As we say farewell to the 56th Parliament, we will be saying goodbye to some of the class of 2011. Some of the members who commenced their eight year term in the Legislative Council at the beginning of the 55th Parliament have chosen not to contest the next election. Here’s a summary of some of the key steps members take in concluding their parliamentary service.

Valedictory speech

If the member is aware that they won’t be returning in the next parliament they may deliver a special speech known as a valedictory speech prior to their departure.

A valedictory speech is effectively the final speech delivered by an exiting member, which usually outlines their achievements and reflections on their time as a parliamentarian. They may also wish to acknowledge people or groups that contributed to their time as a member. The member may even discuss their hopes for the House, the parliament or the State going forward.

Special procedures are agreed to by the House to allow the member to deliver the speech. Members will often invite their family, friends and important dignitaries to sit in the gallery. Like other House proceedings, a valedictory speech can be viewed by the public by attending the public gallery or by accessing the public broadcast on the Parliament House website.

Valedictory speeches are recorded in Hansard, the same as all other parliamentary speeches, and can be accessed on the Parliament House website.

Returning the keys

The parliament provides a member with an office, office equipment and tools to assist them in conducting their duties, so the Clerk of the Parliaments will ask the member to return these items prior to departing from the parliament.

Retaining the title ‘The Honourable’

Members of the Legislative Council are granted the title of ‘The Honourable’ on being elected unless they make a request to the President not to use this title. When concluding their service, some members of either House are able to retain this title if they have:

  • Held the office of Premier for no less than one year;
  • Held the office of a Minister for no less than three years;
  • Held the office of a Presiding Officer, Speaker or President, for no less than three years; or
  • Have been a member of the Legislative Council for no less than ten years of continuous service.

An exiting member wanting to retain this title should apply to the Premier who forwards a recommendation to the Governor of New South Wales. The Governor may then grant approval for the member to retain the title, and this is represented in the Government Gazette.

Recognition of service

A member of the Legislative Council is given a former members’ badge and a certificate of appreciation for their service to the people of New South Wales.

Former members are often invited to give lectures, contribute to parliamentary projects and attend special events after they have concluded there time as parliamentarians.

When a member concludes their parliamentary service, their online profile, including the positions they held while in office, are made publically available in the Former Members’ Database on the Parliament House website.

A member’s service, their legislative contributions and parliamentary activities are recorded and retained for the benefit of future generations.