Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Questions on Notice; Order for the Production of Documents
I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 803 standing in the name of Senator Wong for today concerning an order for the production of documents relating to questions on notice concerning department or agency staff based overseas.
At the request of Senator Wong, I move the motion as amended:
That there be laid on the table, by no later than 11.45 am on 10 May 2018, outstanding answers to the questions on notice listed, relating to department or agency staff based overseas, asked of the following ministers:
(a) Senator Cormann, Minister representing the Prime Minister, question on notice no. 698;
(b) Senator Payne:
(i) Minister for Defence, question on notice no. 710,
(ii) Minister representing the Minister for Defence Industry, question on notice no. 723, and
(iii) Minister representing the Minister for Defence Personnel, question on notice no. 728; and
(c) Senator Cash, Minister representing the Attorney-General, question on notice no. 702.
The original three motions from Senators Wong and Collins today relate to over 1,000 questions addressed to 11 ministers and 11 portfolios and would involve 14 government departments and other portfolio agencies. The government receives a large number of questions on notice in this place, in the other place and in parliamentary committees. Ministers, with the support of their departments, seek to answer questions as soon as practicable. Sometimes, particularly with complex questions which involve departments and agencies assembling a large amount of information, the time limits are not able to be met. The terms of these motions, if agreed to, would allow less than one working day to finalise answers to questions. To attempt to fully comply with the terms of these motions would involve an unreasonable diversion of resources for the government departments involved. Nevertheless, ministers will seek to lodge answers to as many of these questions as they can as soon as practicable.
Question agreed to.
At the request of Senator Wong, I move:
That there be laid on the table, by no later than 11.45 am on 10 May 2018, outstanding answers to the 23 questions on notice listed, asked of the Minister representing the Prime Minister (Senator Cormann):
(a) nos 358, 359, 360, 361, 362 and 363 (asked on 10 February 2017);
(b) no. 473 (asked on 5 May 2017);
(c) nos 502, 503 and 506 (asked on 17 July 2017);
(d) nos 577, 578, 579, 580, 581, 582, 583, 584, 585 and 586 (asked on 30 October 2017); and
(e) nos 690, 691 and 692 (asked on 5 February 2018).