The highly anticipated start to the 44th Parliament’s second session has gone as quickly as it came, with Parliament adjourning until May, only 37 hours later after it commenced. They say a week is a long time in politics, so here’s what can happen in two days.

Royal Snub given to Labor’s Tanya Plibersek

After taking up the Prime Minister’s call, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove waltzed into parliament and told representatives to debate the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Registered Organisations Commission bills.

During the argy-bargy of the exit, Sir Cosgrove shook the hands of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, House of Reps Speaker Tony Smith, and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. He then proceeded to pass over the outstretched hand of Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek.

Plibersek downplayed the incident as a “storm in a teacup”.

Senate staff reportedly advised the Queen’s representative that protocol was to shake the hands of the Prime Minister, speaker and Opposition Leader, however Mr Joyce quickly went in for a handshake of his own.

Construction site watchdog voted down a second time

To the outsider, the Australian Building and Construction Commission has not exactly been a core issue or one they would even know about. Basically it is concerned with providing a framework for building work in order to ensure is it carried out in a proper way.

The ABCC (not to be confused with the public broadcaster) was the centrepiece of the reasons for the proroguing of parliament and now, it seems, a double dissolution election, after the bill was rejected by the Senate for a second time at 6:30pm on the first day of sitting.

The rejection hands Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a fresh trigger for a double dissolution election, which he has flagged to be held on July 2.

Barnaby gets some closure over Pistol and Boo

Many Curieux readers have probably seen the really… REALLY awkward video recorded by Johnny Depp and wife Amber Heard. If you haven’t seen it, you can find it on Barnaby Joyce’s Facebook page, where it has racked up over 1.5 million views. Seriously, go and watch it.

The video is the final closure Australians (and more specifically Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce) really needed.

Australian YouTube personality Natalie Tran (known as community channel) took to parodying the video with some “behind the scenes content.”

The development comes after the celebrities brought their dogs Pistol and Boo into Australia undeclared. The dogs have since been sent back after the Deputy PM threatened to euthanise them.

Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal abolished.

If there is one thing that Malcolm Turnbull can be happy about in those two days is that the Senate did actually do something he wanted it to do in abolishing the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (The RSRT).

The RSRT was originally set up by the Gillard Government, with the aim to “improve safety for Australian road users” according to Labor Leader Bill Shorten’s website.

The Repeal Bill was passed through the senate by 36-32 votes.

About The Author


Terry was the 2016 Welfare Officer at the UCSA, and a regular contributor for Curieux. Terry reports on on-campus events including parking, student politics and university news.

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