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Federal Politics

Politics Live: March 27, 2014

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'Fools', 'sooks' and Madam Speaker

Tempers fray and insults are thrown during a tempestuous question time on Thursday, as Labor and Speaker Bronwyn Bishop engage in a battle of wills.

PT5M55S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-35kxr 620 349
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Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke seeks to move a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke seeks to move a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

It's that time of day where we head home to snuggle up with a copy of the House Practice and think about life.

Before we do, what did we learn?

 

Andrew Meares, Alex Ellinghausen and I will see you tomorrow morning for the swearing-in of the new Governor-General.

Until then.

 

Now, an update on that "right-wing Kool-Aid drinker".

As James Massola writes:

"Attorney-General George Brandis says cabinet made a collective decision to release an exposure draft on changes to race hate laws, but has not denied that he was forced by colleagues to water down his original proposal.

He has also played down suggestions that he was at loggerheads with Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs – who has criticised the government's proposed changes – and NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, who disagreed with Senator Brandis's suggestion this week that people have the right to be bigoted ..."

 

The other Sir Tony has also written about the far-out scenes in Parliament this afternoon:

"For long moments, Bronwyn Bishop appeared so stone-still she might have been Lot's wife, turned to a pillar of salt as she gazed upon the frightful city of Sodom.

Madam Speaker, immeasurably offended, her lips pursed till they all but disappeared, was being accused of bias and incompetency so gross she was beyond redemption ..."

Read on here.

Some notices as we round the corner to home time.

Earlier this afternoon, we reported that the Senate had moved to disallow TPVs for a second time.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has issued a statement, arguing that Labor and the Greens have joined together to "fulfil the people smugglers' promise of permanent visas for illegal boat arrivals".

Describing the vote as "reckless," Morrison said the Coalition would not be providing permanent visas to "illegal boat arrivals".

Leaving Parliament, Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has called on Bronwyn Bishop to stand down.

"It would be better for the Parliament if she did."

Thomson suggests Deputy Speaker Bruce Scott should sit in her place.

For his part, the Nationals MP had no comment.

He called for a "little bit of love" in the House instead.

 

On days like this I can't help but feel like I've got the safest seat in the House.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Don't think we're not joking about moving this no-confidence motion. Even though we're about 35 seats away from a majority.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during Question Time.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

If I don't get a go in this no-confidence debate, I might pop.

Labor MP Anthony Albanese during Question Time.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor MP Anthony Albanese during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

If I don't laugh, I might cry.

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke during Question Time.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Don't worry Abbs, I've got this one under control.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks with Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks with Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

The time being 5.01pm, we now present PHOTOS WITHOUT NOTICE.

The house has adjourned until budget day.

The bells have rung and Madam Speaker has left the chamber.

You may be interested to remember back to November last year when Bishop was made Speaker.

Here, she made a point about how she would act impartially and uphold the traditions of the place.

If your heart is racing after Labor's attempt today to move a motion of no confidence in Bronwyn Bishop, there will be plenty of time for everyone to calm their farms.

From this evening, neither house of parliament will sit until budget day on May 13.

(With a six week break, you can fit in a lot of yoga and camomile tea.)

"That's the trouble with losing an election, you tend to lose your sense of humour."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott came outside Parliament House to meet cyclists from the Starlight Children's Foundation Tour de Kids in Canberra on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott came outside Parliament House to meet cyclists from the Starlight Children's Foundation Tour de Kids in Canberra on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Tony Abbott has appeared outside Parliament for a Starlight Foundation event.

He is of course asked about question time this afternoon.

The PM begins by calling Labor's actions in the House "pretty juvenile".

But he argues Bronwyn Bishop has done "a very good job over the past six months".

"I think she is going to bring style and a touch of humour [to parliamentary proceedings]."

Why isn't Labor laughing?

"They have no sense of humour. And that's the trouble with losing an election, you tend to lose your sense of humour."

The PM also says MPs need to accept the Speaker's rulings so Parliament can function.

"I know what its like to be on the receiving end by tough treatment by the Speaker," the PM says, adding that he was once himself kicked out for calling Kim Beazley a "sanctimonious windbag".

"I happen to have a much higher opinion of Mr Beazley, now that he's our Ambassador in Washington."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott came outside Parliament House to meet cyclists from the Starlight Children's Foundation Tour de Kids on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott came outside Parliament House to meet cyclists from the Starlight Children's Foundation Tour de Kids on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

To give you a sense of how unusual it is to be named, Albo was named in the Federation Chamber (the main committee room) in March 2002 for refusing withdraw a comment about "lies" during the children over board affair.

In 1919, Labor MP Michael Considine was named and suspended for a whole week after he refused to withdraw expressions like calling the government "a gang of murdering thieves".

Other MPs are also expressing their views on QT just gone. 

McGowan has taken to the Twits to defend her decision to vote in support of Madam Speaker.

The government easily won the vote to "keep confidence in" Madam Speaker this afternoon, given their healthy majority.

But it is interesting to see where the crossbenchers ended up.

Cathy McGowan and Andrew Wilkie voted with the government.

Adam Bandt voted with Labor.

Clive Palmer and Bob Katter did not vote.

If you'd like to relive the zaniness and dysfunction from this afternoon, here is a video, fresh from the House.

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Labor targets Speaker Bronwyn Bishop

Question time dissolved into chaos on Thursday when the Opposition attempted to move a no confidence motion against the Speaker.

PT4M34S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-35kuc 620 349

All week in interviews and doorstops, Labor has been arguing that Bronwyn Bishop is not impartial enough.

For the government's part, people like Christopher Pyne and even the PM have been arguing that Labor is bullying Madam Speaker.

They have even used the "misogyny word".

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke seeks to move a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke seeks to move a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Yesterday during question time, Madam Speaker got really cranky with the Labor tactic of laughing loudly.

This saw Labor frontbencher Julie Collins kicked out. And did nothing to soothe the vibe in the Green Room.

 

As Matthew Knott reported earlier this week, on Wednesday, Labor put a motion on the notice paper about Speaker independence.

They have not done anything about it, but it has been sitting there (a little ominously).

The motion asks the House to endorse past statements by Coalition MPs, including the PM, on Speaker impartiality.

There has been consternation without Labor ranks that Bronwyn Bishop continues to sit in party room meetings.

And indeed, that she has even been reported to have contributed during political debates there.

This crazy question time did not come out of nowhere.

Even if it seemed like it.

Tensions have been rising and rising between Labor and Bronwyn Bishop.

 

How do you think that went?

Madam Speaker during question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Madam Speaker during question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

At 3.13pm, Tony Abbott draws an end to question time, but not before noting of Bill Shorten:

"If only he had the class of his mother-in-law."

(Yes, Albo protests and yes, the PM ends up withdrawing this.)

Prime Minister Tony Abbott departs question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott departs question time on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Shorts then comes back to Abbs with a question.

Even John Howard believes that the PM's plan to play Knights and Dames is anachronistic.

Why won't the PM get his priorities right and focus on the people who have been losing their jobs since you got elected? 

"The only people who are obsessing about honours are [the] members opposite," the PM replies.  

"This is not the fifth term of the Howard government."

 

This question time is rowdier than rowdy.

A Dixer to Joe Hockey on the state of the budget breaks down when Madam Speaker rouses on Labor's Ed Husic.

"The member for Chifley will desist or leave, the choice is his. If you don't know the meaning of desist, look it up."

Labor protests, arguing this is a reflection on a member.

"If the member thought that meant he wasn't literate, I withdraw it," B-Bish replies.

Chris Bowen protests again. And things get shouty:

"Insults are sometimes traded in this house. They should never come from your chair. You should withdraw without reservation!"

(Madam Speaker rules that there is no point of order.)

What did Mark Dreyfus do after he was sent out?

He went back to his office to watch the motion of no confidence on the TVs there.

He tells The Pulse that all he said was "Madam Speaker!" in response to Bronwyn Bishop denying Tony Burke a point of order.

"That's all."

Dreyfus noted that B Bishop has been refusing the points of order from Burke (the senior Labor procedural person) "with great frequency".

The shadow attorney-general adds that there is no precedent in 113 years of federal parliament for naming someone for calling out "Madam Speaker" or "Mr Speaker".

He notes that it is a "very, very serious step" to name an MP.

 

This includes a crossbench question from Andrew Wilkie to the PM about the conditions for children detained on Christmas Island.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott returns to his seat after voting in a procedural division to deny the Opposition a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott returns to his seat after voting in a procedural division to deny the Opposition a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares

The motion is voted down 83 noes to 51 ayes.

(And we should clarify that was the motion to suspend standing orders to then talk about the no confidence motion ...)

And we go back to question time.

 

MPs vote on a procedure division on Labor's no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop.

MPs vote on a procedure division on Labor's no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop. Photo: Andrew Meares

The former Leader of the House says he is absolutely puzzled as to why Mark Dreyfus was kicked out.

He says he checked to see that Dreyfus didn't say Ma-dame Speaker (in a joke about dames).

"But there was not."

"What we see from those opposite and we see in this chamber every day is the born to rule mentality of those opposite ..."

The bells are then rung for a vote.

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday.

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Albo is up to second Tony Burke's motion.

"We all know that this is a position that you coveted for years and years.

How sad is it that having achieved this ambition you have chosen the low road of partisanship rather than the high road of independence that this office demands?"

Throughout, Bronwyn Bishop is maintaining a fierce exterior.

 

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question.

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question. Photo: Andrew Meares

Pyne adds that he holds the record for "being ejected from this place".

(He sure does.)

"I never complained."

Pyne says it is appropriate that Dreyfus was kicked out.

"The member for Isaacs is a bully and an aggressive one at that."

The Leader of the House then points out, "I am no sook."

 

Leader of the House - and big Bronnie fan - Christopher Pyne rises to speak in defence of Madam Speaker.

"I rise to defend your position," he says.

He says that when it comes to the vote, the government will regard it as a vote of confidence in the Speaker, not against her.

He promptly labels Burke's work a stunt.

"If I stand to raise a point of order, you wait until the minister has completed before you hear the point of order," Burke further complains.

"Australia knows bias when they see it."

"You're effective as a warrior for the Liberal Party, but that is not the job you chose to take on ... the parliament deserves more than that. And the parliament cannot have confidence in a Speaker who refuses to be impartial."

 

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time.

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

"It is acknowledged on both sides of this house and throughout the country that you are a formidable parliamentarian. That is acknowledged.

It is acknowledged that for the entire time in Opposition and when you have sat on those benches, you have been one of the people who has been able to come to the despatch box and launch scathing and effective attacks on us as the Labor Party.

...But we cannot support you continuing to behave that way when you want to sit in the Speaker's chair," says the manager of opposition business.

Burke points out that "never before" in the history of the Commonwealth has someone been named for calling out "Madam Speaker".

Clearly he been preparing for this.

It is not just about today.

"We have spent months watching you laugh at every joke from the ministers at the expense of members of the opposition. But somehow that is an appropriate way to conduct the role..."

Tony Burke then begins a long and angry recitative against Madam Speaker.

"It's the impartiality of the way you do the job that is at issue," he says.

98 people have been thrown out "by you".

All were from Labor.

"No speaker [since] federation has a record like that."

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke seeks to move a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time.

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke seeks to move a no confidence motion against Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

In response, Madam Speaker pointed out that Labor was as shemozzle during debates and divisions this morning.

"Earlier today the opposition called a division on a second reading speech because they only had one member in the house ..."

Pyne does not allow Burke to move the resolution against B-Bish and so the Manager of Opposition Business moves to suspend standing orders.

Immediately, Tony Burke gets up to move a resolution that he says has not been moved since the '40s.

"That the house has no further confidence" in the Speaker.

On the grounds that:

  • in the discharge of her duties, she has revealed serious partiality in favour of government members;
  • that she regards herself merely as an instrument of the Liberal Party;
  • that she constantly fails to interpret correctly the standing orders of the House; and
  • for gross incompetency in the administration of parliamentary procedure.

 

Kids, this is what they call high theatre.

The vote is ayes 82, noes 54.

Dreyfus kicked out for 24 hours.

 

Mark Dreyfus reacts as he was named by the Speaker during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Mark Dreyfus reacts as he was named by the Speaker during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

If this vote is successful (and it will be based on the majority the government enjoys), Dreyfus will be kicked out for the rest of the day.

There is confusion on the Labor benches about why Dreyfus has been treated so.

As one MP just texted in, all they heard MD say was "Madam Speaker".

"Then the bullet!"

BS lobs another "twisted priorities" number TA's way.

But before he can answer, Mark Dreyfus is "named" by Madam Speaker.

This is serious.

And unusual.

It leads Christopher Pyne to "move that the member be excused from the service of the House".

A vote is now underway on this very question.

Mark Dreyfus "trembles" after he was named by the Speaker during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday.

Mark Dreyfus "trembles" after he was named by the Speaker during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

"I call the honourable member for ... Wannon."

(Madam Speaker needs a bit of help to remember Liberal MP Dan Tehan's electorate for the next Dixer)

It is a real cupcake of a question when it comes.

Would the Treasurer outline the government's plans to grow the economy and create jobs?

"Our plans are clear," comes the answer.

"We're going to fix the mess. Tough decisions will have to be made."

Next up is Chris Bowen to Joe Hockey.

I refer the Treasurer to his statement in the House, that if you get on with the job of fixing the budget, you have a chance of fixing the economy.

Why then has the Treasurer's budget priority been to double the deficit by adding $68 billion in new spending and changed economic assumptions?

"I just want to deal head-on with this great fiction," Hocks begins.

There was no surplus, under Labor. Instead, there was a "legacy of debt and deficit".

"It wasn't just for the period they were in government. It is for as far as you can see in the years ahead."

The primo dixer is from Karen McNamara (Dobell) to the PM on how fixing the budget will strengthen the economy.

"They just don't get it, they just don't get it," TA says of the opposition.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks with Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott talks with Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

First question.

It's from Shorts to Abbs on "twisted budget priorities".

Namely:

Your government's priority has been to abolish the national debt limit and double the deficit. That will add $68 billion for a new spending and changed economic assumptions. 

PM, doesn't this demonstrate your government's short-sighted, twisted budget priorities?

But no, the PM replies.

Our priority is scrapping the carbon tax and the mining tax and boosting investment and family incomes.

And stopping the boats, and re-starting the ABCC

"Our priority is stopping the boats and it is working!"


Question Time.

(The last one till May 13.)

The Senate has been alive and kicking today.

Immigration correspondent Sarah Whyte reports that for the second time, the Upper House has supported a motion to disallow temporary protection visas (which ban asylum seekers from applying for permanent visas).

This occured through the support of the Greens + Labor.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has labelled today's disallowance a "great win".

We wait to see what the government's response is.

(For anyone out there thinking that the Senate's two strikes = double dissolution time, the Senate has been disallowing a regulation, not a law - so no cigar.)

 

In other environmental news, SMH environment editor Peter Hannam writes that a Labor-led committee has put pressure on Bill Shorten and co. to boost the ALP's greenhouse emissions targets.

