Liberal||Tasmania||1979||1967–1986|
|Douglas Scott||Country||New South Wales||1976||1970, 1974–1985|
|Dr Glen Sheil||Country||Queensland||1976||1974–1981|
|Sim, PeterPeter Sim||Liberal||Western Australia||1979||1964–1981|
|Townely, MichaelMichael Townely||Independent/Liberal [g]||Tasmania||1976||1970–1987|
|Walsh, PeterPeter Walsh||Labor||Western Australia||1976||1974–1993|
|Webster, JamesJames Webster||Country||Victoria||1976||1964–1981|
|Wheeldon, JohnJohn Wheeldon||Labor||Western Australia||1979||1964–1981|
|Hon Don Willesee||Labor||Western Australia||1979||1950–1975|
|Withers, RegReg Withers||Liberal||Western Australia||1979||1966, 1967–1987|
|Wood, IanIan Wood||Liberal||Queensland||1979||1950–1978|
|Hon. Ken Wriedt||Labor||Tasmania||1979||1964–1980|
|Hon. Reg Wright||Liberal||Tasmania||1979||1950–1978|
|Young, HaroldHarold Young||Liberal||South Australia||1979||1968–1981|
- In 1975 the Australian Country Party changed its name to the National Country Party.
- Labor Senator Lionel Murphy resigned on 9 February 1975 to be appointed to the High Court of Australia; Independent Cleaver Bunton was appointed to fill the ensuing vacancy on 27 February until the double dissolution election on 13 December 1975.
- Appointed to a casual vacancy and only held office until the earlier of the next election for the House of Representatives or the Senate.
- Tom Drake-Brockman stood as member of the National Alliance (Australia), a merger between the WA Country Party and WA Democratic Labor Party. Drake-Brockman was the only alliance candidate to win a seat at the May 1974 election and he subsequently sat as a member of the Country Party
- Labor Senator Bertie Milliner died on 30 June 1975; independent Albert Field was appointed to fill the ensuing vacancy on 3 September until the double dissolution election on 13 December 1975.
- Father of the Senate
- Michael Townley joined the Liberal Party in February 1975.
- "The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate 1975". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- Lionel Murphy (17 July 1974). "Rotation of Senators". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Commonwealth of Australia: Senate.
- Evans, H. "Filling Casual Vacancies before 1977" (PDF). The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, Volume 3. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
- Constitution (Cth) s 23 Voting in the Senate.
- A Senator can only be absent for 2 months with the permission of the Senate: Constitution (Cth) s 20 Vacancy by absence.
- "Field, Albert Patrick (Pat) (1910-1990)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Appropriation Bill No 1" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Commonwealth of Australia: Senate. 16 October 1975. pp. 1220–1241.
- Gerard Newman (14 May 2002). "Senate Casual Vacancies" (PDF). Research Note no.35 2001-2001. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- Constitution Alteration (Senate Casual Vacancies) Act 1977 (Cth).
- Journal of the Senate. Parliament of Australia. 1975.
- "Members of the Senate since 1901". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
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