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Williams wants review of standing order

Published:Monday | March 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE Leader of Opposition Business in the Upper House, Senator Arthur Williams, has served notice that the Opposition wants changes in the practises and procedures of the Senate to allow the opposition to respond to statements by ministers.

Williams wants the Senate to adopt a similar practice to what now obtains in the House of Representatives, which gives Opposition legislators in the Lower House a chance to respond to ministers, without first having to serve notice.

Williams has called for the immediate review of the Standing Orders of the Senate to be undertaken, "To allow for an Opposition member to make a statement to the Senate in response to a statement by a minister."

Senator Williams is also seeking to introduce an ethics committee as a sessional select committee for the Upper House.

The proposals are to be debated in three weeks, and if approved, will be sent to the Senate's Standing Orders Committee for consideration.