Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly

Last updated
Speaker of the
Western Australian Legislative Assembly
Incumbent
Michelle Roberts

since 29 April 2021
Style The Honourable
Madam/Mr Speaker
(within the Assembly)
Appointer The Monarch's representative at the behest of the Legislative Assembly
Term length Elected at start of each Parliament
Inaugural holder Sir James George Lee-Steere
Formation30 December 1890
Deputy Stephen Price
Website www.parliament.wa.gov.au

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 31st and current Speaker is Labor MLA Michelle Roberts, who has held the role since the 2021 state election.

Contents

The role of the Speaker

The Speaker is elected to the position by a ballot of the members of the Legislative Assembly from among its members after being nominated by the Premier of Western Australia. It is generally a partisan position; the governing party almost always installs one of its members in the 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).

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. 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.

List of speakers of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly

OrderSpeakerPartyTerm beginTerm endTerm of officeNotes
1Sir James George Lee-Steere Ministerial30 December 189030 November 190312 years, 335 days1
2 Charles Harper Opposition2 December 190327 July 1904238 days1
3 Mathieson Jacoby Independent28 July 190427 October 19051 year, 91 days1
4 Timothy Quinlan Ministerial23 November 19058 October 19115 years, 319 days1
5 Frank Troy Labor 1 November 191113 February 19175 years, 104 days
6 Edward Bertram Johnston Country 13 February 19171 March 191716 days
7 James Gardiner Country1 March 191728 June 1917119 days
8 George Taylor National Labor 19 July 191723 July 19247 years, 4 days
9 Thomas Walker Labor24 July 192429 July 19306 years, 5 days
10 Sydney Stubbs Country30 July 193017 July 19332 years, 352 days
11 Alexander Panton Labor18 July 193324 March 19384 years, 249 days
12 William Johnson Labor4 August 19382 August 1939363 days
13 Joseph Sleeman Labor3 August 193931 July 19477 years, 362 days
14 Charles North Liberal 31 July 19475 August 19536 years, 5 days
15 Aloysius Rodoreda Labor6 August 19531 August 19562 years, 361 days
16 James Hegney Labor2 August 195629 June 19592 years, 331 days
17 John Hearman Liberal30 June 195923 March 19688 years, 267 days
18 Hugh Guthrie Liberal25 July 196820 February 19712 years, 210 days
19 Merv Toms Labor15 July 19718 October 197185 days
20 Daniel Norton Labor16 November 197130 March 19742 years, 134 days
21Sir Ross Hutchinson Liberal22 May 197419 February 19772 years, 273 days
22 Ian Thompson Liberal24 May 197721 March 19835 years, 301 days
23 John Harman Labor22 March 19838 February 19862 years, 262 days
24 Mike Barnett Labor10 June 198617 June 19937 years, 7 days
25 Jim Clarko Liberal17 June 199314 December 19963 years, 180 days
26 George Strickland Liberal6 March 199710 February 20013 years, 341 days
27 Fred Riebeling Labor1 May 20016 September 20087 years, 128 days
28 Grant Woodhams Nationals6 November 20089 March 20134 years, 123 days
29 Michael Sutherland Liberal11 April 201311 March 20173 years, 334 days
30 Peter Watson Labor11 May 201729 April 20213 years, 353 days
31 Michelle Roberts Labor29 April 2021Incumbent33 days
  1. Members of the Legislative Assembly were not officially associated with organised parties until 1904.

See also

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