Standing Orders 72 and 73 – amendments required to implement proposed
restructuring of question time
Note: These amendments of the standing orders are based
on an assumption that questions to chairs of committees and questions to other
senators would be retained, but see attachment 3 for amendments proposed to
abolish those categories of questions.
(1) At the time provided questions may
be put to ministers relating to public affairs, on the following conditions:
(a) notice of each primary
question must be placed on the Question Time Notice Paper by 11 am on the day
on which the question is asked; and
(b) after each primary
question is answered any senators, other than ministers, may ask no more than
six supplementary questions.
to other senators relating to any matter connected with the business on the
Notice Paper of which such senators have charge.
(2) A question may be put to the
chairman of a committee relating to the activities of that committee, provided
(a) unless leave of the Senate
is granted for the question to be asked without notice, it may be asked only on
(b) the question shall not
attempt to interfere with the committee’s work or anticipate its report; and
(c) the chairman shall answer
only on behalf of the committee.
(2A) A question may be put to any other
senator relating to any matter connected with the business on the Notice Paper
of which such senator has charge.
(a) The asking of
each primary question and supplementary question shall not exceed
one minute and the answering of each question shall not exceed 4 2 minutes.
(b) The asking of each
supplementary question shall not exceed one minute and the answering of each
supplementary question shall not exceed one minute.
(4) (a) After
question time motions may be moved without notice to take note of answers given
that day to questions.
(b) A senator
may speak for not more than 5 minutes on such a motion.
(c) The time
for debate on all motions relating to answers to questions without notice on
any day shall not exceed 30 minutes.
(1) The following rules shall apply to
questions shall not contain:
(a) statements of fact or
names of persons unless they are strictly necessary to render the question
intelligible and can be authenticated;
(f) ironical expressions; or
(g) hypothetical matter;
questions shall not ask:
(h) for an expression of
(i) for a statement of the
government’s policy; or
(j) for legal opinion;
questions shall not refer to:
(k) debates in the current
(l) proceedings in committee
not reported to the Senate.
(2) Questions shall not anticipate
discussion upon an order of the day or other matter which appears on the Notice
(3) The President may direct that the
language of a question be changed if it is not in conformity with the standing
(4) In answering a question, a senator shall
be directly relevant to the question and shall not debate it.
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