Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly


Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly

The Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly is the presiding officer in the Legislative Assembly. The office has existed since the creation of the Legislative Assembly in 1890 under the "Constitution Act 1889". The Speaker's chair is currently vacant following the 2008 election, and one of the first tasks of the new Assembly when it meets in November is to elect a new one—it is expected that the National Party's Grant Woodhams, the agreed choice of the new Government and its allies, once parliament resumes.

The Speaker must be a member of the Assembly themselves, and is elected to the position by a ballot of the members of the Assembly. It is generally a partisan position. As with the other states and territories, the Speaker continues to attend party meetings and stands at general elections as a party candidate, if they are indeed a member of a party. There is no convention that the Speaker should not be opposed in his or her constituency.

On the other hand, the Speaker is not a political figure like those in the United States. He or she does not take part in debates in the House, does not vote in the House except in the (rare) event of a tied vote, and does not speak in public on party-political issues (except at election time in his or her own constituency). He or she is expected to conduct the business of the House in an impartial manner, and generally does so. The Speaker is assisted by a member-elected Deputy Speaker, who is usually also of the governing party.

The Speaker's principal duty is to preside over the Assembly. The occupant of the Chair must maintain order in the House, uphold the Standing Orders (rules of procedure) and protect the rights of backbench members.

List of Speakers of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly

# Members of the Legislative Assembly were not officially associated with organised parties until 1904.

References


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