Thursday, 29 October 2020
I thank the Manager of Opposition Business. I'll do it now. I also was loath to interrupt the minister. I think it is worth pointing out how and why ministerial statements occur. They used to occur far more frequently. Leave is sought and leave must be granted. When leave is granted, leave is automatically granted to the opposition—either to the Leader of the Opposition or the relevant shadow minister. The convention is that copies are provided in advance and that the member responding from the opposition has the same time, so everyone can relax, we're not taking up his time.
The purpose of a ministerial statement is to announce government policy or matters for which the minister concerned is responsible. There is no flexibility, tolerance or capacity to talk about anything other than that. I'm just pointing that out to the minister and to the House for all future ministerial statements. That is, you can't talk about the opposition or anything else. It is a ministerial statement; it is not a political statement. That is really all I need to say. It's outlined very clearly and very concisely in the Practice. As I think you pointed out, there are three references to it. Essentially it's the same reference in three different parts on that matter. I hope that clarifies things, and I will now call the member for Hindmarsh and shadow minister to speak for the equivalent time.