Tuesday, 07 May 2019

NSW Parliament resumed today with the election of the 40th Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly, Member for Davidson Jonathan O’Dea.

Mr O’Dea’s was the only nomination received for the role resulting in his unchallenged election as Speaker of the 57th Parliament.

“I thank my parliamentary colleagues from both sides of the House and Premier Gladys Berejiklian for their trust in me,” Mr O’Dea said.

“I am honoured to have been elected Speaker and look forward to serving the Parliament and the people of NSW.”

In his acceptance speech, made before taking the Chair for the first time, Mr O’Dea foreshadowed a number of changes he would seek to make to bring about greater respect and engagement with the Parliament.

“As Speaker I will not only preside over the proceedings of the House but endeavour to change the culture of the ‘Bearpit’,” Mr O’Dea said.

“I welcome the Premier’s desire for reform and will work alongside the members of this place, the community and the NSW Government to deliver an institution the people of this state can be proud of.

“Today I proposed changes that will improve and modernise the Parliament including the introduction of e-petitions, improving the relevance of answers, boosting education and outreach programs and carefully using citizen juries through the committee system. 

“I also advised members that exchanges of the floor of the House can be rigorous and robust but should not be disorderly or disrespectful, and I will expect all members to adhere to an elevated standard of parliamentary behaviour.

“The public want political leaders with integrity and will likely have greater respect for us if we demonstrate proper respect for ourselves,” Mr O’Dea said.

Following the election of Speaker O’Dea, the Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams was elected Deputy Speaker and Member for Oatley Mark Coure Assistant Speaker.

Members of the new Speaker’s panel will include:

  • Lee Evans, Member for Heathcote
  • Sonia Hornery, Member for Wallsend
  • Greg Piper, Member for Lake Macquarie
  • Gurmesh Singh, Member for Coffs Harbour
  • Felicity Wilson, Member for North Shore