The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel (Independent) to amend the sessional orders so that crossbenchers (minor party and independent MPs) receive priority to ask questions at an earlier time during Question Time. Sessional orders are temporary procedural rules of parliament that expire when parliament is prorogued (suspended by the Governor-General) or dissolved (dispersed for new elections), allowing MPs to try out new rules before deciding whether to make them permanent.

Previously, crossbenchers received priority for questions to ministers on the 5th, 13th and 21st questions of Question Time, as agreed to at the start of the 47th Parliament. This motion changed that rule so that crossbenchers get priority on the 5th, 13th and 17th questions instead. Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel (Independent), the mover of the motion, argued that:

As I said in moving urgency, the intention of the sessional orders agreed at the beginning of the 47th Parliament was to provide the crossbench with three questions in question time. It has not worked. In five of the seven question times since the 47th Parliament began, the crossbench has only been able to ask two questions and not the agreed three.

There appears to have been the deliberate use of points of order to waste time to deny the crossbench the 21st question. For members of the crossbench, asking questions without notice is a key tool to hold government to account. Such tactical approaches to reducing the agreed number of questions is cynical and thwarts the agreement between the government, crossbench and, indeed, the opposition on questions. The agreement is not being treated with good faith by the opposition.

This amendment is designed to restore the original intention of the sessional order that would be in line with the numbers in the House—the government, opposition, Greens and crossbench. This may seem like a small numerical change, but, if we are to be truly representative, it'll make a big difference for the communities that this crossbench represent. All of us on this crossbench may wish for greater reform of question time, but this is a start. I commend this motion to the House.

Motion text

That all words in paragraph (a) of sessional order 65A be omitted and the following words substituted:

"(a) During Question Time, priority shall be given to a crossbench Member seeking the call on the fifth, thirteenth and seventeenth questions."

Original sessional order 65a(a)

65a Opportunities for crossbench Members

Consistent with the principle that the call should alternate between government and non-government Members and to enable crossbench Members to receive the call in accordance with the crossbench proportion of the non-government membership of the House:

(a) During Question Time, priority shall be given to a crossbench Member seeking the call on the fifth, thirteenth and twenty-first questions.

Votes Passed by a small majority

Nobody rebelled against their party.

