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Burqa ban unresolved
by James Massola
The political stand-off between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and presiding officers Bronwyn Bishop and Stephen Parry over their decision to seat women wearing burqas or niqabs away from the public in a glassed off area of the parliamentary chambers remains unresolved, just days before federal parliament is due to resume.
Two weeks ago Ms Bishop, the Speaker of the lower house and Senator Parry, the Senate president, announced their interim move which came amid calls for a burqa ban from the Coalition backbench and while a review of parliamentary security is under way.
The decision drew a storm of protest and Mr Abbott, who has said he finds the burqa "confronting", moved to effectively kill off the presiding officers' plan just hours later when he made it known he would ask them to reconsider the move.
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