Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the raft of procedural changes approved by Parliament this week aimed to increase transparency, improve parliamentary behaviour and ensure politicians stay responsive to public concerns.

Mr Pitt welcomed the changes as the ‘sin-bin’ provision would assist him in his role as a member on the Panel of the Temporary Speakers in the Queensland Parliament.

“As one of the Temporary Speakers, I’m required to make rulings from the chair during debate and maintain order in the House,” Mr Pitt said.

“The changes will give extra powers for the Speaker to put badly-behaved politicians in ‘the naughty corner’ for up to an hour.

“There are already existing powers that allow the Speaker to banish a member for the remainder of the day.

“Having the new ‘time out’ provision gives the Speaker greater flexibility to direct Members to leave the Chamber for up to an hour – effectively, it’s like issuing a yellow card.”

Mr Pitt said most people would agree that the standard of behaviour can be improved in the Parliament.

“Members of Parliament are representative of their communities. These changes aim to meet with the community’s expectations of their representatives when they are in the Chamber,” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said the measures were agreed to by the all-party Parliamentary Standing Orders Committee. Other changes include:

  • A requirement that petitions be responded to within 30 days. At the moment there is no requirement to respond.
  • A change to a long-standing rule that doesn’t allow Appropriation Bills to be discussed until they are debated so questions can be asked during question time and Ministerial statements made about the budget Bills during budget week.