POLITICS

Abbott, The Backbencher, Asks His First Question Since Being Ousted As PM

And it was to a man he once demoted.

12/10/2016 3:44 PM AEDT | Updated 12/10/2016 3:46 PM AEDT
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Andrew Meares, Fairfax
Tony Abbott rose in parliament to ask a question on trade

CANBERRA – Hello! Who do we have here asking a question in the federal parliament as if it was his maiden effort?

It is former Prime Minister Tony Abbott now dutifully performing his role as a backbencher and asking a simple, overwritten, completely harmless plant of question -- or Dorothy Dixer as they are known -- to someone he used to be the boss of.

Alex Ellinghausen, Fairfax
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has asked his first Dorothy Dixer since losing the Prime Ministership to Malcolm Turnbull

The chamber erupted into loud cheers and standing ovations as the Member for Warringah got to his feet and was called on by the Speaker Tony Smith.

Mr Abbott responded with a huge grin and a wave of the paper which carried his question, "Nice to be popular, Mr Speaker!"

The question was to Steve Ciobo, a man Mr Abbott had demoted in 2010, but who is now a Minister in the Turnbull Government.

Alex Ellinghausen, Fairfax
Tony Abbott: "Nice to be popular, Mr Speaker!

"My question is to the Minister for Trade," Mr Abbott asked.

"Will the Minister update the House on how the expanded Singapore-Australian Free Trade Agreement will support the Government's plan for jobs and growth?"

Ah jobs and growth! A mantra of the man who took Tony Abbott's job. How times change.

It was a big day for the former Prime Minister meeting the visiting Prime Ministers of Singapore and Bhutan.

The expanded Singapore-Australian Free Trade Agreement will be signed tomorrow and Mr Ciobo says Mr Abbott can take some credit.

Alex Ellinghausen, Fairfax
Tony Abbott winks as he departs Question Time

He came, and with his customary wink, he was gone.

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