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Members of the Australian Senate, 1985–1987

Senate composition at 1 July 1985
Government (34)
  Labor (34) – (5 seat minority)

Opposition (33)
  Liberal (27)
  National Party (5)
  Country Liberal (1)

Crossbench (9)
  Democrats (7)
  Nuclear Disarmament Party (1) [i]
  Independent (Harradine) (1)
Changes in composition

  1. ^ Jo Vallentine was elected as a Nuclear Disarmament Party member, but resigned in 1985 and served out the remainder of her term as an independent.

This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from 1985 to 1987.[1] The number of senators was increased from ten to twelve senators for each of the six states of Australia. The representation of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory remained at two senators each. This would give a total of 76 senators in the Senate.

30 state senators were elected at the 1983 double dissolution election and were allocated 6-year terms starting on 1 July 1982 and due to finish on 30 June 1988. The other 30 state senators elected were allocated 3-year terms starting on 1 July 1982 and due to finish on 30 June 1985, and were up for reelection in the 1984 election.

With 30 senators having terms due to finish in 1988, the other 42 state and 4 territory senators were elected at the 1984 election, rather than the normal case of only half of the state senators being elected. Therefore, each state would elect 7 senators instead of previous 5 in this election. With the increase of 12 state senators, some changes were made to the terms of senators elected in this election as per Representation Act 1983:[2]

  • The first two non-sitting state senators to be elected (total 12) were chosen for a term starting immediately (1 December 1984) instead of the usual 1 July 1985. This would immediately increase the number of senators to 76 following the election. Terms were due to end on 30 June 1991 unless the senator(s) was elected last (7th) in the state (see next point).
  • The last (7th) state senators to be elected (total 6) were chosen for a term ending 30 June 1988. This would ensure that exactly half of the state senators (36 in total) would have their terms ending on 30 June 1988.

The changes affected 17 elected state senators, with David Vigor satisfying both criteria. All other state senators were elected as normal and had 6-year terms due to finish on 30 June 1991. The four territory senators elected had terms due to finish at the next dissolution of the House of Representatives as normal. However, the Senate was dissolved on 5 June 1987 for another double dissolution election on 11 July 1987.

