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Historic Parliamentary Sitting As Members Given Remote Access Because Of COVID-19

A historic meeting of the Australian Parliament began today, with members of both houses now able to participate remotely in proceedings, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The House of Representatives met at 10.00am and formalised the arrangements.

Members are able to participate from their electorate offices via the parliament’s video system. They cannot vote remotely.

The government and opposition agreed on the format of remote access in recent weeks. Negotiations were handled by the Leader of the House, Christian Porter, and the Manager of Opposition Business, Tony Burke.

Statements from House Speaker, Tony Smith, and the Senate President, Scott Ryan, appear below.

Watch the opening proceedings in the House of Representatives (24m):

This is the agreement between the government and opposition to allow remote participation:

Agreement

This is the recent statement from the presiding officers of the House and the Senate:

2020-08-20_presiding-officers-statement-re-august-24-sitting-of-parliament

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