A Labor-chaired committee is set to put the federal government's coronavirus response under the microscope.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is confident the upper house on Wednesday will establish a Senate select committee to scrutinise unprecedented spending.
"That will ensure there is oversight during this period. That is very important indeed," he said on Tuesday.
The seven-member committee will be chaired by Labor's finance spokeswoman Katy Gallagher.
It will have three Labor senators, two coalition, one Greens and independent Jacqui Lambie.
The committee will have broad terms of reference to look at all aspects of the government response to the pandemic and related matters.
Labor's preference is for a scaled-down parliament to meet regularly during the pandemic after Wednesday but the government has suspended sittings until August.
Senator Gallagher said the committee was a better option than pushing for upper house sittings without a session of the lower house, where the government controls the numbers.
"There are procedural limitations on what the Senate could actually do, so the senate committee can actually get the job done in the meantime," she said.
"It will be one of the most important inquiries that I've been a part of. This outbreak is a defining feature of this parliament."
Lower house crossbench MPs Andrew Wilkie, Helen Haines, Rebekha Sharkie, Adam Bandt and Zali Steggall have called for separate coronavirus economic and health committees.
Ms Steggall said while many of the government's spending measures looked good on paper, oversight was important.
"There needs to be flexibility to ensure decisions have the intended effect and oversight to ensure there is no abuse of the system," she said.
Left-leaning think tank the Australia Institute has released a poll showing two-thirds of people support a parliamentary committee into the coronavirus response.
About one in eight people oppose the idea.
Wednesday's special parliamentary sitting will pass $130 billion in wage subsidies to give six million workers $1500 fortnightly payments.
Government leader of the House of Representatives Christian Porter said livelihoods depended on the actions of politicians from all parties.
"We are all responsible for this. This is $130 billion worth of life rafts going out to six million Australians whose jobs are on the line," he said.
The government argues parliament can be recalled if needed, but politicians should follow health advice to stay home.