Tasmanian Times


Federal Government filibusters House of Representatives to avoid disability vote

PHOTO: Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John heckled Scott Morrison for allowing Question Time to run long. (ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

The Federal Coalition has used parliamentary tactics to extend Question Time amid fears it was set to lose another vote in the House of Representatives.

Key points:

  • Bill Shorten had tried to cut off Question Time and asked the Lower House to bring on the royal commission motion for debate
  • Before Mr Shorten’s motion could be voted on parliament ended for the week
  • Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John, who moved the motion calling for the establishment of the inquiry, heckled the Prime Minister as he tried to justify the extended Question Time

Question Time was allowed to run far beyond its usual end time, prompting Labor accusations the Federal Government was trying to avoid a looming vote to establish a royal commission into abuse in the disability sector.

It is the latest development in a scrappy week for Federal Parliament after heated debate over the medical treatment of asylum seekers and a scuffle between a senator and a staffer.

Usual practice involves the Prime Minister calling for an end to Question Time some time after 3:10pm — often after a government MP has lobbed a so-called “dixer”, or a question where the Government can spruik its own policy at a minister.

Labor and crossbench politicians took to Twitter to vent their frustration with the tactics …



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  1. Russell

    April 4, 2019 at 9:21 am

    What a brilliant Prime Minister Jordan Steele-John would make.

  2. Rob Halton

    February 17, 2019 at 9:15 am

    I thought Morrison said on the ABC news the Disability issue would be debated again for tomorrow Monday 18th Feb.
    So what is the problem, these issues cannot be rushed, steady there as there is already an inquiry into the Aged Care sector occurring which is exposing neglect by a number of providers, its on the news most nights, the Aged care inquiry is obviously going to have impact to change practices which most likely will involve additional funding by government!

    I would request that the Greens senator tone down his heckling of the PM, that behavior should warrant expulsion for a period, calm down the PM has already endured Medivac which really amounts to Bill Shorten becoming PM along with a group of feel good Independents.

    Medivac does not mean instant entry to Australia the 300 or so cases need to properly processed by government officials before entry into Australia.
    As for attracting more arrivals into Australia, I am not too sure about the PM’s claim of the boat smugglers will start again in my opinion that is the old way of smuggling business for Afhgani, Iraqi and Syrian refugees with limited means to enter the country.

    From my recent closer studies of the problem most of today’s arrivals come by plane, mainly Chinese, Malays and from India very few are genuine, using sophisticated rackets that involves a network of corrupt officials, large amounts of money changing hands involving migration agents which has now got to the stage where the operating system of the Dept of Home Affairs is paralysed. by the amount of applications.

    Like the PM I have no objection to any sort of Disability Inquiry or update, although I think the main problem is the exorborant funding that is required would never be enough!

    Expectations by modern Australians for the government to bend over backwards for each and every cause is not sustainable financially, governments need to find ways to raise more money, maybe sell more coal and iron ore to ever come anywhere near close the today’s trend to fund instant medical attention for the widening range of persons either requesting or demanding attention.

    Disgruntled voters those who will vote for the Independents and Labor to create miracles for the nation will come up against the same problems, so it be.
    Life wasn’t meant to be easy, everybody knows that by now!

    For those of us who are aging continuing along the line of a reasonably healthy lifestyle with responsible financial outlay and not crowding the Health System unnecessarily by having already made poor life choices.

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