I have made many 90 second statements since the opening of the 44th Parliament. Time is set aside in every sitting week for Members of Parliament to make statements that are not part of a formal debate and have no specific topic. This gives members opportunities to speak about their communities (electorate).
They are wide ranging and I have enjoyed listening to different members speak about different topics.
I have spoken about schools that have visited and schools I have visited. Most recently I have spoken about visiting schools to announce and congratulate their school leaders.
I have also spoken about committees that do important work in the community. An example is the Point Cook Relay for Life fundraiser and awareness campaign that supports the Cancer Council. Another is the Committee for Wyndham which is celebrating its 16th year.
These spots are also used for condolences for the death of community members who have made a contribution to community life. I have heard several of these and think it is a terrific way to acknowledge someone’s contribution.
The 90 second statements are exciting because there is no speaker list and members just arrive at the allotted time and “jump”. The opposition have the first spot and it goes in turns with members from either side getting up quickly as the member before them finishes. The Speaker then calls the next member.
The clock starts as soon as the Speaker calls you, “I recognize the Member for Lalor” and you have exactly 90 seconds before you are interrupted and told, “the time allotted has expired.” It is quite an art learning to speak to exactly 90 seconds.