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 spokesperson 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 Ms Anna Burke MP. She was elected as Speaker on 9 October 2012. She has previously served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 42nd and 41st Parliaments.
Ms Burke was elected the House of Representatives for the Victorian electorate of Chisholm in general elections held in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. She has served on a number of Parliamentary Committees including Climate Change, Environment and the Arts, Petitions, Privileges and Members Interests and the Joint Select Committee on the Parliamentary Budget Office.
Prior to entering Parliament, Ms Burke was an industrial officer for Victorian Roads, Victorian University of Technology and the Finance Sector Union. She holds tertiary qualifications of BA (Hons) (Monash) and MComm (Hons) (Melb). Ms Burke is married, has two children and lives in Melbourne.
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 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 Steve Georganas MP, Member for Hindmarsh, South Australia. He was elected as Second Deputy Speaker on 10 October 2012 and has previously served as a member of the Speaker's panel in the 41st and 42nd Parliaments.
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.