Senator Party State Term ending Years in office
Richard Alston [a]   Liberal Victoria 1991 1986–2004
Brian Archer   Liberal Tasmania 1991 1975–1994
Terry Aulich   Labor Tasmania 1991 [b] 1984–1993
Michael Baume   Liberal New South Wales 1991 1985–1996
Peter Baume   Liberal New South Wales 1988 1974–1991
Florence Bjelke-Petersen   National Queensland 1988 1980–1993
John Black   Labor Queensland 1991 [b] 1984–1990
Nick Bolkus   Labor South Australia 1991 1981–2005
Ron Boswell   National Queensland 1991 1983–2014
David Brownhill   National New South Wales 1991 [b] 1984–2000
John Button   Labor Victoria 1988 1974–1993
Sir John Carrick   Liberal New South Wales 1988 1970–1987
Fred Chaney   Liberal Western Australia 1988 1974–1990
Bruce Childs   Labor New South Wales 1991 1980–1997
Don Chipp [c]   Democrats Victoria 1988 1977–1986
John Coates   Labor Tasmania 1991 1980–1996
Ruth Coleman   Labor Western Australia 1988 1974–1987
Stan Collard   National Queensland 1988 1975–1987
Mal Colston   Labor Queensland 1988 1975–1999
Barney Cooney   Labor Victoria 1991 [b] 1984–2002
Peter Cook   Labor Western Australia 1991 1983–2005
Noel Crichton-Browne   Liberal Western Australia 1991 1980–1996
Rosemary Crowley   Labor South Australia 1991 1983–2002
Ray Devlin   Labor Tasmania 1991 [b] 1984–1990
Peter Durack   Liberal Western Australia 1988 1970–1993
Ron Elstob   Labor South Australia 1988 1977–1987
Gareth Evans   Labor Victoria 1988 1977–1996
Dominic Foreman   Labor South Australia 1988 1980–1997
George Georges   Labor Queensland 1988 1967–1987
Arthur Gietzelt   Labor New South Wales 1988 1970–1989
Patricia Giles   Labor Western Australia 1991 1980–1993
Don Grimes [d]   Labor Tasmania 1988 1974–1987
Dame Margaret Guilfoyle   Liberal Victoria 1988 1970–1987
Janine Haines   Democrats South Australia 1988 1977–1978, 1980–1990
David Hamer   Liberal Victoria 1991 1977–1990
Brian Harradine   Independent Tasmania 1988 1975–2005
Robert Hill   Liberal South Australia 1988 1981–2006
Don Jessop   Liberal South Australia 1991 1970–1991
Gerry Jones   Labor Queensland 1991 1980–1996
Bernie Kilgariff   Country Liberal Northern Territory 1987 [e] 1975–1987
Sue Knowles   Liberal Western Australia 1991 [b] 1984–2005
Austin Lewis   Liberal Victoria 1988 1976–1993
David MacGibbon   Liberal Queensland 1991 1977–1999
Michael Macklin   Democrats Queensland 1988 [f] 1980–1990
Graham Maguire   Labor South Australia 1991 1983–1993
Colin Mason   Democrats New South Wales 1988 [f] 1977–1987
Doug McClelland [g][h]   Labor New South Wales 1988 1961–1987
Gordon McIntosh   Labor Western Australia 1988 1974–1987
Jim McKiernan   Labor Western Australia 1991 [b] 1984–2002
Tony Messner   Liberal South Australia 1988 1975–1990
Alan Missen [a]   Liberal Victoria 1991 1974–1986
John Morris   Labor New South Wales 1991 1985–1990
Jocelyn Newman [i]   Liberal Tasmania 1988 1986–2002
Warwick Parer   Liberal Queensland 1988 1984–2000
Janet Powell [c]   Democrats Victoria 1988 1986–1993
Chris Puplick   Liberal New South Wales 1991 [b] 1978–1980, 1984–1990
Peter Rae [i]   Liberal Tasmania 1988 1967–1986
Robert Ray   Labor Victoria 1991 1981–2008
Margaret Reid   Liberal Australian Capital Territory 1987 [e] 1981–2003
Margaret Reynolds   Labor Queensland 1991 1983–1999
Graham Richardson   Labor New South Wales 1988 1983–1994
Ted Robertson   Labor Northern Territory 1987 [e] 1975–1987
Susan Ryan   Labor Australian Capital Territory 1987 [e] 1975–1988
Norm Sanders   Democrats Tasmania 1988 [f] 1985–1990
Glen Sheil   National Queensland 1991 [b] 1974–1981, 1984–1990
Jim Short   Liberal Victoria 1991 [b] 1984–1997
Kerry Sibraa   Labor New South Wales 1991 1975–1978, 1978–1994
John Siddons   Democrats/Unite Australia Victoria 1988 [f] 1980–1983, 1985–1987
Michael Tate   Labor Tasmania 1988 1977–1993
Baden Teague   Liberal South Australia 1991 1977–1996
Michael Townley   Liberal Tasmania 1991 1970–1987
Jo Vallentine   NDP/Independent [j] Western Australia 1988 [f] 1985–1992
Amanda Vanstone   Liberal South Australia 1991 [b] 1984–2007
David Vigor   Democrats/Unite Australia South Australia 1988 [k] 1984–1987
Peter Walsh   Labor Western Australia 1988 1974–1993
Shirley Walters   Liberal Tasmania 1988 1975–1993
John Watson   Liberal Tasmania 1991 1978–2008
Sue West [h]   Labor New South Wales 1988 1987, 1990–2002
Rt. Reg Withers   Liberal Western Australia 1991 1966, 1967–1987
Olive Zakharov   Labor Victoria 1991 1983–1995


  1. ^ a b Victorian Liberal Senator Alan Missen died on 30 March 1986. Richard Alston was appointed as his replacement on 7 May.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k New senator elected for a term from 1 December 1984 unil 30 June 1991.
  3. ^ a b Victorian Democrat Senator Don Chipp resigned on 18 August 1986. Janet Powell was appointed as his replacement on 28 August.
  4. ^ Tasmanian Labor Senator Don Grimes resigned on 2 April 1987 however he was not replaced by the Tasmanian Parliament as a result of a tied vote.[3]
  5. ^ a b c d The term of a territory senator ends at the dissolution of the House of Representatives, which was July 1987.
  6. ^ a b c d e The 7th senator elected, for a term from 1 July 1985 until 30 June 1988.
  7. ^ Father of the Senate
  8. ^ a b New South Wales Labor Senator Doug McClelland resigned on 23 January 1987. Sue West was appointed as his replacement on 11 February.
  9. ^ a b Tasmanian Liberal Senator Peter Rae resigned on 16 January 1986. Jocelyn Newman was appointed as his replacement on 13 March.
  10. ^ Jo Vallentine was elected as a Nuclear Disarmament Party member, but resigned in 1985 as the party collapsed amidst allegations of Socialist Workers Party entryism. She served out the remainder of her term as an independent, though she registered the Vallentine Peace Group as an electoral vehicle for her supporters.
  11. ^ The 2nd non-sitting senator elected so term started on 1 December 1984 but 7th senator elected so term ended on 30 June 1988.


  1. ^ "The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate 1985". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  2. ^ Representation Act 1983 (Cth)
  3. ^ "Choice of a Senator" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Tasmania: Joint Sitting. 8 May 1987. p. 1224. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
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Members of the Australian Senate, 1985–1987
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