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The Parliament Literally Has Nothing To Do Today, So Everyone's Going Home

Bringing back both houses cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, for two days, three bills and one election trigger.

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After all the fuss and expense of bringing back both houses of parliament for a special sitting... this is Tuesday's empty run-sheet in the House of Representatives.

Tony Burke/ALP

Both the Senate and the lower house won't meet until after midday, they'll be there for a few hours and then pack up and go home.

This "special sitting" started when the governor-general gave the prime minister permission to recall both houses of parliament on April 18. It was an extraordinary move that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and hasn't been done since 1977.

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It meant 150 MPs and their staff were flown back to Canberra for three special sitting weeks of parliament with the ultimatum - pass the Australian Building and Construction Commission bills or face a double dissolution election.

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But on Monday night, just one day into the recall, the Senate rejected the government's attempts to bring back the construction watchdog, giving Malcolm Turnbull his July 2 election.

There's been some murmurings by crossbench Senators that the Government didn't really care about passing the ABCC bills and were just looking for a reason to call an early election.Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir told BuzzFeed News he was open to negotiating with the government, but they were just "going through the motions" and weren't interested."In my mind it is likely they will go to a double dissolution at all costs and of course try to pass the blame over to the crossbench."Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus told BuzzFeed News he hadn't spoken to the PM, or the Government's chief negotiator Employment Minister Michaelia Cash for many weeks.
Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

There's been some murmurings by crossbench Senators that the Government didn't really care about passing the ABCC bills and were just looking for a reason to call an early election.

Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir told BuzzFeed News he was open to negotiating with the government, but they were just "going through the motions" and weren't interested.

"In my mind it is likely they will go to a double dissolution at all costs and of course try to pass the blame over to the crossbench."

Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus told BuzzFeed News he hadn't spoken to the PM, or the Government's chief negotiator Employment Minister Michaelia Cash for many weeks.

While Labor's Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is accusing the PM of using tax payer funds to promote his election budget.

Darrian Traynor / Getty Images

So this afternoon when you head home just know, Australia's politicians won't be heading back to work tomorrow.

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What does everyone do for the next two weeks?

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Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at alice.workman@buzzfeed.com.

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