NSW parliament won't sit in August

Luke CostinAAP
NSW parliament will likely not sit in August due to Sydney's extended coronavirus lockdown
Camera IconNSW parliament will likely not sit in August due to Sydney's extended coronavirus lockdown Credit: AAP

NSW parliament will likely not sit in August due to Sydney's lockdown and the potential of regional MPs seeding coronavirus in their communities.

Speaker of the Lower House Jonathan O'Dea on Tuesday agreed to postpone August sitting dates after a request from Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

That request followed Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant advise for both houses be deferred until at least September.

"In addition to the heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission in parliament itself, there is a risk of seeding COVID-19 to regional communities when MPs and staff return home," Dr Chant said in a letter to Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

The deferral would delay debates on amendments to environmental, firearms and electric vehicle laws, and calls for changes to consent in sexual offences.

Both houses last sat on June 24.

Matthew Mason-Cox, the upper house president, has indicated he will meet with the leader of each party and the crossbench before making a decision about whether to postpone.

The NSW opposition said it was "deeply concerned" the government was yet to put in alternatives, such as videoconferencing, to allow Australia's oldest parliament to sit.

"Democracy is not a luxury so easily dispensed with," Labor MP Ron Hoenig said.

"There are many questions around the original outbreak of the Delta strain of COVID-19 and the timeliness of actions to enter a lockdown that require parliamentary examination."

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