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George Christensen crosses the floor as government narrowly avoids embarrassing vote loss

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The Morrison government narrowly avoided an embarrassment in parliament after rogue Queensland LNP George Christensen crossed the floor on Wednesday.

Mr Christensen voted with the opposition against the government’s bill to make changes to class action laws.

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Earlier on Wednesday the outspoken backbencher made an impassioned speech to parliament where he likened COVID-19 restrictions and vaccinations to the Hitler regime.

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He said the response from the public should be “civil disobedience”.

“The totalitarian path, the path that we are unquestionably on, has never ended well,” he said.

QUESTION TIME
Maverick LNP MP George Christensen has crossed the floor to vote against the government. Credit: AAP

Independent MPs Bob Katter, Helen Haines, Andrew Wilkie and Greens MP Adam Bandt also voted with Labor on the bill, while Zali Steggall and Rebekha Sharkie voted with the government.

Had one more person crossed the floor, or either Ms Sharkie or Ms Steggall voted with Labor, the bill would have been defeated on a tied vote.

The bill will now progress to the Senate for debate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier rejected Mr Christensen’s call for “civil disobedience”, when asked by Labor leader Anthony Albanese whether he condemned such comments.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time on Tuesday. Credit: AAP

“I indeed would condemn any encouragement (of) … acts of civil disobedience,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Christensen, who is retiring from his seat of Dawson at the next election, has been threatening to cross the floor over vaccine mandates and health restrictions.

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