Parliament's longest sitting days
With a new sitting year having started, we thought it timely to look back on some of the longer Chamber debates.
During the last sitting week of 2021, the Legislative Council had a particularly long sitting day. On the 30th of November, the Council sat from 11.35am until 12.29pm the following day making it a 24 hour and 54 minute sitting day, mainly considering the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill.
While it’s not common for Parliament sittings to go for that long, it’s not unheard of, and the Victorian Parliament has had many overnight sittings in its time.
Here are some of the longest sitting days we have on record:
- 19 October 2017 – Legislative Assembly: The Assembly had a 26 hour and 8-minute sitting day to debate the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.
- 21 November 2017 – Legislative Council: When the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill moved to the Council, they also had a long sitting day of 28 hours and 7 minutes.
- 20 November 2003 – Legislative Council: The Council sat for 24 hours and 10 minutes discussing a range of bills including the Accident Compensation and Transport Accidents Acts (amendment) Bill and the Road Safety (amendment) Bill.
- 13 November 1992 – Legislative Council: The Council sat for 25 hours and 50 minutes debating the Public Sector Management Bill and the Accident Compensation (Workcover) Bill.
- 13 November 1992 – Legislative Assembly: The Assembly had a 26 hour and 30-minute sitting day on a range of bills. However, this sitting week was notable for a number of long sitting days in a row. You can see from the timesheet that it was a 93.38-hour week!