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Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Page: 10367

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ) (14:00): Mr Speaker has asked me to thank the honourable member for Lyne for his question yesterday in relation to supplementary questions for the crossbench and has provided me with the following statement to read in reply:

While pursuant to Standing Order 101(b) the Speaker, or other occupant of the chair, has unfettered discretion with respect to supplementary questions, in an endeavour to make Question Time more spontaneous, on 7 and 8 February 2012 I outlined what would be my general approach to supplementary questions on a trial basis.

The effect of this approach means that usually:

(a) One supplementary question can be asked by the Leader of the Opposition or his or her delegate specifically, and up to one additional supplementary question can be asked by any opposition member, including the Leader of the Opposition, each day;

(b) Up to two supplementary questions can be asked by government private members each day;

(c) One supplementary question can be asked, each week by a non-aligned member.

This general approach does not override Standing Order 101(b) which gives the occupant of the chair unfettered discretion with respect to supplementary questions. In fact, I allowed two crossbench supplementary questions on 27 February 2012 and 1 March 2012 during the same sitting week, but this was not intended to be a regular practice.

As I considered the ability to ask supplementary questions had introduced a welcome dynamic into Question Time in a statement on 22 March 2012, I advised I was considering expanding the number of supplementary questions and also allowing one side to ask supplementary questions to an original question asked by the other side.

I have not yet had the opportunity to implement these further innovations but plan to consider them upon my return to the chair.

I trust this clarifies the matter raised by the Honourable Member for Lyne.