WorkChoices may finally be on the way out and Australian Workplace Agreements dead and gone, but Liberal and Nationals MPs brought the House of Representatives to a state of near chaos yesterday when the Minister for Workplace Relations Julia Gillard put forward a motion asking that the House recognise the ills caused by WorkChoices and undertake that statutory individual employment agreements should never be reintroduced into Australian industrial relations law.
The Liberals Joe Hockey went ballistic and tried to shut the motion down. The Opposition then tried twice more in succession to gag debate of the motion.
Thwarted they tried a third time and then Uncle Joe unsuccessfully moved that the Deputy Speaker's ruling be dissented from.
On and on and round and round the arguments and divisions went, from 11.39am to 1.02pm, until Ms. Gillard's motion was finally voted in.
Immediately after that the Opposition Deputy Leader Julie Bishop rose to a make a motion praising WorkChoices and the whole uproar started again for another 21 minutes, as the Government retaliated by gagging this debate and forcing a vote.
Almost two hours of parliamentary mayhem, only lightened by the unconscious irony of former Howard Government minister Tony Abbott referring to another party's parliamentary tactics as "jackboot government" and Labor's Anthony Albanese losing patience and calling Hockey "fool".
Such a waste of taxpayers money.
News.com.au reported on aspects of the uproar yesterday.
Hansard records it all here.