News Politics Australian Politics MPs sworn in as 47th Parliament opened

MPs sworn in as 47th Parliament opened

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The prime minister has called for stability and a de-escalation of tensions in the region following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit. Photo: AAP
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MPs and senators have gathered in Canberra for the first time since the election for the official opening of the 47th parliament.

Members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate were sworn in on Tuesday, after the parliament was opened by chief justice Susan Kiefel.

After an ecumenical church service, MPs gathered for a welcome to country and smoking ceremony at Parliament House.

The Senate then elected WA Labor senator Sue Lines as president, while the House of Representatives chose Queensland Labor MP Milton Dick as Speaker.

Governor-General David Hurley will later in the day lay out the government’s agenda in a speech to both houses before debate begins.

Speaking at the welcome to country ceremony, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese reiterated the need to enshrine an Indigenous Voice to parliament in the constitution.

He said MPs needed to use their time in parliament to the fullest.

“So I say to everyone here – all of my parliamentary colleagues – don’t miss the chance because you’re not here for that long. None of us will be,” he said.

“When you’re sitting on the porch, thinking about what you did, you can either have a source of pride or a source of regret. There’s no middle path.”

The Labor government is set to introduce 18 pieces of legislation in the first sitting week, following nine years on the opposition benches.

The government plans to introduce legislation for a new carbon-emissions target, domestic violence leave, creating the agency Jobs and Skills Australia, and aged-care reform measures.

A private member’s bill paving the way for the Northern Territory and ACT to debate and potentially legislate for voluntary euthanasia will be introduced to parliament next Monday.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton paid tribute in the welcome to country ceremony to the record number of Indigenous MPs taking their place at parliament for the new term.

“We’re incredibly proud of the fact we have eight senators, three members of the House of Representatives, as part of this 47th parliament,” he said.

“There’s an incredible amount of work in front of us to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, to do what past governments, both Liberal and Labor, and leaders in our communities, have strived to do but fallen short in their endeavours.”

Mr Albanese said he wanted to see more unity in the parliament.

“I want to see a parliament that functions much better than the last one. One where there’s genuine debate and dialogue and discussion,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“I want more unity, less division. I want to bring the country together with a sense of our common purpose, which is there.”

Leader of the House Tony Burke said while there would still be debate in the parliament, there would be a more measured tone.

There are 35 new lower house members and 12 new senators.