Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


Become a Patron!


Kevin Rudd’s First Question Time After Returning As Prime Minister

Kevin Rudd was re-elected leader of the ALP on June 26, 2013.

He was sworn in as Prime Minister at 9.51am on June 27. This is a recording of Question Time in the House of Representatives at 2pm that afternoon.

It was Rudd’s one and only Question Time in his second term as prime minister. The House adjourned at the end of the day for the winter break. It never met again and was dissolved ahead of the September 7 election. [Read more…]


Rudd Government Faces First Question Time

The Rudd Government has faced its first Question Time in the new Parliament.

The Opposition Leader’s first question was about petrol and food prices. It required a Dorothy Dixer from the government’s backbench for the stolen generations apology to be raised.

Julia Gillard delivered the most assured and polished performance, emphasising the government’s mandate on industrial relations when asked about the legislation introduced today to dismantle the Howard government’s WorkChoices. [Read more…]


John Howard’s Senate Abuses – The Story Since July 1st

The Federal Opposition has itemised what it calls abuse of process, procedure and convention in the Senate since July 1, the date on which the coalition government assumed a one-seat majority in the upper house.

The ALP leader in the Senate, Chris Evans, has itemised a list of government actions concerning Question Time, censure motions, guillotines, gags and Senate Committees.

The Opposition argues these actions constitute “democratic abuses”.

Text of a media statement Senator Chris Evans, the ALP leader in the Senate.

John Howard’s Senate Abuses – Process, Procedure and Convention – the Story Since 1 July

Since gaining senate control, the Howard Government has rolled out what has become a very long list of democratic abuses. [Read more…]


Howard Claims Better Record In Question Time Than Keating, Hawke Or Fraser

More questions have been asked during Questions Without Notice during the six years and three months of the Howard Government than during the prime ministerships of Paul Keating, Bob Hawke or Malcolm Fraser, indicating a greater commitment to accountability and parliamentary democracy, according to John Howard.

John Howard, Prime MinisterThe Prime Minister was responding to a question from the Liberal member for Casey, Tony Smith, during Question Time in the House of Representatives.

Howard gave figures which show that proportionally his government’s ministers have responded to more questions without notice than the governments of Paul Keating (1991-96), Bob Hawke (1983-91) and Malcolm Fraser (1975-83).

This is mainly because Question Time has been extended under Howard to allow for a minimum number of questions each sitting day. Question Time often lasts for up to 90 minutes, whereas for decades it was restricted to 60 minutes. [Read more…]


Howard Government Cancels Question Time On Budget Day

The Howard Government has cancelled the scheduled Question Time on Tuesday May 14th, citing the death of the Queen Mother as the reason.

The government claims it is the tradition to suspend Question Time in the event of a condolence motion for a member of the royal family.

The move has been met with criticism from the Opposition and the Australian Democrats, who each accuse the government of avoiding its obligation to be accountable to the Parliament. [Read more…]


Simon Crean Pursues His Proposed Parliamentary Reforms

Opposition Leader Simon Crean has continued to press for his proposed parliamentary reforms to be adopted.

Speaking at a doorstop interview in Sydney today, Crean said that “the behaviour issue in Parliament is the fault of both sides”. He reiterated his call for an independent Speaker, a proposal that would require the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to agree on the appointment of a Speaker for the next two terms of Parliament.

Transcript of doorstop interview by Federal Opposition Leader Simon Crean.

CREAN:

Today I’ve written to the Prime Minister proposing some important changes that will improve the behaviour in Parliament. I think that the people are sick to death of the confrontational nature of Parliament and these proposals seek to modernise the way in which Parliament operates so we can make it more relevant to the Australian people. [Read more…]


In Final Question Time Before 1993 Election, Keating Lashes Hewson On Fightback!

This is a video extract from the final Question Time in the House of Representatives for 1992.

Prime Minister Paul Keating took questions on the Opposition’s Fightback! policy, particularly the proposed 15% Goods and Services Tax.

Opposition Leader John Hewson had revised his original version of Fightback! and removed food from the GST.

The video is taken from the ABC’s Order in the House program broadcast on December 20, 1992. The program was presented by Maxine McKew who would go on to defeat John Howard in Bennelong in 2007.

The Parliament did not meet again before the 1993 federal election took place on March 13. Keating’s ALP was re-elected with an increased majority. Hewson stayed in the Liberal leadership for another year before losing a challenge from Alexander Downer.