In Question Time ministers are called upon to be accountable and explain the decisions and actions that have been taken in their area of government responsibility. Question Time also gives ministers an opportunity to present their ideas, their leadership abilities and their political skills.
Sometimes, ministers are asked questions about matters for which they are not responsible. In this case, the correct minister will stand up and answer the question. Because the Prime Minister has overall responsibility for the work of the government, they may decide to answer a question directed to a minister. This is rare. It is more common for the Prime Minister to ask the relevant minister to answer a question in their place.
Find out more information about Question Time in both the House of Representatives and Senate with this fact sheet.