A six-member Senate committee examining the Coalition's Direct Action policy recommended the government "immediately adopt" minimum cuts of 19 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020.

Both Labor and the Coalition are only committed to a 5 per cent cut.

This comes after the Climate Change Authority made a 19 per cent recommendation.

The Senate committee is made up of three Labor senators, two Coalition senators and one Green.

Greens leader Christine Milne said the inquiry puts the spotlight on both major parties' goals, particularly Labor's.

''This does start to put pressure on Labor to justify their inconsistent positions,'' she said.

''We need to find out whether this is Labor party policy or just that of its representatives on the committee.''

The House has moved on to discuss the government's Green Army bill.

As part of the Coalition's plan for environmental action, teams of ten "will be deployed across the country to help communities deliver local conservation outcomes".

It kicks of from July 1 2014.

Labor's Tony Zappia says the policy is "nothing but a farce".

This inches us closer to a trigger for a double dissolution.

But don't get too excited.

I reckon there's more chance that George Christensen will turn vegetarian than a DD.

The House has just voted to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, 82 votes to 53.

Andrew Leigh is a very prolific politician. He has written and edited four books, including Battlers and Billionaires last year.

His frontbench colleague Jenny Macklin has also just signed a book deal.

Following recent efforts from Chris Bowen and Kim Carr, Macklin has signed up to write about the social policy achievements of the Rudd and governments.

Books by Julia Gillard, Bob Carr and Greg Combet are also in the offing.

After everything that's happened, can you blame them from wanting some catharsis?

Leigh is also telling the NPC that inequality has risen dramatically in the last generation.

''To put this in stark terms: since 1975, real wages for the bottom tenth have risen 15 per cent, while wages for the top tenth have risen 59 per cent.

"Put another way, if cleaners and checkout operators had enjoyed the same rate of wage growth as financial dealers and anaesthetists, those low-wage workers would be earning an extra $14,000 a year."

Leigh, who is the member for Fraser in Canberra, says that the rise in relative inequality is driven from a number of sources, including advances in technology, globalisation and the decline of unions.

Read Gareth Hutchens' full report here.

Andrew Leigh, assistant shadow treasurer, is speaking at the National Press Club.

He's talking about Australian egalitarianism and the threat it faces from rising inequality.

Gareth Hutchens tells us that one remark has just got a laugh:

"We're a country that happily dispensed with knighthoods a generation ago, and no sensible person would suggest that the land of 'mate' should become the kingdom of 'sir.'"

(There is no ban on laughing at the Press Club.)

The search continues today for MH370

Eleven aircraft and five ships are involved in the effort, which is split into two search areas. 

Weather in the seach area is expected to deteriorate later today.

But Defence chief David Hurley remains upbeat.

Greens MP Adam Bandt adds his voice on the proposed CEFC abolition.

He argues that the Coalition is "living on a planet where apparently, global warming doesn't exist."

The CEFC debate is sure turning up some pearlers. 

Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite has just called the proposed abolition "bad public policy at its best".

It will "guarantee" that we leave our kids and our environment "worse off".

 

 

We should perhaps point out that Labor and the Greens are opposing the abolition of the CEFC.

The body was set up by the Gillard government to help finance clean energy projects.

Liberal MP Jane Prentice is now on her feet, arguing that abolition of the CEFC will save millions.

"It is every day Australians who are footing the bill for the carbon tax."

In the House, the debate has moved back to the abolition of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Labor's climate change spokesman Mark Butler has spent a significant proportion of the last half hour complaining that there is only half an hour to debate the bill.

Last time the bill went through the lower house, it was as part of a package of 11 bills, so it did not get individual attention, he said.

The debate has now moved on to about an hour of "consideration in detail of the bill".

As the name suggests, this is to consider the text of the bill in detail. But proceedings are a bit more informal than the second reading stage.

We are expecting this part to go for about an hour, before a vote around 1pm.

And now, the very serious issue of laughing in the House.

Tony Wright writes on Madam Speaker's concerns about Labor using "infectious laughter" as a new tactic in question time.

We know that the government is concerned with free speech.

What about free laughter?

The video of the incident in question time yesterday is below.

 

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Laughter crackdown in Parliament

Labor MP Julie Collins is thrown out of Parliament for laughing as the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop accuses the opposition of employing a new parliamentary tactic.

PT1M54S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-35jik 620 349

Do do reckon "Sir Christopher" sounds better, or "Sir Chris"?

Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during a divison to suspend the standing orders in Parliament House on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during a divison to suspend the standing orders in Parliament House on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Speaking of Sir Pete, the Australian Republican Movement reckon that the rebirthing of knighthoods is a healthy thing for the republican cause.

ARM national director David Morris said that the PM's announcement "have given us a big shot in the arm".

"We won't get a republic while Tony Abbott is Prime Minister but he may help us get there."

You do have to wonder, though, if the royal visit to Australia next month will undo any progress that has been made over knights and dames. 

I mean, Kate Middleton will be here! And she will be wearing pretty clothes and not saying anything!

 

Even if it means parading in the rain.

The Federation Guard conduct a rehearsal on the Great Veranda on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Federation Guard conduct a rehearsal on the Great Veranda on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

As is turns out, the Federation Guard are just a diligent bunch.

They are rehearsing ahead of the ceremony for Sir Pete tomorrow.

 

The Federation Guard conduct a rehearsal on the Great Veranda on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Federation Guard conduct a rehearsal on the Great Veranda on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

With Quentin up in Queensland and Peter Cosgrove yet to be sworn in, should we be worried about the soldiers out the front of Parliament House this morning?

Could this be Coup Thursday?

 

The Federation Guard conduct a rehearsal on the Great Veranda on Thursday  ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for Australia's 26th Governor-General. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Federation Guard conduct a rehearsal on the Great Veranda on Thursday ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for Australia's 26th Governor-General. Photo: Andrew Meares

Up in NSW, Premier Barry O'Farrell has had a bit to say about bigotry.

Remember earlier this week when George Brandis said that "people do have the right to be bigots"?

SMH state political editor Sean Nicholls reports that BOF has opened an exhibition documenting the history of the Chinese community in Sydney this morning.

Here, he said the work was important because of the "issues that are happening at the federal level".

''In commendably seeking to protect freedom of speech, we must not lower our defences against the evil of racial and religious intolerance,'' the Premier said.

''Bigotry should never be sanctioned, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Vilification on the grounds of race or religion is always wrong. There's no place for inciting hatred within our Australia society.''

 

Briggs points out that the community of 2,000 people is tasked with delivering complex national services like customs.

He notes that even though those on Norfolk Island have a strong tie to their history, "the reality is, they are Australians".

Labor's Warren Snowden speaks in reply and says that Labor agrees.

"We know Norfolk Island has a very important place in our national story," he begins.

"But this report from the ANAO ... we need to be very concerned."

Briggs says that the PM has asked him to develop a discussion paper on possible reform options for Norfolk Island.

He has written to all residents on the island for their ideas about delivering essential services.

There has been a "strong mood for reform" in the responses received so far.

Norfolk Island currently sits outside the Australian tax and welfare systems.

Briggs says that the island would not be brought into the welfare system if it did not chip in to the ATO.

Labor's move to suspend standing orders to talk about schools funding is easily voted down.

So, after all that SSO-ing (first from Pyne on the Clean Energy Finance Corp and then Bill Shorten) we are now on to other matters in the House.

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs is delivering a statement on Norfolk Island.

The financial position of Norfolk Island has long been problematic.

But Briggs talks of an Australian National Audit Office reports that finds the situation has "deteriorated ... and is increasingly more difficult".

Budget deficits of $7.4 and $7.8 million are forecast and there is a lack of proper financial controls.

The hospital is out of date, the electricity network is at risk of collapse.

And roads and broadband are poor.

In other words, poor Norfolk Island is a basket case.

 

But back to the House, where Education Minister (and Leader of the House), Christopher Pyne, is responding to Labor's SSO on schools funding.

He begins by pointing out that opposition education spokeswomen, Kate Ellis, is not in Canberra today.

"She knows that Labor doesn’t really have their heart in this motion," he says.

Ellis is in fact in WA as part of Labor's campaign for the Senate election.

(She is due to discuss "the uncertainty of federal government funding for early childhood education in WA" at Ashdale Primary School at 12.30pm Canberra time.)

Still on social services, earlier this morning, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews introduced a bill to the Reps to index the income threshold for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CHSC) to the consumer price index.

This was a Coalition election commitment to "allow more retirees access to the CHSC and reduce the fear of losing the card".

Introducing the bill this morning, Andrews said that the new indexing would kick in on September 20.

Currently single seniors need a taxable income of less than $50,000 to qualify for the card, which provides discounts on things like PBS medicines and GP visits.

The topic of the health card came up earlier this month, when it was reported that the Commission of Audit's interim report has questioned the fact that superannuation income is considered tax-free when it comes to qualifying for the card.

The government has not said either way what it will do re: the Audit Commission, with the PM only saying that the government would "keep our [election] commitments".

As Shorten thunders on about "twisted priorities" in the House, in the Mural Hall, ACOSS and housing groups are calling for budget certainty on the future of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

"This morning, we want to talk with you ... about how vital it is for us to finally tackle properly the crisis in affordable housing," ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie says.

There is a current Senate inquiry into affordable housing and groups such as ACOSS, National Shelter, the Community Housing Federation of Australia and Homelessness Australia are calling for a "co-ordinated national agenda", led by the federal government.

There has also been significant disquiet amongst the sector - and state governments - that the current national partnership on homelessness runs out on June 30.

Earlier this month, Tony Abbott has said that the government will not "let people down".

Glenda Stevens from Homelessness Australia says that staff in the sector are still stressed and concerned for their clients.

"We need more affordable and safe housing. The need is now. The need is for tonight."

The vote to bring on the debate about the CEFC is passed 77 to 53.

But now, Bill Shorten is up, trying to suspend standing orders to bring on a debate about school funding.

Labor is trying to get a guarantee that states will retain their current levels of education funding when they receive additional federal funding through the Gonski reforms.

This has a direct WA Senate election link, where the state has cut the schools budget.

 

The Clean Energy Finance Corp abolition bill passed the House for the first time last year, but it was rejected by the Senate in December.

After a required three month wait, it was then reintroduced to the Reps last week, getting people a bit excited because it sets up a potential trigger for a double dissolution.

If a bill is rejected twice by the Senate, then the Governor-General can dissolve both houses simultaneously.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne consults the notice paper as the Leader of the Opposition seeks to move a suspension of standing orders on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne consults the notice paper as the Leader of the Opposition seeks to move a suspension of standing orders on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares

In the Green Room, Leader of the House, Christopher Pyne has moved to suspend standing orders.

He would like the House to debate the bill to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

And he wants a vote at about 1 pm today.

Labor and the Greens are not happy, Chris.

Greens deputy Adam Bandt argues that in the current parliament "you have a right to be a bigot but not to scrutinise legislation".

Malcolm Turnbull, committed republican and minister-about-town, has not been as straight-faced.

Last night at a Parliament House event for Free TV, he observed that in the past, the media had many knighthoods (Sir Frank, Sir Keith etc).

But the Communications Minister cautioned that the PM has indicated that this time, media barons will not be included in the elite group. Although they can keep the "media baron" thing.

Turnbull also said the honours revival wasn't a hit to the republican movement.

There are many "distinguished republics" who have knighthoods," he said. Like Guatemala, for example.

He also mused about the difference between 2014 and 1983 (when the last knighthood was awarded)

"Is it really so long ago?" he asked.

After all, Daryl Somers won the Gold Logie in '83.

(And there's your answer.)

 

 

Turnbull pokes fun at the kinghts and dames (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Turnbull pokes fun at the knights and dames

The knighthood honours system isn't a throwback to imperial times, but in line with many great republics like Guatemala, Turnbull jokes at a Free TV event on Wednesday.

PT3M14S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-35jq2 620 349

Nationals MP Mark Coulton was also on the House of Reps doors.

"There's been a lot of drama about [AKs and ADs]. It's four people a year," he said.

"Nothing wrong with being a fogey from time to time."

The member for Parkes said he was not laughing at the PM.

Does it pass the pub test?

"I reckon. Depends what pub you're in, I guess."

I am sure you are all wondering what Andrew Laming, the Liberal member for Bowman in Queensland has to say about knights and dames.

This is a man who can drink a beer while doing a handstand, after all.

He is a republican, "but I think it's wrong to ... assume [knights and dames are] a retrograde move."

As a libertarian as well, Laming points out that if you don't want an AD or AK , you don't have to accept one.

"You can say no."

(So there you go, John Howard.)

The debate also continues on Tony Abbott's surprise Tuesday afternoon decision to revive knights and dames in the Australian honours system.

As Phil Coorey in the Australian Financial Review reports, former Prime Minister John Howard does not agree with Abbott's decision.

JH says he stands by his long-held view that going back to knights and dames would be "somewhat anachronistic".

He has also indicated that he would not accept a knighthood if one were ever offered.

"George has really drunk the right-wing Kool-Aid."

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Welcome to Canberra on this rainy Thursday.

We have awoken to the news that Attorney-General George Brandis was rolled in cabinet earlier this week on the Racial Discrimination Act.

As Peter Hartcher and James Massola report, Brandis was forced to water down his proposals for changes to the act during a lengthy cabinet meeting on Monday night.

One minister told Fairfax Media, "George has really drunk the right-wing Kool-Aid".

The A-G has been obliged to settle for a draft version of the bill only. This comes after several backbenchers, including Ken Wyatt, raised concerns about changes to Australia's race hate laws.

Also today, Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh is at the National Press Club, the Clean Energy Finance Corp will be debated in the lower house, while the Senate looks at registration fees for marriage celebrants.

 

It's the last sitting day before the May budget!

So pack a calculator and some sandwiches as we take a peek at parliament.

Expect chat about knights and dames, racial discrimination and climate change. And seriously, don't forget those sandwiches.

Related Coverage

George Brandis rolled on changes to Racial Discrimination Act

Federal cabinet forced George Brandis to soften his original proposal to loosen constraints on racist insults and hate speech.

Australia like esteemed republics Peru and Guatemala: Malcolm Turnbull gently mocks reintroduction of knights and dames

27 Mar Malcolm Turnbull has gently mocked the return of knights and dames as a step that is in keeping with the honours system of esteemed republics such as Peru and Guatemala.

Laughter canned: Speaker Bronwyn Bishop rules 'new tactic' of infectious laughter out of order

27 Mar Parliamentary question time, you would probably not know, is no place for laughing. It could become an infectious disease, apparently, and that would be disorderly.

Labor accuses Bronwyn Bishop of being 'most biased Speaker' in history

27 Mar Labor has attempted to pass a motion of no confidence in the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop.

A biased Speaker or a bunch of sooks? Labor outrage divides the House

27 Mar For long moments, Bronwyn Bishop appeared so stone-still she might have been Lot's wife, turned to a pillar of salt as she gazed upon the frightful city of Sodom.

