Matter of public importance

A matter of public importance (MPI) is a term used in the Australian Parliament where a subject is put forward for debate by the parliament. The opportunity is defined under standing order 75.[1]

It can be put forward by a Senator in the Senate[2] 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.[1]

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.[3]


  1. "No. 10 - Matters of public importance and urgency". Brief Guides to Senate Procedure. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  2. Parliament of Australia: Matters of public importance Archived 2012-10-24 at the Wayback Machine. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved on 13 October 2012.
  3. "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.

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