Victoria’s parliament will take a break as the Queen dies



Many Australians might view the nation’s relationship with its monarch as purely symbolic, but in Victoria’s parliament the allegiance runs deep.

Victoria is the only state or territory that requires MPs to swear allegiance to a new monarch after the death of a predecessor before parliamentary business can continue.

When Queen, 96, dies, a four-step process will be triggered.

If it is a sitting day or week, both Houses of Parliament must adjourn immediately. They can only resume on a day likely chosen by the speakers of parliament – once Prince Charles is proclaimed king and MPs are sworn in again.

According to the government, if the Queen dies during a long parliamentary recess, the governor could recall both houses for members to take an oath or affirmation again.

Houses could then move in and debate a motion of condolence for the Queen – although this may not happen until after the funeral.

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Once the motion is concluded, it is up to the House to decide how long it should adjourn as a sign of respect to the Queen. It can take an hour, a day or more.

“The death of the Sovereign is not expected to significantly disrupt the workings of the Victorian Parliament,” the government said in a statement.

It is expected that it will take between two and four hours for members of both chambers to take the oath again.

Other state and territory legislatures are also likely to pass motions of condolence and observe periods of mourning.

The Northern Territory Chief Minister and Cabinet Department said that if its Legislative Assembly was sitting when the Queen died, proceedings would be adjourned for two days in line with federal advice to “support consistent Australian observance”.

However, most jurisdictions have legislation designed to minimize disruption after the death of a monarch.

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For example, Members of the ACT Legislative Assembly who swear allegiance to the Queen also swear allegiance to her heirs and successors.

New South Wales constitutional law specifies that members do not have to re-swear allegiance after the death of a monarch.

Federal MPs also swear allegiance to the Queen’s heirs and successors and are not required to take the oath again.

It will be up to the government to determine what process the Australian parliament will follow when the Queen dies and if there is a day of mourning.

University of Sydney cultural historian Cindy McCreery has said that when the Queen dies, Prince Charles will automatically become monarch.

“The way we can understand this is this phrase… ‘the king is dead, long live the king’ – which means one king died, but immediately the other king took over,” she said. declared.

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It would make sense for the Federal Government to follow Britain’s lead and recall Parliament on the day the death was announced, Dr McCreery added.

In Britain, most parliamentary business would be suspended until the funeral scheduled 10 days later, she said.

“It would make sense for the parliaments of the Commonwealth realms to follow suit, but there could be exceptions for urgent matters like budgets or funding, and of course critical defense matters. [like] bushfire,” she said.

Dr McCreery said the Queen’s death could trigger a “calculation” of calls for Australia to become a republic, but it would have no immediate impact on the country’s status as a Commonwealth nation.

“What that impacts is how people think about it and whether people want Charles to be head of state,” she said.



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