Australian 43rd Parliament opens

10:46, September 28, 2010      

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The 43rd Parliament of Australia has been officially opened in capital city of Canberra on Tuesday.

Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Robert French, formalized proceedings of the opening of Parliament during a joint sitting of senators and Members of Parliament (MPs).

Justice French, acting as deputy for Governor-General Quentin Bryce, told the MPs gathered in the Senate chamber that their first priority was to elect a Speaker.

"Later today you will present the person you have chosen to the governor-general at a time and place appointed by her," French told reporters in Canberra.

According to ABC News, a stoush over who will be deputy speaker and arrangements for pairing during divisions remain unresolved, meaning Gillard and other senior ministers may be heavily restricted from leaving Canberra on other Government business while Parliament is sitting.

Later Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her cabinet, including her predecessor Kevin Rudd, were the first members of the House of Representatives to be sworn into office by Justice French.

But unlike Rudd, who swore an oath on his Bible, the prime minister made an affirmation.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was sworn in with his deputy Julie Bishop, Nationals leader Warren Truss and members of the shadow cabinet.

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