Parliament to resume after Queen's death

·3-min read

Federal parliament will resume later this month to allow MPs and senators to speak on a condolence motion for the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Parliament was due to sit this week but has been suspended following the death of the monarch on Friday, Australian time.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced parliament would meet on September 23, the day after the national day of mourning public holiday, so MPs and senators can pay their respects.

Parliament will reconvene as normal the following week between September 26 and 28.

But Mr Albanese won't be in attendance because he will be going to the funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

On September 23, Mr Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton will move condolence motions and speak for 15 minutes each honouring the Queen.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and Nationals leader David Littleproud will then speak for 10 minutes each, with all other MPs and senators given five minutes to pay tribute.

"This is not a time for partisanship, this is a time for unity of Australia as a nation, a time where we are grieving and acknowledging the contribution of Queen Elizabeth II as our head of state for 70 years," Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

"We will be able to have business as usual during those sitting days of the 26th to the 28th of September, and we will have an appropriate sitting of the parliament where people will be able to make a contribution on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II."

Key government legislation, such as a bill introducing a federal integrity commission, was set to be introduced to parliament during the sitting week that was scheduled to begin on Monday before parliament was suspended.

Meanwhile, Mr Albanese has ruled out holding a referendum on Australia becoming a republic during his first term in office.

While talks of a republic have been revived following the death of the Queen, Mr Albanese said it was too soon to discuss more constitutional change.

His immediate priority was a referendum to enshrine an Indigenous voice to parliament.

"My priority for this term is the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our constitution with a constitutionally recognised voice of parliament," he said.

"The Australian Labor Party's position (on a republic) is clear. But this is a time where Australians expect their prime minister to act in accordance with the constitutional arrangements which are there in place now."

The prime minister said he did not want to overturn arrangements in regards to the suspension of parliament that had been in place for many years in preparation for the Queen's death.

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham said the cancellation of parliament was part of long-established traditions but the length of the suspension could be re-examined.

"No doubt people will look carefully at these traditions in the future and assess how they carry forward in terms of marking significant occasions," he told ABC Radio on Monday.

"After a period like this, the United Kingdom system, the Australian system, all will have a look back at what has occurred through this period of transition, this period of mourning, and that will all feed into what occurs in the future."

Deputy manager of opposition business Kevin Hogan said the coalition parties were taking the prime minister in good faith about the protocols.

"I was delighted to see that he is making up (sitting time), we are obviously supposed to be sitting this week," he told Sky News.

"He's following that advice and we respect that."