Victorian Legislative Assembly

Last updated

Legislative Assembly
59th Parliament
Coat of Arms of Victoria.svg
Type
Type
History
Founded21 November 1856;165 years ago (21 November 1856)
Leadership
Maree Edwards, Labor
since 2 August 2022
Deputy Speaker
Natalie Suleyman, Labor
since 2 August 2022
Leader of the House
Lizzie Blandthorn, Labor
since June 2022
Government Whip
Michaela Settle, Labor
since August 2022
Deputy Government Whip
Matt Fregon, Labor
since September 2020
Structure
Seats88
Victorian Legislative Assembly 2018.svg
Political groups
Government (55)
  Labor (55)

Opposition (27)
  Liberal (21)
  National (6)
Crossbench (6)
  Greens (3)
  Independent (3) [lower-alpha 1]

Contents

 
Length of term
4 years
Elections
Instant-runoff voting
Last election
24 November 2018
Next election
26 November 2022
Meeting place
Victorian Legislative Assembly.png
Legislative Assembly Chamber,
Parliament House, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Website
Vic Legislative Assembly

The Victorian Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Victoria in Australia; the upper house being the Victorian Legislative Council. Both houses sit at Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne.

The presiding officer of the Legislative Assembly is the Speaker. There are presently 88 members of the Legislative Assembly elected from single-member divisions.

History

Victoria was proclaimed a Colony on 1 July 1851 separating from the Colony of New South Wales by an act of the British Parliament. The Legislative Assembly was created on 13 March 1856 with the passing of the Victorian Electoral Bill, [1] five years after the creation of the original unicameral Legislative Council. The Assembly first met on 21 November 1856, [1] and consisted of sixty members representing thirty-seven multi and single-member electorates. [2] On the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901, the Parliament of Victoria continued except that the colony was now called a state.

In 1917, the Nationalist government in Victoria introduced compulsory preferential voting before the 1917 state election. This enabled the factions in the party to field competing candidates without splitting the vote by keeping preferences within the party.

Membership and elections

The Legislative Assembly presently consists of 88 members, each elected in single-member electoral districts, more commonly known as electorates or seats, using preferential voting, which is the same voting system used for the federal lower house, the Australian House of Representatives. Members represent approximately the same population in each electorate.

Since 2006, members of the Legislative Assembly are elected for a fixed term of 4 years, with elections occurring on the last Saturday of November every 4 years. [3] [lower-alpha 2] There are no limits to the number of terms for which a member may seek election. Casual vacancies are filled at a by-election.

Current membership

Distribution of seats

PartySeats held
  Labor 55
Liberal/National Coalition (27)
   Liberal 21
  National 6
  Greens 3
  Independent 3
Total88

Officials

Speaker

At the beginning of each new parliamentary term, the Legislative Assembly elects one of its members as a presiding officer, known as the Speaker. If the incumbent Speaker seeks a new term, then the House may re-elect him or her merely by passing a motion; otherwise, a secret ballot is held. In practice, the Speaker is usually a member of the governing party or parties, who have the majority in the House. The Speaker continues to be a member of his or her political party, but it is left to their individual discretion as to whether or not they attend party meetings. The Speaker also continues to carry out his or her ordinary electorate duties as a member of Parliament and must take part in an election campaign to be re-elected as a member of Parliament. [5]

A Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Assembly, who supports and assists the Speaker in the execution of their duties.

Non-member officials

The Legislative Assembly is also supported by a department of civil servants who provide procedural and administrative advice on the running of the Assembly, and performs other functions. The head of the department is the Clerk of the Assembly, who is assisted by a deputy clerk, an assistant clerk committees and an assistant clerk procedure. [6]

The Assembly is also assisted by a serjeant-at-arms, who at present also holds the position of assistant clerk procedure. [6]

2018 Victorian election

Results

Victorian state election, 24 November 2018 [7] [8]
Legislative Assembly
<< 20142022 >>

Enrolled voters4,139,326
Votes cast3,732,062 Turnout 90.16−2.86
Informal votes217,476Informal5.83+0.61
Summary of votes by party
PartyPrimary votes %SwingSeatsChange
  Labor 1,506,46742.86+4.7755+8
  Liberal 1,069,14630.42−6.0421−9
  Greens 376,70410.72−0.763+1*
  National 167,6254.77−0.766−2
  Animal Justice 63,9741.82+1.590±0
  Shooters, Fishers, Farmers 24,2570.69+0.610±0
  Democratic Labour 24,0970.69+0.600±0
  Victorian Socialists 15,4420.44+0.440±0
  Reason 12,6930.36+0.100±0
  Transport Matters 10,3130.29+0.290±0
  Justice 9,2770.26+0.260±0
  Sustainable Australia 8,1830.23+0.230±0
  Country 6,5660.19−1.100±0
  Liberal Democrats 4,0300.12+0.120±0
  Aussie Battler 1,2860.04+0.040±0
  Liberty Alliance 1,2320.04+0.040±0
  Independent 213,2946.07+3.473+2**
Total3,514,586  88 

Procedure

Most legislation is initiated in the Legislative Assembly. The party or coalition with a majority of seats in the lower house is invited by the Governor to form government. The leader of that party subsequently becomes Premier of Victoria, and their senior colleagues become ministers responsible for various portfolios. As Australian political parties traditionally vote along party lines, most legislation introduced by the governing party will pass through the legislative assembly.

Committees

See also

Notes

  1. Current independent MLAs: Ali Cupper (Mildura), Russell Northe (Morwell) and Suzanna Sheed (Shepparton)
  2. Between 1985 and 2006, the maximum term of the Assembly was four years, but could be dissolved earlier. [4]

Related Research Articles

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The Parliaments of the Australian states and territories are legislative bodies within the federal framework of the Commonwealth of Australia.

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References

  1. 1 2 Edward Sweetman (1920). Constitutional Development of Victoria, 1851–6. Whitcombe & Tombs Limited. p.  67 . Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  2. "Elections". Fact Sheet G3: Elections. Parliament of Victoria.
  3. Constitution (Parliamentary Reform) Act 2003 (Vic)
  4. Constitution (Duration of Parliament) Act 1984 (Vic)
  5. The Speaker
  6. 1 2 Staff of the Legislative Assembly
  7. "State Election 2018 provisional results". Victorian Electoral Commission . Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  8. "Results: Victoria Votes 2018". ABC News . Retrieved 24 November 2018.