Twelve new senators will undergo an induction just days before they will start debating and voting on important government legislation.
They’re calling it “senator kindy”.
Twelve new senators will gather in Parliament House late next week for a training session ahead of the new Senate sitting for the first time on July 7.
It will be a very steep learning curve for them and their staff, who can’t officially start work or move into their offices until July 1.
“I’ll be there for senator kindy,” NSW Liberal Democrats David Leyonhjelm told AAP.
The first two induction days will include training in the things that are absolutely necessary to be across in order to participate in a first sitting, Clerk of the Senate Rosemary Laing says.
The basic training will cover being sworn in, electing a president, basic rules of debate and the legislative process.
They will also look at the concept of “whipping” – where the major party whips seek to marshal senators to go into the chamber and vote.
A second induction session will be held just before the August sitting.
It is unusual for the Senate to sit in July or August.
But the government has scheduled a fortnight of sittings in July and three days in August to deal with the carbon and mining tax repeals and budget bills.
Mr Leyonhjelm said the quick turnaround from July 1 to the first sitting day was “bizarre”.
“We have no phones, no computers, the office is inoperative and I can’t send in even the paperwork for my staff until Tuesday (the start of the six-year term).”
The new senators are: Joe Bullock (ALP, WA), Matthew Canavan (LNP, QLD), Bob Day (Family First, SA), Chris Ketter (ALP, QLD), Jacqui Lambie (Palmer United, TAS), Glenn Lazarus (Palmer United, QLD), David Leyonhjelm (LDP, NSW), Dio Wang (Palmer United, WA), James McGrath (LNP, QLD), Ricky Muir (AMEP, VIC), Linda Reynolds (LIB, WA) and Janet Rice (Greens, VIC).