'Fools', 'sooks' and Madame Speaker (Thumbnail)Click to play video

Video

'Fools', 'sooks' and Madam Speaker

Tempers fray and insults are thrown during a tempestuous question time on Thursday, as Labor and Speaker Bronwyn Bishop engage in a battle of wills.

No confidence in the Speaker (Thumbnail)Click to play video

Video

Labor targets Speaker Bronwyn Bishop

Question time dissolved into chaos on Thursday when the Opposition attempted to move a no confidence motion against the Speaker.

Sort comments by:
  • Andrew Wilkie is lining himself up as a Liberal poodle (both that idiotic motion on Conroy and supporting Bishop here). Probably also counting on that not being noticed in his seat.

    Are Katter and Palmer even in the house? Shouldn't their constituents be told?

    Commenter
    Simon
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 6:27PM
  • The Speaker should not be appointed from either party ,but should be a separate position filled by suitably qualified persons from outside of the two party framework and professional enough to be impartial and fair .I saw yesterdays for a few min utes only( I find it farcical at best ,and pre arranged almost by practice,at worst) but distinctly "felt" lack of impartiality from Speakers Chair.

    Commenter
    XXX
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 6:22PM
  • THE CHAOTIC LNP GOVERNMENT VOTED IN BY FOOLS.

    Commenter
    oldfella67
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 6:11PM
  • Surely, their must be a way to change the system and have a retired judge appointed Speaker

    Commenter
    Off with Bishops Head
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 6:11PM
  • In view if the antics that Labor has been performing this week no wonder the Speaker has lost her cool. Having watched Question Time for the last week each time the PM starts to answer the question, there is a point of order placed by the Opposition. Watching has become so boring it has become predictable that the Opposition would immediately rune to the Dispatch Box once a member of the Government commences an answer. Boring!

    Commenter
    The Friar
    Location
    Nelson Bay
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 6:07PM
  • What a weak mob the labor party are , they were quiet when they had a biased speaker.. Get over it !!! How do you like it ??

    Commenter
    HandCrank
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 6:05PM
  • Tony Wright nailed it - "a bunch of sooks".

    Thanks Judith, Andrew and Alex - have a good break. See you at the budget.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:56PM
  • ditch the ......

    Commenter
    Tin
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:54PM
  • Ol' Kerosene Bronny, she loves a bit of scandal!

    Commenter
    .
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:54PM
  • Harry Jenkins, was so determined to both be seen to be and being Bipartisan, that I actually think he erred on the side of letting the Libs get away with a bit much at times. He respected the position and indeed was an Honourable man. This blog will get filled by LNP staff bloggers but re Bishop. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it is.

    Commenter
    Hail King Tony
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:46PM
  • 5.16pm. (re the male Deputy Speaker)
    There is no reason why there should not be another woman speaker - Bishop's gender was NOT the issue. Strong partisan support for the LNP was always the stated issue.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:35PM
    • Bishop's gender is definitely not the issue and the only people trying to make it an issue are the Liberals desperate to pretend that it is anything other than outrageous bias coupled with astonishing incompetence.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:08PM
  • Bronwyn Bishop made a serious mistake in Parliament today.
    LNP members, supporters and squad members should just accept it rather than attempt to cover it up.
    This will forever be in Hansard, so yes, LNP made history today - but in a manner that no one would be too keen to have bragging rights about!

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:31PM
  • Little Johnny may well have said he would reject a gong, but can you seriously imagine Hyacinth passing up the chance to be a real Lady of The House?

    Commenter
    Lord Muck
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:30PM
  • Gee, what a day. You could write a book about it.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:28PM
    • Kings don't have to consult others.

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:22PM
    • Howard does weasel his words. It is one of the core reasons why he was such a good politician that most of Australia would love to have back.

      Commenter
      Nick
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:21PM
  • MISOGYNY!!!!!!! MISOGYNY!!!!

    Is that how it goes ALP staffers?

    Commenter
    Blue Tie
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:19PM
    • Huh?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:52PM
    • I believe that was replaced by EMERGENCY, EMERGENCY, your Grace.

      Commenter
      Lord Muck
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:59PM
    • As a female, who supports other females in whatever enterprise they take on. Reading the comments on this page I see no bias against Bishop elder because of her sex, but against her because of the dreadful job she is doing. She is letting down all females and giving the younger generation a very BAD role model. She needs to resign or learn the correct role of the speaker.

      Commenter
      ausgaia
      Location
      Australia
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:11PM
    • Apparently it is a characteristic of right wingers that they misuse the terms and the concept of sexism and misogyny deliberately to cover up their behaviour when they are actually hating women and disenfranchising them.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:16PM
    • Yes, that is Pyne's chosen hypocrisy for this issue - hes been practicing it for a while.

      It ain't misogyny. Bishop is simply a disgrace, no matter her gender.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:29PM
  • This week in Parliament has reminded me of my university days and the stupid things some students used to get up to before a long break. We've had George (bookshelves) Brandis getting up on his high chair extolling the right of every man to be his own bigot, we've had Tony Abbott flinging knighthoods and damehoods around like water balloons, we've had a revolt from the opposition benches over the equally revolting behaviour of Bronwyn Bishop who was trying her best to clear her house of the noisy Laborites who kept interrupting and asking awkward questions. Hopefully after they have all gone away, sobered up and calmed down the new Parliament in May may be a more functional place. Now if I could only find out who let that flying pig out.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:12PM
  • So Labor has no confidence in speaker Bronwyn Bishop-big deal. Fact is the sooks are still smarting from the fact that the majority of voters declared no confidence in Labor at the last election. Get over it Labor and step away from your failures by not blocking the Governments mandated legislation.

    Commenter
    moitall
    Location
    Beacon Hill
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:11PM
    • Incorrect. I am not a Labor voter - so the electoral loss is of little interest to me. My beef is that we have absolute mugs on all sides of politics, and today, we saw that we had a Speaker who shows a distinct bias towards the party she still sits with.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:25PM
    • So, that gives the Noalition the right to trash the much vaunted Westminster system? Like religion, just pick and choose the bits you like, eh

      Commenter
      Lord Muck
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:28PM
    • Enjoy the next 2 years because I am betting the voting public have already figured out what an almighty mistake they have made. Between Knights and Dames and supporting the rights of bigots, it's a tragedy.

      Commenter
      JOHN
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:32PM
    • If you put aside you Liberal love and learnt to be bi partisan you would say. Labor is right. This role requires the Speaker to be bi partisan. She should stand down

      Commenter
      Hail King Tony
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:38PM
    • A referee or umpire who behaved on a sporting field like the current speaker does in Parliament would be sacked or face teams refusing to play. Not only is she in the pay of one of the teams, she attends their strategy meetings and applauds their plays.

      If necessary, she completes their scoring on their behalf and fails to call their forward passes and their offsides, while finding forward passes and offsides where there is none on the opposing team.

      In short, I would be less biased than her if I was speaker - and I would not even have to change the expression of my political views one little bit.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:20PM
  • I have watched parliament run a couple of times on TV, and found that the Labor members act like a bunch of kinderarten children. In fact that could be an insult to the kindergarten children. It is about time Labor grew up and started acting like grown ups. Every time LNP speak up Labor has to reject it. I feel they are just giving LNP a hard time to pay back after Abbott giving Gillard a hard time (though sometimes I felt she deserved it). As for the Carbon Tax repeal, does Labor really think more of their own self esteem rather than the people of Australia? mmmm......I wonder!

    Commenter
    J.G.
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:08PM
    • So,what is this? A barrage of LNP squaddies have been told to post in an attempt to obliterate all reference to what Madame Speaker did today?
      Get over it - I kept the footage and the transcripts - in order to counter all of the LNP denials when Parliament returns.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:28PM
  • Well done " old girl " put the riff raff in their place. Heavens knows why we gave them a vote in the first place. Tally Ho and keep up the good work. There lucky we don't have their heads chopped off.
    Sir Reginald Charles Andrew Winston - Burlighton Smythe

    Commenter
    SIR REGINALD
    Location
    Teapot Gardens London 4Y5 (WR
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:07PM
  • What you say.. Bronwyn being biased towards HRH Lord and Master King Abbott. I find that hard to believe.. that no one knew this was going to happen. sheesh..

    Commenter
    Garry
    Location
    Beldon
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 5:05PM
    • exactly. she's been biased far too long to stop being that now...she probably has years of pent up frustration over having to put up with Labor and now it's payback time.

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:21PM
  • Anyone who has been watching question time over the years could not fail to agree with Tony Burke over the incompetence and bias of the Speaker Bronwyn Bishop since she has been appointed.
    Surely the most ardent coalition supporter must realise that the bias against the opposition that she practises day after day is not only embarrassing to herself and degrading the office of speaker but is also reflecting on the government while it allows this situation to continue. She makes the last three speakers including Peter Slipper look brilliant in comparison.
    Slipper was never this bias though goodness knows he would have had just cause to be after the way he was denigrated by the coalition while he was in the chair.
    If Tony Abbott has any sense (and I don’t credit him with much) he will discreetly find a way to get Ms. Bishop to resign in the next six weeks before the next sitting otherwise he may find himself in having to cope with many more motions of no confidence in the speaker and rightly so. Not a good look for the government.

    Commenter
    antiques/tweedheads
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:29PM
    • I would go as far to say that there are fair-minded and impartial members of the LNP who would deem BB's performance as partisan. Unfortunately there is no currently effective parliamentary process to remove her so she either stands aside or modifies her behaviour.
      Using the tit-for-tat argument that the government is so eager to do is childish; if they would like to win the electorate's trut for another term, then they can start by treating QT with a bit more respect.
      A good move is teh scrapping of Dorothy Dixers. These add nothing to proper process.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:44PM
    • I reckon Labor is deliberately targeting Bishop because picking on Abbott has got them absolutely nowhere.

      If you can't take the fight up to the guy in the ring try a softer target.

      Smart politics really.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:58PM
    • @steveh they are targeting this stupid biased, crass , redneck because she is still thinking that she is in opposition and doesn't have the intelligence to know that an election has been held and the position of speaker is supposed to be fair and uphold the integrey of parliament in which she has failed and so should be removed. With thanks to a lot of vacuous voters out there they put this childish party in charge and have let this meglamaniac loose .

      Commenter
      rastus
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:51PM
  • Looks like the entire Federal ALP team could end up as political refugees at Manus Island the way they treat Parliament with such contempt.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:28PM
    • Yes you'd love that, wouldn't you? Complete fascist control. Let the Liberals do what they want because they have a right to rule.

      Commenter
      Lady Jennifer
      Location
      of Carlton
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:32PM
    • Now I > know < you are not being serious, EiE.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:35PM
    • The whole parliament will end up going down the gurgler if they don't get a proper speaker. The LNP has quickly become the worst government in history after 6 months they have dropped to a losing psition in the polls. Abbott is heartless.

      Commenter
      Get Real
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:36PM
    • Normally we would be surprised to hear about people who disagree with the government in Australia end up locked up, but it seems like the logical next step under Abbott.

      Commenter
      QED
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:38PM
    • It doesn't help that Shorten is the biggest wet lettuce of an opposition in the history of mankind. We are relying on FairFax and the progressive faithful to pedal the LNP negativity.

      Commenter
      Llama Farma
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:53PM
    • @ Llama. That title was won by a sterling lacklustre performance by the other Big Ears, sir Billy MacMahon. Close, but no cigar.

      Commenter
      Lord Muck
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:33PM
  • Well here we go again government with a speaker in its pocket is not democratic government. For the sake of the institution Browyn should immediately resign the speakership for two distinct and separate reasons (1) she has refused to stop attending Liberal Party parliamentary meetings as both former speakers did meaning she maintains a clear concept of the strategies her party will use in parliamentary sittings something that clearly shows bias and (2) she is making a laughing stock of the position of speaker and in doing so allowing the chamber to degenerate into farce at best due to her biased rulings and at worst she is having a negative effect on the good governance of our nation. Tony Abbott needs to come clean and tell us if this is why he appointed such an obviously biased speaker or was it just again poor judgement as he has demonstrated in a growing number of other appointments.

    Commenter
    RTP
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:28PM
  • I would propose a vote of no confidence on both sides of the House. These men and women are behaving like children and OMG we have to pay for them and put up with their antics. Well may we say 'God Save Australia', because none of our elected representatives seem to care enough to do so.

    Commenter
    Billnix
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:26PM
    • Personally, I feel most children are better behaved than those in Parliament.

      Commenter
      J.G.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:11PM
    • Yep .. 226 yapping mouths to feed in the 2 chook houses. Costs us $45M to feed them and then that again to feed the poor buggers who have to attend to the chook houses, rounding them up, shooing them out, cleaning out the roosts.
      Good value?

      Commenter
      Malarky
      Location
      Norman Park (QLD)
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:36PM
  • They must walk out the minute she shows bias. She is trashing a parliamentary democracy.

    Commenter
    Anne
    Location
    Shoalhaven
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:25PM
  • What a load of RUBBISH......Labor are completely a joke...l have watch and always watched parliament for years and to say Ms is Bishop is bias is a laugh! Please! Labor when you were in government the speaker was always sending the opposition out for what l thought asking the hard questions....but never did the opposition carry on like theLlabor Party did today......Labor are a pack of immature children!!!! What babies...GROW UP.

    Commenter
    Libnet
    Location
    vic
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:25PM
    • You can not seriously say you watch or have watched parliament for years & then in the same breath claim that Bishop is unbiased ! In all the years I have watched parliament, I have never, ever seen a more disgustingly biased speaker than this "woman" (and I use the word very loosely). To sit there & laugh with LNP members comments/interjections?abuse is simply unheard of. She continually ignores opposition members points of order, overrules even the obvious points that she allows to be heard & is continually ejecting only opposition members.
      You never saw this behaviour from Harry Jenkins or Anna Burke who always carried out their duties in a fair & unbiased way.
      Bronwyn Bishop is an utter disgrace !!

      Commenter
      Lefty
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:43PM
    • Yes, you have watched problem is you didn't listen. If you were to have turned the volume up you would appreciate what a joke the current speaker is.

      Commenter
      KIDDING
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:49PM
    • You are missing the point, her actions and words opened her up to this ridicule today. She knew there was a motion waiting, but she went ahead and named a member for the most inane comment - 'Madame Speaker'. She made a decision today, and must wear the consequences of that decision.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:52PM
  • Having listened to numerous question times over the years, with both Labour and Liberal in government, I can say without any fear of contradiction this is the most biassed chair to date. Basically ministers and more importantly the Prime Minister are simply not answering questions asked by the opposition. When a valid point of order is raised it's ignored by the speaker. If I close my eyes ( which I shouldn't do whilst driving ) the current chair is making parliment sound like the Star Chamber.

    Commenter
    WHAT
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:24PM
    • Liberals think they are the natural leaders and that Labor Governments are somehow illegitimate, hence the double standards. Having said that, this is the worst Government ever and certainly one of the most hypocritical!

