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The Role of a Member

The Role of a Member

An MP is:
• A Member of the Legislative Assembly (Lower House).
• Each represents one of New South Wales’ 93 electoral districts (electorates) in Parliament.

An MLC is:
• A Member of the Legislative Council (Upper House).
• Represents the whole State, but major parties usually allocate regional
responsibilities to individual MLCs.

In their electorate, MPs:
• receive requests for assistance and information from local people (for example, housing, transport, environment, taxes, etc.). They try to solve these problems or refer them to Ministers or other authorities;
• meet with local organisations, businesses, media and government departments and find out their needs;
• make representations to Ministers on behalf of local organisations and individuals;
• support provision of local services and facilities from government funds;
• be involved in local functions and meetings, and support local organisations and events;
• attend party branch/local supporters meetings.

In Parliament, all Members:
• form part of Government, Opposition or Independents (or ‘Cross Bench’);
• attend sittings of Parliament;
• consider proposed legislation (they may also propose Private Members’ Bills);
• participate in debating and voting;
• participate in Parliamentary committees;
• network with other Members, media, community groups;
• raise issues in Parliament on behalf of constituents through such means as:
- questions during Question Time
- making Private Members’ statements
- presenting petitions;
• may have additional responsibilities such as a Minister or holder of parliamentary or party office (for example Speaker, Whip);
• participate in party meetings, party organisation and decision-making.