Senate President Floyd Morris says he’ll be moving to take disciplinary action against Opposition Senator Robert Montague, after both men clashed today in an ill tempered sitting of the Upper House.
Senator Morris says he’d indicated via e-mail that questions tabled by Senators Montague and Johnson Smith would not be answered by Leader of Government Business, AJ Nicholson.
Usually answers are provided by the Leader of Government Business, when the Ministers to whom questions are being directed, do not sit in the Senate.
But today Senator Morris says he informed his colleagues that Information Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer would be providing the answers.
Senator Morris became angry when Montague declared that he was anticipating answers from AJ Nicholson.
Senator Montague noted that the convention where the Leader of Government Business provides answers on behalf of Ministers who do not sit in the Senate.
There has been tension between Senator Nicholson and his Opposition counterparts.
Senator Nicholson has expressed annoyance about questions being directed at him.
The Government has since made moves to re-direct questions to Senator Falconer.
Today, Senator Nicholson insisted that there’s no convention that should compel him to answer questions for Ministers who sit outside the Senate.
Senator Montague disputed Minister Nicholson’s remark, only for the Senate President to intervene forcefully, to applause from those on the government side.
Senator Morris declared that he’ll seek advice on how to discipline Senator Montague.