Thursday, 13 February 2020
Questions without Notice
Order, Senator Canavan. After yesterday, I did consult the Clerk on this matter, with my ability to potentially foresee a question. The previous ruling, which has been applied by numerous Presidents—Sibraa, Reid and Calvert—is that a question which invites a minister to comment on the policies or actions of non-government parties is out of order unless the question seeks an expression of the government's intentions in some matter of ministerial responsibility. In my view, yesterday's question probably crossed that line. I will let the minister continue this but I will review the Hansard on the basis that this question, which I don't have detailed notes of, asked for the minister's awareness. So I will not rule it out of order at this point but I will review the Hansard, and can I urge my colleagues who ask questions to keep those standing orders in mind.