Question Time Ahead of Time
Posted by Tom Bridge
The first Question Time of the week has passed and boy was it a cracker, well, if you like comedic theatre anyway. There were interjections, aggressive answers and a number of Opposition MP’s that found themselves on the end of Standing Order 94a. Tensions were heightened it seemed, perhaps as a result of carry-over energy from the debate of the previous week in the federal parliament where asylum seekers was the main issue early in the week and then debate returned to the carbon tax field. Things were so loud, over the top and angry today that even the Manager of Opposition Business and the Leader of the Opposition found themselves out of the chamber for a beverage break.
After an initial few questions based around the budget and spending priorities from the Opposition through Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey, questions returned to that all too familiar area, the carbon price. Today these questions focused around small businesses and the carbon tax, mostly fruit related businesses as it turned out.
The Gillard Government, for their part, was more diverse in the policy areas that were highlighted in Questions Without Notice today. There were questions on the carbon price, the economy and infrastructure. But the Labor Party started out asking itself about education reform with the Prime Minister today announcing intentions to overhaul school funding, but not the funding to match just yet.
With the surprising start to Question Time of the Joe Hockey asking questions on the budget and funding commitments, it seems likely that this area will again be breached on Tuesday and beyond.
The overwhelming focus of the Opposition though, will without any shred of a doubt, continue to be over the price on carbon. Any prospect for a change in this strategy would be simply too hard to believe. The bulk of the Coalition election strategy is built around this area of policy, though not all about the policy itself.
The Labor Party will probably again look to highlight a wide array of areas of policy action with education taking a greater focus as we get closer to an announcement of actual funds.
Labor though will continue to prosecute its case for the carbon tax, mostly around the compensation and how the perceptions of the tax have failed to materialise.
As happened during Questions Without Notice on Monday, it would be reasonable to expect questions from the Labor side also on the economy and infrastructure and perhaps social policy, chiefly the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Was today a sign of things to come this week in the brutal arena that is Question Time? Just how noisy will our MP’s get? And how many more will find themselves being sin-binned?
About Tom BridgeA perennial student of politics, providing commentary for money and for free. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on 0435 035 095 for engagements.
Posted on August 20, 2012, in Federal Politics and tagged ALP, Australian Government, Australian parliament, Australian politics, business, carbon price, carbon tax, Coalition, education reform, electricity prices, federal politics, Gillard Government, Labor, Opposition, price on carbon, Question Time, Questions Without Notice, social policy, Tony Abott. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.