Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

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The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland is a member of the Legislative Assembly, elected by his or her fellow members to preside over sittings of the Assembly and to maintain orderly proceedings. The current Speaker is Fiona Simpson of the Liberal National Party.

Election[edit]

The Legislative Assembly must choose a new Speaker when it meets following a general election. The member with the longest period of continuous service presides during the election, which is conducted by secret ballot. The Government party nominates one of its own to serve as Speaker, and that nominee is likely to win since the party typically has a majority of the seats. If the office of Speaker falls vacant, for whatever reason, the Assembly must immediately elect a replacement. The Speaker remains in office "for all purposes" following a dissolution of Parliament, even if he or she was not a candidate for re-election or lost re-election, serving until the day before the first day of the new Parliament.

Role[edit]

As the chief presiding officer of the Legislative Assembly, the Speaker is expected to be impartial in chairing debates and ensuring orderly conduct in the Chamber. When in the chair, the Speaker may only vote in the case of a tie, i.e. a casting vote. Unlike Speakers in many other Westminster system parliaments, when the Deputy Speaker or another member is in the chair, the Speaker may participate in debates and cast a deliberative vote. This is especially important in hung parliaments.

The Speaker is responsible for issuing writs for state by-elections, warrants for parliamentary privilege offenders and bringing before the bar of the Parliament such offenders for rebuke or sentence. Among the office's ceremonial duties are representing the Legislative Assembly to the Crown (as by, for instance, presenting the Address in Reply to the Throne Speech) and to entities outside Parliament.

Administratively, the Speaker has control of the Parliamentary Service and is responsible for the Parliament's budget, services, and administration.

Deputies[edit]

"As soon as practicable" after first meeting, the House must choose a member to serve as Deputy Speaker and Chairperson of Committees; in recent practice, the Premier moves the appointment of the Deputy Speaker without debate or opposition as the first matter of business on the second day of the Parliament. As with the Speaker, the House must immediately fill a vacancy in the office. Like the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker remains in office after a dissolution of Parliament until the day before the next Parliament convenes even if he or she lost re-election or was not a candidate.

The role of Deputy Speaker is created by the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly, and that of Chairperson of Committees by section 17(1) of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001. As Deputy Speaker, the member takes the chair when the Speaker is absent or at his or her request. When the House resolves into a Committee of the Whole, the Chairperson must take the chair. The current Deputy Speaker is Mark Robinson

The Speaker also appoints up to eight Temporary Speakers who take the chair in the absence or at the request of the Speaker or Deputy Speaker. The Speaker may also dismiss members of the panel of Temporary Speakers. When in the chair, Temporary Speakers are referred to as "Deputy Speaker".

When the Speaker is absent for a sitting day, the Deputy Speaker acts as Speaker and chooses a Temporary Speaker to act as Deputy Speaker during the Speaker's absence. If the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are both absent, the House must choose a member to act as Speaker for that day.

List of Speakers[edit]

Member Electorate Party Start of term End of term Notes
Gilbert Eliott Wide Bay 22 May 1860 13 July 1870
Arthur Macalister Eastern Downs 15 November 1870 21 June 1871 Premier of Queensland 1866; 1866–1867; 1874–1876
Frederick Forbes West Moreton 7 November 1871 1 September 1873
William Henry Walsh Warrego 6 January 1874 20 July 1876
Henry Edward King Ravenswood/Maryborough 25 July 1876 26 July 1883
William Henry Groom Drayton and Toowoomba Liberal 7 November 1883 4 April 1888
Albert Norton Port Curtis Conservative/Ministerialist 12 June 1888 5 April 1893
Alfred Cowley Herbert Ministerialist 25 May 1893 15 February 1899
Arthur Morgan Warwick Ministerialist 16 May 1899 15 September 1903 Premier of Queensland 1903–1906, then President of the Queensland Legislative Council
Alfred Cowley Herbert Conservative 17 September 1903 11 April 1907
John Leahy Bulloo Conservative 23 July 1907 20 January 1909
Joshua Thomas Bell Dalby Kidston/Ministerialist 29 June 1909 10 March 1911 Died in office
William Armstrong Lockyer Ministerialist/Liberal 11 July 1911 15 April 1915
William McCormack Cairns Labor 12 July 1915 9 September 1919 Premier, 1925–1929
William Lennon Herbert Labor 9 September 1919 9 January 1920 became President of the Queensland Legislative Council, then Governor of Queensland.
William Bertram Maree Labor 9 January 1920 11 May 1929
Charles Taylor Windsor CPNP 20 August 1929 11 June 1932
George Pollock Gregory Labor 15 August 1932 24 March 1939 Died in office
Edward Joseph Hanson Buranda Labor 8 August 1939 31 July 1944
Samuel Brassington Balonne Labor 1 August 1944 4 October 1950 Died in office
John Henry Mann Brisbane Labor 10 October 1950 3 July 1957
Alan Fletcher Cunningham Country 27 August 1957 15 June 1960
David Nicholson Murrumba Country 23 August 1960 25 May 1972 Longest-serving Speaker
Bill Lonergan Flinders Country/National 2 August 1972 28 October 1974
Jim Houghton Redcliffe National 29 October 1974 4 July 1979
Selwyn Muller Fassifern National 8 August 1979 17 October 1983
John Warner Toowoomba South National 22 November 1983 1 November 1986
Kev Lingard Fassifern National 17 February 1987 24 November 1987
Lin Powell Isis National 2 December 1987 5 July 1989
Kev Lingard Fassifern National 5 July 1989 2 November 1989
Jim Fouras Ashgrove Labor 27 February 1990 2 April 1996
Neil Turner Nicklin National 2 April 1996 13 June 1998
Ray Hollis Redcliffe Labor 28 July 1998 21 July 2005
Tony McGrady Mount Isa Labor 9 August 2005 9 October 2006
Mike Reynolds Townsville Labor 10 October 2006 21 April 2009
John Mickel Logan Labor 21 April 2009 14 May 2012
Fiona Simpson Maroochydore Liberal National 15 May 2012 Incumbent

Sources[edit]