      Commenter
      JJ
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:30PM
  • Can someone please explain what would be gained if anything, by Labor walking out … I honestly can see what impact it would have in improving the current farce that exists in our Parliament?

    Commenter
    I give up
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:21PM
  • Just looked across 'trending stories' in News Ltd papers (4.17pm). No mention of the action in today's Parliament.
    Why am I not surprised?

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:19PM
    • I use to read News Ltd and Fairfax papers. No longer News ltd as its become just a LNP promotions paper, the so called Journalist only write articles that Rupert wants. Fairfax remains bi partisan and allows views from all to be respected. Don't by News Ltd papers, if its sales dive and Fairfax continue to rise Rupert may give back control of content to bi partisan Editors

      Commenter
      Off with Bishops Head
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:09PM
  • For all the bluster about a Labor walkout round these part, what exactly do you expect it to achieve? There'd simply be no questions without notice, and the Government might have to leave a couple of extras in the chamber for a quorum, but that's it.

    Business would just carry on, albeit without debate from the opposition.

    Commenter
    The Earl of Tumbler upon Dryer
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:13PM
  • Tony Burke's bullying, sexist attacks on a strong, professional female speaker must stop. Plibersek, Wong, Macklin, Ellis - where are you? Shame on you hypocrites.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:07PM
    • EiE are you Hacka's alter ego?
      Where were the sexist attacks? Did he call her a witch?
      Defending the indefensible.
      The opposition is there to keep the government honest, ask questions, seek answers. Ministers and the PM do not answer any questions under the protection of this speaker.
      Bishop is not a speaker, she is another liberal hack.
      Pathetic............

      Commenter
      ASK
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:52PM
  • Bronwyn Bishop, speaker of the house, what an absolute travesty! The Troll knew what he was doing when he had her appointed. She causes more time wasting and disruption with her blatant partisanship than any opposition behavior. Come on Hacka what's your take on BB?

    Commenter
    Quinaig
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:06PM
    • Haven't seen her in action so i'm sitting on the fence.

      But you can probably take all the complaining Labor are doing, divide it by 10 and get something close to the truth.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:36PM
    • I wouldn't have thought she was that bad Hacka. Close though.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:57PM
  • “The Speaker has been very tolerant and generous,” Mr Pyne claimed!!???

    HAHAH HA.. Better stop laughing or I might get kicked of "THE PULSE"

    Commenter
    BANGA
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:05PM
  • Should we expect an exchange of Easter presents and pleasantries as members from both sides head off for their pre-budget break ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:03PM
  • Labor should refuse to participate in any future QTs from the Budget sitting onwards until the Speaker is replaced with someone who is truly prepared to be impartial. Let the gov't spend the entire session answering Dorothy Dixers while Labor holds press conferences and grabs all of the sound & video clips for the evening news.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:02PM
    • Mitch is a genius. Just before a RC into Union corruption let’s remind the public about all of the Union bosses in Labor. They have already called a ‘Go Slow’ in the senate. To top it off with a complete strike, where they down tools and walk out would be a perfect gift for Our PM. I can imagine BS outside the house hard hat with union and proud stickers and mega phone in hand. “What do we want?” “To be in Government” When do we want it?” “NOW!” . Please call a strike Labor, it would be awesome.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:41PM
  • What a pathetic and weak mob Labor is in the opposition wilderness, limited on numbers,policy,and leadership,unable to control,and defend the indefensible they now turn on the chair as a further distraction from their inept performance.

    Commenter
    Garry of Melbourne
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 4:02PM
    • Labor are just sore losers. End of story.

      Commenter
      J.G.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:18PM
    • please give an example

      Commenter
      paff
      Location
      syd
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:00PM
    • Adrac
      Pray tell.
      What are the big issues that need addressing.
      And why are the government not addressing them?
      The government is supposed to be driving the agenda. The only agendas they have seem to be too kick people out of Parliament and lock people out of jobs.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:00PM
  • A compelling argument by Pyne. Clearly scripted and prepared, and of course no one will forget their targetted and mysogynistic attack on BB the moment she took the Speakership. Anyway just as importantly, when is Labor and the Greens going to start blocking legislation in the Senate?

    Labor trying to create chaos in the event that it will deliver them back to government so that they are able to descend once again into chaos there. Labor is quickly becoming irrelevant and is killing itself. The nations watching and judging negatively. Whatever, they or the left thinks, a very clear majority of the nation wants the coalition and by extension that means the chance to govern. By Labor refusing to allow them to do so they are once agin sticking their finger in the eyes of all Australians. They have once again forgotten what it means to act in the interests of the nation. The have clearly not learnt the lessons of the past 6 years.

    Commenter
    housemartin
    Location
    hong kong
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:59PM
  • So why was Mark Dreyfus even 'named' in the first place? Sounds a bit over the top to me.

    I'd say the speaker insulting a member of parliament is more worthy of a 'naming' than saying 'madam speaker'.

    Commenter
    pseudomys
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:57PM
    • Dreyfus was named because of his continued torrent of abuse which goes unreported by the media. The Speaker had asked for silence and the Member for Isaacs continued to interject and was deservedly named.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:05PM
    • That was a reference to 'if you don't know the meaning of it, look it up' statement?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:08PM
  • Just add this as another pathetic day of this inept government. They have turned the whole whole Westminster system into a joke. How long is it again till 2016????

    Commenter
    Get Real
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:56PM
    • Yeah fancy expecting a speaker to be impartial, the nerve! We all know she is there for the government, not the opposition. Just in case you are stupid that is sarcasm.

      Commenter
      James
      Location
      Lane Cove
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:55PM
  • The LNP are always going on about "productivity" and the need for the assessment of teachers and public servants to justify their pay, etc. The same should be applied to politicians. Bronwyn Bishop is dead wood, hasn't done anything of note in the parliament for years, and shouldn't have put up for re-election, let alone made speaker. Pension her off. She's incompetent.

    Commenter
    Bishop to Abbott's pawn
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:49PM
    • She was my local member for 10 years I lived in the electorate and she did nothing except argue for rejection of superannuation changes for MPs while saying nothing about invading Iraq.She is past life expectancy and should retire now..

      Commenter
      Dr Bombay
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:04PM
  • Time for Bronwyn to clean up her act, or consider stepping down as speaker.

    This is bad for the government, the Australian parliament, and the people of Australia.

    Commenter
    Clean up
    Location
    Australia day
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:48PM
  • When the speaker of the house treats an opposition with deliberate and repeated pedanticism that verges on abuse of office one must ask how the electorate is best served by these acts of nit-picking. It costs taxpayers perhaps one million dollars per day for parliamentarians to do their job.

    This type of behaviour insults hard working taxpayers by trashing their taxes against a verbal wall of abuse of ethical behaviour. It also demonstrates the pathetic low opinion that politicians have for the electorate who pays them.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:45PM
  • The whole notion of Bronwyn Bishop as some kind of 'independent umpire' is manifestly absurd.

    It is difficult to imagine anyone as unflinchingly partisan.

    Commenter
    Redsaunas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:44PM
  • What a farce this present Labor party under Shorten has become. I thought it was bad enough under the Rudd/ Gillard leadership but under Shorten it has fallen to even newer depths.He snipes and rants about matters that are of relative inconsequence but never addresses matters that are of the utmost importance to Australia.

    Commenter
    adrac
    Location
    nsw
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:39PM
    • Yeah fancy expecting a speaker to be impartial, the nerve! We all know she is there for the government, not the opposition. Just in case you are stupid that is sarcasm.

      Commenter
      James
      Location
      Lane Cove
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:55PM
    • Adrac
      Pray tell.
      What are the big issues that need addressing.
      And why are the government not addressing them?
      The government is supposed to be driving the agenda. The only agendas they have seem to be too kick people out of Parliament and lock people out of jobs.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:00PM
    • please give an example

      Commenter
      paff
      Location
      syd
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:00PM
  • "No speaker [since] federation has a record like that."

    Maybe that should be 'No opposition...'

    For some time (and particularly this week), it's been pretty evident there's been an opposition agenda/strategy to push the envelope (and the speakers buttons) when it comes to bad behaviour in QT.

    'Crying foul' is all part of their plan to discredit the speaker and they've been reaping what they've deliberately sowed.

    Commenter
    Otwen
    Location
    Behind the chair
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:38PM
    • Well said.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:59PM
    • Rubbish - none of the speakers during the ALP governments sat in their party rooms. If she is getting involved in strategy in that party room that is extraordinary and represents a fundamental undermining of our Westminster system (so much for British traditions - apparently they only count of they mean tugging a forelock and calling people "sir"). Just in case you don't know the meaning of the word "independent", look it up.

      Commenter
      Dave
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:20PM
  • Sittings in the House are just there to show that we do have politicians in this country. The policies and laws are not made there but in the party room and what we see is just clowns letting off some steam. Anybody who takes it seriously must be a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Its playschool for big kids but far less entertaining.

    Commenter
    thatmosis
    Location
    Isis Central
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:38PM
  • Talk about power going to Bronwyn's head!

    Commenter
    Catherine
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:37PM
    • Many years ago she was very close to being Prime Minister, she's possibly never got over missing the opportunity of having so much power.

      I've stopped watching or listening to Parliament. Just check in here to see if the circus is still going along.

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:17PM
    • All the more reason why we need a total independent to be speaker. This independent should not be of either party and maybe not even a member of parliament on the front or back bench. Employ someone who does not belong to any party. This should make it fair and square and have no bias towards any party.

      Commenter
      J.G.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:28PM
  • Worthy of a No confidence vote from the Australian Public. treating the Parliament like an advocacy bench. This is not a Court it is Parliament.

    Commenter
    Chazza
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:33PM
    • and the Australian public will have a chance to express a vote of no confidence in the Coalition govt in around 30 months time

      Although, seeing that the coalition have increased their share of the vote in every major election since 2010 it would seem that the Australian public aren't ready for a no confidence vote just yet.

      So perhaps the 30 month wait is a good thing.

      Commenter
      Sherlock
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:07PM
  • Challenging the authority of a speaker as Labor has achieved in Victoria requires two things Federal Labor do not have. It can only work when the government’s majority is slim (1 or 2 votes). AND it requires the opposition to display exemplary behaviour in regards to manners respect and courtesy. Labor need to publicly show their ‘respect for the chair’. An impartial observer needs to see that Labor was totally respectful and Madam Chair was bias and disrespectful. At the moment the optics are of a Man not being able to deal with Women in a position of authority. Mr Burke needs to show respect sit down when told, stop pouting and be generally agreeable, for the destabilisation strategy to work without a slim majority.

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:30PM
    • not sure about the requirements there cwitty. I think their job today has been very good. The liberal display of arrogance is just too much for joe average to bare and I think they have got this one right.
      The speaker and bias issue will actually be a thorn for liberals. Whats the bet she suddenly excludes herself from party meeting rooms... but that wont work as we all know she is die hard liberal and wont be able to contain herself.

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:45PM
    • So, you support the Speaker for suspending a member for saying ''Madame Speaker'' ?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:45PM
    • Harry - The gov has a firm majority, the opposition cannot rely on 'Geoff Shaw' type of member to switch and provide them with a majority. The speaker will enjoy the confidence of the house for the entire term. Labor needs the public to lose confidence in the speaker. For this to happen there needs to be a clear distinction in behaviours. As long as Mr Burke is not doing as he is told, is insulting and petulant. The public will not see a clear distinction between behaviours of the Chair and behaviours of the Opposition. There is also a Misogyny risk that can be mitigated with exemplary manners. I do not mind the destabilisation as a strategy but it will take discipline for it to work. I do not think the Labor front bench is showing the discipline.
      Jump – So long as the Chair enjoys the confidence of the house I have no problem with the naming of opposition members. If Labor wants to install their own chair, they can do it by winning an election.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:16PM
    • Cwitty. Yes Labor new they did not have the numbers. That does not matter because it has the population talking. All they want is a Speaker to carry out the role as its meant to be, bi partisan. They accept that more often than not the speaker goes a bit soft on the Government but not like this. It may force Abbott to ask her to do her job, especially if the researchers show even most Liberal supporters agree with Labor.

      Commenter
      Hail King Tony
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:53PM
  • That comment from Abbot re GG and Shorten was disgraceful even by normal Parliamentary standards. If Abbott expects the opposition to act like a GG and smile politely and shake hands with everyone and not the head at polit conversation and generally do as they are told then he has a very strange view of political reality

    Commenter
    mark
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:29PM
    • Mr Shorten is hardly the kind of man one is tempted to say nice things about.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:01PM
  • 3.23pm. That was an example of the most disgusting performance of our elected representatives that I have ever witnessed.

    The Abbott government just made history - for all of the WRONG reasons!

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:28PM
    • Jump: Please explain exactly what happened at 3:23

      Commenter
      housemartin
      Location
      hong kong
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:08PM
  • Have the High Court appoint an independent speaker for 5 years, independent of election cycles.

    Commenter
    Aggie57
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:27PM
    • @Aggie
      This is why I always laugh when I hear commentators and journos here talk sagely about "The Westminster system". In Westminster, the Speaker is always a bipartisan appointment - it does NOT lie within the e gift of the government, but of the parliament. Yet another example I'm afraid of how shallow our democracy is here - and how little people understand of how a real democracy operates.

      Commenter
      daveinbalmain
      Location
      balmain
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:39PM
  • What a sham this is! I am waiting for the day that the entire LHS get up and walk out at 2pm and refuse to be part of Question Time at all..

    Commenter
    hug48
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:23PM
    • Just like true union members!!

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:29PM
    • Talk about wanting to give the government a daily free kick!! You must be very pro-Abbott.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:05PM
  • <yawn> So we have 4 pre-eminent people in this country per year. So many!

    What do we refer to them as? His Irrelevance or Her Irrelevance or just plain old Your Irrelevance?

    Commenter
    Arthur McKenzie
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:22PM
  • Leftist haters - should understand that they lost the election ...big time, now perhaps they should all leave the house.

    Commenter
    Tabitha
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:22PM
    • Come back and fight for your LNP like you are supposed to, Hacka!

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:31PM
  • Whats the point of it? Two year old's hurling abuse at each achieving absolutely nothing. Then they go and have lunch together like they are long time friends. What a joke!
    We need to scrap the entire system of this ridiculous duopoly party system and make every one become independents so that their constituency gets what they want. Not what the rest want where it is completely irrelevant to the constituents.Have electronic voting so bills can get passed much faster and avoid the sheer waste of time from morons hurling abuse at each other. They now only have minutes to answer. They repeat everything like we didn't get it the first time. Treat us like idiots. Just to waste time in parliament because they haven't the foggiest on how to answer the questions properly in the first place so they don't look like complete buffoons they really are. Really what is the point? There not doing anything for the country while this charade continues to go on. Madam Speaker doesn't make ministers answer the questions at all. So what is the point of them being there at all?. REALLY? So that other ministers on junkets from other countries can come and pretend they are import! I'd rather have a grade 2 school class running the country. We actually get some honest and more intelligent answers. The only distraction would be potty time! Instead we are left with potty mouth! No wonder this country is going to rack and ruin. Wake up! V-day is coming!

