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Hunter MPs confident of bringing ‘new level of respect’ to Parliament

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Two Hunter politicians are confident of bringing a “new level of respect and conciliatory tone” to Parliament.

After Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper was officially confirmed as Speaker on Tuesday 9 May, Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery was elected unopposed by the Legislative Assembly as his Deputy.

They’ll be joined by Assistant Speaker Strathfield MP Jason Yat-Sen Li.

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper (right).

“I’m an Independent MP – and I’ll be independent in the way I’ll conduct things,” Mr Piper said.

“I am hoping I can maintain good robust debate in there but get a higher level of behaviour.

“It’s going to be a very challenging role, however one I’m looking forward to.”

Mr Piper has gone on record to state that he wishes to “bring the Bear Pit out of the gutter” and remove the venom from debate in the Parliament.

He also wants to endorse the recommendations of the Broderick Report into Parliamentary workplace culture.

Ms Hornery agrees with these principles and is committed to working with Mr Piper to enact the proposals.

Following the respectful nature of the 2023 NSW Election, which was lauded by the public and the media for the tone of debate between then Premier Dominic Perrottet and then Opposition Leader Chris Minns, the much-loved MP is keen to play a part in setting a courteous tone to the Legislative Assembly for the next four years.

“I am incredibly honoured to be elected the Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly,” she said.

“Working with Greg Piper will be a wonderful opportunity to enact change in the House and to try to tame the ‘Bear Pit’ to a more suitable and respectful tone of debate.

“Greg and I worked together on the Speakers Panel of the previous Parliament and see eye-to-eye on a number of things, especially on the need to enact the recommendations of the Broderick report on Parliamentary workplace culture.

“The tone of the last election was refreshing and respectful, particularly from the former Premier Dominic Perrottet and current Premier Chris Minns and I intend on playing my part to ensure the Parliament maintains some of that respect.”

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