Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly

Speaker Of The New South Wales Legislative Assembly

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Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly

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The Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the presiding officer of the Legislative Assembly, New South Wales's lower chamber of Parliament. The current Speaker is Shelley Hancock, who was elected on 3 May 2011. Traditionally a partisan office, filled by the governing party of the time, Hancock replaced the previous independent Richard Torbay, following the 2011 general election.

Role

The Speaker presides over the House's debates, determining which members may speak. The Speaker is also responsible for maintaining order during debate, and may punish members who break the rules of the House. Conventionally, the Speaker remains non-partisan, and renounces all affiliation with his former political party when taking office. The Speaker does not take part in debate nor vote (except to break ties, and even then, subject to conventions that maintain his or her non-partisan status), although the Speaker is still able to speak. Aside from duties relating to presiding over the House, the Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions, and remains a constituency Member of Parliament (MP).

The office of the Speaker is recognised in section 31 of the Constitution Act 1902 as the Legislative Assembly's "independent and impartial representative". The first act of the new Parliament, after the swearing in of Members, is the election of a Speaker. Section 31B of the Constitution Act outlines the method of election. Under section 70 of the...
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