South Australian House of Assembly

The House of Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia. The other is the Legislative Council. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Adelaide.

House of Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Founded1857
Leadership
Vincent Tarzia, Liberal
Since 3 May 2018
Peter Treloar, Liberal
Since 3 May 2018
Structure
Seats47
SA House of Assembly 2018
Political groups
Government
     Liberal (25)

Opposition
     Labor (19)

Crossbench
     Independent (3)
Elections
Full preferential voting
Meeting place
South Australian House of Assembly
House of Assembly Chamber,
Parliament House, Adelaide,
South Australia, Australia
Website
SA House of Assembly

Overview

The House of Assembly was created in 1857, when South Australia attained self-government. The development of an elected legislature — although only men could vote — marked a significant change from the prior system, where legislative power was in the hands of the Governor and the Legislative Council, which was appointed by the Governor.

In 1895, the House of Assembly granted women the right to vote and stand for election to the legislature. South Australia was the second place in the world to do so after New Zealand in 1893, and the first to allow women to stand for election.[1]

From 1857 to 1933, the House of Assembly was elected from multi-member districts, commonly known as "seats," with each district returning between one and six members. The size of the Assembly varied during this time—36 members from 1857 to 1875, 46 members from 1875 to 1884, 52 members from 1884 to 1890, 54 members from 1890 to 1902, 42 members from 1902 to 1912, 40 members from 1912 to 1915, and 46 members from 1915 to 1938. In 1938, the Assembly was reduced to 39 members, elected from single-member districts.

The House of Assembly has had 47 members since the 1970 election, elected from single-member districts: currently 34 in the Adelaide metropolitan area and 13 in rural areas. These seats are intended to represent approximately the same population in each electorate. Voting is by preferential voting with complete preference allocation, as with the equivalent federal chamber, the Australian House of Representatives. All members face re-election approximately every four years. The most recent election was held on 17 March 2018.

Most legislation is initiated in the House of 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 becomes Premier of South Australia, and their senior colleagues become ministers responsible for various portfolios. As Australian MPs almost always vote along party lines, almost all legislation introduced by the governing party will pass through the House of Assembly.

As with the federal parliament and Australian other states and territories, voting in the Assembly is compulsory for all those over the age of 18. Voting in the House of Assembly had originally been voluntary, but this was changed in 1942.

While South Australia's total population is 1.7 million, 1.3 million of them live in Adelaide. Uniquely, over 75% of the state's population resides in the metropolitan area, making South Australia the most centralised state in the nation. As a result, Adelaide accounts for 72% (34 of 47) of the seats in the chamber. The dominance of Adelaide, combined with a lack of comparatively-sized rural population centres, results in the metropolitan area frequently deciding election outcomes. At the 2014 election for example, although the state-wide two-party vote (2PP) was 47.0% Labor v 53.0% Liberal, the metropolitan area recorded a 2PP of 51.5% Labor v 48.5% Liberal.[2]

Election result summaries

SA Lower House Chamber
House of Assembly chamber circa 1928.

Current distribution of seats

Party Seats held
2018 2018-current
Liberal Party of Australia 25
 
Australian Labor Party 19
 
Independent 3
 
  • 24 votes as a majority are required to pass legislation.

Father of the House of Assembly since 1 Jan 1964

From To Member Term Started Status
1 January 1964 2 March 1968 Thomas Playford IV
Tom Stott
1933 Joint Fathers
2 March 1968 30 May 1970 Tom Stott 1933 Father
30 May 1970 10 March 1973 David Brookman (Australian politician) Appointed in 1948 due to death of Sir Hubert Hudd Father
10 March 1973 17 September 1977 John Coumbe 1956 Father
17 September 1977 15 September 1979 Bill Nankivell 1958 Father
15 September 1979 9 November 1982 Des Corcoran 1962 Father
9 November 1982 6 December 1985 Allan Rodda 1965 Father
6 December 1985 11 December 1993 Stan Evans 1968 Father
11 December 1993 11 October 1997 Heini Becker 1970 Father
11 October 1997 9 February 2002 Dean Brown 1973, 1992 Father
9 February 2002 18 March 2006 John Meier (politician) 1982 Father
18 March 2006 11 October 2014 Bob Such
Michael Atkinson
1989 Joint Fathers
11 October 2014 17 March 2018 Michael Atkinson 1989 Father
11 October 2014 17 March 2018 Frances Bedford
Tom Koutsantonis
1997 Joint Father/Mother

See also

References

  1. ^ Women’s Suffrage Petition 1894: parliament.sa.gov.au
  2. ^ Metropolitan 2PP correctly calculated by adding raw metro 2PP vote numbers from the 34 metro seats, both Labor and Liberal, then dividing Labor's raw metro 2PP vote from the total, which revealed a Labor metropolitan 2PP of 51.54%. Obtained raw metro 2PP vote numbers from ECSA 2014 election statistics, ECSA 2014 Heysen election and ABC 2014 Fisher by-election.

