The Speaker’s Administrative Role

Departmental responsibilities

The Speaker is in effect 'Minister' for the Department of the Legislative Assembly and, in collaboration with the Clerk of the Assembly, oversees all major policy decisions and development. The Speaker, jointly with the President of the Legislative Council, oversees the Department of Parliamentary Services which provides support services and resources to members and electoral staff and the parliamentary departments.

In addition, each House Department administers a number of joint investigatory committees and the presiding officers are responsible for their administration and finances.

The estimates for expenditure by each Department and the joint investigatory committees are considered by the relevant presiding officer and together they negotiate the parliamentary budget with Treasury

Services to members

Members receive an electorate service entitlement which is administered by the Department of Parliamentary Services but which is overseen jointly by both presiding officers. The Parliamentary Salaries and Superannuation Act 1968 is the relevant legislation.

In administering these allowances in relation to Assembly members, the Speaker is ultimately responsible for policy and for dealing with matters of some sensitivity to members.

Control over Parliament House

The gardens, refreshment rooms and major building maintenance is the responsibility of the House Committee.  The House Committee is co-chaired by the Presiding Officers.

Ex officio committees and associations

The Speaker is traditionally a member and, in practice, always the chair of the Standing Orders Committee.

The Speaker and the President are also joint chairs of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Victoria Branch).

Dignitaries and delegations

Traditionally the presiding officers welcome visiting dignitaries and delegations. This will include hosting functions for overseas delegations and meeting newly appointed ambassadors from other countries to the Parliament.

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