Labor tests PM's control of parliament

Labor's Chris Bowen says Scott Morrison has 'jumped the shark' on economic credibility.
Labor's Chris Bowen says Scott Morrison has 'jumped the shark' on economic credibility.

Labor has failed in a test of the government's numbers in the House of Representatives on the final day of parliament for the year.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen moved a motion to suspend question time on Thursday in order to bring on the vote of condemnation of the government's failed handling of energy policy.

Mr Morrison does not have a majority in the parliament since the loss of Malcolm Turnbull's seat of Wentworth, and Victorian MP Julia Banks' move to the cross bench.

However, four crossbenchers - Cathy McGowan, Ms Banks, Kerryn Phelps and Rebekha Sharkie - abstained and the vote was lost 68-72.

Mr Bowen said the prime minister was constantly engaged in cheap political stunts rather than governing.

"We know that this prime minister has jumped the shark when it comes to economic credibility," Mr Bowen said.

"There is a better way than this, policy stability and certainty under a Bill Shorten Labor government.

"And if you're so certain, call an election and bring it on."

Attorney-General Christian Porter told parliament Labor was engaged in a political stunt.

"(Mr Bowen) used the words 'cheap political stunt' - that is like Darth Vader giving a parenting class," Mr Porter said.

He said Labor had sought to frustrate the parliament, which is sitting for the final time for 2018, all day for its own strategic advantage.

"This has been stunt upon stunt and it has blown up in your face."

Australian Associated Press