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Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Page: 8133

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (15:44): I seek leave to move an amendment to government business notice of motion No. 1, moved by the Minister for Communications, Senator Fifield.

Leave granted.

Senator SIEWERT: I move:

Omit all words from "Monday, 27 June to Spring sittings (2)" inclusive and substitute:

"Spring sittings:

Monday, 8 August to Thursday, 11 August

Monday, 15 August to Thursday, 18 August

Monday, 5 September to Thursday, 8 September

Monday, 12 September to Thursday, 15 September

Spring sittings (2)

Monday, 24 October to Thursday, 27 October".

I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator SIEWERT: This amendment is similar to the one that we moved last year about the 2015 sitting calendar. These sittings coincide with school holidays on three occasions—in particular, in July for Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory. For Queensland and Victoria, they then coincide with the school holidays in September as well. So senators who have young families, with children at school, twice will lose out on being able to spend time with their children during the school holidays. It is quite easy for us to have a calendar that does exclude sitting days on school holidays. We are supposed to be family friendly. It is very hard for us to be family friendly in this Senate. One of the ways we can be is by not calling sitting days on school holidays. (Time expired)