House debates

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Statement by the Speaker

4:23 pm

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

I have a short statement for the House. I wish to report to the House on my attendance, with the Clerk of the House, at the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth, otherwise known as CSPOC, in Ottawa from 6 to 10 January this year. CSPOC is held every two years. It's a valuable opportunity to meet and discuss issues of mutual interest with over 50 presiding officers from the national parliaments of Commonwealth countries. The aims of the conference are to maintain and encourage impartiality and fairness on the part of presiding officers, to promote knowledge and understanding of parliamentary democracy in its various forms and to develop parliamentary institutions. The agenda for this year's conference included several keynote addresses, one of which I delivered on the topic of parliamentarians as effective legislators and constituency representatives and the evolving support that this requires. The keynotes were followed by useful workshop discussions, including one chaired by myself on openness, transparency and accountability of parliaments.

As the representative presiding officer of the Australian parliament which will be hosting the next CSPOC here in Parliament House in January 2022, I was pleased to attend the meeting of the CSPOC standing committee, of which I'm now the chair, and to invite the Commonwealth presiding officers to our parliament here in Canberra in two years time.