Page 791 - Week 02 - Thursday, 23 February 2012

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bill is to deter violence against police, and I am not yet convinced that the bill does that. I think this inquiry will give us an opportunity to test those propositions.

The question must be raised: will someone who is drunk on a Friday night in Civic and starts swinging punches really be thinking about the level of sanction that may be put on them if they are convicted of an offence of assaulting a police officer, and will it act as a deterrent to them in their actions? That is the question that we need to test.

For that reason the government will support both the amendment and the substantive motion.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Standing and temporary orders

Rostered ministers question time

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (4.39): I move:

That temporary order 113C, relating to Rostered Ministers’ Questions, be omitted from the standing and temporary orders.

Some time ago Mr Coe proposed an addition to the question time process seeking, as I understand it, to allow for an examination by the chamber of the portfolios of ministers in the smaller parts of their portfolios. By way of example, we might talk about multicultural affairs, the ORS, ageing, women, sport, recreation—those types of levels. The assertion was at the time that those particular parts of the portfolios that ministers carried did not get quite the scrutiny that they deserved because larger portfolios were essentially the subject of question time when questions without notice were put.

The chamber did in fact experiment with five questions spaced over approximately 20 minutes, with one question delivered to the minister of the day on a rostered basis and then the questioning member being allowed a supplementary. It is my view that this system was worth the experiment. However, it has possibly proven to be unsuccessful in delivering to Mr Coe what he wanted and has certainly been unsuccessful in delivering what I expected the chamber to expect. It does not surprise me at all that it was not successful. I think the process where we have questions without notice is adequate. If something is important enough, it can either be put on the notice paper and answered in full or put as a question without notice.

It is interesting to note that the idea came from the Westminster system but that not all of the Westminster system was picked up. We know, for example, that all of the questions are put to the Speaker beforehand—that the pull out of a hat here is a bit of an addition. The process at Westminster is completely different around question time. Not every minister attends question time, for example. The Prime Minister rarely does, even though it is called prime minister’s question time.

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