External links

List of elections in South Australia

This is a list of state elections in South Australia for the bicameral Parliament of South Australia, consisting of the House of Assembly (lower house) and the Legislative Council (upper house).

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1870–1871

This is a list of members of the sixth parliament of the South Australian House of Assembly, which sat from 27 May 1870 until 23 November 1871. The members were elected at the 1870 colonial election.

1 West Torrens MHA Henry Strangways resigned on 28 July 1871. James Boucaut won the resulting by-election on 10 August.

2 Light MHA Edward Hamilton resigned on 28 July 1871. James White won the resulting by-election on 12 August.

3 Flinders MHA William Paltridge resigned on 28 July 1871. Neville Blyth won the resulting by-election on 24 August.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1887–1890

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1887 to 1890, as elected at the 1887 colonial election:

1 Gumeracha MHA Robert Dalrymple Ross died on 27 December 1887. Lancelot Stirling won the resulting by-election on 12 May 1888.

2 Victoria MHA Daniel Livingston died on 30 September 1888. John James Osman won the resulting by-election on 1 November.

3 Stanley MHA Edward William Hawker resigned on 28 May 1889. Peter Paul Gillen won the resulting by-election on 25 June.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1905–1906

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1905 to 1906, as elected at the 1905 state election:

1 Murray MHA Walter Hughes Duncan died on 12 May 1906. Hermann Homburg won the resulting by-election on 23 June.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1906–1910

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1906 to 1910, as elected at the 1906 state election:

1 Adelaide MHA James Zimri Sellar died on 20 December 1906. Reginald Blundell won the resulting by-election on 26 January 1907.

2 Stanley MHA William Patrick Cummins died on 9 March 1907. Kossuth William Duncan won the resulting by-election on 13 April.

3 Flinders MHA Arthur Hugh Inkster died on 29 March 1907. Edgar Hampton Warren won the resulting by-election on 18 May.

4 Adelaide MHA Ernest Roberts resigned on 15 May 1908. Edward Alfred Anstey won the resulting by-election on 20 June.

5 Northern Territory MHA Vaiben Louis Solomon died on 20 October 1908. Thomas Crush won the resulting by-election on 5 December.

6 Wooroora MHA Friedrich Wilhelm Paech died on 29 December 1908. Frederick William Young won the resulting by-election on 13 February 1909.

7 Torrens MHA Thomas Price died on 31 May 1909. Thomas Ryan won the resulting by-election on 3 July.

8 Northern Territory MHA Samuel James Mitchell resigned on 18 January 1910. No by-election was held before the 1910 election.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1933–1938

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1933 to 1938, as elected at the 1933 state election:

1 The governing Labor Party had split into three separate factions prior to the 1933 state election due to disputes over the handling of the Great Depression. Robert Richards, the Labor Premier going into the election, had been expelled from the party along with much of the parliamentary caucus for supporting the Premiers' Plan. Richards and his supporters accordingly contested the election under the banner of the Parliamentary Labor Party. The official ALP, consisting of the party administration, several dissident MHAs and much of the party grassroots, ran a mostly new slate of candidates. A number of MHAs and party officials also formed a third faction, the Lang Labor Party, associated with the ideas of New South Wales Premier Jack Lang. All three factions won seats in the election.

2 Two of the three Lang Labor Party MHAs, Bob Dale and Tom Howard left the party in 1933 after falling out with leader Doug Bardolph and formed their own party, the South Australian Lang Labor Party (SALLP).

3 Barossa independent MHA Dr Herbert Basedow died on 4 June 1933. LCL candidate Reginald Rudall won the resulting by-election on 8 July.

4 Alexandra LCL MHA George Laffer died on 7 December 1933. Independent candidate George Connor won the resulting by-election on 10 February 1934.

5 The four Labor factions reunited in June 1934 after an extended reconciliation process. All members of the four factions rejoined the official Labor Party as a result.

6 Wooroora LCL MHA Archie Cameron resigned on 7 August 1934 in order to contest the federal seat of Barker at the 1934 federal election. Independent candidate Albert Robinson won the resulting by-election on 29 September.

7 Adelaide MHA and former Lang Labor Party leader Doug Bardolph was expelled from the Labor Party in 1935. He served out the remainder of his term as an independent.