    Commenter
    Noogie
    Location
    Bundbaerg
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:21PM
    • I tend to agree Noogie, though just so it's clear to all one eyed supporters of either party, they all own the dysfunction that is our parliament, & the rot started with JG @ the helm & has only continued into this current LNP tenure!

      Neither party acts like they know how to run the country for the people. A pox on both their houses!

      Commenter
      Indeed
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:48PM
  • Bronwyn Bishop is a shocker. I've seen her dismiss opposition questions simply because they might embarrass the government. She is incompetent and cannot separate her ideological bias from the need to do her job properly. Much like the government.

    Commenter
    PeteT
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:21PM
    • PeteT- Are you for real?

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:06PM
  • That's 'Dame mother-in-law' to you

    Commenter
    Guy
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:19PM
  • Abbott has to throw a dirty jab at Shorten talk about insulting.

    Commenter
    Amro
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:14PM
    • @Amro:
      Abbott has a unique capacity to shoot himself in the foot. His closing comment in Question Time about Shorten's mother in law was typical of his ability to win the battle but lose the war.

      Commenter
      JohnC
      Location
      Gosford NSW
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:32PM
    • He's won the war. Liberals in power. Labor not. Now he just got to mop up the spot fires.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:47PM
  • The speaker has a role to play. She should either woof or tweet.

    Commenter
    tucky
    Location
    Warragul
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:14PM
  • There isn't a gutter low enough for the Coalition... Bishop is a partisan hack, incapable of doing the job appropriately. The opposition should walk out of question time. Australians did not vote for the destruction of accountability or democracy..

    Commenter
    pugwash
    Location
    earth
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:13PM
    • Here here!!

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:15PM
    • 100% agree. The biased Bishop should go, along with the Abbott

      Commenter
      Trickster
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:27PM
    • Gee Pugwash (how apt) you wouldn't be a labor supporter would you?

      Commenter
      The Firefighter of Bondi
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:36PM
    • Where? Where?

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:07PM
  • So let me get this right, Labor is not happy with Bronwyn , but was quite happy in their term with Anna Burke shutting down the opposition and throwing members out? SO wants different? Australians are a joke.

    Commenter
    GBS
    Location
    Bald Hills
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:12PM
    • There is no difference. They are bunch of hypocrites lead by an insipid weak leader.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:16PM
    • Yeh, but Bishop is most biased in history, has thown out 98 labor, not one Lib, call that fair do you ?? She is a total joke, and a threat to democracy.

      Commenter
      Piesnchess
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:17PM
    • What part of 'not since 1901...' did you both not understand? Anna Burke did NOT do what Bronwyn Bishop did, herself, today.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:18PM
    • oh sarah... if you hadnt said 6 years blah blah then you may have kept some credibility

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:19PM
    • Yeah, I'm sure Anna Burke kicked people out for "laughing too loud".

      Commenter
      Knee
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:41PM
  • Dreyfus might think that being named is a serious issue, but Nick Champion treats it as a badge of honour.

    A few of you seem to be demanding that demanding Labor go on strike - how very 1970's union-like behaviour.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:10PM
    • I wish Labor would walk out. They weren't any good for the past six years in Government and they haven't been any good for the past six months in Opposition.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:14PM
    • most biased Speaker in history, 98-0 Labor kicked out, tell me another one Hack, I need a good laugh as she destroys Parliament.

      Commenter
      Piesnchess
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:18PM
    • because we had standards...as opposed to the welded on Coalition faithful.

      Commenter
      pugwash
      Location
      earth
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:19PM
    • Hacka, what amazes me is that you STILL resoundingly defend the LNP, despite what you, no doubt, witnessed in Parliament yourself today.
      All jokes aside, I really cannot understand that when one is provided with information that clearly challenges them to look at their own opinion, one does at least modify or challenge their 'held' opinion.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:26PM
    • Jump - must admit that as yet i haven't been able to watch a live QT with the new government, so can only go by Judith's comments and other media reports on what's really going on in QT.

      But frankly, it looks like we've got an opposition that don't like their new role very much, and have now started blaming the umpire.

      We're seeing Labor using the very tactics that they complained about - suspensions of standing orders. It's most unparliamentary, not to mention hypocritical.

      Imagine what observers would think of the opposition's behaviour. .

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:42PM
    • Ed Husic is complaining about the 100% of ejectees being Labor members, but wasn't previous Speaker Anna Burke's record identical in terms of walking Coalition members ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:52PM
    • @Hacka
      So you think 88-0 in terms of expulsions is fair, objective and unbiased, do you? Oh dear me.

      Commenter
      daveinbalmain
      Location
      balmain
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:58PM
    • Sarah of Carnegie. So you approve of the speaker telling the opposition to sit down, then when the point is made the person had not said a word says. Yes but I know what you were going to say. That's not Democratic and if it occurred while your LNP were in opposition, I bet you would cry Labor undemocratic. I know Tony thinks he is King, however no we are umm aghhh we are a Democracy. A Democracy. I Dumbed it Down to LNP talk for you.

      Commenter
      Hail King Tony
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:00PM
  • Walk out. Nothing else will work.

    Commenter
    Pat
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:06PM
  • Bronwyn Bishop's behaviour is outrageous. Absolutely amazing....

    Commenter
    Lynda
    Location
    Katoomba
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:06PM
  • I shake my head every time 'the speaker' poo poo's opposition ..she needs to go . Maybe the Australian people should vote

    Commenter
    elvinmaid
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:06PM
    • elvinmaid, Australia did vote and Labor got tossed out on their ears, they now sit in parliament as the Opposition led by a useless union hack by the name of Shorten.
      Do try to keep up with the times sunshine.

      Commenter
      Thepres
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:53PM
  • the speaker clearly hasnt got the message... Labor simply must walk out! This is ridiculous

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:04PM
    • One hundred per cent agree with you, Harry.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:07PM
    • Labor hasn't got the message. They are behaving like a mob of uneducated yahoos.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:09PM
    • @david... behaving like uneducated yahoos... wow.. really? you are saying that with a wry smile I am sure

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:11PM
    • Excellent idea. Labor should just walk out. But, before they do, can they get rid of the carbon dioxide and mining taxes first please? After that, Labor can close the door on the way out.

      Commenter
      Four term Tony
      Location
      Whyalla
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:12PM
    • David exactly/. Its childish throwing the toys out of the sandpit. Is this the new type of leader BS wants to be. Try and show some ticker. LOL.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:12PM
    • The conduct of the opposition is a disgrace, the public demand better conduct.

      Commenter
      paul
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:31PM
    • Yez

      Commenter
      ka
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:42PM
    • I agree. This parliament, and the way this government regards this supposedly representative house, is a disgrace.
      With nobody from the government actually answering any of the questions directed at them, with Joe Hockey having nothing to say but go on about the deficiencies of the previous Labor governments, and with a Speaker who is nothing more than a one way policeman allowing the government to do and say whatever they want to, and block any dissent or opposition from the opposition side, one wonders why we waste everybody's time and money.
      And what is even scarier is that we have a prime minister making ridiculous decisions (ie dames and knights), without even consulting his own party. We are headed down a very slippery and scary path to a dictatorship.

      Commenter
      glenncharles
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:42PM
    • I hope they walk out and keep on walking...don't come back....this opposition are a pack of school bullies. is the speaker supposed to just cop abuse every time they sit?

      Commenter
      paul
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:40PM
    • Of course Labor must walk out. That is a typical Union reaction. Wasn't Shorten a Union leader once upon a time?

      Commenter
      J.G.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:39PM
  • How did the cross benchers vote in the Speaker motion?

    Commenter
    The Banker
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:03PM
    • Adam Bandt - for
      Wilkie and McGowan - against

      Commenter
      Carl
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:10PM
  • tony wants to help the employees from alcoa by getting rid of carbon tax.
    Yep I am sure they will be so glad they have you batting for them tone.
    How about you do the country a favor and keep your promise to call a double dissolution. Show us again exactly how you won the election as you say... as opposed to labor losing it.

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 3:01PM
  • Come Labor. Bring your A game. Seems like everything they have tried has fallen flat on their faces. Next.

    Commenter
    Sarah of Carnegie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:58PM
    • wat hogwash sarah. they are doing exactly what they can with the current speaker being so biased. they are not going to show all their cards in the first 6 months.

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:06PM
    • Sarah, are you being serious or hust having a jab?

      Commenter
      StopTheBleeding
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:00PM
  • Whyalla Wipeout

    I strongly suggest that depressurisation caused everyone on board to suffer Hypoxia. It explains why the pilot acted irrationally. The pilot of co-pilot managed to affect a change to an instrument that did not require adjusting. In a gradual hypoxic state they were compos mentis enough to turn the plane around, however, as the hypoxia state worsened the pilot’s thought patterns became more scrambled and was unable to solve the problem of flying the plane. In quick time we have turned around plane that flew over Malaysia full of dead people.

    “In the case of altitude sickness, where hypoxia develops gradually, the symptoms include light-headedness / fatigue, numbness / tingling of extremities, nausea and anorexia. In severe hypoxia, or hypoxia of very rapid onset, ataxia, confusion / disorientation / hallucinations / behavioral change, severe headaches / reduced level of consciousness, papilloedema, breathlessness, pallor, tachycardia and pulmonary hypertension eventually leading to the late signs cyanosis, bradycardia / cor pulmonale and hypotension followed by death” (Wiki).

    While I sympathise with you view in this case I honestly think it is lost cause.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:55PM
    • You may well be right pen, but until we know we don't know (yeah, obvious but worth repeating). Certainly, the ridiculous theories based on a reported sneeze or whatever is so boring I don't even read them.

      My point was more about what we will learn about search and rescue and avoiding the two week circus that occurred this time.

      And if it was hypoxia (or even conceivably could have been) we might have learnt about that risk too.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 6:13PM
  • It is only fitting that with a grossly inaedquate government they have a speaker who is beyond appalling.

    Commenter
    Only fitting
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:52PM
  • Poor old Labor, they can dish it out alright, but all glass jaw when it swings back at em.

    Frankly, I blame it on the decline of the working class. All these uni graduates they have these days have never raised a sweat in a boiler suit or lifted anything heavier than a laptop.

    Commenter
    SteveH.
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:51PM
    • That is ridiculous - university graduates, huh?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:58PM
    • How does your second paragraph even relate to your first sentence? Please explain how having a better educated society causes Labor's "glass jaw".

      Commenter
      Knee
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:00PM
    • Yeah Sir SteveH - Labor seemed to spend much of the previous parliament complaining about the Coalition suspending standing orders.

      It seems to have become an almost daily event in this parliament, but they've never really worked out issues of the old pot and kettle.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:02PM
    • It's all great theater to me! :) Very entertaining! They should all be considered for Logies.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:23PM
  • well done Albo - get rid of the speaker and bring on a double dissolution to save this country from going back to the 1950's

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:49PM
    • How exactly can Albo bring on a double dissolution?

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:03PM
  • I am not sure how anybody can in all honesty say that Madam Speaker is not showing bias towards the LNP. It is clear to anyone who is listening or watching.

    Commenter
    Carl
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:48PM
    • Some people are so anti-Abbott that they are totally blind to the truth.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:12PM
    • As distinct, DM from those like you who are so pro Abbott that they are blind to the truth.

      Commenter
      Noavs
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:21PM
  • The Labor Party is behaving in about as disgusting a manner as I have ever seen it in the House of Representatives.

    Commenter
    David Morrison
    Location
    Blue Mountains
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:47PM
    • And the last 20 minutes have only confirmed my opinion.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:10PM
    • U are totally biased. Common sensed People are not blind o see through such incompetence demonstrated BY this MADAM Speaker!

      Commenter
      Up and Down is Norm
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:18PM
    • You obviously didn't watch or listen to any question time or parliament in the previous 4 years ! There are none so deaf etc

      Commenter
      Down low
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:21PM
    • Just stay down, Norm. More stability there.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:30PM
    • It seems you are not watching the same Question Time as the rest of us.

      Commenter
      Hi-Viz Harry
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:34PM
  • Is Clive Palmer in Parliament today?

    Commenter
    Sarah of Carnegie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:46PM
  • BB has been a disaster as Speaker from day one. Impartiality has gone out the door, without pretence. It may be high theatre, but the point has to be made. This is an arrogant government, protected by an arrogant Speaker. Fullstop.

    Commenter
    L1
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:44PM
  • Congratulations must go out to Tony Burke, for he alone is the only member of parliment to act with dignity, respect and guts since this shambles of a government has started is reign of stupidity.

    Commenter
    Sir Real
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:43PM
  • How do you ever get rid of a partial Speaker when the partiality is towards the majority?

    Commenter
    Pat
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:40PM
    • You need to have an MP chosen who has the integrity to honour the position and responsibilities of Speaker more than their membership of a particular party.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:55PM
    • Seriously defending a person who makes a mockery of Parliament makes a mockery of the people defending that person.

      The Abbott government has tied itself to the Speaker like someone tied to a block of concrete and leaning out of the boat over a deep, deep sea.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:56PM
    • You don't. All you can do is hope Bishop resigns from embarrassment, but Abbott, Bishop and Pyne are unembarrassable.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:23PM
  • Pyne claims 'stunt' - but does not acknowledge that it was prompted by Bishop's own naming and subsequent suspension of the ALP minister.
    The Speaker opened the opportunity for Tony Burke to raise the issue.
    Come on, Chris!

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:36PM
  • We are watching history in the making but this should have happened months ago.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:35PM
  • finally,,,,,,,the speaker is being told the truth!

    Commenter
    paff
    Location
    syd
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:31PM
    • The cat has been belled

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:56PM
  • Question time has deteriorated to farce with this current speaker and front bench. Shame, shame, shame

    Commenter
    hug48
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:27PM
    • The Labor front bench

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:13PM
  • If Burke thinks he had a hard time before, his life is about to get a whole lot harder.

    Commenter
    Alex
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:26PM
  • Discraceful sexism by labor attacking Bronwyn Bishop for being a strong liberal woman. May labor live long in opposition. Labor are now the worst opposition ever.

    Commenter
    kp
    Location
    brisbane
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:25PM
    • You have got to be kidding!!!
      The only reference to her gender is the title "Madam Speaker" because that is her title. The current speaker is useless.

      Commenter
      Greg
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:32PM
    • Funny. I thought the were criticising her for being biased, incompetent and wholly unsuited for the job which she currently holds.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:36PM
    • Ummm no... That was Tone & company when they were in opposition.

      The born to rule gang in the words of the Hon. Paul Keating

      Commenter
      racca
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:37PM
    • How exactly is it sexism? Being a woman has nothing to do with how biased she is.

      Commenter
      Knee
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:39PM
    • she is a biased person, a tool of the ruling parties - wouldn't matter if she was a hermaphrodite

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:40PM
    • But BB is not supposed to be acting as a strong Liberal woman, she is supposed to be acting as the impartial Speaker.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:40PM
    • hahaha.. your lot is permanently in opposition mode. bring on a double dissolution like your tony promised. they cant pass any laws, they have no original ideas, and cant open their mouths without referring to labor, they are obsessed with labor

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:43PM
    • Using labor logic from before the last election, should Burke be considered a misogynist now?

