THE Canberra Liberals are calling for extra days in the chamber as the ACT Assembly faces only 35 sitting days in its 2022 calendar.
Opposition Whip, Jeremy Hanson, said next year’s sitting pattern is at an “historic low” compared to previous Assemblies, which have met for up to 15 weeks per year.
“It is also low compared to other parliaments, such as NSW or Tasmania, which also meet for up to 15 weeks per year, plus additional Budget Estimates and Annual Reports hearings,” Mr Hanson said.
In 2021 the parliamentary sitting calendar for NSW was 51 days; Victoria, 45 days; SA, 51 days; Tasmania, 47 days; WA, 40 days and the ACT, 35 days plus 10 for Estimates”
CityNews understands that the average number of sitting days in the first and second ACT Assemblies, when Rosemary Follett was Chief Minister, was around 50 days.
Mr Hanson said extra days would allow the Assembly to work through a number of “overlooked” community issues.
“For the local Assembly to sit for only 35 days a year is not justifiable, especially when there is so many issues that simply don’t get the attention they deserve, from grass mowing to multicultural groups,” Mr Hanson said.
Next week is the final sitting week for 2021.
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