Federal Politics

Politics wrap: March 19, 2013

What a day. Again.

1. The PM began the day confronted by a story asserting she had lost the confidence of two ministers. One flat out denied it. One was less equivocal.

2. The PM also took the helm of negotiations with the cross bench to ensure the media reform package does succeed. The government still wants it passed by the end of the week but has conceded it will need to pass each piece of legislation separately.

3. The Opposition was a bit tricky during Question Time trying to goad the PM into saying failure of the media reform package was a comment on her leadership.

4. The PM declined to give them the satisfaction but declared she would win an election contest between "a strong feisty woman and a policy weak man".

5. Governing was done in the form of a pay raise for childcare workers.

Thanks to everyone who commented on The Pulse blog and on twitter and, as always, to Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen.

We'll be back in the morning. Until then, go well.

Lenore Taylor

There is also a bit of movement on the media reform package which the government has another two days to get through Parliament if it is to meet its own deadline.

Lenore Taylor has provided this update ahead of a night of committee hearings.

 

While Question Time was on a Senate committee decided sporting pundit Tom Waterhouse should be asked to explain the crossover between his online gambling business and his sports commentary gig.

In particular the gambling reform committee would like Mr Waterhouse to answer the question of whether on air discussion of odds by pundits such as himself is "normalising'' the relationship between live sport and gambling.

Political reporter Heath Aston has the details here.

The shadow front bench.

Bronwyn Bishop, John Cobb and Ian Macfarlane laugh during Question Time
Bronwyn Bishop, John Cobb and Ian Macfarlane laugh during Question Time Photo: Andrew Meares

Disgrace?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard reacts to Mr Pyne's outburst
Prime Minister Julia Gillard reacts to Mr Pyne's outburst Photo: Andrew Meares
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The front bench.

Government ministers L to R Jason Clare Mark Butler Bill Shorten and Brendan O'Connor
Government ministers L to R Jason Clare Mark Butler Bill Shorten and Brendan O'Connor Photo: Andrew Meares

The numbers men convene.

 

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese and Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon
Leader of the House Anthony Albanese and Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon Photo: Andrew Meares
Andrew Meares dinkus 30 January 2013

I'll hand over the photographer Andrew Meares for Photos Without Notice.

The government just wants you to know it is most definitely pro babies.

 

Workplace minister Bill Shorten with Scarlett Parr at an early childhood wages announcement
Workplace minister Bill Shorten with Scarlett Parr at an early childhood wages announcement Photo: Andrew Meares

And that's Question Time for another day.

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Love you Tony.

 

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time
Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Manager of opposition business, Christopher Pyne, is thrown out of Question Time following the previous exchange.

He is quickly followed by Liberal MP Jamie Briggs.

"Up goes the IQ of the chamber," snarls the Minister for Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten.

 

 

Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne is ejected from the chamber during Question Time
Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne is ejected from the chamber during Question Time Photo: Andrew Meares

The PM fires back.

If the election is a choice between "a strong fiesty woman and a policy weak man" then "I will win".

The Opposition's manager of business, Christopher Pyne, accuses the PM of saying "misogynist Tony is back" under her breath.

The PM apologises to Mr Abbott if he is "upset".

 

 

 

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time
Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, is being tricky. He is asking the PM whether she is prepared to declare that if the media bills do not pass Parliament this week that would be a comment on her leadership.

The government's manager of business, Anthony Albanese, thinks it should be ruled out of order.

The Speaker, Anna Burke, asks Mr Abbott to rephrase.

He does. Kind of.

 

Bit of trivia.

It's the PM's 1000th day in the top job. Ms Gillard is now the 15th longest serving prime minister having overtaken Edmund Barton on the table.

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The PM informs the chamber about the media reforms agreed to overnight in Great Britain.

"Would you please draw the PM back to Australia?" a Coalition MP shouts out as a point of order.

The PM notes the British Conservative Party has gone much further in media reform. Why, she and the UK PM David Cameron are as one on this issue.

 

The shadow minister for finance, Andrew Robb, suggests the government might like to detail how it will pay for the increases to childcare workers' wages as well as other policies such as the national disability insurance scheme.

The PM says this shows what she suspected all along - that the opposition isn't really committed to the NDIS.

 

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time
Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Much talk of the Australian economy thus far. The Opposition raises the issue of the "nation's credit card bill" - ie the deficit - and the Government counters with talk of how well it safeguarded the economy during the global financial crisis.

La di dah.

Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon and Labor MP Kevin Rudd during Question Time
Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon and Labor MP Kevin Rudd during Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

And it's Question Time. Already!

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