Members of Parliament
What is a Member of Parliament?
A Member of Parliament is a person who has been elected to
the House of Representatives by the people of his or her
Some Members also hold a parliamentary office and have special
tasks and functions in addition to their regular duties
as a Member. Among
these are the Prime Minister, the Speaker, Ministers, Parliamentary
Secretaries, the Leader of the Opposition, and the whips.
All other Members, including shadow Ministers are private
There were 975 Members of the House of Representatives
from January 1901 to May 2001.
What does a Member do?
All Members have tasks and responsibilities
- the nation,
- the House of Representatives,
- the people of their electorate, and
- their political party.
In the House of Representatives Chamber,
Members debate proposed new laws and examine government policies.
also serve on committees that investigate a variety of government
In their electorates, Members are involved in
community affairs and support local organisations. They also
work to explain
the policies and activities of the Parliament to
Australia’s first Members
Australia’s first House of
Representatives had 75 Members, all of whom were male.