Party Votes
Australian Greens (100% turnout) 4 Yes 0 No
Adam Bandt Melbourne Yes
Stephen Bates Brisbane Yes
Max Chandler-Mather Griffith Yes
Elizabeth Watson-Brown Ryan Yes
Australian Labor Party (96% turnout) 73 Yes 0 No
Anthony Albanese Grayndler Yes
Anne Aly Cowan Yes
Michelle Ananda-Rajah Higgins Yes
Chris Bowen McMahon Yes
Tony Burke Watson Yes
Matt Burnell Spence Yes
Linda Burney Barton Yes
Josh Burns Macnamara Yes
Mark Butler Hindmarsh Yes
Alison Byrnes Cunningham Yes
Jim Chalmers Rankin Yes
Andrew Charlton Parramatta Yes
Lisa Chesters Bendigo Yes
Jason Clare Blaxland Yes
Sharon Claydon Newcastle Yes
Libby Coker Corangamite Yes
Julie Collins Franklin Yes
Pat Conroy Shortland Yes
Mark Dreyfus Isaacs Yes
Justine Elliot Richmond Yes
Cassandra Fernando Holt Yes
Mike Freelander Macarthur Yes
Carina Garland Chisholm Yes
Steve Georganas Adelaide Yes
Andrew Giles Scullin Yes
Patrick Gorman Perth Yes
Luke Gosling Solomon Yes
Julian Hill Bruce Yes
Ed Husic Chifley Yes
Stephen Jones Whitlam Yes
Ged Kearney Cooper Yes
Matt Keogh Burt Yes
Peter Khalil Wills Yes
Catherine King Ballarat Yes
Madeleine King Brand Yes
Tania Lawrence Hasluck Yes
Jerome Laxale Bennelong Yes
Andrew Leigh Fenner Yes
Sam Lim Tangney Yes
Richard Marles Corio Yes
Kristy McBain Eden-Monaro Yes
Emma McBride Dobell Yes
Louise Miller-Frost Boothby Yes
Brian Mitchell Lyons Yes
Rob Mitchell McEwen Yes
Daniel Mulino Fraser Yes
Peta Murphy Dunkley Yes
Shayne Neumann Blair Yes
Brendan O'Connor Gorton Yes
Clare O'Neil Hotham Yes
Alicia Payne Canberra Yes
Graham Perrett Moreton Yes
Fiona Phillips Gilmore Yes
Tanya Plibersek Sydney Yes
Gordon Reid Robertson Yes
Dan Repacholi Hunter Yes
Amanda Rishworth Kingston Yes
Tracey Roberts Pearce Yes
Michelle Rowland Greenway Yes
Joanne Ryan Lalor Yes
Marion Scrymgour Lingiari Yes
Bill Shorten Maribyrnong Yes
Sally Sitou Reid Yes
David Smith Bean Yes
Anne Stanley Werriwa Yes
Meryl Swanson Paterson Yes
Susan Templeman Macquarie Yes
Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith Yes
Maria Vamvakinou Calwell Yes
Tim Watts Gellibrand Yes
Anika Wells Lilley Yes
Josh Wilson Fremantle Yes
Tony Zappia Makin Yes
Zaneta Mascarenhas Swan Absent
Sam Rae Hawke Absent
Kate Thwaites Jagajaga Absent
Rebekha Sharkie Mayo Centre Alliance Yes
Mark Coulton Parkes Deputy Speaker No
Kate Chaney Curtin Independent Yes
Zoe Daniel Goldstein Independent Yes
Helen Haines Indi Independent Yes
Dai Le Fowler Independent Yes
Monique Ryan Kooyong Independent Yes
Sophie Scamps Mackellar Independent Yes
Allegra Spender Wentworth Independent Yes
Zali Steggall Warringah Independent Yes
Kylea Tink North Sydney Independent Yes
Andrew Wilkie Clark Independent Yes
Bob Katter Kennedy Katter's Australian Party Yes
Liberal National Party (100% turnout) 0 Yes 8 No
Angie Bell Moncrieff No
Colin Boyce Flynn No
Garth Hamilton Groom No
Henry Pike Bowman No
Phillip Thompson Herbert No
Andrew Wallace Fisher No
Andrew Willcox Dawson No
Terry Young Longman No
Liberal Party (92% turnout) 0 Yes 33 No
Karen Andrews McPherson No
Bridget Archer Bass No
Russell Broadbent Monash No
Scott Buchholz Wright No
David Coleman Banks No
Peter Dutton Dickson No
Warren Entsch Leichhardt No
Paul Fletcher Bradfield No
Ian Goodenough Moore No
Andrew Hastie Canning No
Alex Hawke Mitchell No
Luke Howarth Petrie No
Sussan Ley Farrer No
Nola Marino Forrest No
Melissa McIntosh Lindsay No
Zoe McKenzie Flinders No
Scott Morrison Cook No
Ted O'Brien Fairfax No
Tony Pasin Barker No
Gavin Pearce Braddon No
Rowan Ramsey Grey No
Stuart Robert Fadden No
James Stevens Sturt No
Michael Sukkar Deakin No
Angus Taylor Hume No
Alan Tudge Aston No
Bert Van Manen Forde No
Ross Vasta Bonner No
Aaron Violi Casey No
Jenny Ware Hughes No
Rick Wilson O'Connor No
Keith Wolahan Menzies No
Jason Wood La Trobe No
Julian Leeser Berowra Absent
Melissa Price Durack Absent
Dan Tehan Wannon Absent
National Party (92% turnout) 0 Yes 12 No
Sam Birrell Nicholls No
Darren Chester Gippsland No
Pat Conaghan Cowper No
Andrew Gee Calare No
David Gillespie Lyne No
Kevin Hogan Page No
Barnaby Joyce New England No
Michelle Landry Capricornia No
David Littleproud Maranoa No
Michael McCormack Riverina No
Keith Pitt Hinkler No
Anne Webster Mallee No
Llew O'Brien Wide Bay Absent
Milton Dick Oxley Speaker Absent
Totals (95% turnout) 89 Yes – 54 No