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This week, the Governor opened the 60th Parliament of Victoria and attended the State Memorial Service for the Hon John Landy AC CVO MBE.

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On Tuesday 20 December, Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, opened the 60th Parliament of Victoria. Under the Victorian Constitution, the Victorian Parliamentary structure comprises of the Crown, the Legislative Council, and the Legislative Assembly. An Opening of Parliament is the only time the three parts of the Parliament perform their duties in the same room. The ceremony, steeped in tradition, is held on the first day the Parliament meets following a general election.

As the Crown’s representative, the Opening of Parliament is a key component of the Governor’s constitutional responsibilities. Every four years, the Governor must Proclaim the date for the Opening, appoint Commissioners, usually the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria and President of the Court of Appeal, to swear in Members on her behalf, and read the Opening Speech that outlines the Government’s proposed legislative plan. This speech is prepared by the Government prior to the Opening of Parliament. To learn more about the Opening of Parliament visit here.

The Governor’s Constitutional responsibilities also include chairing the Executive Council. The Executive Council is a consultative body that allows Ministers of the day to advise the Governor on relevant issues. The Governor is bound to act in accordance with the advice of either the Cabinet or the Minister responsible for the relevant portfolio.  On Tuesday, the Governor hosted a special meeting of the Executive Council to approve the Governor’s speech which is delivered in the chamber of the Legislative Council in front of all members of Parliament. It is the only time Members of the Legislative Assembly join Members of the Legislative Council in the Council Chamber. To read the Governor’s Opening Speech please visit here. Learn more about the role of the Executive Council here.

On Monday, the Governor issued the Supplementary Election Writ for the electorate of Narracan. The supplementary election is required because the Narracan District election, at last month’s State election, failed after a candidate passed away before election day.

Enrolled voters in Narracan District voted for the Upper House Eastern Victoria Region in the 2022 State election. The supplementary election will be for the Lower House district of Narracan only.

The writ will be returned to the Governor after results are declared by the Victorian Electoral Commission and will include the candidates who have been selected for the Lower House district of Narracan. The supplementary election will be held on Saturday 28 January 2023.  

This week, the Governor and Mr Howard also attended the State Memorial Service for the Honourable John Michael Landy AC CVO MBE. Mr Landy was a middle-distance runner who represented Australia at both the Commonwealth and Olympic games. In 2001, he became Victoria’s 26th Governor and continued in the position for a period of five years. The Governor spoke at the Memorial Service, remembering Mr Landy as a humble yet high-achieving man whose service greatly benefited the people of Victoria. Read more of the Governor’s speech here. To watch the State Memorial Service for the Hon John Landy AC CVO MBE please visit here.

Earlier in the week, the Governor was delighted to receive the call of the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, John W.H. Denton AO.