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A new ‘family friendly’ Australian Parliament has been declared with breastfeeding politicians now now allowed to bring their children into the chamber.

According to the ABC, under the previous parliamentary rules, children were technically banned in the chamber when parliament was sitting.  Breastfeeding mothers were given a proxy vote when voting happened.

The Parliamentary rules were revisited last year when a mini ‘baby boom’ occurred with the many sitting members.

An inquiry into the chamber rules was led by Mr Southcott with the results of the report announced today by the Leader of the House, Christopher Pyne.

Mr Pyne stated that both men and women would be allowed to bring their children into the chamber if they were responsible for their care, describing the former practices as “antiquated”.

“No member, male or female, will ever be prevented from participating fully in the operation of the Parliament by reason of having the care of a baby,” he said.

The changes were also welcomed by his opposition counterpart, Tony Burke, who declared the changes as sensible.

“It’ll be a long time, and possibly never, before this job is truly family-friendly, but this is a significant way of trying to improve,” he said.

The changes come in the wake of the controversy surrounding Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer, who was directly asked last year if she had considered expressing more milk for her baby to avoid missing her parliamentary duties.


Image source: Instagram

  • I agree it may be harder to put into practise if children start making too much noise though. Iti s going to be very distracting if the baby starts crying during the actual sitting though. Some get distressed hearing a baby crying for too long. Sometimes they can literally drown out a conversation. I agree the Mums should not be discriminated against. Maybe those who have children in Parliament House during actual sittings there could have a glassed off area where they can hear via speaker system, but be allowed to speak if they wish to. The manners of people need to improve considerably if they are going to allow children to be there.


    • Very well thought out comment and suggestion june11.

    Reply

  • that is great and really progressive!

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  • Great to see them leading by example… now time for others to follow suit.

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  • I hope this happens in more places :)


    • All mums regardless of profession need the same changes to occur in their workplaces.

    Reply

  • Lke fd

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  • Now – let’s see it spread to all workplaces – there is a long way to go!

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  • That’s wonderful. A big step forward

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  • Times are finally changing in Australia!

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  • Lovely! What a big improvement!!

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  • Nothing like leading by example – will be interesting to see how it works in practice…

    Reply

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