Statement from the Presiding Officers

We wish to advise the Victorian community of arrangements at Parliament House this week following the state of emergency that has been declared in Victoria in response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

It is of utmost importance to us that every effort is made to protect the health and safety of our community. We must also ensure that the important business of Parliament can continue.

We want to reassure everyone our response here at Parliament will continue to be informed by the expert advice we receive from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Parliament will be sitting this week from 17 to 19 March. The normal arrangements for a sitting week will be modified based on the advice we have received.

Members of Parliament and necessary staff will be able to access Parliament House to enable the sitting to take place, but the building will be closed to the public from 17 March to minimise the number of people in the Parliamentary Precinct, in the interests of everyone’s health and safety.

We are asking for the cooperation and understanding of community members in not visiting Parliament House at this time.

Community members across Victoria can continue to view Parliament live via our broadcast at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/video-and-audio/live-broadcasting and can read the transcripts of what is said in Parliament at https://beta.parliament.vic.gov.au/parliamentary-debates.

Accredited journalists will continue to have access to the Parliament and will continue to report on parliamentary proceedings.

Until further notice the public galleries in our two parliamentary chambers will be closed and public tours and community events will not be held at Parliament House. We want to reassure everyone that this is a community health and safety measure and we will maintain the openness of our Parliament in these extraordinary circumstances through our live broadcasts and the public documents on our Parliament’s website.

This week is the final sitting week before a scheduled break in parliamentary sitting days. We will keep the community informed of developments in relation to any parliamentary activities as the situation develops.

We want to reassure the community that your Parliament will continue to work diligently to help address the current circumstances facing Victorians.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will act in accordance with the latest advice from health authorities.

 

Hon Colin Brooks MP
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

Hon Shaun Leane MLC
President of the Legislative Council

 

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