20 September 2011

Coe brings portfolio focus to Question Time

| johnboy
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Question Time has been a parliamentary tradition for hundreds of years.

Today in the Legislative Assembly no less a personage than the Liberals’ Alistair Coe will see his own innovation brought to the institution:

ACT Government Ministers will face increased scrutiny from today as a result of question time changes introduced by Member for Ginninderra, Alistair Coe.

The changes mean that in addition to the usual question time, there will be a Portfolio-specific question time for an additional 15 minutes.

The key features of the new Portfolio question time are:

— Each session (one session each Tuesday and Wednesday) will feature a different Ministry on a set rotation

— MLAs, Departments and community groups will know weeks in advance when portfolios will be discussed

— Up to five questions may be asked with one supplementary question.

“Due to urgent matters rightly taking precedence, some areas of government business are not questioned to the same degree as others during the existing question time,” Mr Coe said.

“This new schedule will allow stakeholders to prepare for the portfolio questions well in advance, meaning the responses will be more substantial. It will be similar to the scrutiny of Estimates and Annual Report hearings.

I think this means Alistair is hoping the change will encourage others to do his homework.

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“I think this means Alistair is hoping the change will encourage others to do his homework.”

It sounds to me like he’s hoping to be able to hold the government more accountable. I think that’s a good thing.

neanderthalsis9:18 am 21 Sep 11

First Vicki Dunne taking to Joy Burch over departmental (and possibly Ministerial) incompetence, now Coe focusing on portfolio specific issues. Could it be that ACT Libs are going to start holding the Labor/Greens govt to account?

We might end up with a proper opposition out of this.

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