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13 Apr 2018

Crunch on the pollie waffles | The Advertiser

Lauren Novak | The Advertiser

MINISTERS will have to provide answers to Opposition questions within a month as part of changes to make Parliament more accountable.

It will be introduced when Parliament returns on May 3.

But members in the Upper House will still be able to speak for as long as they want during Question Time as the new Government refuses to introduce a time limit.

Liberal Upper House leader Rob Lucas has promised that time wasting will not be tolerated but stopped short of agreeing to a set limit like the four minutes of the Lower House.

Some Upper House ministers have taken as long as 15 minutes to deliver waffling answers in the past, drawing criticism they are limiting scrutiny during the allotted hour.

Mr Lucas said new Upper House president Andrew McLachlan would be “much more sensible” in his approach than Labor’s Russell Wortley.

Mr Lucas was known in Opposition for his dogged criticism of Labor’s failure to bring back answers to questions which ministers did not have a response to in Question Time.

The Advertiser reported in January that the Labor Government brought back just 25 answers to the 91 questions it took on notice last year.

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