Parliament of Western Australia
The Parliament of Western Australia is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Western Australia, forming the legislative branch of the Government of Western Australia. The parliament consists of a lower house, the Legislative Assembly, an upper house, the Legislative Council and the Queen, represented by the Governor of Western Australia; the two Houses of Parliament sit in Parliament House in Perth. For a bill to become law, it must be passed by both the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly, receive royal assent from the Governor; the party or coalition commanding the support of a majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly is invited by the governor to form government. The head of government holds the office of Premier of Western Australia; the Legislative Council has 36 members elected for four-year terms from multi-member constituencies by proportional representation, the Legislative Assembly has 59 members, elected for four-year terms from single-member constituencies, using preferential voting.
As with all other Australian states and territories, enrolment to vote and voting for both Houses is compulsory for all resident Australian citizens—and eligible British citizens —who are over the legal voting age of 18. The Western Australian Legislative Council was created in 1832 as an appointed body. In 1870 the colony was ruled by a governor and an advisory Legislative Council made up of appointed officials and elected members; the Western Australian Legislative Assembly was created in 1890 when the colony attained self-government. The first premier was John Forrest, who held office until 1901. On 3 November 2011, the government introduced fixed four-year terms for Parliament, with elections being held every four years on the second Saturday in March; the 2013 state election was the first election under the fixed date system. The two Houses of the 39th Parliament were prorogued on 30 January 2017 by the Governor of Western Australia and the Legislative Assembly was dissolved on the same day.
The term of the Legislative Council will expire on 21 May 2017. The electoral roll closed on Thursday, 9 March 2015. Elections for the 40th Parliament took place on Saturday, 11 March 2017. At the election, the Labor Party won a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly and its leader, Mark McGowan, was sworn in as the 30th Premier of Western Australia on 17 March 2017 by Governor Kerry Sanderson. Members of his new Ministry were sworn in on this date. 2021 Western Australian state election Parliaments of the Australian states and territories Parliament website
Governor-General of Australia
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is shared with the 15 other Commonwealth realms, resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out constitutional duties within the Commonwealth of Australia; the governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers and ambassadors. In general, the governor-general observes the conventions of the Westminster system and responsible government, maintaining a political neutrality, has always acted only on the advice of the prime minister or other ministers or, in certain cases, parliament; the governor-general has a ceremonial role: hosting events at either of the two official residences—Government House in the capital and Admiralty House in Sydney—and travelling throughout Australia to open conferences, attend services and commemorations, provide encouragement to individuals and groups who are contributing to their communities.
When travelling abroad, the governor-general is seen as the representative of Australia, the Queen of Australia. The governor-general is supported by a staff headed by the official secretary to the governor-general. A governor-general is not appointed for a specific term, but is expected to serve for five years subject to a possible short extension. Since 28 March 2014, the Governor-General has been General Sir Peter Cosgrove. From Federation in 1901 until 1965, 11 out of the 15 governors-general were British aristocrats. Since all but one of the governors-general have been Australian-born. Only one Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce, has been a woman. On 16 December 2018 it was announced that General Sir Peter Cosgrove would be replaced with General David Hurley the Governor of New South Wales. To provide continuity through general elections both federally and in New South Wales, Hurley would succeed Cosgrove, who had planned to retire in March 2019, on 28 June 2019; the selection of a Governor-General is a responsibility for the Prime Minister of Australia, who may consult with staff or colleagues, or with the monarch.
The candidate is approached to confirm whether they are willing to accept the appointment. Having agreed to the appointment, the monarch permits it to be publicly announced in advance several months before the end of the current Governor-General's term. During these months, the person is referred to as the Governor-General-designate; the actual appointment is made by the monarch. After receiving his or her commission, the Governor-General takes an Oath of Allegiance to the Australian monarch, an Oath of Office, undertaking to serve Australia's monarch "according to law, in the office of Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia", issues a proclamation assuming office; the oaths are taken in a ceremony on the floor of the Senate and are administered by the Chief Justice of Australia in the presence of the Prime Minister of Australia, the Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, the President of the Australian Senate. In 1919, Prime Minister Billy Hughes sent a memorandum to the Colonial Office in which he requested "a real and effective voice in the selection of the King's representative".
