Thursday, 10 November 2016

Australian House of Representatives in November 2016: "It's like deja vu all over again"*

This makes it three times in less than ten weeks that the Turnbull Government has managed to make itself a laughing stock on the floor of the House of Representatives since the 45th Parliament was opened on 30 August 2016., 7 November 2016:

IT HAS happened again.
The Government today has again accidentally backed a motion criticising itself.
This time the support was for a demand that the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull cease “short-changing pensioners”.
The first to recognise the impending Government snafu was Labor’s Anthony Albanese, who was sitting at the table of the House of Representatives.
He watched, almost open mouthed, as LNP member for Wright, Scott Buchholz, seconded a motion which had just been moved by Labor’s MP for Lindsay, Emma Husar.
Fortunately for the Government the motion didn’t get to a vote and was adjourned. It had no substantial consequences.
But it recalled a similar incident on October 13 when Revenue Minister Kelly O’Dwyer accidentally waved through an amendment to a multinational tax bill which called on the Government to “explain why it has failed to close tax loopholes and increase transparency in Australia”.


ABC News, 13 October 2016:

The Federal Government has been embarrassed by a procedural bungle in Parliament, after accidentally endorsing a bill amended by Labor, which criticised the Government.
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer was seeking to pass the International Tax Agreements Amendment Bill 2016 through the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
But Ms O'Dwyer accidentally endorsed a second reading amendment put forward by shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh.
The amendment calls on the Government "to explain why it has failed to close tax loopholes and increase transparency in Australia".
After some confusion, Ms O'Dwyer appeared to support the amendment, facilitating its passage through the House of Representatives.
Manager of opposition business Tony Burke said it was the first time in the history of federal parliament that a second reading amendment had ever been supported.

The Australian, 2 September 216:

The Coalition is reeling after the Prime Minister’s grip on power was dealt a severe jolt when his majority government became the first in five decades to lose a series of procedural votes on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Leader of the House Christopher Pyne has conceded it was a “stuff up” that he said would never happen again as Mr Turnbull hit out at those MPs, including cabinet ministers Peter Dutton and Christian Porter and Justice Minister Michael Keenan, who did the “wrong thing”.
“I’ve read the riot act to them, their colleagues will all read the riot act to them, they’ll get the riot act read to them more often than just about anyone could imagine,” Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio.
“They’re in charge of themselves. Two of them were cabinet ministers and one of them was a minister. They’re grownups, they’re experienced parliamentarians, they knew they should not have left and they left early because they thought they’d get away with it (but) they’ve been caught out, they’ve been embarrassed, they’ve been humiliated, they’ve been excoriated and it won’t happen again.”

* Quotation attributed to Yogi Berra, U.S. professional baseball player, 1925-2015

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