The President is the Presiding Officer of the Legislative Council, who is recognised as its independent and impartial representative.
The principal role of the President is to preside over the House. The President is responsible for maintaining order and applying and interpreting the practices and procedures of the House, relying on the standing orders, precedents, rulings of past Presidents and various procedural authorities.
The President is also the spokesperson of the House, and is the sole representative of the House in its relations with the Governor, the Legislative Assembly, the Executive Government and other persons and organisations outside of Parliament.
The President performs various ceremonial duties including in relation to the opening of Parliament, receiving visits from foreign Heads of State and foreign delegations, and representing the Council at conferences and events.
In addition, the President has extensive corporate functions within the Parliament. The President is responsible, with the Speaker, for the control of the parliamentary precincts and for the overall administration of Parliament.
The President is also the head of the Department of the Legislative Council, and is responsible to the Council for its operation. As such, the role of the President is similar to that of a minister in a Government department.
The President is elected by the House as the first item of business at the first meeting of the Council following an election, and continues in office until the next election unless he or she resigns, is voted out of office or ceases to be a member.
Picture: (from left) Hon Michael Sutherland MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Council, Consul General of Indonesia, Mr Syarief Syamsuri, and the President of the Legislative Council, Hon Barry House MLC.
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly the Hon Michael Sutherland and I recently hosted a farewell visit for the Indonesian Consul General, Mr Syarief Syamsuri. Mr Syamsuri‘s next appointment will be in Morocco.
Indonesia is a very important neighbour to Western Australia and we have developed a close relationship with the Consul General.
I wish the Consul General all the best for his future appointment. We have thoroughly enjoyed the friendship between the Indonesian Consulate and the Parliament of Western Australia.
I was privileged to attend the Swearing in Ceremony of Western Australia’s 32nd Governor, Mrs Kerry Sanderson, at the Government House Ballroom on Monday, 20 October 2014.More than 300 guests attended the ceremony, including former Governors Malcolm McCusker and Ken Michael. All welcomed the State’s first female Governor of Western Australia.
Premier Colin Barnett, the Chief Justice, former Premiers, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Consular Representatives, also attended, along with other religious, business, civic and community leaders.
Mrs Sanderson is a former WA Agent-General in London, as well as Fremantle Ports Chief Executive Officer. Mrs Sanderson thanked guests for attending and reserved a special thank you to Premier Colin Barnett who nominated and encouraged her to take on the role.
I look forward to working closely with Governor Sanderson in the coming years and forging a special relationship.
Picture: Hon Barry House MLC, President of the Legislative Council with the newly appointed Governor of Western Australia, Her Excellency Mrs Kerry Sanderson AO.
Picture: Hon Barry House MLC, President of the Legislative Council (fifth from left) standing outside Parliament House with the Gansu Delegation.
We have a long standing relationship with China, and in strengthening the relationship, I hosted a delegation from the Gansu Province in October 2014.
The purpose of the visit was to explore the potential for increased business opportunities with Western Australia and promote Gansu in education and Silk Road tourism.
The delegation consisted of seven members, with the Head of the delegation Hon Dr Feng Jianshen, Chairman, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Gansu Provincial Committee.
The Chinese People’s Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is considered to be the equivalent to the Legislative Council in Western Australia. The CPPCC is an organisation of the united front with wide representation. It is an important organ of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It is composed of the CPC, other political parties, mass organisations, and representative public personages from all walks of life.
The Gansu Province has a very strong relationship with Western Australia which has definitely grown over the many years. Gansu’s Jinchuan Group (China’s largest nickel company) is an investor in Western Australia at Fox Resources. Jinchuan has been importing nickel from Western Australia, and Gansu’s Lanzhou University has connections with the University of Western Australia’s agricultural research program through its Institute of Agriculture research engine.
The Gansu Province is heavily reliant on exports from WA in nickel and Australia is Gansu’s biggest trading partner.
The delegation’s visit was fantastic for Western Australia and I thoroughly enjoyed extending the hand of friendship between the Gansu Province and Western Australia.
The Greek community were very fortunate to have Ms Choli as Consul, as she was heavily involved in the Greek community in Western Australia and immersed herself in many of the support programs.
I wish Ms Choli all the very best in her future endeavours.
Picture: President of the Legislative Council, Hon Barry House MLC, with Ms Sofia Choli, Consul from the Consulate of Greece.
With 2014 marking the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of World War I and the 75th Anniversary of World War II, the Western Australian Parliament has heavily focused on honouring the men and women who served abroad and those who supported the war effort on home soil.
On Sunday 19 October, Parliament participated in Perth Heritage Days themed ‘Perth at the Outbreak of War’. Visitors watched the 10th Light Horse re-enactment troop in full military dress and saddlery move up from the Perth CBD and parade on the forecourt of Parliament House with the Westralian Great War Living History Association, a re-enactment troop of World War I soldiers.
The troops were inspected by the Hon Bill Grayden AM, former Member of Parliament and World War II veteran from the 2/16th Battalion.
Displays were provided on Members of Parliament who received leave to enlist, key legislation passed during the wars, together with displays by the Army and Aviation Heritage Museums of Western Australia, the Royal Australian Navy and the 10th Light Horse.
In remembrance of Members of Parliament who served or supported the war effort, a special event website was also developed.
Parliament House also recently updated its honour boards detailing the war service of Western Australian Members of Parliament. The Boards reflect war service as far back as the Crimean War and most recently service in the Iraq War.
The honour boards are a worthy tribute to both those who forged Parliament’s democratic traditions and those who fought to maintain them.
The public can view the honour boards by participating in a public tour of Parliament House. Details for the tours and for Parliament’s special event website can be viewed at www.parliament.wa.gov.au.
Picture: The President of the Legislative Council, Hon Barry House MLC with the visiting exchange students from the Renmin University of China outside of the Parliament of Western Australia.
I recently hosted a morning tea for the CMPM (Chinese Master of Practicing Management) 2014 Students at Renmin University of China, which was coordinated by the Curtin Business School.
Last year I hosted a tour of visiting Masters students also from Renmin University of China. The visit and tour was such a huge success, that this year’s students, together with the Curtin Business School from Curtin University organised the get together. I am always happy to meet with exchange students who are interested in the Parliament of Western Australia. We have a strong relationship with China, with is further strengthened through such exchange programs as this one.
Professor David Black, Parliamentary History Advisor addressed the delegation on the ‘Western Australian Parliamentary Systems’ while I addressed the Delegation on the ‘Role of the President and the Parliament’, which was followed by questions.
The students were given a guided tour of the Parliament Building by the Parliamentary Education Office.
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