President of the Western Australian Legislative Council

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The President of the Western Australian Legislative Council, also known as the Presiding Officer of the Council, is the presiding officer of the Western Australian Legislative Council, the upper house of the Parliament of Western Australia. The position is analogous to that of the President of the Australian Senate.

The role of the President[edit]

The President is always a Member of the Western Australian Legislative Council, and is the ceremonial head of that Council. The President therefore performs ceremonial duties, and represents the Council to other organisations. In conjunction with the Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly, the President is responsible for the administration of the Western Australian Parliament. When the Council is sitting, the President enforces procedures, maintains order, puts questions after debate and ensures each member of the chamber gets a fair opportunity to speak to matters under debate. The President also makes decisions and formal rulings with regards to the chamber's standing orders.

Election of the President[edit]

The President of the Legislative Council is elected by the other members of the Council in accordance with Section 49 of the Constitution Act 1889. They must be elected after each general election or upon the death, resignation or removal of a previous President, and can be brought down by a vote of the chamber's members (although this has never happened in Western Australia), so must maintain the confidence of the chamber.

List of Presidents of the Legislative Council[edit]

Note: where no political party is listed, this means that either the party is unknown, or that the President in question was not affiliated with any particular party. Multiple parties are listed in cases where the President represented more than one party over his career as a Member of the Legislative Council.
President Party (if applicable) Term in office
Sir Thomas Cockburn-Campbell N/A 29 December 1890–27 September 1892
Sir George Shenton N/A 11 October 1892–21 May 1906
Sir Henry Briggs Independent 21 June 1906–8 June 1919
Sir Walter Kingsmill Independent 31 July 1919–21 May 1922
Sir Edward Wittenoom Nationalist 27 July 1922–9 August 1926
Sir John Kirwan Independent 10 August 1926–21 May 1946
James Cornell Liberal 25 July 1946–25 November 1946
Harold Seddon Liberal 26 November 1946–21 May 1954
Anthony Loton Country 14 June 1954–6 August 1958
Charles Latham Country 7 August 1958–21 May 1960
Sir Leslie Diver Liberal 28 July 1960–21 May 1974
Arthur Griffith Liberal 22 May 1974–21 May 1977
Clive Edward Griffiths Liberal 24 May 1977–21 May 1997
George Cash Liberal 27 May 1997–21 May 2001
John Cowdell Labor 22 May 2001–21 May 2005
Nick Griffiths Labor 24 May 2005–21 May 2009
Barry House Liberal 22 May 2009–present