Question Time Ahead of Time

Question Time for Wednesday has come and gone. It was a rowdy affair from the start, but appeared to quiet down towards the end as the variation in Dorothy Dixer’s crept in and the initial boisterous behaviour of both sides over the carbon price questions relaxed just a little at least.

It was a little surprising that the Opposition did not choose to use just one more session of Question Time to have a bit of fun over the half-pike on asylum seeker policy which will see offshore processing return to Nauru and Papua New Guinea in the near future. The House of Representatives passed the amended bill just before Question Time today with the support of the Opposition and is assured of passing through the Senate.

Instead of just one more day attacking the Gillard Government over offshore processing, the Coalition chose to resume hostilities over the recently commenced price on carbon. This returns the debate to the long-term issue which has been the main debate of the 43rd parliament since that August 2010 statement from the Prime Minister just prior to the election that brought us a minority government.

The questions from the Liberal and National Party Opposition were largely centred around price rises and the carbon tax as they have been for some time and will likely continue to be right up until the next election due around mid-2013. Carbon tax questions were also about the broken promise as they have been since it was broken.

The government, for it’s part also chose to have a focus on the carbon price. Again, they too returned to their common strategy on the issue which is to highlight the compensation available to low and middle income earners in an attempt to compensate for associated price rises.

There were also Dorothy Dixer’s on the aslyum seeker bill that passed the lower house, as well as on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and education reform.

And so it goes that this gives us a hint of what is to come during Questions Without Notice on Thursday, the last session for the week.

It is now certain that, barring any last minute topical subjects, that Question Time will be dominated by questions from the Opposition on the carbon price as it applies to price rises as well as that promise.

The government will also likely return to the carbon price fight again with questions from backbenchers based around the payments and tax cuts that will be received in return for the introduction of the policy.

It is entirely possible that in the Dorothy Dixer mix will be questions on the NDIS and education reform as there were in the previous session.

With Standing Order 94a used on Wednesday and the noise in the parliament not abating, will there be more of the same tomorrow? Or will our parliamentarians ease into the weekend after a full-on week? The answer to the former is a definite ‘yes’ and the latter a certain ‘no’

About Tom Bridge

A perennial student of politics, providing commentary for money and for free. Email me at tbridgey@gmail.com or contact me on 0435 035 095 for engagements.

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Federal Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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