A Queensland MP says politicians who use question time to ask prepared questions to which ministers give scripted replies should be fined.
Queensland politicians who ask and answer so-called Dorothy Dixers should be fined, an MP says.
Victoria’s opposition has pledged to end the practice of using question time to ask prepared questions to which ministers give scripted replies.
The questions are known as Dorothy Dixers, in tribute to a famous American newspaper columnist who gave advice to the lovelorn.
It was suspected she wrote the questions as well as the answers.
Question time in the Queensland Legislative Assembly runs for 60 minutes or 15 questions, asked alternately by opposition and government members.
Independent MP Dr Alex Douglas says Dixers waste valuable time and are not in the public interest.
But he doesn’t just support a ban, he wants any MP who asks or answers a Dorothy Dixer to be fined as well.
“There’s a complete disincentive to ask a cynical question that isn’t in the public interest,” Dr Douglas told AAP.
“You’ll get more questions done and stop wasting time.”
He said after each question time a committee could review the questions and dish out fines.
But even though they’re a constant annoyance for the media and crossbenchers, Dixers seem destined to stay in Queensland.
The premier’s office is yet to comment on the issue, while the opposition say they’ll watch what happens in Victoria.
“No doubt many members of the media would like to see an end to Dixers,” an opposition spokesman told reporters.
“However, it should be remembered that scrutiny of Ministers from both sides of Parliament is an important part of democracy.
“Given this is the first time that such measures may be introduced to an Australian State Parliament, the Queensland opposition is prepared to observe the change if it occurs and note the outcomes.”