The NSW Government has made it clear that Parliament will resume on October 12, to help restrict the spread of COVID-19.
As the Premier has indicated, the NSW Government is looking forward to resuming Parliament sitting in October as we move towards higher vaccination rates and safe sittings.
I formally notified the President of the Legislative Council on Friday, 10 September 2021, that no Government Minister or Parliamentary Secretary would attend the Legislative Council sitting this week, given the clear risks.
I further requested that the President of the Legislative Council postpone this week’s sitting of the House to help protect the health of Members, Parliamentary staff and the families of Parliamentary staff who would be required to attend Parliament unnecessarily, as no business of the House can be conducted without a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary present.
Instead of putting local communities and the health of Parliamentary staff and their families first, Labor and the Crossbench joined forces to ensure the Legislative Council has resumed sitting today, even in circumstances where no formal business can be conducted.
This is a political and selfish stunt, a move which only satisfies their own agenda and as a result puts Parliamentary staff, their families and our communities at risk of transmitting COVID-19.
I call on the Leader of the Opposition Chris Minns to maintain his bipartisan support for the NSW Government’s focus on the health and safety of the people of NSW. Mr Minns should direct the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and all Labor MLCs and their staff to stay at home.
It should be noted a Legislative Assembly cross-party committee agreed to follow the health advice and postpone the scheduled sitting period in September.
Mr Minns and Labor cannot have one policy for the Legislative Assembly and a different policy for the Legislative Council.
During COVID-19 restrictions, the NSW Parliament has conducted eight Budget Estimates hearings and three Public Accountability Committee Hearings. Currently, there are 24 inquiries open, all of which the Government is cooperating with. Members of the Legislative Council are still able to ask questions on notice on any weekday.
The NSW Government has made it clear it would make up the lost sitting days.