The new Sessional Orders passed today in Parliament are fair to all parties and an equitable distribution based upon the representation of each of the parties in the House of Assembly.

Despite the new Opposition being only seven members compared to 10 in the previous Parliament, the number of Opposition questions in Question Time has been retained at seven.

This will ensure maximum transparency and accountability.

The reduction in the Greens’ questions from three to two is a fair reflection of the reduction of Greens’ members.  If the Government had not moved the sessional orders today, the standing order would have remained in force, providing no minimum number of questions for Labor or the Greens at all.

To ensure full accountability, the Attorney-General will attend Question Time and be available to answer questions, despite being a member of the Legislative Council.

Although the overall time for Private Members’ Business has been reduced, this has been offset by the abolition of Government Private Members’ Time.  The total amount of time is the same as was the case up until 2009, with the only difference being a benefit to Labor and the Greens not having to share that time with the Government’s backbench members.

Each sitting week, Labor will have 1.5 hours and the Greens will have one hour for Private Members’ Time.
The Opposition will continue to have two Matters’ of Public Interest (MPIs) per week, and the Greens and Government backbenchers will each have access to an MPI every second week.

These changes will deliver a fair and productive Parliament.

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