House Speaker visits Shorehaven Primary School

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House Speaker Milton Dick, Shorehaven PS head boy Cooper Sharp and head girl Hazel Mangat, principal Davis Hall and Pearce MHR Tracey Roberts. Picture: Anita McInnes

THERE was a parliamentary sitting with a difference in Alkimos this week with just the House of Representatives Speaker and one member of Parliament in attendance.

On Thursday Shorehaven Primary School welcomed the House of Representatives Speaker Milton Dick and Pearce MHR Tracey Roberts as part of the Parliament in schools program.

Mr Dick explained to the students what the role of a parliamentarian involved, how only a member of Parliament could be the speaker, who he described as the umpire getting people to follow the rule book – the Constitution, the mace (which originally was an ordinary weapon but now symbolizes the speaker’s authority) and the size of the Australian flag at Parliament House.

“The flagpole is the largest stainless-steel construction in the southern hemisphere,’’ he said.

“That flag is the third largest in the world.’’

The flag is about the same size as the side of a double-decker bus.

He asked Mrs Roberts – a former City of Wanneroo mayor – when she was in Year 6 at school did she ever think she’d be sitting in the House of Representatives or be a Mayor.

Mrs Roberts said she’d planned on joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) but they’d ended up moving to Australia.

Shorehaven PS was the 100th school House Speaker Milton Dick has visited since becoming speaker so there was a special cake to mark the occasion. Picture: Anita McInnes

She loved Australia but noticed a lack of facilities, which eventually led to her getting active in local government and politics.

They discussed their favourite and least favourite parts of their jobs and the travel involved.

He was impressed by one student’s explanation of what a crossbench is.

Mr Dick’s talk was followed by a Q & A session where the students asked questions, which ranged from simple ones about his favourite sporting teams to thought-provoking questions such as who inspired him to become a politician and what was being done to help people in these challenging times such as the need for housing while also protecting trees.

Following the Q & A session he got the students to take part in a vote on what he said was a controversial issue.

There was much laughter when the controversial decision the students had to decide on was whether a law should be passed in Parliament banning pineapple on pizza.

The “no pineapple on pizza” side easily won the vote.

Shorehaven PS was the 100th school Mr Dick has visited since becoming speaker so there was a special cake to mark the occasion.