Speaker Sutherland

02. 771NEWSMT LAWLEY MP Michael Sutherland is likely to be appointed Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

He has been nominated by the Liberal Party but as the post requires a vote of the parliament, the job’s not official yet.

Premier Colin Barnett confirmed Mr Sutherland’s nomination Tuesday, along with a reshuffled cabinet which contains five news faces.

Mr Sutherland’s time in the chair is likely to be less fraught than that of his predecessor, now-retired Nationals MP Grant Woodhams, who had a hung parliament to contend with.

The new parliament is overwhelmingly Liberal.

Still, the post is a highly sought after prize, carrying with it ministerial-style responsibility for managing the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Sutherland—deputy speaker in the previous parliament—batted off a challenge from former police minister Rob Johnson, who publicly claimed he’d already been promised the job, and Kingsley MP Andrea Mitchell.

The speaker traditionally takes a low public profile.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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