You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Push to allow infants in Senate chamber

AAP logoAAP 13/10/2016 Belinda Merhab

Politicians are often accused of behaving like children but actual littlies may soon be spotted on the floor of parliament under a new proposal for senators with infants.

Senators already are allowed to breastfeed in the chamber but Greens senator Larissa Waters wants to extend that right to caring.

The procedure committee has found Senator Waters' original proposal too broad, instead reviving a proposal that was rejected in 2009.

It's now recommending standing orders prohibiting visitors entering the chamber, except for breastfeeding infants, be widened so a senator can briefly care for an infant, at the discretion of the president - provided the business of the Senate isn't disrupted.

"The committee considers that the extension of the existing exception as proposed would provide senators with the necessary flexibility for those rare occasions when a senator has no alternative but to bring an infant into the chamber for brief periods," the report tabled in parliament says.

Senate deputy president Sue Lines said senators would be given until November 8 to consider the proposal.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon