Date: June 19 2012
Some prime ministers get all the perks. Yesterday, ensconced in winter, Canberra reached a chillsome 13 degrees. Meanwhile, the G20 leaders' summit in Los Cabos maxed out at a delicious 29.
Julia Gillard's luck continued when she got to lord it over European economies - telling them to ''take note of the Australian way,'' and lecturing about ''fiscally responsible growth''.
Back in the ACT, acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan was left with extra paperwork and the frontline role in question time.
According to the ''Visit Los Cabos'' website, the Mexican municipality is made up of two towns. San Jose del Cabo is ''reminiscent of an older time, where the days are longer and the mood softer''. Cabo San Lucas is noted for its ''vitality and nightlife''. It would be fair to say that parliament yesterday was more San Jose than San Lucas.
With the prime minister away the zing of question time seemed to have packed its wheelie bags and headed elsewhere. Only one MP (Coalition backbencher George Christensen) was kicked out. And when Swan wrapped things up at 12 minutes past three, the House had clocked just 15 questions. There wasn't even a whiff of an ''I move''.
Nevertheless, the old time QT classics were very much present and accounted for.
The Coalition may have stymied Environment Minister Tony Burke's trip to a UN meeting in Rio so they could grill him on marine parks, but they were much more concerned about the carbon tax (less than two weeks to go!).
Tony Abbott tried to stump Swan early: name a single leader at the G20 summit - apart from Gillard - who has ''hit'' workers and families with a $23 per tonne carbon tax.
''If those on the other side were at Los Cabos, they would have been terribly embarrassed,'' Swan replied, arguing that the cool kids at G20 (or 85 per cent of them) were accessorising with carbon price schemes.
But when Abbott quizzed Swan about electricity price hikes - and their relationship to the carbon tax - the acting PM found a reserve supply of San Lucas-style vitality. Referring to the Opposition Leader's prediction that the carbon tax would ruin the Australian economy by a ''python squeeze'', not a ''cobra strike'', Swan suggested Abbott was peddling intentional untruths. ''Whether it's a cobra or a python, it does not change the fact that the Leader of the Opposition is a snake oil salesman,'' he declared, triumphant.
He may not have been in Mexico, but he sure knew how to make a fiscally responsible joke.
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