Thanks! I didn’t realise that both the House and the Senate used preferences. That being said, the senatorial method of letting the parties set the preferences still seems odd.
It's a matter of practicality - the number of candidates (my state was 97, and I know NSW was more than that) means requiring people to vote all their preferences means a lot of people would never finish.
Well they can but a lot of people this year have taken the option of distributing their own preferences by filling out all the boxes below the line in the Senate. I personally gave my preferences to people I think will stand up against the importation of the Islamic culture - it was my first ‘redneck’ vote and I feel damn good about it!