Member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore, rejected the Westminster Traditions of the Australian Parliament in declining her nomination to act as Speaker of the House of Representatives this afternoon (Thursday).
Speaker, Harry Jenkins, resigned in a dramatic opening to the last sitting day of the year this morning (Thursday), leading to an extended session to elect a new Speaker.
The Labor Party broke with tradition by nominating an Opposition member, Peter Slipper, for the role of Speaker.
In return, the Liberal National Coalition nominated government members of the Speakers Panel, including Ms Livermore.
Each member of the Labor Party refused to accept nomination.
Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said it was a most extraordinary day in parliament.
“Every government member of the speaker’s panel, including Ms Livermore, was nominated and none would accept,” he said.
“If none were prepared to take the job of Speaker, you have to ask why they are on the Speakers Panel in the first place.
“If there is no one in the Labor Party capable of performing the job, you have to ask why they are in government in the first place.
“It appears the only member of the Labor Party capable of the job was encouraged to leave office this morning for nothing more than political gain and the hope to shore up the tenuous grip the Prime Minister has on power.”