28 Sep 2011

Changes to Parliament's hours planned

12:33 pm on 28 September 2011

Parliamentary rules are set to be changed to allow for longer working hours, without the need to go into urgency.

The House sits on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and Tuesday and Wednesday nights until 10pm.

Parliament's Standing Orders committee has recommended allowing a minister to move that sitting days be extended into Wednesday or Thursday mornings, without the need to put the House into urgency.

The committee's report says that would mean urgency is confined to situations where it is genuinely required.

It also recommends that a record of MPs' attendance is kept and published.

The review suggests that $200 a day be deducted from MPs' pay if they are absent without leave or temporarily suspended from Parliament for misbehaviour.