Former Australian Legislative Assembly Speaker Mike Barnett dies at 77

 December 31, 2023

The political community in western Australia was saddened last week at the news that former Legislative Assembly Speaker Mike Barnett had died at age 77, as Coast Live reports, after having built a career navigating many challenges similar to those currently facing U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).

Barnett is said to have passed away on Dec. 29 following a struggle with dementia, and according to his own stated wishes, no funeral was to be held, and his ashes were set to be scattered in the ocean that he loved.

Committed public servant

Reporting from BNN Breaking chronicled Barnett's many years of service to his constituents in the western part of Australia.

Barnett was a member of the Parliament of Western Australia from Rockingham from 1974 through 1996, and his time in public life was described as “remarkable and impactful.”

According to his official Parliamentary biography, Barnett's distinguished career in government included his tenure as the body's speaker, which spanned from 1986 to 1993.

Barnett also served as Shadow Minister for Lands and Forests, Conservation and Environment, as well as for Conservation and Environment, Fisheries and Wildlife.

The celebrated lawmaker also spent time as a member and leader of the Joint House Committee, Parliamentary Standards Committee, Standing Orders Committee, and the Select Committee on Child Migration, among other duties fulfilled.

Tributes for late lawmaker pour in

West Australian Premier Roger Cook was among those expressing condolences at the loss of Barnett, taking to social media to laud the late legislator's achievements and celebrate his dedication to the country.

“I'm deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Barnett,” Cook began.

The governmental leader continued, “Mike served Western Australia as a Member for Rockingham for 22 years, seven of those as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.”

“He was a champion for Rockingham and a much loved member of the Western Australian community,” Cook declared.

Confronting the challenges of leadership

Barnett clearly rose to the innumerable challenges a job such as speaker inevitably brings, as evidenced by the fact that he was honored as a Member of the Order of Australia, the Centenary of Freedom Medal, and also the Jubilee Medal from Queen Elizabeth.

Someone who is perhaps beginning to appreciate the unique difficulties that accompany such a powerful role as legislative speaker is Mike Johnson, who, as The Hill reports is already contending with difficulties on several fronts while still settling into the position.

With Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) recently speaking out against what she calls his “terrible” early record at the helm and significant battles over government funding and border security poised to occur in the new year, Johnson can almost certainly relate to the trials and tribulations that marked Barnett's long and honored career.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.