Dunne vows to leave the pomp for others
Vikki Dunne was elected as the Speaker. Photo: Rohan Thomson
There will be no Peter Slipper-style wigs, gowns or grand precession in the ACT Legislative Assembly while newly-elected Speaker Vicki Dunne is in charge.
''There has never been a tradition of wigs and gowns and silver buckles in the ACT Legislative Assembly,'' Mrs Dunne said.
''We have quite a different legislature; the Speaker doesn't convey messages to a vice-regal figure. I think we need to keep that in mind.''
Ms Dunne defeated Labor MLA Mary Porter on Tuesday in a 9-8 vote for the chair, thanks to the vote of sole Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury.
The loss relegated Ms Porter to the deputy Speaker role.
Mrs Dunne said equity would be the hallmark of her Speakership, pledging to crack down on the animosity that marred the past four years.
In a veiled criticism of her predecessor, Mr Rattenbury, who supported her to take the chair, Mrs Dunne said she would show no favouritism.
''There were issues of concern to members [during the last Assembly], where members weren't absolutely satisfied that things were being done as impartially as possible,'' Mrs Dunne said.
''I will put an end to any such perception.
''It is a challenge to be impartial, but … I think that it is possible to weigh things up on their merits.''
The Member for Ginninderra said raising five children had provided her with valuable experience in objectivity.
Mrs Dunne said the biggest test would be disciplining her Liberal Party colleagues when they get out of hand. ''Perhaps from time-to-time I'll have to have a word with my compatriots about their behaviour, and I won't be afraid of doing that,'' Mrs Dunne said.
''That's going to be challenging.''
Mrs Dunne's promotion leaves a hole in the opposition cabinet, with the veteran Liberal MLA vacating six portfolios, including industrial relations, women and shadow attorney-general.
But Mrs Dunne, who was elected to her fourth term in the assembly, said like Mr Rattenbury she would consider continuing as a shadow minister at the pleasure of her party room.
''I would think about it but obviously it would have to be something without a really heavy workload,'' she said.
''Being shadow attorney-general requires you to be in the debate a lot of the time and I think that is incompatible with being the speaker.
''I would envisage I would spend more time in the chair than was the case for the Speaker in the last ACT Legislative Assembly.
''I think there's an argument for that to an extent but I think it should be kept to a minimum.''