"Why do members of parliament address the Speaker and not the questioner during Question Time?"

The Speaker is a member of the House of Representatives who is chosen as the Presiding Officer. This means that as well as representing their electorate, the Speaker is responsible for running, or presiding over, the meetings of the House.

The Speaker runs the meetings of the House much like a chairperson would.  The Speaker makes sure that the rules of the House –  the standing orders – are obeyed, so proceedings such as Question Time can run in an ordered way. For instance, standing order 65(a) states that "A Member wishing to speak shall rise and, when recognised by the Speaker, address the Speaker." This means that members must address their remarks through the Speaker at all times, which shows respect for the role of the Speaker in running parliamentary proceedings.

diagram to help explain Why do members of parliament address the Speaker and not the questioner during Question Time?