Greens leader Richard Di Natale's threat to ask the Governor-General about dissolving Parliament over the citizenship crisis has infuriated both Labor and Liberal frontbenchers, with Anthony Albanese declaring he never wants to see another dismissal.
Senator Di Natale yesterday revealed he is seeking advice from parliamentary officials about what options his party has to call for the Governor-General to intervene, referencing the 1975 Whitlam dismissal.
It evoked outrage from Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, who said the Greens leader "stood condemned" for the suggestion.
"Anyone who was around on the 11th of November, 1975, and saw the damage that did to our democracy — the idea that this bloke would call for the intervention of the Governor-General to dismiss a government!" he told ABC's Lateline program.
"I'm not a fan of this Government but I don't want to see ever again the Governor-General's powers, reserve powers, be abused how they were in 1975, and that's precisely what Senator Di Natale appears to be suggesting."
Mr Albanese accused Senator Di Natale of using a serious moment in history for political gain.
"It's opportunist, and it's achieved its objectives which is it's got his head on the news tonight."
He found an unlikely ally in the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, who said it was an unhelpful contribution to the debate.
"It's not helpful, it doesn't advance the position at all, it's just designed to be a bit of a circus and side show."
Is John Alexander preparing to quit?
Mr Fletcher was also asked about reports fellow Liberal MP John Alexander was close to quitting.
The Member for Bennelong is facing the possibility he could be a British citizen by descent, and is seeking advice from the UK Home Office.
Mr Fletcher used the past tense when referring to his colleague, saying he made a great contribution.
That prompted Mr Albanese to quip: "Sounds like a valedictory, Paul!"
Mr Fletcher went on to say he is confident Mr Alexander will continue to make a positive contribution to Parliament.