UPDATE, 4.30pm: Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said it is important that confidence is restored in both speaker roles.
“I am keen to uphold the rules of the Parliament to ensure respect and trust and the orderly running of the Legislative Assembly that the people of Victoria expect and deserve,” she said.
“I’m very honoured and grateful on my election to the position of deputy speaker,” she said in a statement.
“I congratulate Colin Brooks on his appointment as Speaker and I look forward to working with him and supporting him in his new role.”
EARLIER: Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards is set to replace Don Nardella as deputy speaker following an expenses scandal that has rocked state parliament in recent weeks.
Mr Nardella and speaker Telmo Languiller sensationally quit last month on the eve of a forensic audit into whether they had abused their parliamentary entitlements.
Days after Fairfax Media revealed Mr Languiller had claimed almost $40,000 on a "second residence" allowance to live in Queenscliff while representing a western suburbs electorate, he announced he would step down and return to the backbench.
Hours later, Labor's deputy speaker, Mr Nardella – who had claimed more than $100,000 using the same taxpayer-funded allowance – also announced he would quit his post.
In a dramatic development yesterday the former deputy speaker was kicked out of the Labor Party caucus after he refused to pay back the money he'd claimed to maintain a beachside residence.
Speaking to media yesterday morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said he had put it in "very clear terms" to Mr Nardella that he should resign from the parliamentary Labor Party if he was unwilling to repay the money.
"I indicated to him as I have done for some time now that in my judgment he should repay the money that he claimed," Mr Andrews said.
"He indicated to me that he was unwilling to do that and I accordingly asked him to resign from the parliamentary Labor Party and he has done that.”
Mr Nardella is expected to remain in the lower house as an independent.
The role of deputy speaker is to assist the speaker, including by chairing some debates, particularly at the consideration-in-detail stage of bills, during which members debate clauses of bills in detail and consider amendments.
Member for Bundoora Colin Brooks will take over as speaker, whose role is to chair debates impartially and enforce the rules of the Legislative Assembly.
He or she is the most important officer in the lower house, and is often known as the “presiding officer”.
Outside the chamber, the speaker has ceremonial duties and is responsible for the Department of the Legislative Assembly and the Department of Parliamentary Services.
With – The Age