Greens Deputy Leader and Federal Member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt MP, says the government has agreed to keep cross-benchers’ right to ask questions in Question Time but says all Parliamentarians’ right to conduct Private Members business was still at risk.
In a letter to Mr Bandt, Leader for the House Mr Pyne guaranteed that cross-bench participation in Question Time would be unchanged, but did not address other issues. Mr Bandt said he remained concerned that MPs right to move private members motions and bills and have them debated and voted on were still at risk. Crossbenchers’ rights to join committees were also under threat.
The government is set to amend the House of Representatives Standing Orders tomorrow morning.
“All MPs must be able to contribute to the legislative work of the Parliament. The government does not have the monopoly on good ideas. The Australian people did not vote for Tony Abbott to have total control,” Mr Bandt said.
“In the last Parliament MPs across the political spectrum, including Tony Abbott, used private members time to put forward important debates, such as my bill to support fire-fighters with cancer, which was backed by the Parliament.”
“If Tony Abbott rams through changes to the Standing Orders in the next 24 hours it will be an attack on democracy.”