Role of the President
The President is a Member of the Legislative Council, which is the "Upper House" in the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, equivalent to a State Senate in the United States of America. The President is equivalent to a "Ministerial head" of the Department of the Legislative Council and is responsible for the oversight of its general administration.
The President represents the Legislative Council in official dealings with other Parliaments (both domestic and international) and other organisations, assumes important ceremonial responsibilities, and is jointly responsible with the Speaker for the oversight of the administration of the Parliament and of Parliament House and the joint investigatory committees.
The President of the Legislative Council is also referred to as the Presiding Officer of the Legislative Council, as he, or she, presides over meetings of the Legislative Council (except when the House is in Committee) and is responsible for maintaining order in the Council.
The President ensures that votes and proceedings in the Chamber are conducted in accordance with constitutional and statutory requirements, and the Standing Orders (rules of procedure and debate) and the practices of the Council.
As Presiding Officer in the Council, the President acts as its Chairman and makes rulings on a wide variety of matters affecting the operation of the Chamber. For example, the Standing Orders envisage that the President will act so as to maintain order during debate.
A most important characteristic that a presiding officer should strive to demonstrate is impartiality. Regardless of any political affiliations the presiding officer must be seen to act in a fair and impartial manner to all Members of the House.
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 08 February 2011 16:45