The Australian Senate has lifted tough censorship rules on media coverage of its sessions at the urging of a senator who was recently snapped snoozing in the chamber.

Independent lawmaker Derryn Hinch on Thursday successfully moved a motion in the Senate that allows the media to photograph largely whatever they want in the chamber.

A photographer had snapped an image of Hinch napping in August when the Senate sat for the first time after July elections.

The extraordinary restrictions on press photographers working in the Senate have banned such candid and unflattering pictures for the past 25 years. Senators previously could be snapped only when they stand to speak.