Crossbench collaborates to improve Parliamentary debate

Crossbench collaborates to improve Parliamentary debate


Crossbench collaborates to improve Parliamentary debate

27 July 2022      Following a series of discussions with the crossbench, Leader of the House the Hon. Tony Burke this morning moved a motion to amend standing orders to reflect the greater proportion of crossbench members in this 47th Parliament and ensure we have a fair proportional speaking opportunity.

The Government proposed an amendment to enable bills the Government considers to be urgent to be expedited through the House.

I along with fellow crossbench members had concerns that this may curtail the Consideration in Detail stage. I proposed an amendment to instead have an expedited Consideration in Detail debate, which was seconded by Adam Bandt and supported by fellow crossbenchers. The Government accepted this amendment.

The amendments improve the ability of members to participate in debate and amend bills deemed “urgent” by the Government and thereby brought forward for rapid consideration and deliberation, and provides the opportunity to move amendments on urgent bills.

This is a welcome example of a Government and a crossbench that can work collaboratively to achieve the outcomes that improve the quality of debate and governance of the Parliament.

While there were broader concerns about the operation of the provisions that we voted on today, I respect that the stated intent of the amendments is to improve the functioning of the House.

The crossbenchers are already demonstrating their effectiveness, willingness to engage, do the work and improve Parliament and the bills Government puts forward. In the Government demonstrating willingness to engage and take on board crossbench feedback, there is a win for our communities, a win for democratic process and a win for Australia.

I welcome the willingness of the Leader of the House to work with the crossbench to improve standing orders and legislation. To date, there has been welcome and demonstrable uptick in collaboration and consultation on the operation of the House and on legislation.

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