20 September 2022

Local parliament to adjourn today after party leaders' condolence speeches

| Lottie Twyford
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Legislative Assembly

The ACT Legislative Assembly will only sit briefly this morning so each party leader can offer a condolence speech. After that, it will adjourn for the day. Photo: Region.

Of the three sitting days scheduled for the Territory’s Legislative Assembly this week, the government will sit for only one full day.

Thursday’s sitting day has been called off in line with the public holiday announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the country to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and today (20 September), the chamber will only sit briefly for each of the three leaders to deliver a condolence speech.

“The Legislative Assembly will sit to move a condolence motion on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” a spokesperson for the Speaker said.

“The Assembly will adjourn following this motion and will return for normal business on Wednesday.”

It is still unclear whether the Assembly will make up the one-and-a-half sitting days missed this week. It was scheduled to sit only 35 days this year.

Jeremy Hanson

Deputy Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson has called for the number of sitting days in the ACT Legislative Assembly to be increased. Photo: Region.

That “low” number of sitting days has been criticised by Deputy Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson who has called for this to be increased so the Assembly has more time to consider local matters.

When questioned yesterday, Mr Hanson agreed he had “long campaigned” for this.

“On this occasion, however, I think it is right for the Assembly to properly pay respect to Her Majesty, following a lifetime of dedication and service,” he said.

Johnathan Davis

ACT Greens MLA Johnathan Davis said he will be working on Thursday – the public holiday – because he is a “lifelong Republican”. Photo: Region.

ACT Greens Crossbencher Johnathan Davis – a “life-long Republican” – will be working for his electorate on Thursday and tomorrow afternoon.

He agreed it was important for the Territory’s Legislative Assembly to pay its respects to the Queen on her passing.

“I still acknowledge, respect and am grateful for a lifetime of service from Queen Elizabeth II. I think it right and fair that the Assembly reflect on [that] and pay its respects to the Royal family and pause for a moment of reflection,” he said.

“But there’s a lot of work to do. We have a lot to do as an Assembly, as a government to address issues of concern to our constituents.”

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Mr Davis said he was disappointed to see time taken away from the Assembly and its usual business.

“Canberrans rightfully expect their parliament to respect the passing of the Queen but also expect their parliament to get on with the job of delivering for Canberra,” he said.

“I would hope we can find a way to do both this week.”

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Mr Davis said it was unclear why tomorrow’s normal business was suspended given Thursday had already been marked as a public holiday.

“It would have been my preference …. that we would have been working in the Assembly as the sitting plan indicated we would,” he said.

“I have a lot on my agenda, the Greens have a lot on our agenda, and hopefully, all three parties have a lot on their agenda.”

It’s understood some papers will be tabled this morning but the Assembly will adjourn after Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee and ACT Greens Leader Shane Rattenbury deliver their condolences speeches.

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Mathew Richards5:17 pm 20 Sep 22

And we are paying this mob a fortune. They have become an absolute joke.

I totally agree Johnathan. The British parliament continues to sit while Australia’s parliaments go into lockdown. Our leaders are unsure what to do with the Monarchists calling the shots. It is called tradition but where is it written that our country and its parliament has to close down while the British people go about their lives and its parliament still sits? Oh the joys of being a monarchist nation led by a foreign state and an irrelevant GG! Bring on the republic!!

Estelle, the British parliament sat on the day after for members to swear allegiance to the King, and the next day for members to pay tribute, then was suspended for 10 days mourning. They didn’t continue to sit.

That may be so nobody but where is the precedence and who says that our parliaments have to be shut down. We have wall to wall television coverage, a public holiday and our parliaments are all shut down. Yes, it is important for our governments to pay their respects and they have. I also don’t deny her longevity and dedicated services to Australia.

Estelle, all the details of the funeral and mourning period are in Operation London Bridge and the corresponding plans in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The precedence is from all the previous Royal deaths, and the details in London Bridge were first put together in the 1960s, then updated regularly.

No there is no process. The Queen’s death has been planned in England for years. Australia hasn’t been told what the process is. Australia wasn’t even mentioned in the new King’s accession speech. Parliamentarians and the prime-minister are just going along blindly following the British and I would imagine NZ and Canada would be in the same boat

No Estelle, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have always been an integral part of the UK plan for when our Monarch dies. There has always been a detailed plan in Australia, including the option of a public holiday, which has been followed. Just because you were not aware of this beforehand does not mean the PM is “going along blindly”.

Oh how sad nobody that in this country we still have sycophants that kowtow and stoop to foreign governments!!

Estelle, our late monarch was Queen of Australia, as well as Queen of 14 other independent nations, and now Charles is King of Australia and King of 14 other independent nations. How is having and then implementing an integrated plan between the nations that share the same constitutional monarch kowtowing to a foreign government?

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