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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 156


Senator DI NATALE (VictoriaLeader of the Australian Greens) (09:36): The Greens will support this motion, but we would just like to, once again, express our disappointment that, when it comes to the scheduling of parliamentary sitting weeks, we are again seeing a sitting week scheduled during the school holiday period in South Australia. There has been a long tradition in this place that we avoid scheduling sitting weeks during the school holiday periods. It is really important. It is a tough gig. It is tough on families. It is tough on those people in this chamber who have children. One of the conventions that has quite rightly evolved in the parliament is to ensure that we do not schedule sitting weeks during the school holiday periods. I would just, once again, like to reaffirm our commitment to that convention and that, when the scheduling for the parliament next year is being developed, there is a very keen eye applied to the school holiday periods for those many people in this place, especially women, who have to juggle these commitments. I think it is really critical that we ensure that this environment is as accommodating as possible to those families who often struggle to balance the competing commitments that we have as parliamentarians and also as parents.