The Coalition just voted for an unprecedented shutdown of the lower house

Stefan Postles/Getty ImagesMalcolm Turnbull is the leader’s chair, probably for the last time.

The Australian government just initiated an unprecedented shutdown of the House of Representatives as it reels from the leadership crisis between Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton.


Follow the latest developments in the Liberal leadership struggle here.


The motion to adjourn parliament until Spring was won 70 votes to 68, with Nationals MPs supporting the decision.

The House of Representatives now goes on break for a fortnight and won’t return until September 10.

Labor’s manager of Opposition business, Tony Burke, condemned the move, saying the government had decided “this is too hard, let’s go home”.

“What is happening right now is that the government has decided that this place has fallen apart so completely that they are dissolving the parliament for the day, entirely,” he said.

“There will be no question time today because they don’t know who their ministers are, there will be no question time today because they don’t know who their prime minister is.”

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the government was “eating itself alive”.

Deputy Tanya Plibersek called for an election.

“We are witnessing history being made today, because this house divided cannot stand, and given that we know that this house divided cannot stand,” she said.

“The only solution is for whoever the prime minister is right now to drive out to the governor-general and to let the people of Australia decide.”

The Senate, where the government doesn’t control the numbers, will continue to sit this week.

The last time parliament was adjourned was in March 2013 when Simon Crean forced Julia Gillard to call an unexpected spill — and she was unanimously re-elected.

NOW READ: LIVE: The Liberal leadership fight has produced an historic day of chaos in Canberra

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.