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Victorian Legislative Assembly

Legislative Assembly
60th Parliament
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Founded21 November 1856; 167 years ago (21 November 1856)
Leadership
Maree Edwards, Labor
since 2 August 2022
Deputy Speaker
Matt Fregon, Labor
since 20 December 2022
Leader of the House
Mary-Anne Thomas, Labor
since 5 December 2022
Government Whip
Pauline Richards, Labor
since 7 February 2023
Deputy Government Whip
Belinda Wilson, Labor
since 7 February 2023
Manager of Opposition Business
James Newbury, Liberal
since December 2022
Opposition Whip
Chris Crewther, Liberal
since December 2022
Structure
Seats88
Political groups
Government (55)
  Labor (55)

Opposition (27)
  Liberal (19)
  National (9)

Crossbench (5)
  Greens (4)
  Independent Labor (1)
Length of term
4 years
Elections
Instant-runoff voting
Last general election
26 November 2022
Next general election
28 November 2026
Meeting place
Legislative Assembly Chamber,
Parliament House, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Website
Vic Legislative Assembly

The Victorian Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Victoria in Australia; the upper house being the Victorian Legislative Council. Both houses sit at Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne.

The main colour used for the upholstery and carpets furnishing the Chamber of the Legislative Assembly is green. [1]

The presiding officer of the Legislative Assembly is the Speaker. There are presently 88 members of the Legislative Assembly elected from single-member divisions.

History

Victoria was proclaimed a Colony on 1 July 1851 separating from the Colony of New South Wales by an act of the British Parliament. The Legislative Assembly was created on 13 March 1856 with the passing of the Victorian Electoral Bill,[2] five years after the creation of the original unicameral Legislative Council. The Assembly first met on 21 November 1856,[2] and consisted of sixty members representing thirty-seven multi and single-member electorates.[3] On the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901, the Parliament of Victoria continued except that the colony was now called a state.

In 1917, the Nationalist government in Victoria introduced compulsory preferential voting before the 1917 state election. This enabled the factions in the party to field competing candidates without splitting the vote by keeping preferences within the party.

Membership and elections

The Legislative Assembly presently consists of 88 members, each elected in single-member electoral districts, more commonly known as electorates or seats. This is done using preferential voting, which is the same voting system used for the federal lower house, the Australian House of Representatives. Members represent approximately the same population in each electorate.

Since 2006, members of the Legislative Assembly are elected for a fixed term of 4 years, with elections occurring on the last Saturday of November every 4 years.[4][a] There are no limits to the number of terms for which a member may seek election. Casual vacancies are filled at a by-election.

Current membership

Current distribution of seats

Party Seats held Current Assembly
Labor 55                                                                                                              
Liberal 19                                      
National 9                  
Greens 4        
Ind. Labor 1  
  • 45 votes as a majority are required to pass legislation.

Officials

Speaker

At the beginning of each new parliamentary term, the Legislative Assembly elects one of its members as a presiding officer, known as the Speaker. If the incumbent Speaker seeks a new term, then the House may re-elect him or her merely by passing a motion; otherwise, a secret ballot is held. In practice, the Speaker is usually a member of the governing party or parties, who have the majority in the House. The Speaker continues to be a member of their political party, but it is left to their individual discretion as to whether or not they attend party meetings. The Speaker also continues to carry out their ordinary electorate duties as a member of Parliament and must take part in an election campaign to be re-elected as a member of Parliament.[6]

A Deputy Speaker is also elected by the Assembly, who supports and assists the Speaker in the execution of their duties.

Non-member officials

The Legislative Assembly is also supported by a department of civil servants who provide procedural and administrative advice on the running of the Assembly, and performs other functions. The head of the department is the Clerk of the Assembly, who is assisted by a deputy clerk, an assistant clerk committees and an assistant clerk procedure.[7]

The Assembly is also assisted by a serjeant-at-arms, who at present also holds the position of assistant clerk procedure.[7]

2022 Victorian election

Results

Victorian state election, 26 November 2022[8]
Legislative Assembly
<< 20182026 >>

Enrolled voters 4,394,465
Votes cast 3,828,791 Turnout 87.13 −3.03
Informal votes 211,791 Informal 5.53 –0.30
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 1,339,496 37.03 –5.83 56 +1
  Liberal 1,070,672 29.60 −0.83 18 –3
  Greens 416,069 11.50 +0.79 4 +1
  National 172,687 4.77 +0.00 9 +3
  Family First 110,389 3.05 +3.05 0 ±0
  Animal Justice 90,797 2.51 +0.69 0 ±0
  Freedom 61,812 1.71 +1.71 0 ±0
  Victorian Socialists 48,865 1.35 +0.91 0 ±0
  Democratic Labour 42,385 1.17 +0.48 0 ±0
  Liberal Democrats 12,791 0.35 +0.23 0 ±0
  Shooters, Fishers, Farmers 11,588 0.32 –0.37 0 ±0
  Reason 10,907 0.30 –0.06 0 ±0
  One Nation 8,077 0.22 +0.22 0 ±0
  Justice 7,927 0.22 –0.04 0 ±0
  Legalise Cannabis 5,838 0.16 +0.16 0 ±0
  New Democrats 4,874 0.13 +0.13 0 ±0
  Angry Victorians 3,037 0.08 +0.08 0 ±0
  Health Australia 862 0.02 +0.02 0 ±0
  Transport Matters 605 0.02 –0.27 0 ±0
  Companions and Pets 526 0.01 +0.01 0 ±0
  Independent 196,796 6.44 –0.63 0 –3
Total 3,617,000     87  
Two-party-preferred
  Labor 1,989,350 55.00 –2.30
  Liberal/National 1,627,650 45.00 +2.30

Procedure

Most legislation is initiated in the Legislative Assembly. The party or coalition with a majority of seats in the lower house is invited by the Governor to form government. The leader of that party subsequently becomes Premier of Victoria, and their senior colleagues become ministers responsible for various portfolios. As Australian political parties traditionally vote along party lines, almost all legislation introduced by the governing party will pass through the legislative assembly.

Committees

Committees are formed of members from one house or both houses. Committees hold inquiries into particular issues and call for input from the wider community. [9]

  • Privileges Committee
  • Standing Orders Committee
  • Economy and Infrastructure Committee
  • Environment and Planning Committee
  • Legal and Social Issues Committee

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Between 1985 and 2006, the maximum term of the Assembly was four years, but could be dissolved earlier.[5]

References

  1. ^ "Legislative Assembly Chamber | Parliament of Victoria". www.parliament.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  2. ^ a b Edward Sweetman (1920). Constitutional Development of Victoria, 1851–6. Whitcombe & Tombs Limited. p. 67. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Elections". Fact Sheet G3: Elections. Parliament of Victoria.
  4. ^ Constitution (Parliamentary Reform) Act 2003 (Vic)
  5. ^ Constitution (Duration of Parliament) Act 1984 (Vic)
  6. ^ The Speaker
  7. ^ a b Staff of the Legislative Assembly
  8. ^ "2022 State Election results". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  9. ^ "Committees | Parliament of Victoria". www.parliament.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 8 April 2024.
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Victorian Legislative Assembly
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