Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove was in parliament this morning to open the session, because the sitting had been brought forward out of session.
After delivering a speech about the reason, everyone had been dragged back early, the G-G moved to shake the hand of opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Standing beside him, deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek offered her own hand but was left hanging as Sir Peter moved on to say hello to the Prime Minster and Deputy Prime Minister.
Labor backbenchers were heard heckling sarcastically at the snub, saying: “You’ve been told, Tanya, know your place”, and “that says something”, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
According to parliamentary protocol, the G-G is only expected to greet the PM, the opposition leader and the speaker, but the snub of Plibersek was noted because it was obvious and followed up by the greeting of the Deputy PM.
The G-G has since called Plibersek to apologise, saying he didn’t see her hand, Fairfax reports.
Plibersek is apparently unconcerned by the incident, saying it is a “storm in a teacup” and she did not need an apology.
You can watch the whole awkward moment unfold here:
Feature image: Getty/Mark Metcalfe