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Tuesday, 13 September 2005
Page: 16

The SPEAKER (3:10 PM) —Yesterday I was asked a question about the standard of dress acceptable in the House. As was the case with many of my predecessors, I do not intend to be inflexible or prescriptive on this matter. In 1999 the former Speaker, the Hon. Neil Andrew, pointed to the significance and role of this unique institution and the expectation on the part of electors that we, as members, maintain high standards in carrying out our responsibilities and in our conduct in this place. The accepted practice is that members have chosen to dress in a formal manner in keeping with business and professional standards. This includes trousers, jacket, collar and tie for men and a similar standard of formality for women.

I would also like to make the point that these standards apply equally to officers and staff occupying the advisers boxes, members of the press gallery and guests in the distinguished visitors gallery. As already mentioned, I do not propose to apply these standards rigidly. However, while I accept that members hurrying to attend a division or quorum will sometimes arrive without a jacket or tie, it is not in keeping with the dignity of the House for members to arrive in casual or sports wear. I look forward to the cooperation of all members in fulfilling their obligation to maintain the dignity of the House through their standard of dress and their conduct during proceedings.