The South Australian government has moved to become a more “family-friendly” workplace by allowing MPs to bring their young children to work and breast or bottle feed them during sittings.
Under the new law, which passed on Thursday, male or female members are able to bring their young children into the House of Assembly, if necessary.
Expectant mothers will also be allowed to take up to 20 weeks of maternity leave without needing weekly authorisation from the House.
The move makes the entitlement consistent with other public sector employees.
MPs on maternity leave will still be able attend to vote during that time if they wish.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said while the changes would modernise the state parliament and become a more “family-friendly” workplace.
“A desire to have a family should not impede women or men from entering politics,” Ms Chapman said.
“It’s well and truly time these rules changed, bringing our parliament in line with modern workplace expectations.”
She said the move gave new parents the opportunity to continue participating in the House while caring for their child.
“I hope it signals to aspiring young politicians in this state that your family life is important and will be accommodated,” she said.
Changes were made in federal parliament in February 2016 to allow both male and female MPs to bring their young children into the chamber if they were responsible for their care.
Breastfeeding was also permitted.
Australian Greens senator Larissa Waters made history in 2017 when she became the first woman to breastfeed in parliament.
She was feeding her daughter Alia, who was only two months old at the time, when she passed a motion before the Senate.