Welcome to the Legislative Council of Western Australia, the upper house of Parliament. As President, I am the Presiding Officer and spokesperson for the Legislative Council. Together with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, I am responsible for the overall management of the Parliament.
The Legislative Council has a proud history of representing the interests of the people of Western Australia. Established in 1832, not long after settlement of the Swan River Colony by Captain James Stirling in 1829, the Legislative Council was one of the first parliamentary institutions in Western Australia. One important task of the modern Legislative Council is to scrutinise the activities of government as a house of review. In this and other roles as part of the state’s legislature, the Legislative Council is an essential and valuable component of our system of parliamentary democracy. It is important that its independence is preserved and strengthened where necessary.
As the first female President of the Legislative Council, and given my own experience as a working mother, I am very keen to make sure that we look at ways to make Parliament much more family friendly. I am also very keen, given my passion for technology, to investigate ways in which we can incorporate technology into the Council in a range of areas to not only make us more productive, but also open up opportunities for better engagement with the community.
Among my roles as President of the Legislative Council, I act as an ambassador for the house and the Parliament of Western Australia. This involves meeting and hosting representatives from other governments, organisations and countries. Through such work, the Legislative Council has, over the years, developed good relationships with many other Parliaments.
An equally important aspect of my work is increasing the public’s understanding of the work of the Council. It is my desire to improve public knowledge of, and access to, the Legislative Council. Through our parliamentary education programs and partnerships, and information on this website, we aim to reach and engage all Western Australians.
The Council receives over 15,000 visitors each year, with many more finding out about our work through the website. I would encourage you to watch the proceedings of the Legislative Council via the website or from the public gallery, or to join a public tour, so that you can better understand the work that we do.
Hon Kate Doust, MLC
President of the Legislative Council