Speaker who restored respect to the House will leave a gaping hole

Tony Abbott probably did Tony Smith a favour by dropping him from the frontbench after he won government in 2013.

Smith didn’t think so at the time. He had every right to be bitterly disappointed.

  • Niki Savva
  • The Age

Smith had long been seen as a future cabinet minister.

With a wealth of experience in politics, he had been touted as a potential deputy.

Instead he was appointed chair of the joint standing committee on electoral matters.

It set him up to become the best speaker of the House of Representatives in modern times.

Those who have been around federal politics for decades, including Laurie Oakes, members of…

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