The Liberal Nationals will propose sweeping new reforms to modernise Victoria’s outdated Parliamentary petitioning process.
Petitioning Parliament and petitioning ministers through Parliament is one of the most ancient rights of citizens in the Westminster system, but in the days of the internet, social media and mass communications, it needs to be brought into the 21st Century.
Already Parliament has an electronic petitioning system, but too often petitions are tabled and the Premier and his ministers don’t respond.
The proposed changes would ensure that electronic petitions with more than 5,000 signatures and paper petitions with more than 1,500 signatures would have the capacity to be debated.
An Order of the Day to take into consideration the subject matter of every paper petition that contains more than 1,500 signatures and every e-petition that contains more than 5,000 signatures will automatically take precedence on the next sitting Wednesday.
Ministers will be forced to table a response to petitions within 60 days. Some ministers are notorious in thumbing their nose at petitions, even very large petitions that may have many thousands of petitioners signing.
These reforms to the petition process will strengthen democracy and accountability. The Liberal Nationals will crack open the petition process and deliver accountability and transparency for all Victorians.