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     5   AGREEMENT FOR MEMBERS TO CONTRIBUTE REMOTELY TO PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS—DOCUMENT

Mr Porter (Leader of the House) presented the following agreement for Members to contribute remotely to parliamentary proceedings:

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

AGREEMENT FOR MEMBERS TO CONTRIBUTE

REMOTELY TO PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS

This agreement is made pursuant to the resolution adopted by the House of Representatives on 23 March 2020, entitled ‘Special provisions for human biosecurity emergency period’, for the period 6 October 2020 until the conclusion of parliamentary sittings for 2020.

(1)    Members not physically present in the House may participate in proceedings, as provided by this agreement, if:

(a)    they participate via the official parliamentary video facility only; and

(b)   the Speaker is satisfied the Member is unable to physically attend Parliament due to reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(2)    Reasons to be provided to allow the Speaker to make a decision in accordance with 1(b) above should be provided by the Leader of the House to the Speaker for a Government Member, the Manager of Opposition Business to the Speaker for an Opposition Member and directly to the Speaker for a non-aligned Member. The reasons should address the personal circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic that have made it essentially impossible, unreasonably impracticable, or would give rise to an unreasonable risk for the Member to physically attend Parliament.

(3)    The standing orders apply except as affected by this agreement.

(4)    Members participating in proceedings by this agreement must use the official parliamentary video facility and be present at either an Electorate Office or a Commonwealth Parliament Office.

(5)    Members present by the official parliamentary video facility may speak only after being recognised by the Chair:

(a)    for the purpose of making a speech; or

(b)   to ask or answer a question at Question Time.

(6)    Members present by the official parliamentary video facility may not:

(a)    vote or be counted for quorum;

(b)   move or second any motion;

(c)    move or second any amendment to a motion or bill;

(d)   propose or support a proposal to discuss a matter of public importance;

(e)    call for a division; or

(f)    call for a quorum to be counted.

(7)    Notice is to be provided to the Chair, 15 minutes prior to:

(a)    a Member, participating in proceedings by the official parliamentary video facility, seeking to make a speech;

(b)   a Member, participating in proceedings by the official parliamentary video facility, seeking to ask a question in Question Time; and

(c)    Question Time, by the Leader of the House, indicating whether any Minister will be present during Question Time by the official parliamentary video facility and is therefore available to answer questions.

(8)    At the conclusion of a question made through the official parliamentary video facility, the questioner participating in accordance with paragraph 7(b) above shall remain available to seek the call if that member wishes to raise a point of order during the answer.

(9)    For the period of the November and December 2020 sittings, the official parliamentary video facility may be made available in the Federation Chamber at the discretion of the Speaker.

(10)  Contributions to proceedings made by Members present by the official parliamentary video facility will be recorded in Hansard.

 

Hon Christian Porter MP                                                      Hon Tony Burke MP

Leader of the House                                                             Manager of Opposition Business