Parliament Updates

Zali Steggall speaks about the need for Question Time reform

6 September 2022

 I heard the words expressed by the member for Indi. Being in my second-term, I do support and agree with some of the statements that have been made by the opposition as well as some of the statements made by the member for Goldstein. I say that the spirit and intent of standing order 65(a) was on the assumption that question time would go to 3.30, which it routinely did in the previous parliament, and it has been cut short in this parliament to date. It was on the assumption that there are 22 questions in the parliament, which is, again, what often occurred in the previous parliament. Both sides of politics have on numerous occasions used question times to interrupt and delay. There was suspension of standing orders during the previous parliament by the now government. There are now multiple points of order. In the last parliament, the Speakers enforced that there would only be one point of order per question. Maybe is a way of returning to a prompt and more effective use of question time.

In representing a community, I should say the community does want question time to be more effective. You are kidding yourselves if you don't think the public watches this and cares. We are wasting the public's time and money when it is all show and not a genuine questioning of government. We have now had over 100 days since the election, and this is our eighth sitting day. We are here to hold the government to account and ask serious questions. It is important, and it is important that we have proportional representation here in questions. I support the motion because we haven't been getting to proportional representation. The crossbench is 22 per cent of the opposition and, as such, there is a third question, but I would urge the government to have a proper sitting of question time to ensure that we have a full length of questions occurring.