Now that same-sex marriage will not be put to a national vote, it is up to the Prime Minister to ensure that marriage equality is written into law.
Pauline Hanson has backed the referral of her Western Australian senator Rod Culleton to the High Court to determine his eligibility to sit in parliament, declaring it a matter of integrity.
The departure of up to two crossbench senators and the uncertainty over who might replace them is giving the government fresh obstacles in their efforts to pass legislation.
Malcolm Turnbull laughs off the suggestion that this week's extraordinary developments mean the Senate is in chaos. Okay, let's humour the Prime Minister.
Further uncertainty has been thrown over the Senate crossbench, with the government now moving to have the High Court determine whether One Nation's Rod Culleton was ineligible for election.
Within hours of Bob Day submitting his Senate resignation on Tuesday, the government announced it would move for the High Court to rule on whether he had been ineligible to sit in the upper house.
The Senate has set up an inquiry into the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island, to report by late March next year.
The Turnbull government was caught out by not having any legislation for the Senate to consider.
As the government hints the marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017, calls intensify for the parliament to legislate on the issue instead. So what is parliament's role here?
The returned Turnbull government can now add arguably one of the most diverse and potentially volatile senates ever to be elected in Australia to its list of political problems.
The new Senate is representative of the wide range of views in Australia – and far more so than the House of Representatives.
The University of Canberra's Nicholas Klomp and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics.
The Senate results suggest the Turnbull government will have to master the art of negotiation if it is to implement its policies.
The election for the Senate hasn't ended well. To have four senators from One Nation in the upper house is worse than unfortunate.
Pauline Hanson's One Nation has won four Senate seats – two, including Hanson's, in Queensland, one in NSW and one in Western Australia.
The new Senate vote capture system had to be built rapidly, with little time for design or testing, and is being operated in a way that allows only part of the process to be scrutinised.
One Nation candidate Rod Culleton could win Western Australia's final Senate position, but Section 44 of the Constitution suggests he is ineligible to take his seat.
Now that we have had the double-dissolution election, the next step is for the government to attempt to pass the industrial relations bills through the House of Representatives and Senate again.
Since 1949, most of Australia's governments received less than half of all primary votes cast, with some as low as 40%.
It may be several days, or even longer, before we know the shape of our next government, but the business of government will carry on as usual.