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:43PM
    • All speakers have a political leaning - you would be lying if you claimed otherwise. Bishop does lean right, Anna Burke leaned 90 degrees left, but BB has been viciously attacked more than a male would be because she is a woman and she came from the liberal party. Tony Burke even called her a witch, by referring to her as Delores Umbridge - is that not sexist any more?

      Commenter
      kp
      Location
      brisbane
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:00PM
    • Yes, Labor thinks they are born to rule, or to disrupt Question Time to a disgraceful extent.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:16PM
    • KP - No way are Labor the worst opposition ever, for Abbott and Co are the reigning champions of wrecking the parliament and will remain so for all time.

      Commenter
      StopTheBleeding
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:13PM
  • OMG. The Speaker has just been told - no confidence!

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:24PM
    • I'm the same age as Bishop difference is I can't get a job because I'm past it even though I have good credentials so instead I volunteer, how can these people keep these jobs for so long, she should be sacked.

      Commenter
      Amro
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:33PM
    • Amro - run for Parliament then.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:44PM
    • Amro, as far as I' concerned - you can have the job of Speaker :-)
      This cannot be swept under the carpet like the LNP are attempting to do. What she did today, naming, instigated the whole issue TODAY. The fact that the ALP were keeping count is irrelevant (members of the public have also been keeping count of her dubious calls and directions).

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:53PM
    • @Sarah of Carnegie as I don't belong to any particular party that is not an option, my point is anyone else who behaved like Bishop does would get the sack how come she can sit their doing a terrible job and get paid by the tax payer for it.

      Commenter
      Amro
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:07PM
  • I have been watching Question Time for years but am finding it increasingly difficult to do so when the Speaker shows such bias and no matter the question the only answer that seems to come up is axe the tax (carbon and mining), stop the boats, sell the assets or it's Labor's fault. Are the current front benchers so devoid of any real plan or policy? Australians deserve better than this. These are supposed to be the representatives of the people. There is not much representing me at the moment.

    Commenter
    hug48
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:22PM
  • Is a walkout from QT by the Opposition in the offing.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:21PM
    • If the opposition walks out it will be the most productive day seen in government since federation. Labor are pathetic in opposition and their motion against Bishop is a disgrace.

      Commenter
      kp
      Location
      brisbane
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:33PM
    • Kp
      Exsctly what do you think this government is doing that is productive?
      No wonder everyone is laughing at them.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:48PM
  • AGs remark that everyone has the right to be bigoted
    early contender for Matt Price Award

    Commenter
    Rod
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:18PM
  • Dreyfus should use this extra time to visit his electorate. He thinks he can just look down on the people of Isaacs from his ivory tower in inner-city Melbourne.

    Commenter
    Nulla
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:16PM
  • So today Labor want to discuss economics and budgets by the looks of it. You'd imagine that Hockey will be more than willing to help them.

    Start by sending them all a copy of Economics 101 Joe.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:14PM
    • He can't, he already has the Parliamentary copy on permanent loan.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:28PM
    • Hockey answering questions on the economy OH you do make me laugh!!!!!

      Commenter
      Sir Real
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:29PM
    • Hacka
      You mean Joe Hockey's "How to double the deficit with your eyes closed".
      He's proved very good at that.
      6 months and no attempt to rein in the "dreaded spending"
      No wonder everyone is laughing at them.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:34PM
    • has trouble getting past the debt/surplus thingy chapter

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:41PM
    • Hacka,
      It would be good if the current government just used a few pages of that book to throw out Direct Action & Paid Maternity Leave.

      seriously.... they are not credible with those policy albatrosses hanging around their necks.

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:45PM
    • Actually I think it's because he's never even read the book, much less has a copy to lend out.

      Commenter
      Knee
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:46PM
    • Gee, and here i was thinking that you guys would least give Joe the chance to deliver a budget before slamming his fiscal skills ....

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:58PM
    • Hacksy, it called a preemptive strike. Joe shouldn't be too concerned it may actually help him save some face in the long run.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:20PM
  • Still distressing to see Hockey cannot answer a question on the economy. Maybe Dame Peta can issue a royal decree to Joe stating he is now in fact the treasurer, and the opposition days of attacking the government are behind him!!!!

    Commenter
    Sir Real
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:13PM
  • '"I just want to deal head-on with this great fiction," Hocks begins'

    Quick!! Look over there!!

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:12PM
  • So the Prime Minister is aiming to "fix" the budget by stopping the boats. No wonder the House descends into laughter, I wouldn't get it either.

    I can't see how the budget is an on-water issue anyway. I mean the dollar was floated 30 years ago.

    Commenter
    tasch2
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:12PM
  • Are the ALP giggle girls and boys going to grow up and behave like adults today? or will Australia be ashamed again. The overseas coverage of the giggling ALP puts us all to shame. The ALP are the laughing stock of world politics.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:10PM
    • Depends will the clowns on the government side answer a question? Or will they deflect and blame???

      Commenter
      Sir Real
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:28PM
    • If this wasn't such a joke of a government. .....

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:36PM
    • really....I mean really ???. You believe that anyone is watching Australian political play when Putin is annexing Crimea, North Koreans are being told to get the same haircut as their leader and the Tea Party and the NRA are dragging the US's reputation into the gutter...and lets not forget the focus on Malaysia's response to the MH370 disaster. Maybe if we start framing it as "goodies vs baddies" we might get a rise in interest...maybe

      Commenter
      dame sybella
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:15PM
  • Not as interested in Hockey's 'usual response' as I was to learn one of the ladies 'at the back' is the member for Dobell. She does speak!

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:10PM
  • The six-member Senate committee examining the Coalition's Direct Action policy by recommending the government "immediately adopt" minimum cuts of 19 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020 is absolutely correct and keeping with efforts of the rest of the western world.

    The 5% reduction was always a sham and not by any means a serious attempt to curb climate change by Australia. And before we read the whining’s of Australia cannot do anything about climate change, climate change is about one atmosphere and every person and every country is responsible for it. We all have to pull our weight and not rely on others to do it for us as the Abbott government is doing with its pathetic unworkable Direct Action policy.

    Meanwhile other countries are out spending Australia on climate change and have far greater emission reduction targets.

    Comparatively we are a richer nation than most other countries which are spending far more to fight climate change than we are spending. There is simply no excuse for Abbott’s idiocy that will cost us dearly in the long run. Our first priority must be to dramatically reduce coal production and not expand it as Abbott is doing, this will have the greatest effect on our emissions reduction.

    We must harvest the incredible free energy resources that we have like the greatest source of solar radiation in the world and the wave power provided by the Sothern Ocean and not least create our own fuel cell technology to stop wasting money on power grid expansion.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:05PM
  • Was wondering why ole one term Tony decided to run the the Knights and Dames charade 3 months after denying it was on the agenda. Then the Senate report on direct action was released last night and the results are worse than most rational people would have expected. Like this government the policy is an absolute failure, time to start deflecting.

    Commenter
    Sir Real
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 2:05PM
  • Could be a lively Question Time today.

    Will Bill give us another rendition of "Rule Britannia", as he did yesterday ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:57PM
  • This is Australia. This is my home. I was born here. Of course, I would still feel Aussie, even if I wasn't born here. If there is one thing I want, it is to be identified as Australian.

    Tony Abbott, on the other hand, was born in England. I seem to have trouble figuring out where his loyalties lie. He reintroduces an English legacy, and he wants things that benefit English companies more than Australian companies, via the TPP.

    I think we need a rule, like in the US, where it is required for the leader of the country to be Australian born. Then there would not be a need to question where loyalties lie.

    Commenter
    Sir Jason
    Location
    Avalon
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:44PM
    • You wouldn't have said that two PMs ago.

      Typical.

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:51PM
    • Good to see the Left imposing their racist paradigm on Australian civics. Hardly surprising considering it was the Labor Party that supported the White Australia Party.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:20PM
    • To my fellow knight Sir Jason I could not agree more. The Colonial Prime minister should be born in the colonies. My question to Mr Abbott - does he still have his British Passport?

      Commenter
      Sir Red
      Location
      of the Budgie Smuggler
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:35PM
    • Given the most inept PM in history was born in Wales.. I presume you would support a motion where the prime minister must be born in Australia?? ;-)

      Commenter
      Lroy
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:54PM
    • If Tony Abbott wants to do something constructive he should lead a trade delegation to Britain and try to influence the Government into increasing trade with Australia. Where are all these new jobs we were promised ?

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:18PM
    • I am somewhat confused as to why any perceived criticism of Abbott or his Government is immediately responded to with accusations of leftist conspiracies/hissy fits and failure to accept his mandate to do as he chooses. I would have thought that in the much-vaunted "broad church" that is the LNP that there would be a variety of responses to the manner in which this Government is choosing to conduct itself an not all of it would necessarily be positive. The reaction from within the LNP to George Brandis' proposed changes would suggest that this is in fact the case. Yet all we seem to read on these pages is vitriolic rants against the "luvvie leftists"....and to the lefties. Well, two wrongs do not make a right and civility costs nothing and delivers a great deal.

      Commenter
      dame sybella
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:41PM
    • Looks like I I've missed lots of excitement in a few hours away.
      How many sleeps now and how much damage are they capable of !!!!!!
      Bastille Day has a nice ring to it.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:34PM
  • "His frontbench colleague Jenny Macklin has also just signed a book deal."

    What's Jenny's book going to be called?

    "Canberra on $35 a day"

    Commenter
    SteveH.
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:43PM
    • Imagine Craig Thomson's and Michael Williamson's books. Living on $10,000 a day. Hang on, what about Eddie Obeid's - Living on $1,000,000 a day (and nobody will notice). Only at the ALP/Union headquarters.

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:50PM
    • If Jenny can do it that cheap maybe Joe should ask her for some help.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:54PM
    • SteveH, I am on the other side of politics to you and usually disagree strongly with your posts, but this is gold, well done!

      Commenter
      Country observer
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:10PM
  • While the polls stink for the Abbott government we will not get a DD anytime soon. Still, nice to have the trigger on the shelf in case voter sentiments turn dramatically. Stranger things have happened.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:39PM
    • A trigger on the shelf is nice, but to pull it requires a ticker to which Sir Abbott severely lacks.

      Commenter
      Sir Real
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:00PM
    • Hmmm, he needs much more than ticker. He needs good poll numbers.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:31PM
  • If the Liberals have done one thing with the reintroduction of Knighthoods, it's letting us know symbolically the period of history that their thinking resides.

    Commenter
    Lady Jennifer
    Location
    of Carlton
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:37PM
  • In a past life Abbott was a knight leaving for a crusade, he called his squire the trustworthy Turnbull: "I'm leaving for the crusade. Here is the key to my lady’s chastity belt. If, in 3 years, I haven't returned, you may use the key as My Lady will have needs."

    So Sir Abbott set off, he turned in the saddle to take one last look at his lands to see the trustworthy Squire Turnbull running towards him, yelling, "Stop! Stop! On reaching Sir Abbott the trustworthy squire Turnbull said, “Thank goodness I was able to catch you. You gave me the wrong key.”

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:36PM
  • Great news eh? The ALP has-beens are now all going to have a go at rewriting history. I feel sick to the stomach already.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:24PM
    • While the LNP nobodies take us there.

      Commenter
      Sir Real
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:31PM
    • Some of the titles sound very good don't they? Its just amazing that they seem to do the opposite when they get into government.

      Commenter
      Daniel
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:50PM
    • So don't read it, buy it or advertise it by complaining.
      Pollies from both sides do it when they're in or out of office. Hardly new or news.

      Commenter
      bridget
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:56PM
    • rewrite history? LNP history appears to have stopped at 1954 Sir Gudenuff

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:11PM
    • I'm looking forward to Gillard's chapter explaining her race riot on Australia Day.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:11PM
  • I can see TA's strategy now - wasn't there a killer rabbit in the holy grail?

    Commenter
    Abbott's knights
    Location
    say nooo
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:22PM
  • Can SMH research & publish the relative success of the various books penned by our current & recent past politicos? How many copies sold, total earnings, how lucrative for the authors, that sort of stuff.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:18PM
    • How far back do you wish them to go Lewis? And, do you wish to deny the Gillard book (released in October, I think) from the count? I'd be more interested in finding out how many claimed their promotional tours (by error [?] as did Abbott).

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:29PM
    • Jump, say about 20 years back & definitely including Gillard's efforts. Regarding the rorting of claims, although very interesting, is really another subject. Or are you suggesting that rorts should be included in determining lucrative.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:35PM
    • Sorry, missed that Lewis. Rorting is not lucrative? Interstate visits to a Parliament that does not sit? I would have to answer that with a yes.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:01PM
  • Re: “The search continues today for MH370.”

    I shudder to think what the cost is to Australian taxpayers, or is Malaysia to foot the bill? Modern planes have independent location devices in addition to transponders and black boxes, why didn’t MH370 have one?

    Why should we pay for Malaysian Airlines being too tight fisted to fit a location device? Everyone would have known where the plane went down precisely and instantly. Now the chances of finding the plane on the bottom of the Indian Ocean that is so deep it is beyond picking black box signals up from the surface.

    Any future deep sea fact finding mission will cost billions. It is time the airline industry learned by its mistakes and put this one to bed.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:05PM
    • This is the second time you've raised this point Pen. I don't think cost should be a consideration in this circumstance and I like the spirit of international cooperation.
      Rest assured that if the situation was reversed, the Malaysians would be assisting Australians lost or in distress.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:16PM
    • I agree with stevek, Pen. We will have learnt a great deal from this disaster and how we have dealt with it - as well some excellent experience for a whole lot of search and rescue people.

      I read somewhere that the inordinate attention we give to airline disasters (inordinate in the sense that the loss of life is relatively small compared to the roads, for example) has resulted in airlines being so incredibly safe today (MH370 notwithstanding).

      This may be a very expensive exercise, but all airlines, and not a few national governments, will learn a great deal from this event - not the least to not scrimp on location devices and to not let them be turned off manually.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:31PM
    • Hey Pen, how come the Chinese didn't use these submarine tracking satellites you've been telling us so much about?

      Commenter
      SteveH.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:31PM
    • stevek

      No one is in distress that is a fact. There is next to no chance of locating the plane given the depth, the remoteness and the inclement weather conditions in the waters approaching Antarctica.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:43PM
    • While the mission was search & rescue then Australia had the responsibility as it is within our search & rescue zone. Now that the mission has moved on to a recovery & crash investigation then the responsibility has moved back to Malaysia.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:47PM
    • Pen, the victims' relatives are in distress - "lost or in distress"

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:14PM
    • SteveH

      You did not pay attention did you? Tell us about the US plane that flew into the Southern Indian Ocean? You know the one that was kept top secret and the press was not allowed to discuss. What happened after that?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:14PM
    • rod steiger

      Oh for goodness sake! I was referring to the passengers and crew. They are gone.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:25PM
  • Jane Prentice at 12:10pm: "It is every day Australians who are footing the bill for the carbon tax."

