Speaker

Former Speakers

23 December 2014 - 25 February 2017  LanguillerTelmo58250 Hon Telmo Languiller
4 February 2014 - 23 December 2014  FyffeChristine58250 Hon Christine Fyffe
21 December 2010 - 4 February 2014  SmithKen57250 Hon Ken Smith
19 December 2006 - 21 December 2010  LindellJenny56200 Hon Jenny Lindell
25 February 2003 - 20 December 2006  MaddiganJudy56200 Hon Judith ("Judy") Maddigan
3 November 1999 - 24 February 2003  andrianopoulos alex Hon Alex Andrianopoulos
14 May 1996 - 2 November 1999  plowman jim Hon Sidney James Plowman
27 October 1992 - 13 May 1996  delzoppo john Hon John Edward Delzoppo
25 October 1988 - 26 October 1992  coghill ken Hon Dr Kenneth Alistair Coghill
27 April 1982 - 24 October 1988  edmunds thomas Hon Cyril Thomas Edmunds
29 May 1979 - 26 April 1982  plowman jim Hon Sidney James Plowman
19 June 1973 - 28 May 1979  WheelerKenneth Hon Sir Kenneth Henry Wheeler
16 May 1967 - 18 June 1973  ChristieVernon Hon Sir Vernon Howard Colville Christie
15 June 1955 - 19 March 1967  McDonaldWilliam Hon Sir William John Farquhar McDonald
17 December 1952 - 22 April 1955  SuttonPatrick Hon Patrick Keith Sutton
20 June 1950 - 31 October 1952  MichaelisArchie Hon Sir Archie Michaelis
2 December 1947 - 12 April 1950  MaltbyThomas Hon Sir Thomas Karran Maltby
21 October 1942 - 9 October 1947  KnoxGeorge Hon Brigadier Sir George Hodges Knox
1 May 1940 - 20 October 1942  SlaterWilliam Hon William Slater
19 October 1937 - 15 February 1940  TunnecliffeThomas Hon Thomas Tunnecliffe
2 August 1934 - 6 September 1937  EverardWilliam Hon William Hugh Everard
11 October 1933 - 1 August 1934  BlackburnMaurice Hon Maurice Blackburn
4 July 1928 - 7 October 1933  peacock alexander Hon Sir Alexander James Peacock
6 July 1927 - March 1928  SnowballOswald Hon Oswald Robinson Snowball
30 April 1924 - 5 March 1927  BowserJohn Hon Sir John Bowser
29 November 1917 - 6 April 1924  MackeyJohn Hon Sir John Emanuel Mackey
29 June 1904 - October 1917  MaddenFrank Hon Sir Frank Madden
16 September 1903 - May 1904  BeazleyWilliam Hon William David Beazley
14 October 1902 - 12 September 1903  GilliesDuncan Hon Duncan Gillies
25 October 1897 - September 1902  MasonFrancis Hon Francis Conway Mason
4 October 1894 - September 1897  berry graham Hon Sir Graham Berry
11 May 1892 - September 1894  BentThomas Hon Sir Thomas Bent
4 October 1887 - April 1892  DaviesMatthew Hon Sir Matthew Henry Davies
22 July 1880 - 29 September 1887  LalorPeter Hon Peter Lalor
11 May - 29 June 1880  MacMahonCharles Hon Sir Charles MacMahon
22 May 1877 - 9 February1880  DuffyCharles Hon Sir Charles Gavan Duffy
25 April 1871 - April 1877  MacMahonCharles Hon Sir Charles MacMahon
21 November 1856 - January 1871  MurphyFrancis Hon Sir Francis Murphy

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

Control over Parliament House

The Presiding Officers are responsible for the control and management of the parliamentary precinct. This includes security, the allocation of offices and other building use matters.

The gardens, refreshment rooms and major building maintenance is overseen by 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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The Speaker’s Statutory Role

In addition to constitutional functions, the Speaker has specific functions laid down by a number of Acts including swearing in certain office-holders, eg the Ombudsman, Public Advocate, Electoral Commissioner.

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The Speaker’s Procedural Role

The Speaker presides over the debates of the House and ensures that they are conducted according to the formal procedures but does not normally participate in debates.

The duties performed in the Chair are probably the Speaker's most important and onerous. One of the duties is to ensure that the rules of parliamentary procedure as embodied in the standing orders and practice are accurately and correctly interpreted and applied.

The Speaker:

  • Interprets the standing orders, deals with points of order when they are raised and gives rulings when called upon to do so
  • Calls upon members wishing to speak
  • Maintains order in the Chamber
  • Makes statements and announcements to the House when necessary.

 

Powers and functions under the standing orders

In addition to generally maintaining order in the Chamber and interpreting standing orders (rules), the Speaker has many powers and functions.

 

Discretionary powers

The Speaker's powers are augmented by a number of discretionary powers, which include:

  • Providing access to records of the House
  • Allocating the call to members wishing to speak in the House
  • Determining whether words used are offensive or disorderly
  • Determining if a member's arguments are irrelevant or tediously repetitious
  • Determining if a motion is an abuse of the orders and forms of the House, or is moved for the purpose of obstructing business
  • Determining whether a prima facie case of breach of privilege has been established
  • Amending notices
  • Directing the wording of a question to be altered if it seems to be unbecoming or does not conform with the standing orders
  • Giving an opinion as to whether the majority of the voices were 'Aye' or 'No'
  • Disallowing any motion or amendment which is substantially the same as any question which has already been resolved in that session
  • Giving permission for non-members to inspect and copy papers presented to the House but not printed
  • Calling the House together after a period of adjournment (in accordance with the resolution agreed to prior to adjournment — the practice is for the Speaker not to act on his to her own initiative but to wait for advice from the Government)
  • Ruling on admissibility of reasoned amendments.

 

The Speaker may suspend the sitting:

  • For the lunch or dinner break
  • In the case of grave disorder
  • After election while he or she presents his or herself to the Governor.

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The Speaker’s Traditional and Ceremonial Roles

The most traditional of the Speaker's duties is as the sole representative of the House in its relations with the Crown's representative, the Governor. The Speaker is, likewise, the House's representative in communications with the Legislative Council and outside persons in the transmission and receipt of messages, documents or addresses.

The Speaker, upon election, usually suspends the sitting until the ringing of the bells (2.25pm approx) and invites members to make their way to the Library at a predetermined time when the Speaker presents them to the Governor.

At an Opening of Parliament, either a new parliament or a new session (following prorogation), the Governor summons members of the Assembly to hear the Governor's speech. After the summons has been delivered by the Usher of the Black Rod, the Speaker invites members to accompany him or her and proceeds to the Legislative Council Chamber. The Speaker is formally presented with a copy of the Governor's Speech. This Speech is reported to the House after it has transacted some business, usually the 'Privilege Bill'.

The Speaker presents the Address-in-Reply to the Governor's Speech, accompanied by the clerks and members.

At the commencement of each sitting day, the Speaker reads the Lord's Prayer.

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