The question of Question Time

Shorter times for questions and answers were some of the recommendations made in a parliamentary report about Question Time in the House of Representatives.

May 13, 2021

Mr Ross Vasta MP, Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Procedure, tabled the report which commented on how Question Time is run and how it could be improved. ‘We are very conscious that Question Time is the window through which the House is often viewed and judged,’ said Mr Vasta, ‘but it is not always representative of the serious and thoughtful way that members carry out much of their other work’.

The report, titled A window on the House, contains a number of recommendations to improve Question Time including reducing time limits for questions and answers, that a minimum of 21 questions be asked per Question Time with the Opposition asking 10 questions, the government asking 10 questions and one question from the cross-bench.

The Committee received a range of submissions from across Australia including evidence from school students, journalists, and previous Speakers of the House of Representatives. It also undertook a survey which was open to members of the public and members of parliament.