The Speaker

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 Tony Smith MP. He was re-elected as Speaker on 30 August 2016.

The Speaker was elected as the Member for the Victorian electorate of Casey at the General Election in 2001. He was re-elected as the Member for Casey at general elections in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. The electorate of Casey extends from the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne and into the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges.

The Speaker was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister from 30 January 2007 to 3 December 2007. He has also served on numerous parliamentary committees throughout his career and was most recently the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters in the 44th Parliament. 

The Speaker studied Commerce and Arts (Hons) at The University of Melbourne. He is married and has two sons.

Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives is Mr Mark Coulton MP, Member for Parkes, New South Wales. He was elected as Deputy Speaker on 30 August 2016.

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 Mr Rob Mitchell MP, Member for McEwen, Victoria. He was re-elected as Second Deputy Speaker on 30 August 2016.

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.