WA's Brockman sworn in as Senate president

The Liberals' Slade Brockman won the vote for Senate president 45 to seven.
The Liberals' Slade Brockman won the vote for Senate president 45 to seven.

West Australian Liberal Slade Brockman has been sworn in as the new Senate president.

Senator Brockman will take over the role following the retirement of Victorian senator Scott Ryan.

The West Australian has been in the upper house since 2017, and was previously an adviser and chief of staff to former finance minister Mathias Cormann.

Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi was also nominated as a candidate for the role as Senate president, urging a "shake up" of the role and calling for the election of the first woman of colour to the position.

Senator Brockman won the vote 45 votes to seven.

Former senator Gavin Marshall received a single vote, in quiet protest over a past Labor factional incident.

Speaking before his swearing in, Senator Brockman said he was humbled by the nomination.

"As the previous president said at his nomination, this is not a circumstance that I thought would ever present itself," he said.

"I will always strive to maintain the place of the Senate in democracy with fairness and impartiality."

Senator Brockman also acknowledged the work of his predecessor.

"Scott Ryan was younger than me, and I expected him to be around for a long time," he said.

"He displayed, particularly in the difficult two years we have been through, a calmness and intellect and level of pragmatism to help us navigate this pandemic."

The start of the parliamentary session also saw the swearing in of two new senators: Dorinda Cox, who will represent Western Australia for the Greens, and South Australian Labor member Karen Grogan.

Senator Cox will be the first Indigenous woman to represent WA in the Senate, and will replace the outgoing Rachel Siewert.

Senator Grogan will move into the upper house following the death of Alex Gallacher.

The new senators were sworn in by Governor-General David Hurley, before the election of the new Senate president.

Australian Associated Press