Other office holders
Deputy Speaker and Assistant Speaker
The Standing Orders provide that there will be both a Deputy Speaker and an Assistant Speaker.
Both the Deputy Speaker and the Assistant Speaker are elected on the first sitting day of each Parliament, or whenever either Office becomes vacant.
A Member is elected Deputy Speaker or Assistant Speaker by motion (notice is not required). The Deputy Speaker holds office past the expiration of the Legislative Assembly until a successor is elected. This is because the Constitution Act 1902 provides for the Deputy Speaker to act in place of the Speaker when he or she is absent from the State. The Assistant Speaker holds office for the duration of the Parliament unless the House otherwise directs and ceases to hold office when the Assembly expires by effluxion of time or is dissolved by the Governor.
The Assistant Speaker certifies that a bill originating in the Assembly which is to be presented to the Governor for assent is the same as that which was passed by both Houses.
The Deputy Speaker and Assistant Speaker have the same authority as the Speaker when presiding in the Chair.
The Deputy Speaker is the Honourable Thomas George MP
The Assistant Speaker is the Mr Andrew Fraser MP
Absence of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker or Assistant Speaker
During the unavoidable absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker takes the Chair in the House. Under s. 31A of the Constitution Act the Deputy Speaker is vested with all the power, authority, duties and functions of the Speaker when the Speaker is absent from the State.
In instances where the Speaker is absent from the House but not necessarily absent from the State, the Standing Orders provide for the Deputy Speaker to perform the duties of the Speaker on any day when the Speaker is absent and the House is sitting. If the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are both absent on a day when the House is sitting the Assistant Speaker will perform the duties of the Speaker, and if the Assistant Speaker is also absent a temporary Speaker will act as the Speaker (SO 15).
Whilst it is highly unlikely that all occupants of the Chair would be absent from the House at any one time, the current Standing Orders provide for the situation where the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speaker and temporary Speakers are all absent from the House. Standing Order 18 authorises the House, in the absence of all occupants of the Chair to elect an Acting Speaker so long as a quorum is present.
At the beginning of each Parliament, the Speaker nominates not more than five Members who will be Temporary Speakers. They relieve the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Assistant Speaker on a temporary basis whenever requested, and are known as Acting Speakers.
Current Temporary Speakers are:
Leader of the House and Manager of Opposition Business
The Leader of the House is usually a Minister appointed by the Government to manage the Government business in the Legislative Assembly. The Leader sets and arranges the Government legislative program (the days on which the House will sit and the bills Cabinet has decided will be dealt with) and is the Government's main spokesperson on procedural matters. The Leader and the Manager of Opposition Business often consult together in an effort to facilitate the orderly conduct of business.
The present Leader of the House is the Honourable Anthony Roberts MP
, and the present Manager of Opposition Business is Mr Michael Daley MP
The duties of the Whips are in the main to liaise with Ministers in regard to the business of the House, secure the attendance of Members in the House, arrange speakers for debates, arrange "pairs" and generally act as intermediaries between the party leaders in the House and backbench Members.
The present Whips are: Government Whip - Mr Chris Patterson MP
; Opposition Whip - Ms Noreen Hay MP
; National Party Whip - Mr Stephen Bromhead MP
; Deputy Government Whip - Mr Mark Coure MP
and Deputy Opposition Whip - Mr Nick Lalich MP
Part 4A of the Constitution Act 1902
provides for the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries by the Premier to perform such functions as the Premier, from time to time, determines. The Act does not authorise Parliamentary Secretaries performing any function that by any law may only be performed by some other person.
Under the Standing Orders Parliamentary Secretaries are empowered to act on behalf of Ministers in the House, except in respect of certain functions: for example Parliamentary Secretaries cannot arrange government business, reply to a question without notice or move a motion of the adjournment of the House. Parliamentary Secretaries are able to introduce bills and move motions for their passage, reply to private members' statements, move motions to suspend standing orders without leave and table papers.
For current Parliamentary Secretaries, please see Parliamentary Secretaries in the Assembly
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly is Ms Ronda Miller.
The Clerk has overall responsibility for the procedural advice given, the administration of the House and the management of the Department of the Legislative Assembly.
The House’s procedures depend on the Standing Orders, the NSW Constitution Act 1902 and the precedents and conventions of the House and the traditions of the Westminster system.
• Records what happens in the House;
• Assists in the running of the House;
• Advises and assists the Speaker on procedural matters;
• Advises Members on procedural matters;
• Chairs the election of the Speaker;
• Certifies that Assembly bills have passed both Houses and sends them to the Governor for Royal Assent; and
• Manages the Department of the Legislative Assembly .
The Serjeant-at-Arms of the Legislative Assembly is Mr Leslie Gönye.