Ken Smith (politician)

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The Honourable
Ken Smith
MP
Kenneth Smith.jpg
Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
In office
21 December 2010 – 4 February 2014
Deputy Christine Fyffe
Preceded by Jenny Lindell
Succeeded by Christine Fyffe
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
for Bass
Incumbent
Assumed office
30 November 2002
Preceded by Seat created
Personal details
Born (1944-12-30) 30 December 1944 (age 69)
Ormond, Victoria
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Children 3
Occupation Plumber

Kenneth Maurice "Ken" Smith (born 30 December 1944) is an Australian politician who is currently the member for Bass in the Victorian Legislative Assembly.[1] He was Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 21 December 2010 to 4 February 2014.

Smith was a plumber before he entered the Parliament of Victoria in 1988, winning the Legislative Council seat of South-Eastern Province for the Liberal Party. During his time in the Legislative Council, Smith served on the backbench, although after being returned at the 1996 election he served as government Whip.[1] When the Kennett government lost power in 1999, Smith continued on as Opposition whip.[1]

The redistribution prior to the 2002 election abolished his upper house province, and Smith decided to contest the new seat Lower House seat of Bass—basically a reconfigured Gippsland West. He faced Susan Davies, the MP for Gippsland West. While the election was a disaster for the Liberal Party, Smith provided them with their only gain, winning the seat after Davies was unable to finish ahead of the Labor candidate and win on their preferences.

Smith served as Shadow Minister for Gaming and Shadow Minister for Fisheries.

In 2008 Smith put forward a private member's bill that would allow euthanasia in Victoria. The bill was similar to the Dying With Dignity Act in Oregon in the United States, and generated considerable controversy. The bill was defeated in the Victorian Legislative Council.[2]

In 2009, Smith was unopposed for preselection for the seat of Bass and was re-endorsed by the Liberal Party as their candidate.

On 21 December 2010, Smith was elected unopposed as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly for the 57th Victorian Parliament. In late 2013, former Liberal MP Geoff Shaw declared that he had no confidence in Smith's speakership, after the Speaker had referred allegations regarding Shaw's use of parliamentary entitlements to the Victorian Ombudsman. From this time, 44 members (43 of them from the Labor opposition) lacked confidence in Mr Smith continuing as Speaker, with 43 members as well as Mr Smith himself maintaining confidence.

On 4 February 2014, Smith stood down as Speaker but announced he would remain an MP until the state election due in November, when he would retire.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Members Information - Ken Smith (Bass)". Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Nader, Carol (18 March 2008). "Euthanasia bill to bar 'death tourists'". The Age (Melbourne). 
  3. ^ "Victorian Speaker Ken Smith resigns as Parliament resumes". ABC News. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
Victorian Legislative Council
Preceded by
Hector Ward
Member for South-Eastern Province
1988–2002
Seat abolished
Victorian Legislative Assembly
District created Member for Bass
2002–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jenny Lindell
Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
2010–2014
Succeeded by
Christine Fyffe