Fourteen new Senators were sworn in today–– they’re here in all their glory. It was going to be 15 until Robert Ray pulled the pin, allowing Jacinta Collins to get in early. For those of us into our forties, read it and weep as the youth brigade take over.

Mark Arbib (ALP NSW) 37. Kevin Rudd’s “great friend” and NSW ALP rainmaker and campaign genius. Fresh off a short but presumably rewarding stint with Bell Potter Securities. Would have to be a contender for a Parliamentary Secretaryship if there’s a mid-term reshuffle. Committees: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Corporations and Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

Catryna Bilyk (ALP Tasmania) 49, ex-ASU and former ALP national vice-president. Recently recovered from cancer surgery. Big interest in child care, where she once worked. Committees: Senators’ Interests, Community Affairs, Migration, Parliamentary Library.

Doug Cameron (ALP NSW) 57, ex-AMWU head. Brought forward by a wormhole in time from 1973, Cameron is an old-fashioned ban-imports-one-out-all-management-can-get-stoofed unionist who will take George Campbell’s spot as Senator representing regional British accents. Economics, Finance and Public Administration, Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and, um, Parliamentary Library.

David Feeney (ALP Vic) 38, ALP Right heavy, former Bracks adviser and campaign director. Subject of the famous death notice in the ever-alert Age in 2002. Prematurely, as it turned out. Committees: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Public Accounts and Audit and Publications.

Mark Furner (ALP, Qld) 50, ex-NUW head. On Facebook, where he counts Billy Bragg amongst his friends. Committee: Economics.

Don Farrell (ALP, SA) 54, SDA head and Catholic SA powerbroker who kneecapped first-term SA senator Linda Kirk and replaced her for her vote in support of stem cell research (and over the employment of his wife). He extends the grip of the reactionary SDA union on the Parliamentary ALP — South Australian MPs MPs Kate Ellis and Nick Champion are both ex-SDA, as are Jacinta Collins, Anthony Byrne and Anna Burke in Victoria.

Louise Pratt (ALP, WA) 36, former WA Legislative Councillor (first elected at 28), active on women’s, gay and lesbian issues. Committees: Senators’ Interests, Economics, Environment, Communications and the Arts, Treaties.

Michaelia Cash (Lib, WA), 38 former lawyer, daughter of WA Lib George Cash and staffer of outgoing (indeed, outgone) senator Ross Lightfoot. Committees: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Treaties.

Helen Kroger (Lib, Vic). Not to be confused with the spy. Needs no introduction — Victorian Liberal stalwart, Costello supporter (he opened her office last week) and, yes, ex of you-know-who. Committee: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

Scott Ryan (Lib, Vic) 35, Ex of Melbourne Uni student politics, IPA and Big Pharma. Committees: Finance and Public Administration

John Williams (Nats, NSW) 53, from up New England way. Revels in the nickname “Wacka” (presumably to distinguish him from all the other prominent John Williamses) and knocked off Sandy MacDonald due to perceptions he’d take a more… how to put it? Joycean view of the Nationals’ role. Committees: Environment, Communications and the Arts.

Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens, SA) Aptly-named at 26. Former student pollie and still doing a degree. Has Greens responsibility for childcare, consumer affairs, education, human rights, immigration, sport, gender issues, tourism, vets’ affairs and of course water in SA. Committee: Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Scott Ludlam (Greens, WA) 38. Born in NZ and a Cure fan. Might, one suspects, be the next star of Left politics in Australia. And yes he has a MySpace page. Will handle legal affairs, communications, housing, heritage, local government, mining, public transport and all things radioactive for the Greens. Committee: Environment, Communications and the Arts.

Nick Xenophon (Ind, SA) 49. You know the story. Would not merely turn up at the opening of an envelope, but posts them to himself as well. Has a thing about gambling, apparently. No committees yet listed but you’d reckon he might half a passing interest in Environment, Communications and the Arts.

Peter Fray

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