Speaker of the House of Representatives
The Speaker is the principal office holder in the House of Representatives. He or she is the House's representative or spokesman and chairs its meetings. The Speaker is elected from among the 150 Members of the House and is usually a person of considerable parliamentary experience. The Speaker also performs a role similar to that of a Minister in relation to a government department, and oversees the administration of the Department of the House of Representatives. Electing a Speaker is the first thing that the House does when it meets for the first time after a general election.
The Speaker makes sure that Members obey the rules (standing orders) of the House and follow the correct procedures. The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate together are known as the Parliament’s Presiding Officers. They jointly have responsibility for the provision of services to the Parliament by the Department of Parliamentary Services.
The current Speaker is the Honourable Bronwyn Bishop MP. She was elected as Speaker on 12 November 2013. She previously served on the Speakers' Panel during the 41st Parliament.
The Speaker was elected to the Senate for New South Wales in 1987 and 1990. She resigned in February 1994 to contest a by-election for the New South Wales electorate of Mackellar held on 26 March 1994. She was re-elected as the Member for Mackellar at general elections in 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
The Speaker was the Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel from March 1996 to October 1998, and the Minister for Aged Care from October 1998 to November 2001. She has served on a number of parliamentary committees and was Chair of the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee during the 40th Parliament. She was also the Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and Human Services during the 41st Parliament.
The Speaker is a solicitor and mother of two daughters and a grandmother of one granddaughter.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives is the Hon Bruce Scott MP, Member for Maranoa, Queensland. He was elected as Deputy Speaker on 9 October 2012 and was re-elected as Deputy Speaker in the 44th Parliament on 12 November 2013. He has previously served as Second Deputy Speaker in the 42nd Parliament.
If the Speaker is absent the Deputy Speaker becomes the Acting Speaker. The Deputy Speaker takes the Chair of the Federation Chamber.
Second Deputy Speaker
The Second Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives is the Mr Rob Mitchell MP, Member for McEwen, Victoria. He was elected as Second Deputy Speaker on 12 November 2013.
If the Speaker is absent the Deputy Speaker becomes the Acting Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker the Acting Deputy Speaker. If both the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are absent the Second Deputy Speaker becomes Acting Speaker.