1 The Parliament of Australia The Senate Question Time
2 THE PRESIDENT When you are led in by the Usher of the Black Rod, sit down and say: Senators, please sit down. The Senate is now in session. The rules of the Senate must be obeyed. Clerk, please read out the rules. After the Clerk has read out the rules, say: Questions without notice will now be taken. I will take one question from each side of the House in turn, starting with the opposition. I call the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Wait for the question to be asked. I call the Minister for Housing and Homelessness to answer the question. Wait for the question to be answered. I call Senator Dixon to ask a question. Wait for the question to be asked. I call the Minister for Employment to answer the question. Wait for the question to be answered. I call Senator Morse to ask a question. Wait for the question to be asked. I call the Minister for Transport to answer the question.
3 Senators with a question please stand. I call on Senator.. (use their name) to ask a question. Wait for the question to be asked. I call on the Minister for..to answer the question. Go back to the top of the page and repeat the steps above until the time for questions has run out, and then say: I call the Leader of the Government in the Senate. After the Leader of the Government in the Senate has spoken, say: The Leader of the Government in the Senate has moved that further questions be placed on the notice paper. The time for questions has concluded.
4 THE CLERK To begin the session stand up, ring the bell and say: Honourable Senators, please stand. When the Speaker asks you to read the rules, stand up and say: Always stand up to speak. Begin with the words Madam President or Mr President when you speak. Senators should not interrupt each other. Questions must be to the relevant minister. Questions must be short and direct. Answers must be relevant to the question.
5 USHER OF THE BLACK ROD When the Clerk rings the bell, lead the President into the chamber, carrying the Black Rod in front of you. Say: Honourable Senators, the President. Sit down, keeping the Black Rod beside you.
6 LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SENATE When the time for questions has expired, the Speaker will call on you to bring Question Time to an end. Say: I move that further questions be placed on the notice paper.
7 LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE Mr/ Madam Speaker, My question is addressed to the Minister for Housing and Homelessness. House prices are continuing to rise, making it harder for people to afford to buy or rent a home. This is leading to more homeless people in Australia than ever before. What is the minister s plan to stop this from continuing?
8 MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS Mr/Madam Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate for this question. The government is continuing to build houses in areas which have the most homeless people. But this is not a long term solution to the problem. Statistics have shown that as unemployment decreases, so does homelessness. The government is also creating training and job placement programs to give homeless people the chance of employment.
9 SENATOR DIXON (YOU ARE A GOVERNMENT BACKBENCHER) Mr / Madam Speaker, My question is to the Minister for Employment. I refer to the government s plan to raise the drinking age in Australia to 21. Will the minister explain why 18 to 20 year olds will be able to work in wineries, breweries, pubs and clubs where they will be making or serving alcohol, but will be unable to drink alcohol? Or will the government ban 18 to 20 year olds from these jobs?
10 MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT Mr / Madam Speaker, I thank the Senator for this question. The government is continuing to talk about this important issue with representatives from the wineries, breweries and hospitality industry. The government will have to limit some of the duties that 18 to 20 year olds can perform in these occupations, but we will not stop young people from working in these industries. We will protect these jobs, as they are a good source of employment for 18 to 20 year olds.
11 SENATOR MORSE (YOU ARE AN INDEPENDENT MEMBER) Mr / Madam Speaker, I direct my question to the Minister for Transport? Many parts of my state are not connected by major highways. It takes a long time for people to drive to through these areas, and it is hard for trucks to deliver supplies to these regions. When will the minister build some proper highways in my state?
12 MINISTER FOR TRANPORT Mr / Madam Speaker, I thank the Senator for this question. The government cannot just build highways wherever we want. We need to consider the environment. Australia has many unique and delicate ecosystems. Highways can cause serious damage to plant habitats and native animal populations. I m sure the Senator would not want us to harm the environment in their state.