Labor has taunted Riverina MP Michael McCormack in parliament with cries of “Wagga Wagga” after the Coalition suffered a 28 per cent swing against it at the byelection on Saturday.
Labor taunts Riverina MP @M_McCormackMP with cries of 'Wagga Wagga' after the Coalition suffered a 28% swing (and almost certain loss to independent) in the Wagga state byelection on Saturday. Video: APH. #waggavotes#waggabyelection#nswpol#auspolpic.twitter.com/ZBNabQoRht— Rex Martinich (@RexMartinich) September 10, 2018
Mr McCormack was asked a question about the federal government’s drought response in Question time on Monday.
Several Labor MP’s yelled ‘Wagga Wagga” as Mr McCormack approached the Despatch Box to give an answer.
“It’s a question about the drought and I hear those opposite calling out ‘Wagga Wagga’ and, yes, you’ll be pleased to know that last Thursday in Wagga Wagga there was 27 millimetres of rain,” Mr McCormack said.
“That is going to provide some ability for those farmers to get a crop off; many of the farmers in NSW, Queensland and, indeed, Victoria are not going to get a crop off.
“We should be mindful of them and when yelling across the chamber we should be mindful of all of those farmers and all of those rural business but at least some of those farmers have a bit of a green sheen around their electorates.
“Certainly, it rained in Wagga last Thursday so thank you for your interest in that.”
Some political commentators have blamed last month’s leadership spill in Canberra, which saw Malcolm Turnbull defeated in party room ballot and resign as prime minister and as an MP.
Monday was the start of new Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s first parliamentary sitting week in the top job.
Independent Joe McGirr is almost certain to win the Wagga state byelection when preference flows are formally calculated on Thursday.
Labor candidate Dan Hayes conceded defeat on Monday morning but Mr McGirr has said he will wait for the official result.
The NSW Electoral Commission Wagga Returning Office had its own awkward situation on Monday.
While the count for the Wagga Wagga by-election continues smoothly, we had a prickly situation when a guest visited the Returning Officer’s office today. It didn’t identify as an appointed scrutineer, so we’ve had to place it in safe hands for relocation. #waggawagga#nswpolpic.twitter.com/yFYFNgBOnx— NSWElectoralCommission (@NSWElectoralCom) September 10, 2018
The Edward Street office, where the byelelction votes are still being counted, had an uninvited guest in the form of a wandering echidna.
“While the count for the Wagga Wagga by-election continues smoothly, we had a prickly situation when a guest visited the Returning Officer’s office today,” the commission stated on social media.
“It didn’t identify as an appointed scrutineer, so we’ve had to place it in safe hands for relocation.”
The Commission accompanied its online post with a picture of the echidna being escorted from the premises in a cardboard box.
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