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About Parliament

Who does what?




Where does the Prime Minister sit?





How often do members meet?

The three levels of Government in Australia are federal, state and local government.


The Prime Minister is the head of the cabinet and leader of the ministers in Federal Parliament in Canberra.

Parliament sits on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 2pm or 3pm.

Who is the Parliament of Western Australia

What is the Mace used for?



Are there set times for members to speak in the Chamber?



The Parliament in Western Australia comprises the Governor, politicians and the official staff of each House which includes the Clerks and officers.

The Mace is the symbol of the authority of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.


Most speeches by members are subject to time limits. Digital clocks count down the amount of speaking time remaining.

What is the sand-glass used for?

Who sits at the Table in front of the Speakers and Presidents chair?


Who sits at the table in front of the Clerk's chair?

The sand-glass measures the two minutes when a count or division is called for returning members to the chamber.

The Clerks-at-the-Table sit in front of the Speaker and President ie Clerk of the House, Deputy Clerk and Clerk Assistants.

The people who sit at this table are government officers and are invited by the minister responsible for the bill that is being debated.

Why is the Queens Coat of Arms in the Chamber and not the Western Australian Coat of Arms?

Why are the Chambers Blue and Red?



Why are the Chambers called the Upper and Lower Houses?



When Parliament House was first designed in the late 1890s Western Australia was a British Colony and did not have a separate Coat of Arms.

The upper house is red like the House of Lords. One theory says the lower house is blue because it used furnishings from the original Legislative Council.

One theory is the Lower House is the House of the lower classes and the Upper House is the House of the upper classes.

What is the Black Rod?
Black Rod

Where is the Chandelier in the Forrest Foyer from?

Where do the Lion and the Unicorn in the Lee-Steere Foyer come from?

The Black Rod is the symbol of the authority of the Sovereign in the Upper House, the Legislative Council.

The chandelier is made from Austrian lead crystal and was brought to Western Australia in the 1850s from London by William Knight.

The Lion and the Unicorn in the Lee-Steere Foyer were a gift from the Westminster Parliament in 1935.

What does the Western Australian Crest of the Legislative Council signify?
Why are there four swans on the floor of the Legislative Assembly?


What is the story of the Swan on the floor in the Forrest Foyer?

The crest features the Coat of Arms of the Sovereign and the black swan of Western Australia.


There are four swans on the floor of the Legislative Assembly so that the symbol of WA can be seen from any angle.


The black swan is the symbol of Western Australia. The swan is made from the local timbers: Jarrah, Marri, Wandoo and Blackbutt.

Who are the people in the Owen Garde painting?



Who was the sculptor of Sir John Forrest and Sir James Lee-Steere busts?


How much do Members of Parliament get paid?



From left to right: Peter Broun, William Mackie, Captain Frederick Irwin, John Septimus Roe, Governor James Stirling and Commander Mark Currie.

The busts of Western Australia’s Sir John Forrest and Sir James Lee-Steere were created by the Italian born sculptor, Pietro Giacomo Porcelli.

Members' pays are determined by the State Administrative Tribunal. Visit SAT's website for details.

Serving in the Parliament
Who has been the longest serving Member of Parliament?


Who was the first female member of the Western Australian Parliament?


Who was the first Aboriginal person elected to the Western Australian Parliament?


The Honourable John Tonkin served in the Legislative Assembly for 43 years 10 months and 11 days from 1933 to 1977.

Edith Cowan was the first female member of an Australian parliament and the WA Parliament.

The first Indigenous Australian elected to a lower house of any Australian parliament and cabinet minister was Ernie Bridge (ALP) in 1980.

Who was Western Australia's longest serving Premier?


Who was the youngest person elected to the Western Australian Parliament?


Family Dynasties



The longest serving Western Australian Premier was Sir David Brand who served for 11 years, 11 months and one day.

Edwin Wilkie Corboy was the youngest person elected to the Parliament of Western Australia winning the seat of Yilgarn, 1921, aged 24 years.

Sir Charles Court and Richard Court were the first father and son premiers in Western Australia.




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