New Question Time should highlight local issues: Pyne

LOCAL issues could get specific consideration in the Australian parliament, as part of a special backbencher's Question Time, if reforms proposed by the Coalition are delivered.

In a speech to the Institute of Public Affairs on Wednesday, Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne promised several parliamentary reforms if a conservative government is elected on September 14.

Mr Pyne made several attacks on the current Labor Government in his speech, but also promised the new question time as a way to highlight more local issues, not just those of national import.

The new system would take on some reforms already in place in New Zealand, despite the current allowance for local MPs statements in the house and more detailed debate in the federation chamber.

Mr Pyne also said the discontent with politics among many Australians was the fault of the government, rather than the responsibility of all those in the parliament.

"A higher standard of debate isn't something that you talk about - it's something you make happen, and we will," he said.

Mr Pyne's speech came on the same day Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the election date in September this year.

Ms Gillard said rather than the unusually early announcement a sign of a nine-month campaign, it was to give Australians the certainty for a fulsome policy debate rather than the toxic political attacks of last year.


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