Sabrina Muysken reports.
Following Bronwyn Bishops much talked about resignation, Victorian MP Tony Smith has been elected as the new lower house Speaker.
Mr Smith fended off three competitve rivals, including fellow Victorian Russell Broadbent, South Australian MP Andrew Southcott and Queenslander Ross Vasta, to win the chair in a Liberal party ballot 51-22 earlier this morning.
His first words as Speaker set the tone for his intentions to lift the standards of Parliament, which he fears to have become unnecessarily uncouth.
“It is the arena for ideas and ideals… But it needn’t be rude and it needn’t be loud – that is something I’d like to see improved.”
Mr Smith went on to further highlight his future approach as unbiased and impartial, a subtle gibe at Mrs Bishops controversial reign.
“I’ll give a fair go to all on the floor of this chamber.”
In a distinct departure from his predecessor’s professional conduct, Mr Smith noted he would not be attending the regular party room meetings in a bid to remain independent from the daily partisan frays.
Unsurprinsingly, Labour leader Bill Shorton welcomed Mr Smith’s appointment and declaration of objectivity with open arms.
“The new Speaker has an opportunity and an obligation to lift the accountability of this Parliament,” he said.
“We cannot afford for Parliament to repeat the hyper-partisanship we saw under Bronwyn Bishop.”
Despite voting for challenging Victorian MP Russell Broadbent, Tony Abbott noticeably distanced himself from the appointment of Mrs Bishops replacement.
Sworn in today by the governor-general, Mr Smith is the 30th Speaker of the House of Representives.