The National, Monday July 15th, 2013
SOUTHERN Highlands Governor William Powi has raised concern that ministers were frequently absent from important debates in parliament.
Powi said issues of national importance were discussed and debated through grievance debates but it was a concern that the ministers tended to be absent from the chamber.
He said ministers of the state should be attending all sessions and taking note of important issues debated.
“The leaders of the people discuss issues of national importance and it is important that the members of parliament attend the sessions,” he said.
“The government needs to take in account all concerns and issues raised in parliament.”
Powi said it had become a disease or a common practice for ministers to be absent from grievance debates and that needed to be improved.
He said that after seeing only 10 of the 32 ministers in the chamber to take part in the grievance debate last Friday.
He said similarly, all ministers should turn up for question time as backbenchers and MPs would be raising concerns that they felt needed to be addressed.
Speaker Theo Zurenouc had earlier appealed to MPs to attend all session.
He said to improve attendance there was a need for some kind of attendance register for MPs but The National understands that has yet to be implemented.