Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly


Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

The Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly is the presiding officer in the Legislative Assembly. Though the office had existed since the creation of the Assembly in 1974, it was given greater legislative force when the roles and functions of the office were included in the federal Act that gave the Territory self-government in 1978 . The position of Speaker is currently held by Australian Labor Party member Jane Aagaard.

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, although both Speaker and Deputy Speaker were independents between 2001 and 2005 . 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 currently ALP member Robert Knight.

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.

peakers of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly


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