Politicians trickle in to Canberra for official opening

POLITICIANS have arrived in Canberra for the official opening of the 44th Parliament on Tuesday, as both major parties prepare for their first Question Time in their new roles on Wednesday.

Due to rain in the nation's capital, the ceremonies will start indoors at 8.45am, with a Welcome to Country by local indigenous elders before the official Westminster pomp begins.

Among the key highlights for the day will be the dragging of Bronwyn Bishop to the Speaker's chair - a role that once could lead to beheading, but is now more associated with a penchant for parliamentary process and a level head.

The Abbott government will be putting the final touches on speeches to introduce laws to repeal the carbon tax on Wednesday, as well as key lines of political attack for Wednesday's Question Time.

It is understood other legislation likely to come before the House this week include the repeal of the mining tax laws and related spending promises from the previous government.

The jostling for key committee chair roles is also well underway, with central Queensland MP George Christensen an early winner, appointed as chairman of the social policy and legal affairs committee on Monday.

While the government will be out to put a "methodical" appearance on its first week, it will also be a key test for Labor leader Bill Shorten and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke.

The two Labor frontbenchers will be leading the Opposition's attack on the floor, particularly during Question Time, where the carbon tax is expected to be a major issue for debate.


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