Parliament sitting delayed by a week

Parliament sitting delayed by a week

Parliament sitting delayed by a week

Manager of government business Christopher Pyne denied the move was aimed at maintaining control over Parliament, saying the change was needed to ensure the House dealt with same-sex marriage legislation after it had passed the Senate and the citizenship saga.

A renewed push for a banking commission of inquiry is also weighing heavily on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as coalition backbenchers seek Labor and crossbench support for what could be an embarrassing defeat for the government. The Lower House was supposed to sit for two weeks from Monday.

As well, there are fears the government could lose the seat of Bennelong, held by Liberal John Alexander, to Labor after the opposition preselected former NSW premier Kristina Keneally for the December 16 by-election.

They probably won't be able to initiate a formal sitting of the House of Representatives on their own, so it seems like it's more of a media stunt to highlight the government's weird decision.

"I think this is the sort of thing that happens in a dictatorship", Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek told Sky News.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said "Turnbull is running scared from the Parliament".

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"One of the reasons why Mr Turnbull has cancelled Parliament next week is because he knows that a banking royal commission is inevitable, and he will do everything he can do to protect his mates at the top end of town", Shorten reportedly said.

Greens MP Adam Bandt also confirmed he would be heading to Canberra on Monday, as did Nick Xenophon Team MP Rebekha Sharkie and Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie. "At this rate, Turnbull is not far from the metaphorical chopping block either".

Katter put forward the case for Parliament to sit next week the most thunderously, but he has been joined in his call by Labor, the Greens and a number of other crossbenchers. And it will make the laws of the land, because the laws of our country are quite clear.

Section 30 of the House of Representatives Standing Orders states that when Parliament is not sitting, only the Speaker may change the date and time at which it next convenes. Parliament would continue to sit until same-sex marriage is legislated.

In an earlier statement, Pyne said the house will "sit until marriage equality is law and all citizenship issues have been dealt with by the House".

"Any referrals to the High Court resulting from members' disclosures will be debated after the passage of the marriage equality bill".

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