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Transcript of doorstop interview: Parliament House, Canberra: 6 October 1993: question time



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Leader o f the Opposition

6 October 1993 REF: TRANSCR\SC\KK\0032

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP INTERVIEW DR JOHN HEWSON MP PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

E & Ο E - PROOF COPY ONLY

SUBJECTS: Question Time

Jmlst:

What be your response if Mr Keating tried to cut short Question Time again today?

Well we'll just continue to complain, it's all we've got left really and draw it to the attention of the people of Australia. Because right now we've lost our right to move matters of public importance. It means we cant debate major issues. We have no chance to censure the Government or move a no confidence motion. And in the last few days he's certainly been cutting down Question Time. Yesterday was the ultimate,

he terminated it to use his word and left. I mean I think most people out in the electorate are going to be appalled by that sort of behaviour, because they've always been, they've always been critical I think of the standards of parliamentary performance anyway and that just adds to the problem and it sticks all over all of us.

Should the Opposition at least take the initiative and you stop your backbenchers and frontbenchers interjecting during answers?

Oh there was hardly any interjections compared to what there's been in the past. I mean yesterday was not atypical day in terms of the reaction of our people.

Hewson:

Jmlst:

Hewson:

Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600 Phone 2774022

REF: TRANSCR\SC\KK\0032 2.

Jmlst:

...happens doesn't make it right does it?

Hewson:

No, well I mean the Prime Minister's been there for fifteen minutes on one answer and it had nothing to do with the question. And they just think Question Time is an opportunity to bucket us. You know, they should treat Question Time for what it is - an opportunity to provide information and answer our questions. We ask questions on behalf of the people of Australia, they want the answers. It's very simple. He wants to raise the standards of Question Time, it's entirely in his hands.

Thank you.