An opportunity for revitalization

22 Sep 2008

This proposal recommends restructuring question time with the aim of making it a more effective mechanism for seeking the accountability of the executive government to parliament. This would involve replacing the current system, of one question without notice and one supplementary question from the questioner, with a system of one primary question on notice and multiple supplementary questions not confined to the questioner, and a stricter requirement for relevance of answers. The proposals are as follows:

(1) All primary questions to be placed on a Question Time Notice Paper by 11 am.

(2) Up to 6 supplementary questions following each primary question.

(3) Up to 2 minutes for an answer to each primary or supplementary question.

(4) Answers to be directly relevant to each question.

The Senate Procedure Committee is seeking responses to the paper.

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