During question time, why can't members of the Government ask questions of the opposition?

Thanks for your question Garry. Question Time is one of the ways the Australian Parliament scrutinises – closely examines – the work of the Australian Government.

Question Time allows the opposition, minor parties and independents to ask the government questions and to critically examine its work. Ministers are called upon to explain their decisions and their actions in their areas of responsibility.

In the Senate, questions cannot be directed to any senator who is not a minister. All questions are to the government about its work.

In the House of Representatives, questions can be directed to members who are not ministers only if the question is about a bill, a motion or some other business that the member is responsible for. For example, the chair of a committee can be asked about a report their committee has just finished.