8 Port Pirie Labor MHA John Fitzgerald died on 22 December 1936. Labor candidate William Threadgold was elected to the vacancy unopposed on 3 March 1937.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1938–1941

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1938 to 1941, as elected at the 1938 state election:

1 Light LCL MHA and Premier Richard Layton Butler resigned on 5 November 1938 in order to contest a by-election for the federal seat of Wakefield. LCL candidate Herbert Michael won the resulting by-election on 21 January 1939.

2 Glenelg independent MHA William Fisk died on 18 December 1940. No by-election was held due to the imminent 1941 state election.

3 Stirling independent MHA Herbert Dunn joined the LCL in 1940.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1950–1953

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1950 to 1953, as elected at the 1950 state election:

1 The LCL member for Flinders, Rex Pearson, resigned on 22 March 1951 to run for the Australian Senate at the 1951 federal election. His son, Glen Pearson, won the resulting by-election for the LCL on 2 June 1951.

2 The Labor member for Gawler, Leslie Duncan, died on 27 February 1952. Labor candidate John Clark won the resulting by-election on 19 April 1952.

3 The LCL member for Stirling, Herbert Dunn, died on 11 September 1952. LCL candidate William Jenkins won the resulting by-election on 18 October 1952.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1953–1956

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1953 to 1956, as elected at the 1953 state election:

1 The LCL member for Mitcham, Henry Dunks, died on 22 March 1955. LCL candidate Robin Millhouse won the resulting by-election on 7 May.

2 The LCL member for Eyre, Arthur Christian, died on 8 January 1956. No by-election was held due to the imminent 1956 state election.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1968–1970

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1968 to 1970, as elected at the 1968 state election:

1 The narrow re-election of the Labor member for Millicent, Des Corcoran, was overturned by the Court of Disputed Returns on 28 May 1968. Corcoran won the resulting by-election on 22 June 1968.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1975–1977

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1975 to 1977, as elected at the 1975 state election:

1 The Country Party renamed itself to the National Country Party during the course of this term..

2 The Liberal Movement voted to rejoin the Liberal Party in May 1976, with one of its two MHAs, David Boundy, following suit. The second MHA, Robin Millhouse, who had fiercely opposed the merger, immediately founded a new party, the New LM, and served as its sole representative in the House of Assembly.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1977–1979

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1977 to 1979, as elected at the 1977 state election:

1 The Labor member for Norwood and outgoing Premier of South Australia, Don Dunstan, resigned due to ill health on 15 February 1979. Labor candidate Greg Crafter won the resulting by-election on 10 March 1979.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1985–1989

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1986 to 1989, as elected at the 1985 state election:

1 Stan Evans, the MLA for Davenport and former Liberal MLA for Fisher, had been re-elected as an independent in 1985 after losing a preselection battle against incumbent Liberal and factional opponent Dean Brown. Evans subsequently rejoined the Liberal Party in 1986.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1993–1997

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1993 to 1997, as elected at the 1993 state election:

1 The Labor member for Elizabeth, Martyn Evans, resigned in early 1994 to contest a by-election for the federal seat of Bonython. Labor candidate Lea Stevens won the resulting by-election on 9 April 1994.

2 The Liberal member for Torrens, Joe Tiernan, died on 31 March 1994. Labor candidate Robyn Geraghty won the resulting by-election on 7 May 1994.

3 The Labor member for Taylor and former Premier of South Australia, Lynn Arnold, resigned in late 1994. Labor candidate Trish White won the resulting by-election on 5 November 1994.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 2002–2006

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 2002 to 2006, as elected at the 2002 state election:

1 Kris Hanna, the member for Mitchell, was elected as a representative of the Labor Party, but resigned from the party on 30 January 2003 and joined the South Australian Greens. He later resigned from the party on 8 February 2006, after failing to win the top position on their Legislative Council ticket for the 2006 election, and served out the remainder of his term as an independent.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 2010–2014

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 2010 to 2014, as elected at the 2010 state election and two 2012 by-elections.

1 The Labor member for Port Adelaide, former Deputy Premier and Treasurer Kevin Foley, resigned on 12 December 2011. Labor candidate Susan Close won the resulting by-election on 11 February 2012.

2 The Labor member for Ramsay, former Premier Mike Rann, resigned on 13 January 2012. Labor candidate Zoe Bettison won the resulting by-election on 11 February 2012.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 2014–2018

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 2014 to 2018, as elected at the 2014 state election.

Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 2018–2022

This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 2018 to 2022, as elected at the 2018 state election.

Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly

The Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly is the presiding officer of the South Australian House of Assembly, the lower house of the Parliament of South Australia. The other presiding officer is the President of the South Australian Legislative Council.

The current Speaker is Liberal MP Vincent Tarzia.

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