Monday, 9 November 2020
Days and Hours of Meeting
by leave—I move:
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the following from occurring in the Federation Chamber to facilitate the consideration of Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2020-21 and two related bills:
(1) on Tuesday, 10 November the Federation Chamber to meet from 12.15 pm to 1.30 pm for government business in addition to its scheduled hours of meeting, there to be no constituency statements by members or grievance debate and an adjournment debate to commence at 7.15 pm and conclude at 7.30 pm;
(2) on Wednesday, 11 November the Federation Chamber to meet from 11.45 am, with government business, from then until 1 pm, 4 pm to 4.45 pm and 7 pm to 7.30 pm, and constituency statements by members to take place from 4.45 pm to 6 pm, followed by a grievance debate until 7 pm;
(3) on Thursday, 12 November government business to have priority over all other business and the Federation Chamber to adjourn at 1 pm without debate; and
(4) any variation to this arrangement to be made only by a motion moved by a minister.
The opposition supports the motion. The consideration in detail process in the Federation Chamber is an important part of how the parliament operates. I would remind members that, even though sometimes speeches take the form of questions, it follows the protocol of debate, not the protocol of question time, which means that, if a speech is given by the opposition and the minister then responds directly, in an alternating call, the next speech would go to the opposition side. Sometimes we've had a view that the minister's speech doesn't count in the alternating call, which is a similar process to question time. That's not how consideration in detail operates. Normally, most weeks we get one blow-up where that process starts to fall apart, so I thought it was worth referring to it specifically in the chamber at the exact time that this motion is going through.
Question agreed to.