Violi removed from question time for ‘continually interjecting’

Casey MP Aaron Violi was removed from the chamber on Thursday 15 February after continuous interjections. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS. 331688_02

By Mikayla van Loon

Casey MP Aaron Violi was asked to leave the chamber in parliament last week for repeated interjection during question time.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Milton Dick used his right under Standing Order 94(a) to eject Mr Violi from the chamber for an hour on Thursday 15 February.

It was during a question being answered by treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers about the stage three tax cuts that passed earlier that day and unemployment that Mr Violi was said to have interrupted.

“In that answer, the member for Casey interjected eight times continuously. He will leave the chamber under 94(a),” Speaker Dick said.

“He’s been continually interjecting for the last two weeks. It is simply not acceptable for people not to show some restraint and to just continually interject during a question and an answer.”

This made it the fifth time, according to data published by The Sydney Morning Herald in January, that Mr Violi was removed.

Mr Violi told Star Mail he would always be a voice for his community.

“Our community sent me to Canberra to be a strong local voice and this includes holding the government to account in Parliament,” he said.

“Local residents, families and small businesses are struggling under Labor’s cost of living crisis. I hear this every time I’m out in our community.”

The stage three tax cuts bill was amended to provide a larger return for taxpayers who earned under $150,000, with those over the threshold receiving a slightly better tax cut than normal.

Dr Chalmers said in question time on Thursday the government did this for “the truckies and for the teachers…the steelworkers and the health workers…the nurses and the plumbers”.

“It means all 13.6 million Australian taxpayers can now look forward to a tax cut on 1 July. It means 11 and a half million of them can look forward to a bigger tax cut on 1 July,” he said.

“[The cuts] are relief, they are reform, and they are responsible. They’re better for Middle Australia and better for the economy.

“They lay bare the main difference between this side of the House and that side of the House. We want more people to earn more and to keep more of what they earn. Those opposite want people working longer for less.”

In Parliament on Wednesday 14 February, Mr Violi spoke on a matter of public importance brought forward by Deakin MP Michael Sukkar; the cost of living.

Mr Violi claimed the “Prime Minister misled the Australian people over 100 times” having promised pre and post election to implement the previously agreed to tax cuts legislated by the former Liberal government.

“His solution to these challenges for the Australian people is $15 a week in five months time.

“But the other bit he doesn’t talk about is when the government made a decision last year to let the low- and middle-income tax offset lapse. That was $1,500 a year taken away from the Australian people.”

Mr Violi said on Wednesday the tax cuts were “all about the politics” but the prime minister has previously said the current economic situation required the amendment.

“The treasurer may claim his government ‘genuinely care about the cost-of-living pressures that people confront’ but Labor’s track record shows otherwise,” he told Star Mail.

“The Labor Government has broken its promise to make life cheaper and easier. Labor promised to cut power bills by $275 a year, instead electricity is up 20 per cent.

“Labor promised cheaper childcare, yet families have told me their costs have increased by up to $13 per day. Under Labor, fuel prices, insurances and groceries are soaring, interest paid on mortgages has tripled and renters are paying the highest rents since 2009.”

A further four MPs were also removed by the speaker with Herbert MP Phillip Thompson, Lindsay MP Melissa McIntosh, Groom MP Garth Hamilton and Moreton MP Graham Perrett ejected on Thursday.

Rowdy behaviour in question time has been common practice of the debate since parliament’s inception in 1901.

The Sydney Morning Herald article on 4 January found that Federal MPs had been ejected 118 since the Labor Government was elected in 2022 as the 47th parliament.

The Liberal Party’s Mr Sukkar and Barker MP Tony Pasin topped the table at 15 times each for being asked by the speaker to leave the chamber.