Greens MP for Maiwar Michael Berkman will today move a suite of reforms aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in Queensland Parliament.
The amendments to Parliament’s Sessional Orders, which set the rules for Parliamentary processes for the next four years, would:
- Ban Dorothy Dixers from Question Time
- Stop the Government from bypassing Parliamentary Committees by banning the practice of piggybacking unrelated amendments onto bills
- Ensure every party and independent MP gets the opportunity to speak on every bill
- Increase the debate time allocated to Private Members Bills
“Voters don’t elect their representatives to blow smoke up each other in question time or push through whatever legislation they like without scrutiny.
“During the last term of Parliament we saw some really egregious abuses of process - like the public service pay freeze, changes to youth bail requirements and new Ekka public holiday tacked onto a bill about portable long service leave.
“We also saw the 100 pages of amendments to the Government’s electoral reform bill rushed through in less than 24 hours, which Labor is now scrambling to fix.
“The Government’s abuse of urgency provisions to piggyback unrelated amendments and bypass the committee process is deeply undemocratic and, in the words of constitutional law expert Gim Del Villar QC, contrary to the spirit of Queensland’s constitution.
“These practices make a mockery of Parliamentary scrutiny and the committee system, and in a state like Queensland which has only one house of Parliament and a history of corruption, that’s something we should all be worried about.
“My message to Labor is that we’re watching: they cannot take their return to government as a mandate to do whatever they like in this place without scrutiny.
“Greens MPs keep the major parties honest, and I know my electorate relies on me to do that - so that’s what these changes are about.”