    Actually, it's the polluters paying the price, with consumers receiving money from the federal government to cover the extra costs.

    And who will be paying for the proposed Direct Action plan?

    Oh right - taxpayers.

    Commenter
    pseudomys
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:04PM
  • Cue the French taunters

    Commenter
    Rod
    Location
    Knights who say nik
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 1:02PM
  • I think we're about to see a watering down of TA's tea party.

    Commenter
    Earl Grey
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:59PM
    • It will get put on ice, so to speak

      Commenter
      Master Blaster
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:18PM
  • Ridiculously bad judgement by the PM.

    Maybe he is hoping a knight will ride into question time and save him from answering questions properly?

    Commenter
    Where's my knight
    Location
    in Pyning armour?
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:46PM
    • As long as he uses coconuts, I won't mind.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:05PM
    • Totally agree. He is hell bent on taking back to the Cultural Cringe.

      Commenter
      Daniel
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:10PM
    • Gold Jump I can just imagine Tones with Pyne banging the coconut shells

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      Knights who say nik
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:13PM
    • But perhaps he'd prefer knights who say nix?

      Commenter
      Rabbits
      Location
      can be scary too
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:29PM
    • I would have thought Pyne would be better cast as one of Sir Robin's minstrels.

      Commenter
      Sir Real
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:58PM
  • Good luck to Dame Quenton Bryce - she has done a lot for Australia as the first female GG and a great photo of Julie Collins getting the boot from the Debating Chamber. Caution - don't laugh in the Chamber!

    Commenter
    Belinda
    Location
    New Zealand
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:45PM
    • "Zis is KAOS. Ve don't laugh here" - Siegfried

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:11PM
  • MPs really should try to educate the public - not make stufff up to suit their ideology. No Jane Prentice, abolising the CEFC won't save millions - the CEFC will actualy make money (7% return). It will also deliver C02 abatement at a negative cost (i.e profit) of $2.40 per tonne (http://tinyurl.com/p9q24m4) - compare this to the Direct Action policy which will cost us who knows what. Seems to me the CEFC makes excellent economic sence - and trying to pretend otherwise just creates bad policy and we all loose.

    Commenter
    jim
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:41PM
  • Thankfully on a national scale, the Greens are becoming increasingly irrelevant. This will save us from enduring Adam Bandt's thoughts for much longer.

    Commenter
    PMI
    Location
    Hampton
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:36PM
    • Am currently listening to all of the arguments (including Bandt's) and I would suggest that there have been a lot of 'irrelevant' views that are being offered.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:43PM
    • And then your voice on climate change will be Greg Hunt I suppose?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:46PM
    • If only we could get them out of our councils!

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:48PM
    • Further, I've noticed the LNP tactics of repeating every thing two or three times - is it really necessary? The Parliamentary Secretary is going 'right off' (verbally and on 'relevance' to the issue).

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:52PM
    • dRod

      You are forgetting the Greens are elected by the people the same as Labor and Liberal are. Seems like you don't like anyone that you don't agree with.

      Commenter
      Daniel
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:11PM
    • I would have thought that Melbournites would have had enough of state Liberals to keep vote Brandt in for another decade

      Commenter
      Tim
      Location
      Inner City
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:20PM
    • Yes with the Greens gone we will be able to cut down most of our native forests. Build more and more homes on the side of mountains, forget all the building regulations. Nothing will ever happen. If we ignore climate change it will most likely just go away. Lets all build our dream home as close as possible to the water. It's worth the gamble. Pity the insurance industry has alerted to climate change and wants to massively increase the premiums if you are anywhere near the water.

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:11PM
  • Adam Bandt is well qualified to discuss interplanetary living arrangements. He probably learned all about it from Bob.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:36PM
  • Everyone should look at the video at 12.02. What a farce this Speaker is!

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:32PM
    • Farce is the childish behaviour from the left yesterday. Member from Franklin knew exactly what she was doing. They all did. Lets not pretend they didn't.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:09PM
    • Here Here!

      Commenter
      Daniel
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:12PM
    • Sarah, the only pretending going on is from those people pretending that the current incumbent of the Speaker's chair is not the most patently and contemptuously biased Speaker in the history of the Parliament, whose bias is only matched in its extremity by her incompetence.

      It is clear that she sees her only responsibility in the Speaker's chair as to contribute to the Government's hubristic triumphalism in the House.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:24PM
  • Don’t laugh, laughing at the stupidities of others is a well-documented effective way of practising contempt and disapproval. It is a simple but effective technique for debunking power, Labor would do well to keep on laughing at knight’s and dame’s policy.

    Labor may ask Abbott if he goes to the dentist to have his teeth crowned.

    Or does he plan to rust in peace when he dies.

    Does he plan to one day write his memoirs using the pseudonym King Author.

    Is it true that the Dark Ages were so called because there was too many knights.

    Can the P.M. confirm that the round table in the Coalition Party Room is called Sir Cumference?

    Is it true that the Coalition Party Room is famous for its knight life?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:32PM
    • Laughter is the best medicine, nice puns DR. Notice your PHD "friend" changes his moniker by the hour.

      Commenter
      Countess country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:38PM
    • ah, boom tish!

      Pen's here all week. Try the schnitzel!

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:39PM
    • "Laughing at the stupidities of others is a well-documented effective way of practising contempt and disapproval."

      That is exactly why the current Speaker is so upset by it. She has turned the Parliament into a farce by her appalling bias but is angry because the Opposition has now moved on to telling the whole country about it.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:57PM
  • If the Speaker and Government want the laughter to stop, why don't they stop acting like clowns! Or, in the case of Christopher Pyne, court jesters? Dame Peta must not be amused.

    Commenter
    Credlinbility
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:27PM
  • It seems that Christopher Pyne now thinks he is the decision maker!!

    He would like the House to debate the bill to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
    And he wants a vote at about 1 pm today.
    Labor and the Greens are not happy, Chris.
    Greens deputy Adam Bandt argues that in the current parliament "you have a right to be a bigot but not to scrutinise legislation".

    Maybe Adam has made an astute statement here. Pyne should really stick to trying to do something constructive with his own portfolio.

    Commenter
    peter@epping
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:18PM
    • Sorry, Peter - he can't. He doesn't know anything about it (based on his claims yesterday in Parliament).

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:26PM
    • Err... Christopher Pyne is the current Leader of The House & as such is the driver of the government's legislative agenda. In other words, he is in charge.

      Commenter
      Lord Lewis
      Location
      Earl of Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:58PM
    • @ Lewis - that may well be true, but that doesn't help with his 'management' of his portfolio.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:10PM
    • peter@epping, nobody takes anything Adam Bandt or The Greens say seriously.
      After the hammering The Greens got in Tassie, I am surprised he showed his face in Canberra.

      Commenter
      Thepres
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:41PM
  • Don't you love the way the republican movement is claiming to be invigorated by the reintroduction of Knighthoods.

    Do they realise that honours are a completely separate proposition to constitutional arrangements ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:17PM
    • It's much more simple than that Hacka. Bringing back knights is a backwards thinking idea that highlights the need for moving away from Abbott and his Queen.

      Commenter
      QED
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:28PM
    • In fact, the new order of Guys and Dames is largely irrelevant to the Republican movement - and it is also entirely irrelevant to almost all Australians except the Monarchists. The Australian public will be wondering why on earth this government is wasting good public time on this anachronistic irrelevance.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:36PM
    • Yes, Hacka the masses are obviously overwhelmingly in favour of Knights and Dames, or have you not noticed?

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:37PM
    • Don't you love the way our Prime Minister is claiming to be reinvigorated by the reintroduction of Knighthoods? It is this kind of leadership that gives me the confidence that no matter what happens to my children in the future, whether it's not being able to afford to see a doctor or pay for university fees, or perhaps even simple things like enjoy a walk in a national park...no matter any of these piffling trivialities...hell, they can still be bestowed an archaic, patronising foreign award. No, they cannot be president of our country, but at least a foreign king or queen thinks they might like a fancy title. What a leader! Such vision!

      Commenter
      Immal
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:43PM
    • What we love is tuning into the comedy festival that is Parliamentary Question Time. In particular watching how "the adults" get so easily offended that we almost feel sorry for them, as you do for children who have been teased.

      Its better than the best of Yes Minister.

      Commenter
      Master Blaster
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:45PM
    • @WW - was that 'Guys and Dolls' ?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:47PM
    • Actually Pen it's going to be interesting to see how Aussies react to this move. Presumably there will be some polling around it in the next few weeks.

      Could be nobody cares, could be people are against it. There's even a chance people will like it.

      But if it's alright with you, let's judge it when some real numbers come out. The Fairfax commentary is consistent with the reaction to every other decision that Abbott takes.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:48PM
    • It's the types of honours that are being awarded. not the honours themselves that's the issue. Does everything have to be spelt out for you?

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:53PM
    • Still the same stupidity and lack of focus on the part of the Government (oh, of course, the Pitiless Merciless didn't consult Cabinet- he knew they wouldn't go for this but he's an avowed monarchist and wants so badly to be knighted when he's finally booted from office). But the Government will still own this anachronistic piece of fairy floss which only emphasizes the gulf between the haves and have-nots.

      I've noticed, Hacka, that you criticise anyone who disagrees with you as "left leaning" which only emphasizes your own imbalance in opinion (and lack of grip on economic figures as so many have pointed out today). But I acknowledge that you consider yourself the "suppository of all wisdom".

      Commenter
      Sydneybob1
      Location
      Armidale
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:54PM
    • Ahh, but it's all in the perception, Hacka.

      Commenter
      Lord Lewis
      Location
      Earl of Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:54PM
    • That's true, My Lord Lewis. Those polls will be interesting.

      Sydneybob1 - only the left-leaning ones.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:05PM
    • Indeed Jump. I think, at heart, that I did not want to be disrespectful to the former GG.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:26PM
    • They're not the only ones making wild claims. For example, the Liberals claim that they're governing for all...

      Commenter
      Jason
      Location
      Avalon
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:30PM
    • Sydneybob1,
      I preferred SteveH's views. Much more sensible, yet Delphic-like sayings.
      Hacka's a mere foot soldier for the IPA.

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:53PM
    • @hacka
      Well not really, no. Difficult to see how you could have knights and dames outside the "Constitutional Arrangement" of a constitutional monarchy. God Save the Queen!

      Commenter
      daveinbalmain
      Location
      balmain
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:43PM
  • Such silly, stupid work by the Government in the last few days,

    Knights and Dames? Sounds like a bad Broadway musical, Well, I guess if you plan to reinstate corporate welfare for the mining and business elite by repealing the mining tax, operate your asylum policies under "operational secrecy" (which has been condemned by the international community), want to leave the environment worse for your kids by repealing the carbon tax (which is actually an ETS) and are planning to whack the Australian middle class and the aged in the Budget, some "harnless fun", as Hacka the apologist put it, is the only way to go. Real "Wag The Dog" stuff.

    I'd be happy to have a sensible discussion with you, Hacka, about the national balance sheet and P & L statement. The previous Govt kept our economy from collapsing so you could keep your basement. The current Government is blowing out the debt (that's its responsibility) and instead of using the Medibank proceeds to pay down debt or provide tax breaks to the wealthy, (as the Howard Govt did with Telstra), supposedly we're going to build roads. Meanwhile, thousands of Medibank employees will join the dole queue if the company is privatised (unless they get their shovels out).

    Given everything that's going on, I'm not surprised if boat arrivals might be down. I think that some desperate people wouldn't be that desperate to come to a country run by a man who would take us back to the Middle Ages and who would shrink Govt so it couldn't effectively do its job but still make sure that a woman doesn't have any choice over what she does with her own body. Failed in the US and elsewhere and will be a massive fail here.

    Commenter
    sydneybob1
    Location
    Armidale
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 12:08PM
    • Delighted to second your comments sydneybob1.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:39PM
    • +1...

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:43PM
  • The Brits must be laughing their heads off at us.

    Commenter
    Archer
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 11:57AM
    • The Brits would be kicked out of parliament by Bronny that was the case!

      Commenter
      Steeden
      Location
      Ballina
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:10PM
  • Dames and Knights? Hahaha brilliant!!! I didn't know TA was participating in the Melbourne Comedy Festival!

    Commenter
    Sir pseudomys
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 11:53AM
  • Medibank was set up in 1976 by the Fraser Coalition government as a non-profit making corporation to provide cheap private health insurance to Australians. Thereafter it provided affordable health insurance at cost price by preventing private insurance providers extracting unnecessary profits. In fact it forced the competition to reduce prices.

    In 2009 Kevin Rudd made Medibank Private for profit, allowing the government to extract a dividend from the corporation. This ended Medibank’s social reform as a non-profit making entity for which Australians have paid cost increases every year since.

    The main reason for cost increases is our unsustainable population growth of 1 million every 2.59 years. For instance health expenditure in Australia in 2011-12 was approximately $140.2 billion for 23.3 million people, up from $82.9 billion in 2001-02 when the population was 18.9 million. Statistically based on 2001-02 figures one million people cost the health budget $43.96 million, last year it was $60.17 million per million people. While the population has increased by 23.2% health costs have risen by 69.1%. These figures reveal the true costs of increased privatization and unsustainable population growth.

    Government policy of unsustainable population growth creates unrealistic expansion of all of our finite resources, as with health care its resources cannot possibly keep up with levels of quality care and demand. Therefore it is government policy that is creating the problem of too greater demand, it is not increased individual demand on health resources as we are told is the reason. Coupled with 1.561 million Australians unemployed, representing 12.3% of the workforce and the highest figure since February 1994 (Morgan Poll) the detrimental effects of unsustainable population growth is clear.

    With people endlessly voting for either oligarch oligarch stupidities will continue in the interest of their own self-interest not you and me.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 11:49AM
    • Thanks, Pen. I agree, but can I simplify that (for myself) by saying that the health insurance industry 'sucks' (literally and figuratively)?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:10PM
    • Pen

      You always make enjoyable readable posts.

      I for one was not aware about this spectacular population growth, who mandated this?? Is it government policy or has a department just gone crazy??

      Im sure most Aussies (99%) have no idea this has been going on. I mean, how would we know, no one has told us.

      Commenter
      Lroy
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:06PM
  • The first Knights were Roman horsemen known as equites. Appropriately the name is derived from the Latin for horse, equus. Should one’s personal wealth fall below a certain level one was obliged to give up one’s horse hence knightly status? So we can take some comfort that Abbott’s knights must retain wealth or they may be required to give up their Asses.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 11:30AM
    • I'm so over this "Knights' stuff already.
      All I can picture now is Monty Python - and seeing them running around clapping coconut shells together to simulate the 'clip-clop' of horses hooves. It's just all too silly.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:39AM
    • Jump How I loved MP.
      "it's only a flesh wound". "C'mon ya pansy".
      Just like the calibre of pollies these days so too comedians aren't a cut on the likes of Cleese and co. I doubt Sir Hockit will be announcing any monies for the Arts in May.
      The Arts and the Environment the first to suffer under a con regime, excess to requirement.

