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Bronwyn Bishop: The Bradman of Speakers

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The opposition is always ejected from Parliament more often, but this Speaker's record is a standout.

Umpire tonks one team for six: Bronwyn Bishop.

Umpire tonks one team for six: Bronwyn Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares

If Bronwyn Bishop's record as Speaker were a cricket innings, you might say the batting team was having a pretty good day.

Madam Speaker made headlines this week when she ejected her first Coalition MP - but not before bringing up her ton of sin-binned Labor MPs.

Play resumes on Monday with the score at 2-107.

Federal Parliament is not cricket - but the score is being kept.

On Tuesday the 71-year-old member for Mackellar - ''God's own country'', according to her website - sent the Member for Herbert, Ewen Jones, to the naughty corner under standing order 94(a) for yelling at Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. And she sin-binned Jones again on Thursday.

That makes two for the Coalition. She reached the century on ejecting Labor MPs in mid-May.

''If you had 100 members you'd be in government and sitting on this side. You simply have some recurrent offenders,'' Bishop replied when the manager of opposition business in the house, Tony Burke, rose to acknowledge the century.

Burke's rebuke followed his unsuccessful moving of a motion of no confidence in Bishop in March.

A parliamentary research paper, 'That's it, you're out': disorderly conduct in the House of Representatives from 1901 to 2013, states ''Opposition members are sanctioned 90 per cent of the time no matter which party occupies that role.''

The report shows that under the Rudd and Gillard governments, disciplinary action against Coalition MPs represented 89.5 per cent of all sanctioning.

Bishop is running at a near-Bradmanesque 98.1 per cent.

Jones' ejection shifted the spotlight from Bishop's other headline moment of the week, when it was reported she had used the Speaker's suite to hold a fund-raising function.

''The Speaker's office is representative of the Parliament,'' previous speaker Anna Burke said. ''The Parliament is not owned by the government of the day, it's owned by the people.''

The leader of the house (and its sin bin record-holder) Christopher Pyne told Parliament that as long as costs were covered privately or by the party, such fund-raisers did not breach any rules.

Bishop, an accomplished swimmer and skier who conquered Charlotte Pass at the age of 10, joined the Liberal Party in 1961. In 1987, she was elected to the Senate, basing herself at Parramatta, sometimes swapping her smart suits for an Eels jersey while promoting the economic and political importance of western Sydney.

She resigned from the Senate to pursue a lower house seat when she had been viewed as a potential leader of the party in 1994.

She has been re-elected in Mackellar seven times since then. Bishop never made leader, but did not blame that on being female.

''I came close to being leader of the party but I did it simply because people thought I could have been the best person for the job, not because I was female,'' she told the Manly Daily.

''I've always taken the attitude that … we are among a minority of women who are able to set our hopes and ambitions, to aspire to anything you wish to do.''

She was the first NSW Liberal woman to be appointed to a ministry, first Defence and later Aged Care.

She was sin-binned 17 times before being elected Speaker, last November. Burke told Parliament it was ''reminiscent of the Harry Potter novel''.

''When they all return to Hogwarts, Dumbledore is gone and Dolores Umbridge is now in charge of the school,'' he said.

Bishop said: ''In this chair, I will act impartially. That is the responsibility that goes back to 1377.''

Right now, Labor is hoping she might drop her batting average a few points.

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