Kevin Rozzoli served as Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly for seven years. Although writing about reform of the NSW Parliament, his proposal could also be adopted by the Commonwealth Parliament.
Rozzoli wants a Speaker elected by a secret ballot of MPs, who then becomes a ‘member at large’, serving a notional electorate until retirement, while his or her actual seat would automatically be filled by a nominee of the party for which the Speaker had stood, and who would then contest the seat in the usual way at the next election. This scheme immediately puts the Speaker above party politics, without depriving his or her former constituents of political representation.
Rozzoli’s would also protect the Speaker from partisan removal. Removal would require a two-thirds majority of Parliament, that is, only with the concurrence of both government and opposition.