News

Bishop too ‘heavy handed’ for Speaker role?

NOT HAPPY: George Bell of East Lismore with a portrait of his grandfather, Colonel Sir George Bell who was a famed Federal Speaker. A portrait of him won the Archibald.
NOT HAPPY: George Bell of East Lismore with a portrait of his grandfather, Colonel Sir George Bell who was a famed Federal Speaker. A portrait of him won the Archibald. Marc Stapelberg

THE "heavy-handed" conduct of Federal Speaker Bronwyn Bishop is threatening the position's impartiality, according to the Lismore grandson of a Tasmanian MP who was Speaker in the 1930s.

Mrs Bishop has ejected 107 Labor MPs during her seven months on the job, some for as little as laughing, and only two Coalition MPs.

George Bell is grandson of Colonel Sir George Bell, who served as Speaker for the conservative United Australia Party from 1936 to 1940.

Mr Bell said Mrs Bishop was "wanting to score points for the Government" during Parliament.

"She has quite an aggressive manner towards the Opposition... last session Bronwyn appeared to have the attitude that she was there to shore up the Government, and a Speaker shouldn't do that," Mr Bell said.

What also worried him was news she'd been using the Speaker's office for party fundraisers and attending party political meetings - the former an unprecedented move, the latter frowned upon.

The conduct contrasts with a man once depicted as "an oasis of dignity in a desert of shouting members" during a particularly aggressive parliamentary session before the 1937 election.

Sir George was an MP for the United Australia Party - the forerunner to the Liberal Party - who shared his electoral boundary with the UAP Prime Minister, Joe Lyons.

Despite their close relationship, on this day, Bell was forced to go up against a very angry PM over a perceived slight by two Opposition MPs.

They alleged the PM had been withholding information about an oil find in Dutch New Guinea, when he also allegedly held shares in oil companies.

The PM demanded a withdrawal, but the Speaker overruled him, because he deemed the slights political rather than personal.

After a struggle where one Labor MP was ejected, the PM eventually backed down.

"He didn't shout at anyone, he just calmly went about doing what he thought was the Speaker's job, and did it very well," Mr Bell said.

"In those days they tended to try and work together."

Mr Bell, a swinging voter, warned swinging voters would not like it if Mrs Bishop kept up her form.

"I still don't think she should be attending party meetings and she shouldn't be using the Speaker's office for party fundraisers.

"If she keeps performing in that way, that if and when Labor wins again that it could start a trend.

"No one wins then - they might all score points, but no one will win."

Topics:  bronwyn bishop government parliament



PHOTO GALLERY: Lego Brick Event, Lismore City Hall

Shaun Patrick (centre) shows patrons the Minecraft Lego display at the Lismore City Hall on Saturday.

Did we snap you at the Lego display on Saturday?

WIN a fishing trip, $5000 BCF voucher and get free stuff

Want to catch one of these big fellas!? Get your name into our competition to win the ultimate fishing holiday!

WERE running a stack of reely incredible giveaways!

Fresh calls for better broadband in regional Australia

SELF-DIAGNOSIS: More people are turning to the internet to google and diagnose their symptoms.

Medical association: 'The Government must take action'

Local Partners

Fresh calls for better broadband in regional Australia

'THE Government must take action to ensure that all Australians have access to reliable, high speed broadband': Medical association.


Celebrate our native Aussies on January 26

Davidsons plums are one of the foods native to our region. Made into a dipping sauce or marinade, they're perfect for an Australia Day barbecue. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Spice up your Australia Day celebration with some local bush tucker

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!