Lambie calls for virtual Parliament By Max Koslowski

     Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has called for a virtual Parliament to maintain oversight as the government looks to pass its $130 billion JobKeeper package on Wednesday. "You can't tell me in the 21st century that cannot be done," the Tasmanian senator told Fran Kelly on Radio National this morning. The Parliament practicing social distancing on Monday March 23. One third of Parliament will return to Canberra on Wednesday to pass the JobKeeper scheme, some being flown in on RAAF aircraft. Attorney-General and leader of the House of Representatives Christian Porter has said he would recall Parliament as needed while the pandemic raged on. However, the decision to dismiss Parliament in the first place has been criticised. Labor leader Anthony Albanese has said he disagrees with the decision, particularly given other parliaments across the world are continuing to sit. "We're a democracy. And in a democracy, you don't suspend it," he told News Breakfast. "It wasn't suspended during the Spanish flu, or World War I or World War II." Also speaking on News Breakfast this morning, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said there were "logistical" issues with Parliament continuing to sit, notably state border closures. "We do have an exemption in order to be able to get here, but we shouldn't really be stretching that beyond what is necessary," he said. "Because in the end, we're asking everybody to stay at home and to stop, sort of, moving around the countryside. We should really, as members of Parliament, try to stick to that as best we can, and keep our movements, our own movements, to a minimum as well." with Mary Ward

 

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Monday, 26 October 2020
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