Parliament Of South Australia Website


People In Parliament

House of Assembly

House of Assembly


  • presides over the debates of the House of Assembly
  • is elected by Members of the House of Assembly
  • keeps order in the House of Assembly
  • understands the rules (Standing Orders) and procedures and makes sure they are followed
  • usually does not take part in debates
  • calls Members who wish to speak or ask questions
  • puts the questions on which Members vote, and announces the results of each vote
  • once elected may continue to be an active member of a Political Party, but is expected to be fair to all members whatever party or group to which they may belong
  • sits in the Speaker’s Chair



  • is in charge of proceedings and keeps order in Committee of the Whole, where bills are considered in detail and possibly amended
  • is elected by the House of Assembly
  • sits in the chair at the head of the Table between the Clerks (after the Speaker has left the Speaker’s Chair)
  • reports to the Speaker what the Committee of the Whole has agreed to a Bill
  • is also the Deputy Speaker



  • represent electorates
  • are elected for four year terms
  • are nearly always members of a Political Party
  • speak in debates, ask questions, present petitions and take part in votes
  • raise issues of concern to people, particularly people in their electorates
  • debate bills and may move amendments
  • move motions for debate
  • may be made members of a committee by the House



  • is the head of the governing party and Leader of the Government
  • forms a Ministry to govern the State, and chairs the Cabinet
  • takes a leading part in debates in the House
  • is accountable to the Parliament for all Government decisions and actions
  • is assisted by the Deputy Premier
  • is a Member of Parliament and represents an electorate
  • sits opposite the Leader of the Opposition



  • is the leader of the major non-governing party
  • has the task of questioning the Government, examining its plans and presenting an alternate point of view
  • is a Member of Parliament and represents an electorate
  • sits opposite the Premier



  • are usually members of the governing party
  • Ministers form the Cabinet
  • are responsible for one or more Government Departments
  • introduce legislation on behalf of the Government
  • make speeches to explain their plans
  • are asked questions during Question Time
  • present reports from their Departments
  • are responsible to the Parliament for all of their decisions and actions
  • sit on the front benches on the Government side of each House



  • arrange meetings of their Party
  • keep the Members in their Party informed on the business before the House, and arrange for speakers to take part in debates
  • make sure that the Members in their party are present at voting time
  • arrange for ‘pairs’ if a Member is sick, or is absent for an approved reason
  • are chosen by each Party in the House of Assembly



  • gives procedural advice, based on the rules (Standing Orders), procedures and practices of the House of Assembly to the Speaker, Ministers and Members
  • compiles and has custody of the official records of the business of the House of Assembly
  • calls items of business, reads titles of bills and announces petitions
  • times Members’ speeches and rings the bells for divisions
  • is responsible for the administration of the House of Assembly and its Committees
  • is appointed to the position after many years of experience
  • wears the traditional dress of a gown
  • sits at the head of the Table, on the right hand side of the Speaker
  • is assisted by a Deputy Clerk and the Clerk Assistant

 Clerk of the House of Assembly


  • conducts the Speaker to the Chair during the ceremony at the beginning of every sitting day
  • takes part in ceremonial activities
  • by direction of the Speaker keeps order in the Chamber and the Public Galleries
  • is responsible for the security and providing services to Members and visitors
  • is a member of the House of Assembly Staff

Serjeant At Arms


  • take a word-by-word shorthand/electronic record of the debates in each House
  • take turns of ten minutes
  • transcribe into written word for Hansard Records
  • sit in the Hansard Reporters Gallery



  • deliver messages to and from Members
  • prepare the House at the beginning of the day
  • distribute bills and other documents in the Chamber and to offices
  • assist visitors to Parliament House
  • are supervised by the Serjeant-at-Arms


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