President of the Western Australian Legislative Council

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President of the
Western Australian Legislative Council
Kate Doust.jpg
The Hon. Kate Doust, MLC

since 23 May 2017
Style The Honourable
Mr / Madam President
(in the Council)
Appointer The Monarch's representative at the behest of the Legislative Council
Term length Elected at start of each Parliament
Inaugural holder Sir Thomas Cockburn-Campbell
Formation 29 December 1890
Deputy The Hon. Simon O'Brien, MLC

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.
Order President Party
(if applicable)
Term begin Term end Term in office Notes
1 Sir Thomas Cockburn-Campbell N/A 29 December 1890 27 September 1892 1 year, 273 days
2 Sir George Shenton N/A 11 October 1892 21 May 1906 13 years, 222 days
3 Sir Henry Briggs Independent 21 June 1906 8 June 1919 12 years, 352 days
4 Sir Walter Kingsmill Independent 31 July 1919 21 May 1922 2 years, 294 days
5 Sir Edward Wittenoom Nationalist 27 July 1922 9 August 1926 4 years, 43 days
6 Sir John Kirwan Independent 10 August 1926 21 May 1946 19 years, 284 days
7 James Cornell Liberal 25 July 1946 25 November 1946 123 days
8 Sir Harold Seddon Liberal 26 November 1946 21 May 1954 7 years, 176 days
9 Anthony Loton Country 14 June 1954 6 August 1958 4 years, 53 days
10 Sir Charles Latham Country 7 August 1958 21 May 1960 1 year, 288 days
11 Sir Leslie Diver Country 28 July 1960 21 May 1974 13 years, 297 days
12 Sir Arthur Griffith Liberal 22 May 1974 21 May 1977 2 years, 364 days
13 Clive Edward Griffiths Liberal 24 May 1977 21 May 1997 19 years, 362 days
14 George Cash Liberal 27 May 1997 21 May 2001 3 years, 359 days
15 John Cowdell Labor 22 May 2001 21 May 2005 3 years, 364 days
16 Nick Griffiths Labor 24 May 2005 21 May 2009 3 years, 362 days
17 Barry House Liberal 22 May 2009 21 May 2017 7 years, 364 days
18 Kate Doust Labor 23 May 2017 present 147 days

See also[edit]