He further proposed that the Dominions be able to nominate their own candidates and that "the field of selection should not exclude citizens of the Dominion itself". The memorandum met with strong opposition within the Colonial Office and was dismissed by Lord Milner, the Colonial Secretary; the following year, as Ronald Munro Ferguson's term was about to expire, Hughes cabled the Colonial Office and asked that the appointment be made in accordance with the memorandum. To mollify Hughes, Milner offered him a choice between three candidates. After consulting his cabinet he chose 1st Baron Forster. In 1925, under Prime Minister Stanley Bruce, the same practice was followed for the appointment of Forster's successor Lord Stonehaven, with the Australian government publicly stating that his name "had been submitted, with others, to the Commonwealth ministry, who had selected him"; the Prime Minister now advises the monarch to appoint their nominee. This has been the procedure since November 1930, when James Scullin's proposed appointment of Sir Isaac Isaacs was fiercely opposed by the British government.
This was not because of any lack of regard for Isaacs but because the British government considered that the choice of Governors-General was, since the 1926 Imperial Conference, a matter for the monarch's decision alone. Scullin was insistent that the monarch must act on the relevant prime minister's direct advice. Scullin cited the precedents of the Prime Minister of South Africa, J
James Mitchell (Australian politician)
Sir James Mitchell was the 13th Premier of Western Australia, serving on two occasions, the Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia for 15 years and the 22nd Governor of Western Australia. Mitchell, the eldest of thirteen children, was educated at Bunbury, Western Australia and in 1885 joined the Western Australian Bank, he was a farmer. Mitchell married Clara Robinson Spencer, daughter of future MP William Spencer in 1888, they were married for 61 years until Clara's death in October 1949. In 1906, the state premier Newton Moore made Mitchell an honorary minister for agricultural expansion. In 1909 he was promoted, he recruited William Lowrie as director of agriculture. On 17 May 1919, premier Hal Colebatch resigned and Mitchell succeeded to the position. Mitchell won the 1921 election and remained premier until 1924. During this period he garnered much publicity for his strong support for the Soldier-Settlement Scheme in the south-west of Western Australia; as a result of his enthusiastic promotion of this scheme he was dubbed "Moo-Cow" Mitchell by the local press.
Nonetheless the establishment of a dairy industry in Western Australia can be credited to him. He proved adept at dealing with the divisions between the Nationalist Party and the Country Party. Mitchell's election to a second term in office coincided with the onset of the Great Depression, his government was defeated at the 1933 state elections, in addition to which he became the first Western Australian premier to lose both a state election and his parliamentary seat. As a result of financial difficulties during the Great Depression, Tasmania had appointed a lieutenant governor in the 1930s. With the approval of the major political parties, in July 1933 Mitchell was appointed lieutenant governor of Western Australia; this meant that, although he resided in Government House, was governor in all but name, he drew no salary, thus making a reduced demand on the public purse at a time when ordinary people were under severe restraint. He held the position until he was appointed governor in 1948, he retired from the post in June 1951, died one month later.
Mitchell was the first Australian-born governor of Western Australia, he remains the only person to have served as both Premier and Governor of the state. The Mitchell Freeway was named in his honour, as was Sir James Mitchell Park in South Perth and Sir James Mitchell National Park; the botanist Charles Gardner named Verticordia mitchelliana in his honour. He had been President of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society G. C. Bolton,'Mitchell, Sir James', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, MUP, 1986, pp 530–532
Arthur Kennedy (governor)
Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy was a British colonial administrator who served as governor of a number of British colonies, namely Sierra Leone, Western Australia, Vancouver Island, Hong Kong and Queensland. Arthur Kennedy was born in Cultra, County Down, Ireland on 5 April 1809, the fourth son of Hugh Kennedy and his wife Grace Dorothea, he was educated by private tutor and in 1823–24 attended Trinity College, where he met his predecessor as Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell. Kennedy entered the British Army, was gazetted an Ensign in the 27th Foot 11th Regiment on 15 August 1827; until 1837 he served with infantry regiments on Corfu. He spent 1841 -- 1844 in British North America. In 1841 he purchased a Captaincy in the 68th Foot. Kennedy returned to Ireland in 1846, the following year sold his captaincy and took up an appointment with the Poor Law Commission, his job was to administer relief to the many inhabitants of County Clare who were affected by the Potato Famine. He was shocked by what he saw and had serious differences with the local Landlord, Colonel Crofton Moore Vandeleur.
