8 May 2019
The NSW Labor Opposition has announced it will work with the crossbench to deliver once in a generation parliamentary reforms and bring much-needed scrutiny of the executive of state government.
Interim Opposition Leader Penny Sharpe said the reforms, if passed, would be a win for the people of NSW and deliver a new level of transparency and accountability to government in NSW.
The Labor Opposition will today move in the Upper House a number of key reforms, among them:
- A new 30 minute debate after Question Time where Government claims made during Question Time can be challenged;
- Ministers and top public servants will be forced to front a full day of intensive questioning twice a year as part of Budget Estimates (currently they face only three hours of questioning at Budget Estimates);
- In an Australian first, Parliamentary Secretaries will be scrutinised as Ministers and forced to front Question Time and Estimates hearings; and
- The time allocated for the Opposition, Minor Parties and independents to introduce new laws will be more than doubled per sitting week.
They are the first reforms announced for the new Parliament and, if passed, will deliver greater scrutiny of the Berejiklian government which has resisted transparency and Parliamentary reform for eight years.
They were negotiated with support from various cross bench MPs.
Interim Opposition Leader Penny Sharpe said: “Less secrecy and more accountability is good for the people of NSW.”
“This would be the most significant change to the Legislative Council in a generation,” Opposition Leader in the Upper House, Adam Searle, said. “This will set a new standard for Parliamentary democracy.”
The Premier has repeatedly said she wants to improve standards yet no substantive measures to improve parliamentary standards have been announced by her government to date.