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The rules on the admittance of visitors or ‘strangers’ within the parliamentary chambers have a long history in the Westminster tradition of parliamentary practice. Over the past 30 years there has been a dramatic increase in the representation of women in Parliament and some of them have given birth while in office. 

In response to changing values, new procedures and facilities have been developed in parliament that attempt to address the needs of senators and members who are parents of young children. These include the establishment of a childcare centre within Parliament House, measures to support breastfeeding and enabling proxy voting for nursing mothers in the House of Representatives.


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