In 1851, the famine having ended, Kennedy's position was abolished, he applied for a position in the Colonial Service. In May 1852 he was appointed Governor of The Gambia, but before assuming office he was appointed Governor of Sierra Leone instead, he served in this office until 1854, during which time he made many administrative changes in an attempt to reform the corrupt and inefficient government. In 1854, Kennedy was promoted to the position of Governor of Western Australia, he took up the position the following year, serving until 1862. He reputedly was considered a despot by many Western Australians. Popular opinion turned against him, in August 1856 a public meeting was held in Perth to protest against his methods. During his tenure as governor, Western Australia flourished because of the large amount of British money, spent in the colony under the system of penal transportation of convicts. However, when Kennedy resigned in 1862, he claimed that much of the colony's success was due to his legislative efforts.
On his return to England, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the Bath. Kennedy's next appointment came in July 1863; the decision had been made that Vancouver Island and British Columbia, governed together by a single governor, were each to have their own governor, Kennedy was appointed Governor of Vancouver Island. Compared to his previous appointments, Vancouver Island was comparatively insignificant, might be considered a demotion. Kennedy arrived at Vancouver Island in March 1864. Facing an aggressive Legislative Assembly determined to challenge his executive power, Kennedy achieved little of note in his two years in office. During this time the colony fell into a disastrous economic depression, Kennedy was unfairly blamed by the colony's inhabitants. With the creation of the United Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, Kennedy left office in October 1866. Kennedy returned to London, in December 1867 he was knighted and appointed Governor of the West African Settlements.
He served there until 1872. In 1871 he was created a KCMG. In 1872, Kennedy was appointed the 7th Governor of Hong Kong, a position in which he served until 1877. During his tenure, he created the Hong Kong dollar, which served as the unitary monetary unit for the territory. Since this time, the Hong Kong dollar has served as the single monetary unit for the entire territory, he developed Kennedy Town, the western end of Victoria City on the Hong Kong Island. Sir Arthur's style of governing was to do as little as possible and to be nice to everyone.'Don't rock the boat' became a cornerstone of Hong Kong's political philosophy. Hong Kong prospered during this period. After his appointment as Governor of Hong Kong expired, Kennedy was appointed Governor of Queensland, serving in that position until 1883; that was his last post in the Colonial Service. In 1881, Kennedy was created a GCMG. On his resignation as Governor of Queensland, Kennedy boarded the Orient with the intention of returning to England.
On 3 June 1883, when the Orient was off Aden in the Red Sea, Kennedy died. He was buried at sea. In 1839, Kennedy married Georgina MacCartney, who died on 3 October 1874, they had a son, Arthur Herbert Williams, who entered the army. His daughter, married Richard Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam. Kennedy's other daughter, Georgina Mildred, was honoured by having the Georgina River named after her in 1880, during his time in office in Queensland. William Landsborough had named this river the Herbert in 1861, but it was decided that it needed a new name because there was another river in Queensland that had that same name. Kennedy Town, an area in the Western District of Hong Kong Kennedy Road, located in the mid-level of Wan Chai in Hong Kong Kennedy Lake, a large freshwater lake near Port Alberni, British Columbia Kennedy Range, in Gascoyne region of Western Australia Kennedy Sound overlooked by Mount Arthur in the Mackay Region, Queensland Arthur Terrace and Kennedy Terrace in the Ithaca and Red Hill suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland List of heads of Hong Kong by education Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Captain Arthur Edward Kennedy by George Harratt at Clare County Library The Constitution Centre of Western Australia.
"Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy 1855–1862". Governors and Premiers of Western Australia. West Perth, Western Australia: The Constitution Centre of Western Australia. ISBN 0-7307-3821-3
John Hutt was Governor of Western Australia from 1839 to 1846. Born in London on 24 July 1795, John Hutt was the fourth of 13 children of Richard Hutt of Appley Towers, Isle of Wight, he was educated at Christ's Hospital, in 1815 inherited Appley Towers. He is said to have lived extravagantly, found it necessary to sell his estate and enter the Madras Civil Service; when he did so is unknown, but in about 1830 he was collector of the North Arcot district. He became Governor of North Arcot. Along with his brother William Hutt, John Hutt was involved in the arrangements for the establishment of the colony of South Australia, he was recommended to the position of first Governor of South Australia, but was instead appointed to succeed Sir James Stirling as Governor of Western Australia. He took office on 1 January 1839, holding the position until resigning his commission on 19 February 1846. Politically a liberal, one of Hutt's first actions as governor was to increase the membership of the Western Australian Legislative Council by adding four unofficial nominees.
He oversaw many changes in the colony's land regulations in the enforcement of the conditions governing land grants. It was said that "... the acts of the Governor at this time helped materially to save the infant settlement from utter disaster though he may have erred on the side of over-caution."Hutt's attitude to the Aboriginal peoples of Western Australia was notably different to that of both Stirling and most of the settlers. Relations between the settlers and the natives had deteriorated badly in the final years of Stirling's reign, with natives spearing stock, robbing houses, murdering settlers. Stirling's response was to attempt to subdue the Aboriginal people through harsh punishment. In contrast, Hutt implemented a policy of protecting the rights of Aborigines, educating them where possible, his approach made him unpopular with frontier settlers, who thought themselves more in need of protection than the natives. Hutt developed a personal interest in the languages and culture of the Aboriginal peoples, helped fund George Fletcher Moore's book A Descriptive Vocabulary of the Language in Common Use Amongst the Aborigines of Western Australia.
In 1841, John Hutt founded the first Freemasons lodge in Western Australia, named the'Lodge of St John' No. 485 under the English Masonic constitution becoming the first Lodge consecrated under the Western Australian constitution in 1901. The lodge still meets in the Perth suburb of Kingsley to this day. After resigning as Governor of Western Australia, Hutt returned to England, where he went through more money, he joined the Canterbury Association on 27 March 1848 as one of its first members, but on 29 March 1850 resigned both its chairmanship and membership. Edward Gibbon Wakefield dedicated his book Art of Colonization to Hutt. For a while he lived in Chelsea Hospital, he died, unmarried, in his brother's house on 9 April 1880. Historical Records of Australia Battye, James Sykes. Western Australia: A History from its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth. London: Oxford University Press. Nicholas, Julia. An evaluation of the work of John Hutt as Governor of the Colony of Western Australia from 1839–1846.
Thesis. Available at the State Library of Western Australia; the Constitution Centre of Western Australia. "John Hutt 1839-1846". Governors and Premiers of Western Australia. West Perth, Western Australia: The Constitution Centre of Western Australia. ISBN 0-7307-3821-3
Premier of Western Australia
The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive branch of government in the Australian state of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions; the incumbent Premier of Western Australia is Mark McGowan who won the 2017 state election and was sworn in on 17 March 2017 by Governor Kerry Sanderson as the 30th Premier of Western Australia. The premier must be a member of one of the two Houses of the Parliament of Western Australia, he or she is appointed by the governor on the advice of the lower house, must resign if he or she loses the support of the majority of that house. The premier is always the leader of the political party or coalition of parties with the majority of seats in the lower house; the office of premier of Western Australia was first formed in 1890, after Western Australia was granted responsible government by Britain in 1889.
