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PM’s parliament schedule change rebuffed

Labor has rejected Scott Morrison’s plan to scrap a week of parliament and condense the sitting calendar.

Parliament was due to sit for the first and final fortnights of August with a one-week break in between.

Sydney’s coronavirus crisis and lockdowns have forced MPs to quarantine in Canberra and face strict health measures to attend work.

The Prime Minister asked the opposition to scrap the break and instead schedule three consecutive weeks of parliament.

Mr Morrison told Coalition colleagues on Tuesday it was sad Labor had rebuffed a sensible request.

“They’ve not worked with us, they’re against us, they are against Australia,” he said.

It is understood Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke was told twice by the government that the original sitting schedule would be maintained after he asked if changes were planned.

The proposal to scrap the week off and reduce parliament to three weeks instead of four was put to Labor late last week.

Mr Burke rejected the move because it came too late for MPs and senators who had based quarantine plans around attending only the final sitting fortnight.

“You only have to look at Mr Morrison’s behaviour in the chamber to see parliamentary scrutiny is something that works for us, not for him,” he told a caucus meeting in Canberra.

-AAP

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