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Role of the President

Election and role 

The President is elected by members of the Legislative Council.  This election takes place as the first item of business after the swearing in of members of the Legislative Council following a state general election.  The President continues in office until the expiry of his or her four-year term as a member, unless he or she resigns, ceases to be a member or is voted out of office.  If any of these events occur, the Chair of Committees, as the Deputy President, acts as President until the house elects a new President. The President is the Presiding Officer of the Legislative Council and 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 by former 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.

The President has corporate responsibilities and, along with the Speaker, is responsible 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.

Read more about the office of the President in the fact sheet President of the Legislative Council.