Mr Smith, who will retire at the next election, told the Parliament at the end of Question Time he had always sought to “operate fairly, consistently and predictably” and thanked both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.
“I thank the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for their friendship and support, I think it’s helped the House that we’ve known each other a long time,” he said.
The outgoing speaker then offered his thanks to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles, Peter Dutton and Labor’s Tony Burke.
Speaker Tony Smith during his final Question Time as Speaker of the House. Picture: NCA
“I thank the Treasurer for his long-standing friendship from our time as advisors and now as colleagues and as always, as Carlton supporters; I simply don’t have another friend on the planet who texts or apps me so frequently,” he said to laughter from across the House.
“The deputy Leader of the Opposition has known me for 35 years, we’ve always been opponents but we’ve always been mates. Can I thank the Leader of the House (Mr Dutton) who I’ve worked closely with in recent months and who I’ve been a friend and colleague with for 20 years.
“I want to thank my friend the Manager of Opposition Business (Mr Burke) who I’ve also worked closely with for the benefit of the House through my entire speakership.”
Mr Smith was first elected as speaker following the resignation of Bronwyn Bishop in 2015, and is the only person since Sir Frederick Holder (1901-1909) to have been unanimously elected by the house three times.
Tony Smith to resign as speaker on November 22
The Prime Minister heaped praise on Mr Smith and said he “could not be prouder” of the outgoing speaker.
“You are the longest serving speaker of my generation and I suspect we have seen the finest speaker this Parliament has had the great opportunity to witness in action,” Mr Morrison said.
“I want to thank you for your dedication to the party, I want to thank you for your dedication to the Parliament and I want to thank you for your dedication to each and every member of this house.”
The Prime Minister was joined by his Labor counterpart who said Mr Smith had been an “outstanding speaker” and had worked tirelessly to “lift the standard of the Parliament”.
twitter
“You have been an outstanding speaker, you followed a divisive speaker that’s the truth which only made your determination to lift the standard of the Parliament even more important and unity is always better than division,” Mr Albanese said.
Mr Smith, who has been the Member for Casey in Melbourne’s outer east, will return to the backbench for the remainder of the term after tendering his resignation to the Governor General tomorrow morning.
Veteran Liberal MP Kevin Andrews and Sunshine Coast Liberal MP Andrew Wallace are believed to have been canvassing support to replace Mr Smith with a vote expected tomorrow.
The new speaker will only serve until Parliament is dissolved ahead of the next election, after which the position will again be vacant.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *