Australia: Parliament terminated in 40-year first

Samira Assma's picture

Federal parliament is about to experience an event which hasn't occurred in almost four decades.

On Friday afternoon the parliament will be prorogued, meaning the current session will be terminated without the houses being dissolved. It's the first time since 1977 the federal parliament has been prorogued other than for a general election.

The prorogation will occur to allow Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to open a special session of parliament on Monday morning. It wipes all business from the parliamentary agenda, allowing a clean slate on Monday. Senate committees aren't impacted by the termination of the session.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull requested the Governor-General recall the parliament to deal with legislation to reinstate the building industry watchdog and a bill to crack down on unions. If they aren't passed, voters will go to an early election on July 2.

Both houses are also expected to deal with legislation to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and freeze its minimum pay rate decision for owner-driver truckies. Sir Peter will attend parliament house in Canberra on Monday morning to officially reopen the second session of the current parliament.

Once the session begins, the parliament can decide how long and when it sits and what business to deal with.