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Labor and Liberals Vote Against Question Time Clean Up

24 Sep 2019

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

United in their opposition to transparency and scrutiny, both Labor and the Liberals voted against the Greens’ move to clean up Question Time and restrict the amount of time Ministers can waffle on, not answering questions.

Their vote is not only frustrating, but it shows the contempt they hold for Tasmanians to whom they answer, purport to represent and who pay their salaries.

Every Question Time, we’re forced to endure four Dorothy Dix questions from Liberal backbenchers to Liberal Ministers. The ‘answers’ often stray into six or seven minutes of Ministers talking about how terrific they are and how terrible Labor and the Greens are.

This is not a respectful, responsible or appropriate use of taxpayers’ money or time in the Parliament.

It’s the role of government Ministers to explain their decisions, and opposition parties to hold them to account. Rarely do the Liberals answer a question with honesty and clarity, but more gallingly – Labor voted against succinct answers and increased scrutiny.

It was only Speaker, Sue Hickey, who voted in support of the Greens' move to clean up long-winded Dorothy Dixers by limiting the time of questions and answers.

Even new Independent MP, Madeline Ogilvie joined her old and new allies in opposing our amendment.

The Labor Opposition has failed the Tasmanian people in refusing to clean up Question Time and allow for increased scrutiny.

To paraphrase the last line of every Liberal Dorothy Dixer; Are we aware of any alternatives? The answer is a resounding no from both the major parties.