Can backbenchers ask questions during question time?

Thanks for your question.

Backbenchers certainly can ask questions during Question Time and often do. It gives them an opportunity to ask a minister or the Prime Minister a question about an issue which they think is important. They may want to ask about issues that affect their electorate, or their state or territory. They may also ask questions they believe are important to the whole of Australia.

In the government it is only the backbenchers who ask questions during Question Time. They ask questions which highlight government policies and achievements. These are prepared prior to Question Time and are known as 'Dorothy Dixers'. Opposition backbenchers, shadow ministers and the Leader of the Opposition also ask questions which are are likely to be tough, designed to test ministers' capacity to answer quickly and confidently.