It can be put forward by a Senator in the Senate or a member of the House of Representatives. This must be supported by a certain number of Senators or Members before the discussion can begin. In the Australian Senate, five Senators are required to provide support by standing.
MPI's are often used by opposition parties to draw attention to government failures or areas that are politically sensitive for the government.
In 2007, the conservative Liberal-National coalition government signalled controversial changes the MPI procedure, formalizing speaking times and reducing the amount of time that independents have to speak. A single Senator is limited to 10 minutes discussion.
- "No. 10 - Matters of public importance and urgency". Brief Guides to Senate Procedure. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Parliament of Australia: Matters of public importance Archived 2012-10-24 at the Wayback Machine. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved on 13 October 2012.
- "Chapter 12 - Matters of public importance and urgency". Standing Orders and other orders of the Senate. Commonwealth of Australia. 13 February 1997. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Mark Coulton MP- Matter of Public Importance- NSW Floods
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