      Commenter
      Countess country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:59AM
    • to paraphrase Monty Python -
      "How do you know he's the PM?"
      "Cause 'e ain't got any sh!t on 'im"

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:10PM
    • @Countess ACG. Yes, they were funny. But I'm being honest - (Perhaps they should have been giving coconuts away instead of pineapples?)

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:24PM
  • The Division of Bowman is in south-east Queensland. Surely Fairfax can get something right today?

    Commenter
    Nulla
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 11:30AM
  • Ahh Sandwiches, cucumber- ribbon or club?
    Quite apt considering the humble sandwich, according to legend (and wiki no doubt) was named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich.
    "Let em eat arrggh Sandwiches".

    Commenter
    Countess country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 11:12AM
  • For me, today, I'd like to know if the Medibank sale will mean another 4,000 job losses.
    And further, why should the Medibank asset sales go to funding roads, of all things? Surely re-funding health, or education would be a better option to improve Australia's future?

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 10:59AM
    • Couldn't possibly Jump, they promised a 1M jobs. Whether that was employed or unemployed remains to be seen though.
      Increasingly the later option seems on the money, or lack of it for many.

      Commenter
      Countess country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:34AM
    • But roads? What person would want to lose their job/workplace to see the resultant money put into roads to support the fossil fuel industry?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:07PM
    • Throw in the mining industry too. When the average person thinks roads they think cars, trucks et al getting to work quicker. They probably don't give a thought to what roads are actually made of, the pollution in their construction and usage. The ancillary businesses that jump on for the "ride". That Health are Education are non priorities is no surprise. That makes far too much sense.
      They are sticking to their agenda.
      The CoA will be the big one, sitting on their pre determined agendas till after WA.
      Transparent Govt, yep sure.
      I'm sensing some cracks appearing in the autocratic style of a couple of Ministers, including the Chief one.
      Some movement in the camp, hopefully.
      Peta hasn't had the same reign of late.

      Commenter
      Countess country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:34PM
  • I might start calling myself Lord!

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 10:53AM
  • The Liberal, National coalition is no more destructive than the one off Labor, Independent coalition. Poor Nationals, they have no idea what Liberals have hit them with.

    BTW, poor Liberals. They have no idea what to do other that slash and sell.

    Commenter
    SloppyJoe
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 10:50AM
    • And people thought Labor and the Greens were bad??...just look at this coalition rabble!!

      Commenter
      Archer
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:53AM
  • With the budget due out tomorrow, it looks like the Liberal line for today is to try to claim the previous government were really bad economic managers, when the reality is that the rest of the world sees the economic management of the previous government as amongst the top of the world.

    The aim is to try to smear the previous government so that the current Liberal government can claim that their budget attack on the poor and middle class is justified.

    They used to claim that we were having a budget emergency. That stopped once almost every economist out there said it was rubbish.

    So lets see tomorrow what unnecessary changes they will introduce that will benefit the rich at the expense of the poor or middle class, or that are aimed at creating more division in society.

    As Warren Buffet, super-rich American investor, said, "Actually, there’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won. We’re the ones that have gotten our tax rates reduced dramatically."

    Commenter
    Sir Tom
    Location
    Camelot
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 10:48AM
    • everything about this government has been about division, very much still in Opposition mode. I feared this sort of situation...can't help wonder how long it will be before many who voted for them finally realize the changes that interest this government only benefit a very small 'elite' sector of society (you know, the ones who qualify for those 'hood' titles)...the vast majority of the people who voted for them are not among that very limited group. They will not benefit and they will be bitten eventually.

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:36PM
  • I personally am totally for titles...love them.

    Commenter
    Sir Alistair, Duke Lord Nobleman and Landlord of Sydney
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 10:34AM
    • If you were an Earl OBE you would be an ear lobe.

      Commenter
      Simon from Whyalla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:15AM
  • Is parliament still in Canberra or is it called Camelot now?

    Commenter
    Steeden
    Location
    Ballina
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 10:20AM
    • The traditional, historical one is still located in Canberra, the Real one is in Beijing.

      Commenter
      Politician
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 10:39AM
    • Call it Camelot if you like, but Sir Arthur seems to be missing this week.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:12AM
    • Camelot the musical, big hit of the 60's, bit too modern.
      Oh Camelot!, Camelot.

      Commenter
      Countess country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:22AM
    • Sir Tony will need a round table to replace the oval version. I have one for $500,000. Cheaper than Sir George's library and only 2.5 times Sir Arfur's salary at AWH.

      Commenter
      Sir bg2
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:00PM
    • Steeden, yes parliament is still in Canberra and looking at the Labor frontbench you can't help but laugh.

      Commenter
      Thepres
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:27PM
  • Australian honours should not include a title which implies a different social class. Yay, you're an AO. That doesn't make you socially superior and owning greater rights. It's impossible to separate the term 'knight' from that concept.

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 9:57AM
    • I agree. At its heart, this move is about replicating the official class labels endorsed by the UK. So that we serfs will have more signs to help us know where we stand--or sit or whatever it is that we serfs do.

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:31PM
  • Methinks it's not JUST George who has been consuming the right wing Kool Aid!

    Commenter
    meganjj
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 9:39AM
    • well, someone must be mixing it and distributing it...I kind of agree with you.

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:29PM
  • If the changes to s18 have been watered down, I would hate to see the un-watered down version.

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 9:26AM
    • The original proposal was to do away with 18C altogether.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 10:08AM
    • Wonder what Roskam has to say about peerage (whoops it getting to me) influence.
      Should I say the influence of parliamentary peers.
      Poor George is dancing on coals this time not the dance floor. Appeared a bit more moderate on Q&A then back to the radical, now back again. Definitely not a waltz in the park, no tango, limbo or perhaps a quick fox trot.

      Commenter
      Countess country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:18AM
    • Good to see proper cabinet functions under this government. Compared to the last Labor-Greens government where important decisions were made on the back of a coaster or a napkin.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:32AM
    • Nulla, I would rather see innovative decisions made on the back of a coaster or napkin than the completely infective government we have now that wouldn't know what an innovative nation building project was if it bit them in the arse.

      Commenter
      Sir Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:54AM
    • nulli - you are joking surely?
      Gonski performed as a triple flip-flop with Pyn(k)e
      Brandis slipping all over after the floor trying to formulate bigot laws that are accceptable even to his own party
      Abboott not telling a soul in Cabinet before he drops a big one for Queen and (birth) Country
      Lobbyists running Minister's offices subverting established public health policy
      ex-Lobbyists in Ministerial positions

      a government methodically working things through or a Ship of Fools heading for the horizen of their flat earth ?

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:06PM
  • With the budget in mind, there's something troubling about the accounts of the previous administration.

    Between 2008-09 and 2012-13, Rudd and Gillard Labor collected $1.56 trillion and spent $1.75 trillion, which provided combined deficits of around $190 billion.

    But to fund it, borrowings today are at $310 billion, from a starting point of zero. There's a gap of around $120 billion.

    If we take into account the current year, and assume a deficit of $1 billion per week ($40bn), we've still got a gap of $80 billion.

    There will be adjustments and accruals and other cash flow issues, but the gap of $80 billion seems large.

    Where did it all go ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 9:13AM
    • So what are you on about, Hacka? Are you trying to make us all aware of Labor's fiscal incompetence? Hacka we understand this as we understand the Coalition's right wing extremes. We understand that they are both oligarch's and self serving deceivers.

      We understand that neither is worth voting for and we would be better off without them. Unfortunately there is the likes of you, Hacka, who insist that one oligarch is preferable to the other oligarch when in reality there is no difference between them.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Problem solved Hacka. Just sell off a couple of knighthoods to the highest bidder. No doubt there are many on your side of politics lining up for the right to make the rest of us call them "Sir" or "Dame". Apparently there was quite a flourishing market in the UK for such titles in days gone by. May as well turn it into a commercial enterprise after all.

      Commenter
      meganjj
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Hacka, the starting point of zero in early 2008 was in net debt. There actually was a gross debt of approx $50Bn. All the other numbers you're quoting are in gross figures so not apples for apples. The rest of the gap is probably the interest bill.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 10:17AM
    • I'm more concerned that the current government appear to be just as bad at economic management. They raised the debt ceiling from $300 million to $500 million. Hockey can't even count, with lots of rubbery figures in Hockey's numbers. Lots of waste pumping money into the reserve bank. Lots of waste from the Liberals on their Paid Parental Scheme, handing money to people that don't need it. Wasting taxpayers money on an NBN that is hopelessly inadequate, will require $30 billion dollars to fix, and will put Australia back by 20 years. This government are economic incompetents; they have ruined the Liberal's reputation for economic management.

      Commenter
      Sir Tone of Bigot
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 10:34AM
    • Think you forgot a little thing called the GFC in all of that, Hacka.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 10:47AM
    • Lewis - fair point about the start mark, i guess that narrows it down a bit. Interest would be included in the debt as we've had to borrow to repay it.

      Jump and Tone haven't quite cottoned onto - although i do love the standard Labor response to any challenging economic question - "GFC" !

      We'll still be hearing about it in 20 years time.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:08AM
    • On your figures you are talking about a 0.6% difference (i.e. 80bill from 1.5trill). In relative terms the numbers are chicken feed. The real question should be what are the recurring expense figures (i.e. not the one off's like the orange boat Abbott is buying). These are what is driving the deficit up and we need to go back to the Howard days where he raised the recurring expense for the ongoing middle class welfare Howard introduced and which the mining boom paid for.

      This is the problem Hockey now has because we no longer have the mining boo we have the Howard introduced structural deficit problem. There is only one way to fix that and that is to raise revenue as they can't keep cutting costs fat enough to cover the increasing Howard welfare costs. Abbott's election spin only made it worse as he committed to not increasing or introducing any taxes. Of course the paid parental leave is a tax (based on Hockey's assertion that any increase in a revenue raising was a tax).

      By all means quote some big numbers but as the saying goes there are lies, lies and statistics. You have just selected a suitable time frame and selected a big number so that it looks good and feeds on peoples unfounded fear factor. We have a low level of debt and one of the lowest levels of tax (Hence the Howard problem) in the industrialised world but don't mention those figures as they reduce the fear factor.

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:19AM
    • Hacka, How about an apology for misleading the readers with your inaccurate information and therefore conclusion which was pointed out by Lewis at 10:17AM
      This, of couse, proves that we are all correct to ridicule what you say!

      Commenter
      EM
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:24AM
    • Sure EM - apologies to some of our left-leaning friends for assuming we could have a sensible discussion about the national balance sheet and P&L statement. Especially to you EM.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:44AM
    • Not a 'Labor' response at all, Hacka. I happen to have read widely - comparisons of ALL economies at that time - and the combination of what the horrid KR did was against what the LNP wanted, but it DID save Australia at the time. Don't see why you should continue mocking some of us for 'lived fact'.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:49AM
    • Hacka, the other thing I love is how government debt is constantly excused as a percentage of GDP. I fail to see the relevance of that comparison. GDP is the sum total of all economic activity & is not in the control of government. Everytime I buy a sandwich for lunch I add to the GDP. It is not government income. Government debt should be compared as a percentage of government revenue, which is slightly less than $400Bn.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:52AM
    • Hacka- are you after a knighthood?

      When you compare the rest of the major economies and what happened to them throughout the GFC we have come through with a relatively low deficit.
      Please recognise all facts not just what makes a good read for your party

      Commenter
      peter@epping
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 11:59AM
    • Lewis - agreed. The debt is approaching a years worth of income, which is very substantial.

      peter - how many of those countries had mining booms and record terms of trade ?

      Jump - the Coalition supported the first stimulus package, which formed part of the "temporary deficit". The problem was that Swansteen became addicted to spending and couldn't stop.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:10PM
    • Hacka, Brazil, India and South Africa had increases in mining - how did they fare in the GFC then?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:29PM
    • Not sure Jump, but our primary trading partner, China, seemed to go alright.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:38PM
    • Jump, given that Hacka's post is straight out of the Peta Credlin spin brief for today, anything that argues with it must necessarily be a Labor post.

      The logic is inescapable. If you disagree with Liberal spin you must be Labor or, god forbid, a Greenie (the new commie for a party that needs to always have a straw man out there to attack).

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:42PM
    • @WW. I know, and I agree. But somewhere, somehow, we have to correct the constantly repeated errors by the LNP and its supporters. I went out of my way to learn more so that I could highlight the errors (of LNP and ALP). Trade Hacka? Australia and NZ did benefit, yes, but Hong Kong, Malaysia and some European countries also heavily traded with China and they died in the bum with the GFC. Does that answer your deflection to trade from mining?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:04PM
    • Jump, I don't know about Sth Africa but in FY 2008-2009 India's economy grew by 6.7% and Brazil's by 6.2%. India & Brazil are two among the BRIC economies.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:12PM
    • Whyalla - disagree all you like, but do be sure to support it with some evidence on occasion.

      Jump - the discussion is about economics and budgets - you don't think that trade and mining are relevant ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:18PM
    • Certainly, otherwise I would not have bothered replying.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:31PM
    • This is only a guess but the same place that George Bush and the current US administration have put a great deal of their taxpayers money, the on going war on terror and national security.

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 1:59PM
    • No response to my questioning your figures and the root cause? Ore you waiting on Peta to give you the words?

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:57PM
    • The reason why we keep mentioning the GFC is because Labor did a fine job and LNP refuse to acknowledge that, instead making up simplistic slogans that have no relationship to reality. No-one has ever detailed what an LNP government would have done to achieve Labor's great success through the GFC.

      Commenter
      Country Observer
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 2:59PM
    • Just look up the Budget Papers, Hacka. You will need a enquiring, analytical mind for that, plus time and effort.

      Commenter
      Hagatha
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:23PM
    • The accumulated interest should come into account in the deficit. Items like the NBN are off balance sheet as the government claimed to be building an asset and therefore the bills still needed to be paid and therefore funds borrowed but so far zero return. So the costs of building the NBN are not included in to budget.

      Commenter
      Mark
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 4:19PM
    • I finally see why so many readers suspect Hacka works for the Libs, quite possibly in a PR role. Nothing objective here.

      Commenter
      lgrsydney
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 5:28PM
  • Sir Tone's Hero JWH has disavowed knight- and damehoods. If wonder if this will cause a rethink. Abbott didn't even consult his colleagues about it.

    Commenter
    stevek
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 27, 2014, 9:13AM
    • Howard says that but he would be quicker to accept that Knighthood than a dragon up a turret

      Commenter
      Dungeons and Dragons
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 12:01PM
    • The King of Australia in waiting need only consult his own conscience.

      Commenter
      Tin
      Location
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:15PM
    • Howard did not rule out accepting a knighthood absolutely. As always, Howard weasels his words.

      Commenter
      YoYo
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 27, 2014, 3:39PM
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