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Democracy agenda for the 47th Parliament of Australia: Options for reform

Photo of Parliament House in Canberra, Australia
Bill Browne, The Australia Institute, April 2022

With the potential for the 2022 federal election to grow the crossbench or result in another hung parliament, what further reforms could be on the horizon?

This discussion paper from The Australia Institute identifies over 40 possible democratic reforms for the 47th Parliament to consider after it is elected. The reforms are across seven areas:

  • Parliamentary business: How the two chambers (the House of Representatives and the Senate) conduct themselves and set the agenda for sitting weeks.
  • Working conditions in Parliament: The conditions under which parliamentary staffers work and the day-to-day operation of Parliament.
  • Use of parliamentary powers: Existing powers that the Parliament could exercise to ensure the better operation of Australia’s Government.
  • Restraints on government: Reforms that would limit the Government’s power or reveal more information about decisions it has made and the reasons behind those decisions.
  • Accountability: How existing accountability institutions could be resourced and protected from undue influence, to better scrutinise the government; and new institutions that could provide further scrutiny.
  • Elections: Reforms to electoral law that would make elections operate more fairly and smoothly.
  • Constitutional reform: Two amendments to the Australian Constitution that would make double dissolution elections fairer and address the inappropriate and vague limitations in section 44 on who can serve as a parliamentarian.

Read the discussion paper
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