Speaker Sets July 28 As Date For Five By-Elections; Opposition Outraged

The Speaker, Tony Smith, advised the House of Representatives this afternoon that he had set July 28 as the date for the five by-elections caused by recent resignations relating to dual citizenship.

Smith

Smith told the House that because of new regulations to refine the nomination process and because of imminent schools holidays, July 28 was the “optimal” date for the by-elections in Longman, Braddon, Mayo, Fremantle and Perth.

The ALP opposition accused the Speaker of inordinate delay and said the by-elections coincided with the ALP National Conference in Adelaide.

  • Listen to Speaker’s statement to the House (21m)
  • Watch the House proceedings (21m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings relating to the calling of five by-elections on July 28.

The SPEAKER (15:12): If members could cease interjecting, could I please have the attention of the House on this important matter: I’d like to read a fairly lengthy statement, and then I’ll be tabling some documents. Earlier in the week, I advised the House I would provide an update on possible dates for by-elections in the seats of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth. This update follows further consultation with the Australian Electoral Commissioner and party leaders. Under the Constitution, it is my responsibility alone to issue a writ for a by-election when a vacancy occurs, and generally it has not been the practice to provide an explanation for the exercise of this responsibility. I have varied from the usual practice because of the quite unusual—quite unique—circumstances surrounding these by-elections. [Read more…]


45th Parliament Opens; Members And Senators Sworn In; House Speaker And Senate President Re-Elected Unopposed

The 45th Parliament opened in Canberra this morning.

Laing-FrenchClerk of the Senate Rosemary Laing and Chief Justice Robert French preside over Senate proceedings during the opening of the 45th Parliament.

The video below shows proceedings in the Senate and the House of Representatives, starting at 10.30am.

The Governor-General’s deputy, High Court Chief Justice Robert French opened the Parliament in the Senate chamber, House members having first been summoned via a message from the Senate’s Black Rod.

The two houses then separately swore in their members, who each took an oath or affirmation and signed the register of members. The swearing-in of senators is shown in the video.

The Senate then elected Senator Stephen Parry (Liberal-Tasmania) as President, unopposed. It is Parry’s second term. [Read more…]


Speaker Bronwyn Bishop Reports Kevin Rudd’s Resignation To The House

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, today reported to the House that she had received the resignation of Kevin Rudd as member for Griffith.

Bishop

Rudd’s resignation was received on November 22. Under Section 37 of the Constitution, a member may resign in writing to the Speaker.

Parliamentary practice and convention requires that the Speaker inform the House of resignations and other matters relating to the operation of the chamber. [Read more…]


The Speaker, Deputy Speaker And Officers

This is a chapter from House of Representatives Practice (6th edition).

It deals with the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and other officers of the House. [Read more…]


Peter Slipper Stands Aside As Speaker

Following newspaper reports yesterday of alleged misuse of CabCharge dockets and a sexual harassment claim, Peter Slipper has stood aside as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

With Slipper in the Speaker’s chair, the Gillard government has been able to govern with a majority of 76-73 on the floor of the House. If Slipper has not resumed his position when Parliament meets again on May 8, the government will have 75-73 in any vote, with Anna Burke in the chair and Slipper not voting. This assumes that the crossbenchers (Wilkie, Bandt, Windsor and Oakeshott) stick with the government. [Read more…]


Speaker Peter Slipper’s Procession

This is video of the new House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper’s procession into the chamber today.


An Independent Speaker: Howard vs Crean

This is the text of a media statement from Simon Crean, Leader of the Opposition:

An Independent Speaker: The PM’s Comments

In 1996 when John Howard was elected Prime Minister, he said: [Read more…]