House of Assembly
The House of Assembly, 1918 (AOT,
The House of Assembly came
into existence as the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of
Tasmania in 1856,
when responsible government
was established. The first House of Assembly elections were held
in September and October 1856. The first ministry, with WTN Champ as premier, was sworn in on November 1856, and the first Parliament
opened in December 1856. The House of Assembly first met in what
is now the Members’ Lounge and continued to do so until 1940
when it moved into its present chamber.
The original House of Assembly
was made up of 30 members, elected from 24 predominantly single-member
The number of members
of the Assembly has fluctuated during its history (year – number):
1870–32; 1885–36; 1893–37; 1898–38; 1900–35;
1906–30; 1959–35; 1998–25.
House of Assembly elections
held since April 1909 have been undertaken using the multi-member
Hare–Clark electoral system, a single transferable vote proportional representation
system. The five original
electorates were Bass, Darwin, Denison, Franklin and Wilmot. Darwin
was renamed Braddon in 1955, and Wilmot was renamed Lyons in 1984.
The House of Assembly, 2005 (Parliament of Tasmania)
After a series of parliaments contained equal numbers of members
from each party, it was decided to change the number of members in
each electorate from an even number (six) to an odd number (seven).
This resulted in an increase of members in the House of Assembly
from 30 to 35. In 1998 the number of members was reduced from seven
to five per electorate, and the 25 members are still elected from
five multi-member electorates. The boundaries are the same as those
used for federal House of Representatives elections. Members are
elected for a four-year term.
Further reading: Parliamentary Library, 'Backgrounder’ information
sheets, 2002; Scott Bennett and Barbara Bennett, Tasmanian electorial
handbook, 1851–1982, [Kensington, 1986]; Scott Bennett and
Barbara Bennett, Biographical Register of the Tasmanian Parliament,
1851–1960, Canberra, 1970.