New Parline: the IPU’s Open Data Platform (beta)
Your one-stop-shop for information about national parliaments

Australia

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Senate

This is a bicameral parliament. Switch to theHouse of Representatives

Openness and transparency

Information about access to parliamentary documents, parliament’s reporting to the public, parliament’s relation to Freedom of Information laws, and lobbying.

Parliamentary documents

The agendas of plenary meetings are published online in advance The agendas of plenary meetings are published online in advance.
The agendas of committee meetings are published online in advance The agendas of committee meetings are published online in advance.
Results of votes on draft legislation are published on the parliamentary web site Results of votes on draft legislation are published on the parliamentary web site.
Draft legislation is published on the parliamentary website Draft legislation is published on the parliamentary website.
Citizens can submit comments on draft legislation on the parliamentary web site

Annual reporting by parliament

Parliament publishes an annual report on its activities
The annual report is available on the parliamentary web site
Yes
Parliament publishes the parliamentary budget
Level of detail of the parliamentary budget made available to the public Level of detail of the parliamentary budget made available to the public: Only the total amount; A summary of the main elements; The complete budget
The complete budget
The parliamentary budget is available on the parliamentary web site
Yes

Access to parliament

Plenary meetings are open to the public
Notes
None.
Notes
Committees basically hold two types of meetings: private deliberative meetings which are not open to the public, and public hearings which are open to the public. In addition to the above comments, public hearings are sometimes heard in camera (privately) after the committee has weighed up the benefits of a public hearing against the risk of damage or detriment resulting from public evidence. A public hearing might, for example, cause prejudice to court proceedings. There are a range of other reasons for receiving evidence in private.
There is a dedicated channel for broadcasting parliamentary meetings A dedicated channel is one that is mainly about parliament, and is accessible free of charge to the general public. The channel might be owned by Parliament or a public or private company. Dedicated channels may be broadcast by parliament, government, or another broadcaster. They may be carried on television, radio or the Internet (webcasting).
Media used for the dedicated channel
TV
Radio
Webcast
Meetings broadcast on the dedicated channel
Plenary sittings
Committee meetings

Freedom of information

There is a freedom of information law in the country
Yes
Parliament is subject to the freedom of information law
Parliament has an office/division dedicated to FOI requests
Yes
Categories of Information that are exempt from disclosure Certain categories of information may be exempt from disclosure
Section 46(c) of the FOI Act provides that a document is exempt if its public disclosure would…infringe the privileges of the Parliament of the Commonwealth. This section of the Act is concerned with circumstances where information provided to a House or committee of Parliament has been disclosed without authority, or where disclosure otherwise improperly interferes with a member of Parliament’s free performance of his or her duties as a member. Publication contrary to rules and orders of the Parliament that restrict publication (such as House of Representatives Standing Order 242, or Senate Standing Order 37, or s.13 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987) may amount to an infringement of parliamentary privilege. For further reading, see ch.19, House of Representatives Practice.

Lobbying

There are rules about the activities of lobbyists in parliament
Source
Australian Government Lobbying Code of Conduct
 https://lobbyists.pmc.gov.au/conduct_code.cfm
There is a register of accredited lobbyists
The register of accredited lobbyists is available on the parliamentary web site
No