Independent ACT Senator David Pocock wants federal Parliament to move to sit for extra days in 2022 to debate “some really urgent pieces of legislation” including the bill to restore territory rights. Source: Canberra Times.
Senator Pocock is seeking support to extend the sitting days for the year after the parliamentary calendar was disrupted due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The planned four days of sitting for last week have been rescheduled for a day of condolences for the Queen on Friday and three days only of normal parliamentary business next week.
The opposition has already flagged it is unhappy with the reduced number of parliamentary business days but, after rescheduling, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese does not regard sitting days as lost.
Senator Pocock, who has been lobbying Senate colleagues since before the Queen’s death to get territory rights listed for debate in the Senate, wants more time for parliamentary business before the year runs out.
Alicia Payne and Luke Gosling’s private members’ bill, designed to end a 25-year-old ban on the ACT and Northern Territory debating euthanasia laws, entered the Senate earlier this month and two sessions of debate were held before all listed speakers made their contributions.
During the second day of debate, Labor senator Pat Dodson flipped on his previous opposition to the territories legislating for euthanasia, now saying he does not want to stand in their way and will abstain when the bill comes to a vote.
Senator Pocock has flagged moving a motion in the Senate proposing an extension to Parliament’s sitting calendar.
Mr Albanese told ABC News last week that the sitting days are rescheduled and so the legislation will be dealt with.
‘Urgent and important,’ David Pocock is campaigning for extra sitting days (By Karen Barlow, Canberra Times)