Archer keen to add another string to her bow

TASMANIA'S first female Speaker Elise Archer plans to make her presence felt inside and outside the House of Assembly.

Ms Archer was elected unopposed yesterday and was ceremoniously dragged to the Speaker's chair by Premier Will Hodgman in accordance with a long-standing Westminster tradition.

``Obviously it's a great honour and nice that it was not opposed,'' Ms Archer said.

``Hopefully that means I've got the confidence of the house and we can move forward and get some things done.''

Ms Archer has promised to rule in a ``firm but fair'' way.

And it wasn't long before she was on her feet commanding silence from rowdy members later in the day. 

She'll face a big test this morning to keep fired-up MHAs under control during the first question time since the Liberals were elected. 

``As we all know from question time it can get rather heated from time to time,'' Ms Archer said.

``One would expect that an opposition will go pretty hard to hold a government to account and I don't expect that to change, it's just obviously a bit of a role reversal this time.''

Ms Archer said she wouldn't hesitate to throw out any disobedient MHAs on all sides. 

``As a Speaker I don't think you would be looking to find that situation, but if the member's behaviour warrants it then of course the power is there to put someone out of the house,'' she said.

While she doesn't have the power to fine MHAs for bad behaviour she jokingly suggested each party could consider a swear jar.

In opposition Ms Archer held the police and community development portfolios and while she is not in cabinet, she plans to keep an eye on progress in those areas. 

``Technically I'm more senior than the Premier on the floor,'' she said.

``I think that it is a great honour and I'll still take a very keen, close interest in all of the issues I had something to do with in developing policy.''

Tasmania's first female Speaker Elise Archer says ``the House of Assembly is her department''. Pictures: PAUL SCAMBLER

Tasmania's first female Speaker Elise Archer says ``the House of Assembly is her department''. Pictures: PAUL SCAMBLER

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