Tony Smith to be paid $341,000 to be Speaker

VICTORIAN Tony Smith has been elected as the new Speaker for the House of Representatives.

The former political aide to then Treasurer Peter Costello, will be paid more than $341,000 - up from his normal package of $195,000.

His predecessor, Bronwyn Bishop, will be able to retire from politics on a $255,000 a year package which also includes 10 free domestic flights a year, Fairfax reported.

The 74 MPs met at 9am. Early reports suggest he won the post 51-22.

He told media: "I look forward to what is an important and difficult job".

Mr Smith was first elected as the Member for Casey in 2001, and has since served on numerous parliamentary committees.

His highest political appointment was a 12-month stint as Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister John Howard in 2007.

Mr Smith won the final ballot in the Coalition party room after a series of votes, which saw other contenders Ross Vasta, Russell Broadbent and Andrew Southcott unsuccessful.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott declined to endorse any of the candidates.

The new Speaker will preside over parliamentary sittings for the first time this morning, as parliament begins condolence motions for former Western Australian MP Don Randall, who passed away during the winter recess.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott signalled his continued loyalty to Ms Bishop, with a kiss in front of the cameras outside the party room after the vote.

 

WHO IS MR SMITH?

(Taken from his official website)

Tony was born in 1967 and grew up in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. Living in Box Hill for most of his life, his Dad was a school teacher and his Mum worked as a medical secretary.

Tony was educated at Kerrimuir Primary School in Box Hill North and then Carey Baptist Grammar School in Kew where his Dad was a science teacher.

While he may not have inherited his Dad's love of science, he did enjoy history and particularly sport, including rowing, football and athletics.

After school, Tony studied Commerce and Arts (Hons) at The University of Melbourne, paying for his costs by working as a nightshift cook at Denny's 24-hour restaurant in Doncaster.

He also kept up his interests in rowing and history by working as a part time rowing coach and history tutor.

After university, Tony commenced work as a policy researcher for the Institute of Public Affairs, before working as a media adviser and then senior adviser to the Federal Treasurer, the Hon Peter Costello MP.

Tony was elected as the Federal Member for Casey at the 2001 election. He was re-elected at the 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013 elections.

Tony has been a member of numerous House of Representatives committees including the Standing Committee on Science and Innovation and the Standing Committee on Ageing.

He was also the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters and the Joint Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Audit.

In January 2007 Tony was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in the Howard Government.

Tony is currently Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters and Chair of the Coalition Backbench Economics and Finance Policy Committee.

Tony and his wife Pam have lived their whole lives in Melbourne's eastern suburbs and now live in Chirnside Park - right in the heart of the Casey electorate.

They have two sons; Thomas and Angus, who keep both their parents on their toes.

Tony is a lifelong, fanatical supporter of the Carlton Football Club. He is also a patron on the Croydon Football Club (which coincidentally wear the Carlton jumper).

When he gets a chance, Tony likes to tinker with and restore cars, including his Pontiac, cook for his family and friends and walk his two dogs - Flynn, an excitable Golden Retriever, and Maggie a cheeky lab-cross.

 

EARLIER: Coalition MPs do battle for Speaker's job

FEDERAL Coalition MPs are heading into a meeting to vote on who will become the new Speaker of the House of Representatives after Bronwyn Bishop stood down from the plumb position.

The smart money is on Victorian Tony Smith, but that could change.

He is vying for the role against Philip Ruddock, Russell Broadbent, Ross Vasta and Andrew Southcott.
 

Sydney Morning Herald is reporting all 74 MPs have had their phones collected as they entered the party rooms in an effort to head off any early leaks of the result.

The candidates will not be making any speeches and the ballot will be secret.

The wait shouldn't be too long given Parliament is set to resume at 10am.

Ross Vasta is the only Queenslander going for the job.

After the fall of Ms Bishop, who was hand picked by the Prime Minister for the job when the Coalition won power, Tony Abbott is not endorsing any of the candidates.

The role of Speaker is meant to be impartial. Opposition MPs have called for the speaker to not attend Coalition party meetings.

So far, Mr Abbott has not weighed in on whether he supports that view.

 



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