The federal government should be ready to reschedule sitting weeks to stop Parliament House becoming a "petri dish" for the coronavirus outbreak, crossbench senator Rex Patrick says.
The South Australian senator has also called for the Coalition to bring the federal budget forward a month to mid-April, before a "likely mid-year peak" in COVID-19 infections.
Senator Patrick said parliamentary sittings would increase the chance of MPs and their staff spreading the virus in electorates.
He called on the federal government to be "proactive" in avoiding the risk, bring forward urgent business in the remaining March sitting week, and be ready to schedule more sittings in April.
"This is precisely the sort of mass gathering and travel patterns that public health authorities will seek to prevent as the spread of the coronavirus accelerates and peaks during the middle of the year," he said.
"Although it may be possible to arrange for parliament to meet with a minimum of staff and visitors, consideration will obviously need to be given to rescheduling planned sittings.
"No one would want the parliament to serve as a giant petri dish."
Senator Patrick said the calendar of sitting weeks and Senate hearings would crash into a forecast period of escalating coronavirus spread.
Parliament is scheduled to meet for one more week in March, before rising until the budget on May 12.
The House of Representatives will sit for five weeks in May and June, and the Senate will sit for three weeks with two additional weeks of Senate estimates hearings.
Parliament will have two sitting weeks in August and another two in September.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said last week modelling showed there might be greater spread of the illness in Australia by late April or May.
"The peak would then hit us in potentially August, which is obviously not a great month because our coldest months with the highest level of flu," Mr McGowan said.
Senator Patrick called for an early budget despite the challenge it would pose ministers and the public service.
"The early presentation of a full budget with strong support for business and households, and for those groups most likely to feel the brunt of an economic downturn, would undoubtedly help build confidence," he said.
"Prime Minister Scott Morrison cannot be too proactive in efforts to reduce what are likely to be major economic and social impacts."