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Report calls for the end of filibustering in Legislative Council

There is a proposal to end the era of filibustering in the state parliament’s upper house. A new report handed down by a parliamentary committee looking into parliamentary procedures has recommend MPs be capped to speeches of 45 and 30 minutes.

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In recent year’s Liberal member Nick Goiran (pictured) is one MP who has delivered filibuster speeches that have dragged on for several days. Goiran’s 2019 speech outlining his objections to legislation that would have allowed same-sex men to access surrogacy went for 22 hours over several weeks of parliamentary sittings. The legislation was eventually shelved and has not be re-introduced by the government.

New Leader of the House, Sue Ellery, asked a committee to look into the current rules of parliament, and they’ve swiftly delivered their interim report in just 19 days.

The new proposal is that the lead speaker on each bill will be allowed to speak for a strict 45 minutes and other MPs who want to weigh in on the issues can talk for just 30 minutes.  Currently the lead speaker’s time is unlimited on the secnd reading of a bill, while subsequent speakers do have a time limit.

The report looks at the different rules in parliaments across Australia, and notes that the federal senate removed unlimited speaking times in 1919.

The final report is due to be delivered on the 10th of August, but with the committee dominated by Labor members, and the numbers in the house being in the government’s favour, it looks like the days of filibustering in the WA parliament may be coming to an end.

A dissenting minority report by Nationals MLC Martin Aldridge and Liberal MLC Tjorn Sibma has asked for the committee to be given more time to consider the issue, and allow more input from politicians and the public. The pair have also asked for a deeper analysis of speaking time trends to be undertaken.

OIP Staff


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