Monday, 22 February 2021
Statements by Members
Parliament: Question Time
One-hundred and eighty-nine: that's the number of times it's been reported that the Prime Minister has avoided giving answers in question time since taking office. That's 189 times he has referred questions directed to him—
A flick pass, as the member for Lalor said, to ministers in his cabinet. That means 189 times he has avoided giving direct answers to the Australian people.
Hansard has shown another 62 times when the Prime Minister gave only a part answer before passing the buck to someone else. And we wonder why Australians are fed up with question time! The bipartisan review with the Standing Committee on Procedure surveyed 3,465 members of the public and more than 95 per cent of them said that the lack of respect and relevance they witnessed during question time is causing them to lose faith in politics. They want question time to change, and that starts at the top. It starts with the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, answering the questions that are directed to him, giving Australians the answers they deserve from their leader.
This review, approved by Labor and by members opposite, presents several changes to question time that need to be made. None is more important than the one obligating the Prime Minister to stop avoiding questions. The Prime Minister needs to fess up, front up and start answering the questions. After the events of last week, more than ever, the Prime Minister of Australia has serious questions to answer.