News Politics Australian Politics Scaled-back parliament to sit next week with just 90 MPs

Scaled-back parliament to sit next week with just 90 MPs

federal parliament
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and PM Scott Morrison on March 8. Photo: AAP
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Australia’s Parliament will meet next week to pass the stimulus package with just 90 MPs and a skeleton staff in the House of Representatives to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The New Daily has confirmed the measures were agreed to by the Prime Minister and Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Tuesday morning in a private phone call.

It comes as political leaders prepare to consider banning gatherings of just 100 people or less.

The move could have a devastating impact on bars, restaurants and gyms and the Morrison Government is considering a further stimulus package today.

The House of Representatives has 151 MPs and the quorum for it to sit is 31 MPs.

The Prime Minister told Mr Albanese in a phone conversation on Tuesday that the government would offer 30 ‘pairs’ to ensure that not all MPs needed to fly to Canberra for the vote.

There are 76 senators and it’s expected that a scaled down Senate is also likely.

Federal Cabinet and the National Security Committee will meet on Tuesday afternoon/evening before the National Cabinet with the Prime Minister, state Premiers and Chief Ministers hold talks on Tuesday evening.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt will provide a daily update on the coronavirus at 2pm from Victoria.

Another MP tests positive

As Parliament prepares to hold the highly unusual parliamentary sittings a third MP has tested positive for the coronavirus.

NSW Senator Andrew Bragg confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that he was being cared for in hospital after contracting the virus.

“I was a guest at a friend’s wedding in Stanwell Tops on 6 March. After satisfying the guidelines of direct exposure and flu symptoms, I have tested positive to Coronavirus,” he said.

“I am following the guidelines set by NSW Health and will isolate myself. I thank St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney for their support & care.”

His diagnosis follows Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton who tweeted on Tuesday he was back home and self isolating with the family dog.