New South Wales Legislative Assembly: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Type
Type Lower house
Leadership
Speaker Richard Torbay, Independent
since 8 May 2007
Structure
Members 93
Meeting place
Parliament House, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Website
www.parliament.nsw.gov.au

The Legislative Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of New South Wales. The other is the Legislative Council. It sits in the state capital, Sydney at Parliament House. It is presided over by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

The Assembly has 93 members, elected by single-member constituency, which are commonly known as seats. Voting is by the optional preferential system.

Contents

History

The Legislative Assembly was created in 1856 with the introduction of a bicameral parliament for the Crown Colony of New South Wales. In the beginning, only men were eligible to be members of the Assembly, and only around one half of men were able to pass the property or income qualifications required to vote. Two years later, the Electoral Reform Act, which was passed despite the opposition of the Legislative Council, saw the introduction of a far more democratic system, allowing any man who had been resident in the colony for six months the right to vote, and removing property requirements in order to stand as a candidate. Following Australia's federation in 1901, the New South Wales parliament became a State legislature. Women were granted the right to vote in 1902, and gained the right to be members of the Assembly in 1918, with the first successful candidate being elected in 1925. Aboriginal people did not gain the right to vote until 1949 in NSW.

Function

Most legislation is initiated in the Legislative Assembly. The party or coalition with the most seats in the lower house is invited by the Governor to form government. The leader of that party subsequently becomes Premier of New South Wales, and their senior colleagues become ministers responsible for various portfolios. As Australian political parties traditionally vote along party lines, most legislation introduced by the governing party will pass through the Legislative Assembly.

As with the federal parliament and other Australian states and territories, voting in the Assembly is compulsory for all those over the age of 18. Elections are held every four years on the fourth Saturday in March, exceptional circumstances notwithstanding, as the result of a 1995 referendum to amend the New South Wales Constitution.

Current distribution of seats

Party Seats held Percentage of Assembly
  Australian Labor Party
51
54.8%
  Liberal Party
23
24.7%
  National Party
13
14%
  Independent
6
6.5%
Total
93
100%

See also

References

External links

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