New rules, same yelling in Vic Parliament

By Angus Livingston
1 / 17

New rules, same yelling in Vic Parliament

The Victorian parliament has introduced new rules requiring ministers to actually answer questions.

New house, new rules, same old yelling in the Victorian Parliament.

But one new wrinkle in the revamped question time made a difference - a minister will eventually have to answer a question.

The Andrews' government's new sessional orders came into force in the lower house on Tuesday, doing away with softball questions from government backbenchers.

The Speaker can also now decide if a minister has answered a question properly and require an answer in writing if they haven't.

Roads Minister Luke Donnellan became the first minister asked to give a written answer to a question after dodging two requests to detail the business case for the West Gate Distributor road.

Speaker Telmo Languiller said Mr Donnellan had not answered the question.

"I therefore require the minister to provide a response," Mr Languiller told the house on Tuesday.

Mr Donnellan will have to give the Speaker a written response to the question on Wednesday.

If the new rules were meant to calm the house down, they didn't work.

The ministerial statements - put in place instead of "Dorothy Dixers" from party colleagues - still came with the hooting and hollering long tolerated in parliament.

The opposition also enjoyed asking Mr Languiller to make the ministers answer direct questions.

"I'm delighted to see the opposition (take on) the sessional orders we have introduced," Jacinta Allan, Manager of Government Business, noted dryly.