A Message from the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

The history of Parliament, in its various forms, commenced with the first Legislative Council on 7 February 1832. It wasn't until the Western Australian Constitution was enacted by an Act of the British Parliament at Westminster in 1890 that it was possible to hold elections which enabled the Legislative Assembly to hold its first meeting on 30 December 1890.

It was an exciting time for the Colony of Western Australia. It had just achieved Responsible Government and was experiencing rapid population growth because of gold rushes caused by extremely rich gold strikes throughout the Colony.The infrastructure throughout the Colony was also rapidly expanding. The Colonial Parliament became a State Parliament when Western Australia joined the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

The Legislative Assembly plays an important role in our parliamentary democracy and system of Government because, although under the Constitution of Western Australia the Assembly is only one of the three arms of Parliament (the others being Her Majesty the Queen represented by His Excellency the Governor and the Legislative Council), it provides the Government of Western Australia. The Government is formed by the party or coalition of parties with a majority of members in the Legislative Assembly. The leader of the majority (the Premier), when appointed by the Governor, chooses his Ministers from his party and/or coalition membership in the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. Proposals for all expenditure of public moneys must originate in the Legislative Assembly, and this ensures that management of those funds and the program of Government services remain in the hands of the Government of the day.

I hope you will take the time to explore this site and that you will learn more about your Parliament, the role of your representatives in Parliament and how you can participate in our parliamentary democracy. If our democracy is to function effectively, it is important that the people, who elect their members of Parliament to represent them, have a good understanding of how the system works.

I also take this opportunity to encourage you to visit this site regularly as it is under constant development. I welcome your comments and suggestions about the ways in which this Site can be improved.

Please use the feedback form provided.