New South Wales Legislative Assembly facts for kids
|New South Wales Legislative Assembly|
|Type||Lower house of Parliament of New South Wales|
|Speaker||Hon. Shelley Hancock MP, Liberal
since 3 May 2011
|Political groups||Government (52)
|Last election||29 March 2015|
|Legislative Assembly Chamber
Parliament House, Sydney,
New South Wales, Australia
|NSW Legislative Assembly|
The New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the lower of the two houses of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The upper house is the New South Wales Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. The Assembly 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.
Members of the Legislative Assembly have the initialism MP after their names. From the creation of the assembly up to about 1990, the initialism "MLA" ( Member of the Legislative Assembly ) was used.
The Assembly is often called the bearpit on the basis of the house's reputation for confrontational style during heated moments and the "savage political theatre and the bloodlust of its professional players" attributed in part to executive dominance.
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 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.
Most legislation is initiated in the Legislative Assembly. The party or coalition with a majority of 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||Current Assembly|
|Liberal Party of Australia||36|
|Australian Labor Party||34|
|National Party of Australia||17|
|Greens New South Wales||3|
|Shooters, Fishers and Farmers||1|
- 47 votes as a majority are required to pass legislation.
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