The Constitution of Western Australia, does not explicitly provide for a premier, the office was not formally listed as one of the executive offices until the appointment of Ross McLarty in 1947. Nonetheless, John Forrest adopted the title on taking office as first premier of Western Australia in 1890, it has been used since. John Forrest was the only premier of Western Australia as a self-governing colony. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, Western Australia became an Australian state and the responsibilities of the office of premier were diminished. Party politics began in Western Australia with the rise of the Labor party in 1901. By 1904, the party system was entrenched in Western Australian politics. Since the premiers have been associated with political parties. Western Australia's constitution contains nothing to preclude the premier being a member of the upper house, the Western Australian Legislative Council, and by convention, the premier is a member of the Assembly. The only exception has been Hal Colebatch, a member of the Legislative Council who accepted the premiership in April 1919 on the understanding that an Assembly seat would be found for him, only to resign a month when no seat could be found.
During the economic boom of the 1980s, the Western Australian government became involved with a number of large businesses. A succession of deals were made between the government and businesses, these caused great losses for the state. A subsequent royal commission found evidence of widespread corruption. Three former premiers were found to have acted improperly and two of them, Ray O'Connor and Brian Burke, were jailed; this scandal became popularly known as WA Inc. As of 8 April 2019, seven former premiers are alive, the oldest being Peter Dowding, who served from 1988 to 1990; the most recent premier to die was Ray O'Connor, on 25 February 2013, aged 86. List of Premiers of Western Australia by time in office Leader of the Opposition Speaker of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly a The only premier to serve in the upper house while premier was Sir Hal Colebatch, elected by the Nationalist Party to fill the vacancy presented by the resignation of Henry Lefroy, on the condition that a seat in the lower house would be found for him.
He served as premier for a month before resigning after no seat could be found.b Prior to the 1904 election, no organised political parties existed, other than the Labor Party. Parliamentary factions included the Ministerialist, or pro-Forrest and the Opposition, or pro-Leake, faction.c Leake died in office on 24 June 1902 from complications resulting from pneumonia, but the new Walter James-led ministry was not sworn in until 1 July 1902. Walter Kingsmill served as Acting Premier during this time
Rear Admiral Sir Richard John Trowbridge was a senior officer in the Royal Navy and the 25th Governor of Western Australia from 25 November 1980 to 24 November 1983, the last British-born vice-regal representative in Australia. He was the first officer to rise from boy seaman to captain of the Queen's yacht HMY Britannia. Richard John Trowbridge was born on 21 January 1920 to a farming family at Andover in the county of Hampshire, England, he was educated at Andover Grammar School and was expecting to become a farmer until a downturn in agriculture saw him leave school in 1935 at just 15 years of age to join the Royal Navy as a boy seaman. Trowbridge was promoted through the navy ranks, was commissioned as Sub-lieutenant in 1940, serving throughout the Second World War at sea. At the end of hostilities, he was stationed in Singapore for a number of years where he was promoted to Commander in 1953, where he met and married Anne Perceval, on 26 February 1955. From 1956 to 1958 he captained the destroyer HMS Carysfort in the Mediterranean, following this served as the second-in-command of the cruiser HMS Bermuda from 1958 to 1959.
He returned to the gunnery school at Whale Island in Portsmouth, where he was promoted to captain in 1960. From 1962 to 1964 he was captain of the frigate HMS Duncan and in charge of the Fishery Protection Squadron, from 1967 to 1969 he commanded the guided missile destroyer HMS Hampshire, which for many years was the flagship of the Western Fleet. Trowbridge became extra equerry to the Queen in 1970 and he served as Flag Officer from 1970 to 1975; the Premier of Western Australia, Sir Charles Court, in 1975 sought to revive the practice of appointment of British-born governors for Western Australia, contrary to the advice of Lord Goronwy-Roberts, British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, who supported the newly established custom that Australian State Governors should be Australian-born. An initial compromise was the appointment of Sir Wallace Kyle, retired Royal Air Force officer, although Anglicised, was Kalgoorlie-born. Following Kyle's term, Trowbridge was appointed Governor of Western Australia on Premier Court's recommendation, for a term from 25 November 1980 to 24 November 1983.
On completion of his term, Trowbridge returned to retirement in the United Kingdom living in Portsmouth. His life was overshadowed by exposure to asbestos, being removed from Britannia during a long refit which he supervised certainly leading to his death from lung cancer, he died on 4 May 2003, in Portsmouth